Monday, April 16, 2001,
Chandigarh, India



Authors and publishers

THIS relates to the article “Plight of authors in India” by Tavleen Singh (Tribune, March 10). We are surprised at the derogatory language used by the writer. Equating the publishers with demons, without knowing the facts, is in bad taste. The Indian publishing industry is producing 60,000 new titles every year. Tavleen Singh is one of those authors who rush to the press for a small lapse on the part of one publisher and blame the profession of publishing for it.

The Federation of Indian Publishers is the apex body of publishers in India. There are various associations of publishers all over the country, language-wise and state-wise.

Indian writers and publishers play an important part in the social and cultural life of our country. Every author is respected in society and the federation greatly values the ethics of relationship between authors and publishers. Making a statement, using derogatory language on the basis of one experience and blaming the entire publishing industry for it amounts to tarnishing its image. The FIP is keen to accord fair treatment to authors and adheres to the noble ideals which inspire the publishers.

S. BALWANT, President, Federation of Indian Publishers, New Delhi


Nation on holiday

I have read with interest, Poonam I. Kaushish’s article, ‘When nation goes on a holiday’ (Tribune, April 10). The writer seems to have over-stepped the mark and it is not understood how 56 medical leaves and 30 restricted holidays have been included in the list.

The writer seems to have made some mistake somewhere because no department allows 56 days of medical leave, nor is the number of restricted holidays 30 in any office or department. An employee is allowed 10 medical leaves and two restricted holidays in a year. In any case, the plea for increasing the number of working days is valid.

B.N. TRIKHA, Bhiwani

Shahtoosh shawl

A Delhi-based Animal Welfare Organisation headed by the Ministry of State For Social Justice and Empowerment has sent a legal notice to the wife of the outgoing American ambassador which is not in keeping with the norms followed in dealing with foreign dignitaries.

The wording of the notice is impolite and lacks the courtesy due to the wife of a foreign diplomat. The diplomat concerned should have been approached and apprised of our concern.

The notice (if at all it was necessary) should have been initiated by the Ministry of External Affairs.

It is apparent that the wife of the diplomat had purchased the shawl for her personal use and she wore it at Jaipur during the New Year celebrations. It was inappropriate to ask Mrs Jacqueline Lundquist to return the shawl. If it is still with her we should gracefully leave the matter there.

The Government of India should intervene at the earliest, and convey to Mrs Jacqueline Lundquist politely that she may keep the shawl with her as an exceptional case and thus close the chapter once for all.


Apartments Act

While the Government of Haryana has been pronouncing its development schemes, it has lagged behind in legislation for the betterment of housing schemes.

There has been a tremendous shift in the construction pattern from single storey houses to multi-storeyed buildings. There has been a growing demand for apartments in such buildings. But in the absence of an Apartments Act, the public is facing problems in the sale and purchase of such apartments or floors in residential houses. The Government of Haryana should seriously consider suitable legislation in the regard. The Union Territory of Chandigarh, which is the capital of Haryana and Punjab, seems to have decided to introduce Apartments Act in the UT. The Government of Haryana may also follow suit and, to begin with, make the Act may applicable to developing cities like Panchkula and Gurgaon. It can be extended to other cities in due course.

N.K. SHARMA, Panchkula

Sehejdhari Sikhs

TO deny Sehajdhari Sikhs the right to vote in the SGPC elections is unfair and discriminatory. It amounts to hijacking the Sikh religion and its institutions by only a faction of the Akali Dal. The term Sikh was used to describe the followers of Guru Nanak Dev. The Khalsa came into being much later and not all Sikhs opted for this change. The gurdwaras belong to both. The Sehajdharis continued to pray like any Sikh inside and outside the gurdwaras. They provided the base population from where the Khalsa drew its members.

Very few Sehajdharis remain in the fold today. To deny them the right to vote will be a dishonour to this quiet group, which sustained the Khalsa even in critical times. The move is clearly aimed at benefiting a particular group and to perpetuate its hold over the gurdwaras and other bodies run by the SGPC. Silent worshippers that they are, the Sehajdharis will not lose anything, but the Khalsa may. I would suggest that the Sehajdharis should not only be allowed voting rights but also given some seats in the SGPC.




Farm production

There has been a constant decline in India’s agricultural production. At present agricultural growth is pegged at 1.9 per cent whereas population growth is 2.5 per cent. This gap can result in a severe food shortage.

At present too much emphasis is being given to the secondary and tertiary sectors whereas 70 per cent of the country’s population is engaged in the agricultural sector. Neglect of this primary sector can have serious consequences. Agriculture and allied activities are an important source of livelihood for our people and if we keep succumbing to pressures from the developed countries, then our masses can face starvation in the future.

At present the government is paying too much attention to the service sector. This can be disastrous if it is done at the cost of the primary sector. In developed nations only two per cent farmers produce to feed the whole nation whereas in our country it is just the opposite. Therefore, our policy makers must consider this aspect and start caring for the primary sector. The states should give incentives to the farmers to take up activities such as animal husbandry, dairying, horticulture, bee keeping etc.

K.K. SHARMA, Kangra

Lawyers’ chambers

The chambers of lawyers are being demolished in some court complexes and the lawyers have gone on strike as a protest. Lawyers are a part and parcel of the judicial system and the administration of justice. If the lawyers of both sides are not present before the court, administration of justice will not be possible. The state should ensure that the lawyer is given a proper place to sit in court complexes. The present arrangement creates a bad impression and it is a matter of regret that the state is not allowing the lawyers to keep even these shelters.

However, the lawyers are not keeping these shelters unauthorisedly. They are officers of the courts and therefore, they occupy these shelters as a matter of right. This legal aspect also needs to be considered.


Water scarcity

The summer has set in and the scarcity of water has started showing in Shimla. There has been very little rain during the winter months. The past seven months have seen a virtual drought.

Some cities have imposed a complete ban on construction of houses in summer months. It is time the authorities in Shimla also took a similar decision so that people may get water for drinking and domestic use during the summer.

R.K. SHARMA, Shimla

Phone tariff

The government allows certain facilities to senior citizens including old-age pension and concessional railway travel etc. But attention has not been paid to certain other necessities of this ageing class. For example, telephone is an urgent need of the aged. In their days of loneliness the telephone becomes a link with their sons and daughters who, most of the time, live in distant places. Moreover, they often have to summon medical help. The high rental charges and tariff invariably become a big problem for these men with very limited resources.

The government should take a sympathetic view and allow the senior citizens substantial concession in telephone tariffs.

R.K. JAIN, Jagadhari

Home | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Editorial |
Business | Sport | World | Mailbag | In Spotlight | Chandigarh Tribune | Ludhiana Tribune
50 years of Independence | Tercentenary Celebrations |
121 Years of Trust | Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |