Monday, October 7, 2002, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi



Wasting public money and manpower by holding rallies

IT is a matter of shame that so much money and manhours are wasted in organising rallies by political parties in a game of one-upmanship. The ruling parties misuse government machinery and resources and waste the time of government officials by diverting their attention from the real and urgent issues.

The urgent problems facing the nation are (a) improvement in agriculture practices to make the profession of farming viable through diversification and setting up matching agro-oriented industrial units, (b) creating infrastructure for dissemination of knowhow regarding the cropping pattern and associated farming techniques, (c) setting up price structure and marketing agencies for the proposed alternative crops to ensure remunerative returns to farmers, (d) optimum use of national water resources through unified control to ensure equitable distribution to all states commensurate with their actual requirements, (e) elimination of floods and droughts by creating a national water grid authority who should plan and link our vast water resources for the benefit of all.

Instead of wasting money and efforts on unproductive rallies and politicised agitations for fixing an unrealistic and uneconomical MSP for wheat and paddy, the parties should devote their attention to these problems.

The farming community is fed up with empty gimmicks and wastage of public and private wealth on unproductive rallies. Time has come when all political parties realise this and show concrete plans to make farming viable and respectable.


The central government should also devise means to discipline the state governments against the misuse of government apparatus for holding rallies by instituting central control over the postings and transfers of central service personnel and imposing penalties where state funds are misused for such rallies.

Brig WS CHOUDARY (retd), Panchkula

Is MSP helpful?: The policy of fixing MSP for agricultural products does not make sound economics. Why the cardinal principle of demand and supply is not being allowed to decide the optimum prices?

The excuse of the increasing cost of the inputs doesn’t have much merit. Input costs of other products too go up in no less measure. Should there be an MSP for other consumer items also?

Any hike in the price of main food items like wheat and rice automatically pushes up the price of all other commodities. The farmer thus ends up paying more than what he gets. The MSP, therefore, doesn’t help the farmer in the long run. The politicians should not mislead the farmers for the sake of votes.

Wg Cdr CL SEHGAL (retd), Jalandhar

The hold of the old

Those in power do not seem to have much confidence in the future generation. They offer jobs to persons who retired on account of superannuation because retired persons while in power had obliged them.

It is a sight to see a physically handicapped person supported by two equally handicapped persons propped up by a young man to the new post created. The persons who cannot move physically the parts of their body are expected to run the administration of the state. It is not understood why no reliance is placed upon the youngsters and they are not put in position of respectability and responsibilities are not given to them.

When there is demand for creation of some Tribunals or executive posts, there is always kept a provision for bringing retired persons back to those posts. The demand is to appoint retired judges, bureaucrats and other persons as heads of those institutions and they come to those posts with the knowledge of tricks of trade and old stigmas attached.

The Consumers Protection Act was enforced and many posts of President of the Consumer Forum were created which were to be filled by persons who were or could be Additional District Judges. Additional District Judges can be appointed from amongst practising lawyers who are equally competent but those brought in were worthy persons who were about to retire or had retired as Additional District Judges and District Judges. This was practically the venue for creation of jobs for the persons who are not deemed to be fit for active duty in the service of the judiciary.

Fast track courts have started functioning at some places and more will be doing so at other places and retired judicial officers will preside over them. It is expected that the ministerial staff will also be from amongst the retired staff. Is it so with the intention to keep the officer in touch with their old links and to remind them of their old style of functioning for appreciation of evidence and interpretation of law? Why not the new staff be recruited from amongst the practising lawyers and unemployed persons.

The country will rot with the retired persons enjoying their old age with assets acquired by all means. If the country cannot produce good lawyers to preside over tribunals and courts, it will be proper to close down the law colleges and the enrolment of new lawyers should also be stopped. We should turn to graveyards to unearth and exhume the already buried jurists. The position on the executive side is no better. The retired persons preside over the destiny of the country with all the stigmas and oddities attached to them in the past.

Youngsters have to grab power and will not be able to do so without struggle. The old generation will not give in. It is notorious for having control even of family affairs also. It is a question of your survival and of the nation. I, as a young lawyer on the wrong side of the seventies awaken the youth to fight for your rights and the old generation will be at your feet. Please remember: “From earliest times the old rubbed it in the young that they are wiser than they and before the young discovered what nonsense this was, they were old too and it profited them to carry on this imposture”.



Judicial backlog

I have gone through the views expressed by B.R. Lall in the article “Clearing the judicial backlog” (Sept 28). He has tried to give the impression that not more than one case is fixed by a court in a day and the court invariably takes more than 15 minutes merely for adjourning such a case. I will advise the author to visit any court at Amritsar, Ludhiana or Jalandhar to know that the cause list of any given day of any court invariably exceeds a hundred cases. Not to talk of 15 minutes in adjourning one case, even if the court spares three minutes for each file, it will have to spend at least five hours to merely adjourn the cases of a given day. Each court disposes of 800 to 1,000 cases every year. To my mind, that is enough for the author to know as to how much labour is put by the judges in India.

The author has assumed that a court in India works for five days. I need to remind him that courts have six working days. It appears that the author believes that the parties put their cases on the table of the court, and the job of the court is merely to affix the seal and the matter is over. It is not as simple as that. Lengthy and tedious evidence led by both parties coupled with the intricacy of the law requires a lot of time to resolve a controversy.

In fact, the reasons for the delay in disposing of cases are shortage of judges, lengthy, cumbersome and outdated procedures.

RASHI RAHEJA, Nawanshahr

Rehabilitate stray cattle

The decision of the Punjab Government to develop one village in each block of the state as “Adarsh Pashu Dhan Pind” (model livestock village) speaks of its grit and determination to achieve international standards in the quality production of milk befitting export, by providing ultra-modern facilities in dairying and animal husbandry.

Much is in the offing for the productive animals but nothing seems to be envisaged in the model village to rehabilitate the stray and abandoned animals which ramble all along being kicked, starved and mercilessly beaten for no offence. The vet and the sarpanch in each model village can come together to form an animal welfare organisation to take care of stray cattle. The Animal Welfare Board of India gives a subsidy of Rs 1 lakh to such an organisation.


Class 4 board exam!

Apropos the editorial “Class 4 board exam!”, subjecting nine-year-old students to the rigors of a board exam is a form of child abuse and should be abandoned.

Instead of addressing their basic problems, children are being made victims. At lower levels we need highly informed teachers who are well-versed in child psychology. Ironically, untrained, underpaid teachers are being appointed. How can these teachers do justice with small children. At this age when the child needs love and care he is subjected to fear and pressure to do things that a child would never like to do. As a result, they develop psychological complexes and their emotional growth gets blocked.


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