Tuesday, July 2, 2002, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi



Is Press a priority area for FDI?

Your leader “Is Press a priority area for FDI?” (June 26) has rightly pulled up the Vajpayee government, which has thrown open the fourth estate for mortgage to the foreign Shylocks (money lenders).

Information and Broadcasting Minister Sushma Swaraj has reportedly argued that there was a need to help small publications. Obviously, there is no logic in this argument and it would be ridiculous to assume that there is dearth of funds for newspapers and only foreign direct investment (FDI) can salvage the print media in this country.

Apparently, the Vajpayee government has succumbed to pressure from certain vested interests without realising that FDI would give an opportunity to multinational investors to acquire legal right to interfere in the working of newspaper establishments and thereby jeopardise the freedom of the Press, which is an essential element of a democracy.

The Vajpayee Cabinet would do well to review its controversial FDI policy decision in the interest of national security.

B.S. SAINI, Hoshiarpur

Academic freedom: The Tribune has raised some pertinent questions about the central government’s dubious motive of inviting foreign powers to invest in the print media. This controversial step will embolden the foreign powers to encroach upon our academic freedom. In the long run, it will seriously affect our political sovereignty also. I support the argument that we don’t need foreign money for the print media. Our national dailies are doing quite well and there is nothing like poverty of thoughts in this big country. Our journalists and intellectuals are as competent as their counterparts in other countries. So all patriotic citizens must oppose this anti-people decision of the Union Cabinet.



Create jobs

Over the last five years the industry in Punjab has gone from bad to worse with major industrial concerns closing their works here, thus making technocrats do dismal jobs. A number of technical and management institutions were opened during the Badal regime and the pass-outs of these institutions are looking for jobs.

The CM should invite giants of the private sector to set up plants in Punjab for the youth of the state wants you to declare at the top of generating employment opportunities.


Maan dam oustees

This refers to the edit “Digvijay must act” (June 20). It appears that the writer did not have access to basic facts about rehabilitation of the persons affected by the Maan project.

It is not true that the Chairman of Narmada Valley Development Authority (NVDA) has been directed to look into the rehabilitation related grievances of the Maan dam oustees, as stated in the edit. In fact, there is an autonomous Grievance Redressal Authority (GRA) outside the NVDA, whose orders on the rehabilitation issue are binding on the government. Though it’s a different matter that the Narmada Bachao Andolan chose not to lodge a single complaint with the GRA.

The edit has unfairly accused the Chief Minister of being indifferent to the genuine concerns of the simple tribal people. The state government on its own raised the compensation threefold payable in lieu of the land and enhanced other grants for the affected people. The Maan project, being the first of its kind in the drought-prone area of Dhar district, will irrigate 15,000 hectares. The project is in a scheduled area and therefore 85 per cent of its beneficiaries will be tribal people.

RAGHURAJ SINGH, Additional Director (News), MP, Bhopal

School board chief

The crusade spearheaded by Capt Amarinder Singh against corruption is appreciable.

The credit for nabbing Mr Tota Singh, former Education Minister, for his naked corruption goes to the CM.

It is a pity that the co-culprit, Dr Kehar Singh, has received an affectionate pat from the CM. The authorities concerned have granted him permission to go abroad along with Jathedar Manjit Singh at a crucial juncture when Mr Tota Singh and officials of the school board were being interrogated. Escape routes are being provided to the tainted chairman against whom an FIR has been registered by the Vigilance Department.


Justice delayed...

I congratulate The Tribune for playing an active role in initiating a war against corruption but at the same time am disappointed with the progress of such cases as if these are snakes with no tails.

Lakhs of cases are pending in courts and all are familiar with the results and progress of the following famous cases: The Tandoor murder case (Delhi), The BMW case (Delhi), The Katia case (Chandigarh), The Bofors deal, The Beant Singh murder case (Chandigarh), The Jessica Lal murder case (Delhi), defence deal case, hawala case, the Harpreet Kaur murder case in Punjab, The ADGP Bhullar (Khanna murder case), molestation case against a senior Haryana police official, J.S. Cheema case (Inspector, Chandigarh).

All the VIPs who intend to suppress such cases or support them should also be taken to task and their assets verified with their sources of income and highlighted in the Press.

Everyone knows that “justice delayed is justice denied” but only God can foretell the number of years to be spent in the lengthy process of justice through courts. All our hopes are on the Press, which can bring a revolution in the way we think and make India a better place to live.


Search for VC

Over a month has elapsed, the post of Vice-Chancellor of Punjabi University, Patiala, has been hanging fire. The Badal government was known as the government that shirks. Capt Amarinder’s government is thought to be the government that works. Then why this long delay in filling the key post especially after the hell Mr Jasbir S. Ahluwalia had created in the premiere centre of learning. Is the CM on the look out of some ex-serviceman? Better he should spare the universities ‘Army rule’!

K.J.S. AHLUWALIA, Amritsar

Provocative headline

I am a reader of The Tribune for the last over 50 years. I have never seen a more provocative news headline than “VHP threatens Muslims” (June 23). I don’t appreciate the statement made by the VHP but it should not be given that much importance and also the heading could have been “VHP warns Muslims separatists, which I feel is the message of the VHP.


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