Tuesday, April 17, 2001,
Chandigarh, India



Refixing constituencies

For a fair representation in future Lok Sabhas, the Election Commission should be empowered to refix the limits of the constituencies on the basis of the latest census report, without changing the number of seats for each state.

Many cities like Delhi have witnessed large-scale shifting of population from one part of the city to the other. Chandni Chowk, which at one time was the most congested constituency, is now the thinnest with about three lakh voters. The rural constituency of ‘Outer Delhi’ has swelled to an urban constituency of about 30 lakh voters. ‘East Delhi’ comprises some parts of the western side of the Yamuna in addition to the entire trans-Yamuna area which itself accounts for more than 25 per cent of Delhi’s population. There should be two seats for the trans-Yamuna areas, leaving the other five seats as ‘South Delhi’, ‘North Delhi’, ‘West Delhi’, ‘New Delhi’ and ‘Old Delhi’, in a manner that each constituency has almost the same number of Vidhan Sabha/Corporation segments.

The same principle should be applied to other cities. The limits of the constituencies within a state should also be refixed on the basis of the latest census report. The formality of getting the delimitation approved by Parliament should be abolished because our chaotic Lok Sabhas may never find time for such reforms.



Accident victims

One often sees accident victims lying unattended on the road. A crowd gathers at the site of the accident but rarely anyone makes an effort to take the victim to a hospital for fear of getting involved in a police case. Precious time is wasted, waiting for the police to arrive. Many lives can be saved if quick medical help is made available.

Is the fear of getting involved in a police case real? If not, then the public needs to be educated about the urgency of providing a helping hand at the crucial moment. The authorities concerned should launch a campaign to allay such fears. This will result in more people coming forward to help accident victims.

harinder mohan singh, Chandigarh

Talking to Kashmiris

The Centre’s move to entrust the task of conducting a dialogue with Kashmiri leaders to Mr K.C. Pant signifies the sincerity of the government about solving the stalemate in the Valley. Mr Pant has had an experience of dealing with Kashmir as a minister in Indira Gandhi’s government.

The All-Party Hurriyat Conference (APHC) has dismissed the move as a ‘drama’. The Hurriyat leaders’ insistence on a visit to Pakistan before starting a dialogue does not square with their earlier demand for ‘unconditional’ negotiations. Moreover, why should they have to visit Islamabad before talking to New Delhi? Are they Kashmiris or Pakistanis on Indian soil?

We have already made quite a few mistakes in Kashmir. Let there be no more mistakes. We must not succumb to Hurriyat or any other Pakistani plant such as Lashkar-e-Toiba or Hizbul Mujahideen. The Kashmiris have to be protected from the attacks of foreign mercenaries and local miscreants. Only a strong Farooq Abdullah can inject sanity into the heads of these Pakistani agents.

s.s. jain, Chandigarh

Unimplemented scheme

We migrated from Lahore in 1947 after the partition of the country and had hardly settled in Amritsar when the Improvement Trust framed the Kucha Panditan Development Scheme in 1965 which was later sanctioned by the Punjab Government. However, the trust has not been able to implement this scheme so far. The sword of Damocles, however, hangs over our heads.

Properties falling in this scheme are evacuee properties purchased by the refugees from the Rehabilitation Department.

The Punjab Government will earn the gratitude of the residents by ordering cancellation of this scheme, thereby saving the residents from becoming refugees once again.


Educated unemployed

According to press reports, Haryana has 12960 unemployed persons who have post-graduate degrees and have their names registered in employment exchanges. This should be a matter of concern for the policy-makers. Such highly qualified persons cannot be left unemployed.

Persons who have passed the JBT course are mostly employed but those who acquired post-graduate qualification 10 years ago are on the road. There are enough vacancies of primary teachers and few candidates. But vacancies of masters or junior lecturers are fewer than the candidates.

For the IAS entrance test, there is the norm of graduation but persons with higher qualifications can sit in the examination. But for the recruitment of primary teachers there is a bar on persons with higher qualification. This is unfair to these persons. If they are ready to teach in primary schools, they should be recruited as primary teachers.

sunita sangwan, Butana (Sonepat)


Pak provocations

Pakistan has accused India of increasing repression in Kashmir. This came after six Pakistan-supported militants were killed when they tried to ambush Indian security forces.

Pakistan claims that the people fighting in Indian Kashmir are freedom-fighters, even though most of them are not Kashmiris. Rather, they are Muslims from Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Sudan and other Islamic countries. Obviously these militants are seeking freedom in the wrong place. They ought to go back to their own countries and fight there, instead of dying needlessly in India.

When these Pakistan-supported “freedom-fighters” start dying at the hands of Indian security forces, Pakistan cries “repression”. Does Gen Musharraf expect India to lie down and play dead when confronted by his “holy warriors”?

Pakistan should be happy that no Indian government has so far decided to take the fight to its source, that is inside Pakistan, which any other country would have done long ago. Continued provocations from Pakistan will rebound on it, sooner or later.

KRIS MITEL, Wilton Connecticut (USA)


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