Monday, August 20, 2001, Chandigarh, India



Of upside down journalistic priorities

Apropos “He makes the desert bloom” (Aug 12). The two news stories about the gruesome murder of Phoolan Devi and Rajendra Singh of the “Tarun Bharat Sangh” bagging the prestigious Ramon Magsaysay Award broke into print the same day in the last week of July.

But while the columns of all newspapers were splashing juicy episodes from Phoolan’s life from the very next day, we had to wait for almost a fortnight to read a worthwhile write-up on Rajendra Singh, the pioneer in spearheading a mass rural movement for water conservation in Rajasthan and recipient of the Asian equivalent of the Nobel Prize.

Perhaps, it had been due to today’s upside down journalistic priorities where digging out sensational episodes from the colourful past of a Bandit Queen finds precedence over informing the readers about the feats of a lonely “water man” digging a tank in a remote village in Alwar district. I personally feel that the people like Rajendra Singh and activities of the organisation he is heading deserve more media footage than the exploits of Dasuya Sunderi, howsoever thrilling or exciting they may be.



Without teachers

The High School at Kot Patial in Hoshiarpur district has been without a Punjabi teacher since 1993. The primary school of this village having 200 students has only one teacher for the past five years. Students are promoted up to the fifth standard under the automatic promotion system without their learning the basics of education. Will the government do something?




Cops harassed

I have read a news item (Aug 13) regarding the confession of cops on false encounters. The poor cops are being harassed by the government. They have disclosed the names of their seniors who ordered such encounters.

During terrorism people used to hide themselves in their locked-up houses before sunset. We were thankful to the cops now facing trial. The matter of terrorism starts and ends with political leaders. They cannot give justice to the cops nor to victims of terrorism.

The political leaders who created terrorism and who helped the terrorists directly or indirectly should be punished.

B. S. Sharma, Amritsar

Too much on politics

You guys are not attempting on anything needed to educate youth. There is too much focus on politics, films and gossip personalities. Is this what you have in mind when you give an example of a “role-model” for your children? Entertainment is OK but there are other fields which have to be covered. Take, for example, the work being done in our IITs.

AMIT PATEL, by e-mail

Cruel schooling

I am totally appalled at reading that children would be expelled from school because they needed to use the toilet and when the teacher did not allow them, they did it in a plastic bag.

I feel it is the teacher who should be expelled, not the students. If this had happened in Canada, there would have been such a hue and cry over it, and the public would have criticised the school system.


Inhuman: Students have perhaps no choice except to urinate in their pants or polythene bags if teachers are too harsh and do not allow them to attend to the natural urge. My son, Aman, in Class III was not allowed to go to toilet even when he had medical problems, an upset stomach and was also not allowed to drink water from the bottle lying closeby.

Aman has often complained to severe lower abdominal pain and was admitted to the PGI two times. The reason: he was unable to pass urine as a result of controlling/delaying it and insufficient water intake. Denying toilet, water facilities to children is indeed inhuman.

PROF S. C. BEDI, PU, Chandigarh

Trauma in school

Apropos the editorial “Trauma in school” a mountain was made of an ant-hill for a minor incident in Shivalik Public School, Chandigarh. A boy joins a school under certain discipline formulated and in force for the past 35 years. It was the duty of the boys’ father to seek permission of the Principal before violating any rule. Maintenance of discipline is a major casuality in India today. The malady originates from the parents and schools. Let us back a person who tries to enforce it rather than chase him with legal and constitutional provisions.


Not cruel: The editorial has termed the expulsion of a student from a school for trimming his hair as cruel and inhumane. We do not support your viewpoint. After all, what a Principal could have done if the school rules strictly prohibit such a religious misconduct.

There are many Sikh institutions which have similar rules in their statutes, but do not bother to follow them strictly. Such negligence of the institutions and mass “indiscipline” by students is a matter of concern for the community.


Massacres in J &K

The views expressed in "How to deal with Massacres in J&K" by Mr P.C. Dogra are anti-national. If an ex-officer of the rank of IG, who has fought terrorism and infiltration for many years, equates terrorists and militants with Jehadis, what is the problem when Gen Pervez Musharraf also calls them Jehadis?

I am also pained when he writes “The Kashmir valley has already been cleansed of the Pandits” as if the Pandits are infiltrators and terrorists. This is also not expected that a daily of such repute will publish an article full of gross anti-national views.

DR S. C. SINGHAL, Karnal

Your Money

In the weekly column “Your Money” the write-up by Mr Ashok Kumar (July 30) was rather disappointing. The information provided was sketchy and incomplete.

The writer tried to touch upon so many investment options in one go that he could not do full justice to any due to space constraints. He missed to include some vital bits of information in most of the items that he discussed. The subject should have been dealt with in parts.

WG CDR C. L. SEHGAL (Retd), Jalandhar

Tiresome procedures

The Government of Punjab has reserved 13 per cent of the posts in government departments and its autonomous bodies like universities, committees and boards for ex-servicemen and their dependants. To apply, one has to obtain “dependent certificate” from the District Sainik Welfare Office. The procedure is so cumbersome and tiresome that many abandon the exercise in a huff. Similarly, the procedure for granting loans and providing subsidy for self-employment is disgusting.

The offices of Defence Pension Disbursing Officers are also not helpful. Ex-servicemen and widows suffer at the hands of persons sitting in these offices.


Without footpaths

In May the Municipal Corporation of Amritsar dug out the roadside in Gole Bagh and Narain Nagar for erecting footpaths. For the last three months no further action has been taken, resulting in dust, slush and water-logging.

KAMAL SONI, Amritsar


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