Saturday, July 19, 2003, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi



Cable operators cheating consumers

APROPOS of the report “CAS: Will the viewers have to pay more?” (June 25), the question is why should operators not demand so much money for each cable connection. Their argument may be that they are providing entertainment and other educative programmes.

If we look into the programmes of high priced channels, they are cheating the public. First, the programme is only for a few minutes while repeated advertisements consume the rest of the allotted time. In a half an hour programme, for instance, the entertainment part is only for 10-12 minutes.

Secondly, unrealistic and misleading advertisements like a ceiling fan creating vortex and lifting a paperweight are shown. For cosmetic items, the less said is the better. The youth go in for some cosmetic items merely on the basis of the exaggerated claims in the advertisements.

Thirdly, in a number of programmes, some characters go on committing heinous crimes and go scot-free. Is this the message the programmes beamed by these high priced channels convey to the younger generation?

The cost of advertisements is one of the components in determining the production cost of an item and ultimately the selling price. The people pay for this high component and now they are being asked to pay for viewing it. The regulatory authorities have totally forgotten the people, not to speak of their interests. The people should unitedly boycott such channels to convey the right message. The various welfare associations in and around Chandigarh and all other places should come together and take a united action.




Earlier it was ‘Onion Agenda’ and now it will be ‘CAS Funda’ in the forthcoming elections. The government’s intervention in the Conditional Access System (CAS) seems to be unwarranted. No one wants the so-called set-top box to be installed at his or her home.

Instead of ending the monopoly of television channels, the government is perpetuating it. Nonetheless, the cable operators and some of the premier channels may be expecting a good business from these boxes. The pay channels should not forget that these are made by society and for society. Thus they won’t be allowed to take undue advantage of the innocent spectators.

The apprehension of cable operators to earn more may result in the loss of several connections. The relapsing scenario can be rectified only if the CAS funda is terminated.



Our ‘rollback’ government has been taking short-sighted, impracticable and unwanted decisions, perhaps, to mint money out of confusing decisions and without proper homework for a change in the system. It interferes where it should not and is a silent spectator to aspects which are going against the people.

There is a need to probe the role of vested interests behind the government’s plan to implement CAS. The investigation should include the links and the identity of manufacturers of set-top boxes in the country. The CAS should have been introduced only after instructing TV manufacturers to compulsorily include STB as an integral component inside TV sets. The government should introduce norms for producers of TV serials in the interest of the viewers.

A serial should also be restricted to say, 100 episodes. In tune with the famous proverb ‘Early to bed and early to rise makes people healthy, wealthy and wise’, no new serial should be telecast after 10.30 pm.


Not a drop of water for us

WE are the residents of a locality within 4 km of walking distance from the Ridge of Shimla. It is true that water scarcity is a known and accepted way of life in Shimla. But our agony has crossed the normal limit of tolerance. It has been almost eight days now that we have been going without a drop of water in the Municipal Corporation taps.

Buying water has become a way of life. And we are allocating funds for the same in our monthly budgets. Whereas everywhere else there is systematic water supply even if for a limited period in a day. We want the authorities to ensure at least limited quota of water supply every day. Otherwise, they should specify the criterion they follow for water supply to different areas, particularly buildings as the other buildings in our own locality get normal water supply.




Homely sayings

Apropos of Roshni Johar's middle “Sparks of rear imagination” (July 3), some remarks such as “Miley ga muqaddar” (You will get what has been ordained as your lot), “Kaun jaaney poor paraai” (Who knows another man's pain?), etc written on the back of trucks are also inscribed on some vehicles in Pakistani Punjab also. However, I saw some interesting homely sayings mentioned on some trucks in Pakistan a few years ago.

The Punjabi quip “Rab ney dittiyaan gaajaraan vich ranba rakh” (God has given you a field of carrots. Keep your hoe in them) was seen written on a truck at Rawalpindi. Idiomatically, it connotes: Make hay while the sun shines. A man told me that it was a sharp satire on the corrupt leaders and officials, who ruthlessly exploited every opportunity for self-aggrandisement.

A verse on another truck read: Gul ga'ey, gulshan ga'ey jangli dhatoorey ga’ey Aaqil ga’ey, daana ga’ey bas be-sha'oorey raih ga'ey (No flower and garden exist. Only wild plants of datura are there. Wise and enlightened men have passed away leaving behind the stupids).

A driver wishing well to his country fellowmen had the words “Khush raho aihl-e-watan” inscribed on his truck. “Allah rakhey tey kaun maarey” (Who kills him, whose protector is God?) written on a truck reflected its owner's belief in God.

“Banda karey avalliyaan tey rab karey savalliyaan” (God bestows His favours even on the perpetrators of misdeeds) written on a truck reminded me of Allana Iqbal's verse: Koi poochhey ke vaaiz ka kya bigarta hai/ Jo be-amal pe bhee raihmat voh be-niyaaz karey.

Although I had not seen it, someone told me that he saw “Chor noo chatti bhali, kuttey no gatti bhali, gandi ran satti bhali” (It is better to punish the thief, leach the log and divorse the morally evil woman) once often quoted in Jhang district, was also written on some trucks.


Quotas must continue

Reservation has benefited only a fraction of the Dalit community. Vacancies in the posts reserved for SC/ST candidates should be filled in soon. Why should only Dalits and not others entrusted with the job of cleaning/ house keeping etc in municipalities?

The present percentage of quota posts for appointments and promotions should be increased at least by 50 per cent in order to bring the Dalits on a par with the upper classes. The reservation policy should also be introduced in the private sector for the betterment of the Dalits.

NIRANJAN SINGH, Sr Executive Engineer, PSEB, SAS Nagar

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