Monday, September 17, 2001, Chandigarh, India



Fresh study of the WTO agenda

The article by Prof Sucha Singh Gill (July 31) does not give a true picture of the WTO. He has blamed the AoA, for the large wheat stocks stagnating in the FCI godowns and the MSP for farmers. The fault lies with the food policy of the government and not with the AoA. In the agriculture sector we have freedom to follow our policies; it is the industrialised world that is required to bring down its domestic and export subsidies and volume of subsidised exports by January 1, 2001 (six years).

Prof Gill says, “the international economic order under the WTO does not allow any intervention towards stabilisation and raising of prices of primary products, the main exports of the developing countries.”

In fact, the WTO is not so much an assault on our economic sovereignty as it is a challenge to our ability to compete in the global market place. Secondly, the era of non-reciprocity in international trade and economic relations is virtually over.

The developing countries in the next ministerial conference should press for review, repair and reform in the existing agreements where they face difficulties in the implementation of the Agreement on Agriculture, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, TRIPS, TRIMS and the agreement on textiles and clothing.

The developing countries have also to ensure that a social clause covering labour and environment is not included in the agenda, otherwise it may also end up like a Seattle fiasco.

Dr P. K. VASUDEVA, Panchkula


Nabha station

Apropos the news item "Railway station lacks basic amenities" (Sept 3), considering the passenger traffic at Nabha, one platform is considered sufficient. However, the case for the extension of the shed on the platform is being examined, and subject to being found necessary, action will be initiated. The divisional authorities are taking action to ensure that amenities already provided at the station are maintained.

At the present level of traffic, the running of additional trains and provision of stoppages has not been found viable and will be examined afresh during the new timetable in 2002.


Chief Public Relations Officer (NR), New Delhi


Incorrect quatrain

In his letter Incomplete Urdu couplet (Sept 6), Principal M.L. Sharma (retd) has not correctly quoted Mir Taqi Mir’s beautiful quatrain. It is as under:

Kal paaon ek kaasa-e-sar par jo aa gaya.

Yaksar voh ustukhaan shikastoon sey choor tha.

Kaihney laga ke dekh key chal raah be-khabar.

Main bhi kabhoo kisoo ka sar-e-purgharoor tha.

(Yesterday, my foot hit a skull, which had broken into smithereens. It said, O’ ignorant! Walk carefully. Once, I too was someone’s haughty head).

The verses depict the fate of the people who behaved arrogantly.

Bhagwan Singh, Qadian

PPSC test

There were irregularities in the conduct of the clinical test for the post of Demonstrator (Dental) held on September 3 by the PPSC, Patiala.

The specimen copy of the style of test supplied to the candidates indicated that there would be 150 objective questions but in the actual test only 50 questions were put and the test was only of 40 minutes duration.

The answers to the questions were to be filled with HB pencils, which left scope for manipulation.

The marking of the papers is not done as per the rules. It is manual and a good eraser can do wonders. We demand a high-level inquiry into the matter.


AMRIK SINGH & others, Patiala

People’s will

The editorial Constitution and people’s will (Sept. 8) is bold, timely and worth pondering. You are right in saying that though belated the Supreme Court has rightly reminded everybody about the supremacy of our Constitution over the “verdict of the people”.

By saying so the court is not showing its mistrust in the democratic process. It is only against its misuse. For even the democratic practice, like any other procedure, has a limited resilience and cannot be stretched to an unlimited point where it snaps.

Here I quote a true incident to illustrate this point. In a professional college a student did not attend even a single class of one particular teacher. At the end of the session his name was listed along with other students who were falling short of lectures. The student went to the Principal and complained that the teacher has marked him absent out of some bias, and to prove himself right “democratically”, he took along the whole class of about 15 students as his witnesses! If this is democracy, God save us from this!

At a recent meeting of the local college principals, which I happened to attend, all principals, except for a known stooge of the petrified university managers, opposed the holding of elections in educational institutions on a valid ground that it vitiates the already ailing academic atmosphere of the institutions because of blatant interference of political parties which are corrupting, in the name of “peoples verdict”, the basic fibre of our Constitution. The elections were still forced upon them.

The most significant part of this incident to ponder is the “scare” that the political parties have created even in the minds of those who run universities and colleges and on whom people pin their hopes so that our crumbling social structure is salvaged from a complete loss.

BALVINDER, Chandigarh

Biased articles

I belong to Amritsar and am working as a journalist in the USA. I was shocked to read the two articles by Mr R.N. Prasher and Mr Chandra Mohan. Both pieces appeared to be ill-researched, biased and playing-the-emotional-card type.

The pieces, which deal with debatable causes, should be well-researched, impartial and free from moral prejudices. Or do the writers think that the Indians are gullible enough to be taken for a ride? They question the role of the judiciary and human rights activists in the turbulent times. Allow me to ask: what were they too doing then? Falsifying all the judges, human rights activists, men-of-letters and public sentiment without intelligent and rational reasoning exposes the writers’ actual motives. It’s high time we Indian wake up, have a larger framework of thinking and stop falling prey to vicious alignments brought up by pseudo-intellectuals.


Militants in burqa?

The campaign aimed at "Talibanisation" of Kashmir by forming the dress code by Lashkar-e-Jabbar needs to be taken seriously. It is a dangerous move, and if not checked immediately, would further isolate Kashmir from India. Also, the militants, in the garb of a burqa, will pose a problem to the security forces.


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