Wednesday, September 19, 2001, Chandigarh, India



Rewarding inefficiency through the MSP

The government has increased the minimum support price of paddy for the current procurement season. There are mixed reactions to this increase in the MSP. The CM of Punjab, his three Cabinet colleagues and two members of Parliament of his party have welcomed the increase whereas his FM has criticised it.

Mr Mann, a BKU leader, has gone to the extent of observing that it will adversely affect the country’s economy. Dr S.S. Johl’s comments that the paddy price decision is born out of “politics”, not “economics”, negates Mr Mann’s argument.

The VC of PAU, Dr K.S. Aulakh’s observations make the issue crystal clear. He has stated that farmers continued to over-invest in agriculture by going in for unwanted machinery, making farming uneconomical and unviable.

Often farm loans are diverted for meeting social obligations. The farmers have almost given up personal supervision of farm operations. The over-dependence on labour has increased and, consequently, there is utter waste and wrong use of costly inputs.

The comments of senior leaders and agriculture experts make it abundantly clear that the decision on the MSP for paddy is not based on merit.

The concept of optimal use of input is totally absent from the farming operations thus increasing the cost of output, which simply is inefficiency. The MSP, therefore, is nothing but a reward for inefficiency and extravagance. Can someone assure the poor consumer that the government is concerned about his welfare?

H. S. NIGAH, Mohali


Preet Nagar

It is heartening indeed to note that the Vice-Chancellor of GND University, Amritsar, Dr S.P. Singh, has said that he will “endeavour to restore the old glory of Preet Nagar” which, prior to the partition of India, was an important social, intellectual and cultural centre of Punjab. We have the genius of building institutions at one time, and then destroying them later by our narrow interests and utter neglect.

Sardar Gurbax Singh, the founder of Preet Nagar, was himself a unique personality a contact with whom had acted as a great intellectual and spiritual tonic. He had influenced a generation of people through his writings distinguished for their catholicity of outlook and broad human sympathy. In his times Preet Nagar bustled with social and cultural activities. He drew men, irrespective of caste and creed, to Preet Nagar and encouraged them to pursue their social and literary interests. His journal “Preetlari” covered wide literary and scholarly themes, and gained tremendous popularity.

But the Vice-Chancellor’s idea of confining the activities of Preet Nagar only to the promotion of the Punjabi language would defeat the very purpose of the object with which Gurbax Singh had founded the educational and cultural centre at Preet Nagar. We are so much obsessed with narrow regional interests now that we do not realise that such a limited approach does immense harm and deprives our youth of widening their frontiers of knowledge.

It was at Preet Nagar that I learnt rudiments of ancient Greek philosophy and Marxism. How many undergraduate students in Punjab and Haryana today are familiar with the broad streams of thought to which that master-minded Gurbax Singh had directed our attention?

V. N. DATTA, New Delhi

Legal back-up

The enactment of a law to shield the security forces fighting terrorists would be a wise and welcome step. It is nobody’s case that the security forces be allowed to behave irresponsibly or do wrong to any citizen. But to hold them accountable for bona fide acts while performing their duties under gravely provocative and hazardous conditions will work as a deterrent to our efforts to deal with terrorism and jehadi fundamentalism spreading its tentacles in the world today.

An interpretation of human rights that glosses over egregious violence and cruelty inflicted on innocent people by mercenary thugs and terrorists, but goes to town to highlight any excesses on the part of the security forces, is seriously flawed and invidious. No wonder, it is fast losing its credibility in the international community.

S. C. KAPOOR, Noida


Of dogs and keepers

This refers to the first-ever recent seminar on Canine healthcare held in Chandigarh (September 12). This seminar was conspicuous by excluding deliberations on the nuisance caused to the public by the pet dogs.

Keeping dogs of a good breed in our society is a fashion, craze or a status symbol. Had compassion been the reason for keeping dogs, the good looking Indian breed of dogs would have been the choice. These suit best to our environment.

It is a common observation that dogs are a source of nuisance to the inhabitants of the respective colonies. The dog-keepers are callously innocent of their responsibilities to look into the grudging and grumbling of those who are scared of being bitten by dogs and are repulsive to their defecating in front of their houses. The dog owner should take his dog early in the morning and late in the evening far away for defecation. The owner must ensure that his dog does not cause uncongenial and offensive conditions on the public and private places.

Due to improper restraint, the dogs cause disturbance by chasing vehicles, attacking and interfere with persons and animals of the roads. The worst accusation against the dog-keepers is that they keep their dog constantly chained for days together when the whole family is out of station. This cruel act of the owner irritates the dogs who in turn causes disturbance in the locality by its excessive barking.

More than 100 Zoonotic diseases can be transmitted to humans from dogs. Worth the mention and caution is tapeworm infestation and rabies. The greatest perpetrator of cruelty to the pet dog is the owner who does not get his dog properly dewormed and immunised against various diseases.

Dog bites are responsible for 80 per cent of rabies in India. Lakhs of dog bite patients elect to post-exposure treatment every year. Apart from rabies which permits no treatment, dog bites can cause tetanus and pasteurclosis. Dog bite wounds are extra sensitive to a great variety of infections.

Education and information to dog-keepers is essential if the welfare of the pet dogs and the public around them is to be ensured. Only a responsible person has the right to keep a dog.



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