Wednesday, August 6, 2003, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi



SC verdict will give boost to family planning

Apropos of your editorial “The Supreme Court is right” (August 1), the Supreme Court has rightly upheld the two-child norm envisaged in the Haryana Panchayati Raj Act. However, in my opinion, the two-child norm could only be applied to persons whose third child was born at least ten months after the Act was notified and publicised in the villages by beat of drum but not to those who already had more than two children on that date.

It would be very unfair to apply the Act retrospectively in a country where there is no such limit on MPs and MLAs and a person with nine children can even hold the post of Chief Minister as in Bihar. It is, however, not clear from the reported judgement whether any affected person had pleaded this point or not.



I fully support the view that more children is not a matter of faith. The various family planning schemes, health programmes etc. cannot succeed if there is no political will. Of course, the village level committees and voluntary organisations should also play a vital role in checking the birth rate.

Education holds the key to development. If the people’s representatives are educated, they can understand the problems better and implement family planning or various health programmes at the grassroots level. If a panch or sarpanch adopts a small family and extends his fullest cooperation to the family planning programmes, people will undoubtedly emulate his/her actions.

VIKAY KUMAR HEER, Chakmon, Hamirpur



The Supreme Court judgement upholding the two-child norm for members of panchayat samitis in Haryana is welcome. As the country's population has crossed the one-billion mark, the verdict will give a big boost to the family planning programme of Haryana. It would, however, be better if some academic qualifications are also prescribed for sarpanches. True empowerment of these representatives will be possible only if they are educated. This will also help them perform their duties effectively.



I welcome the Central Government’s proposal to bring in legislation on two-child norm with some disincentives to those who violate the norms in order to check the rapidly growing population.

It is being felt that population explosion is proving to be an hindrance in planning and implementation of various national programmes in the fields of education, health, food, power, drinking water supply, urban and rural development, women and child development, etc. The population growth at the rate of 2 per cent will prove to be a time bomb, if not checked within a specific time frame.



To check population explosion, I appreciate the Haryana Government for making the law barring a village panchayat member from becoming the sarpanch or upsarpanch if he has more than two children. This law has now been upheld by the Surpeme Court and I welcome the ruling. I appeal to the Punjab Government and all other states to make laws on similar lines in their respective states. This will create awareness among the people to adopt the small family norm.


Govt should review its priorities

Now that the Punjab Government has rolled back the hike in college fee, it has to review its priorities. Education is, and should be, the top priority for any government, and the steep escalation in the fee structure would have deprived many a deserving student of higher education.

Though the fee in non-technical colleges has been rolled back, the government has conveniently chosen to ignore the roll back in the fee structure of technical institutes. In fact, a situation has now arisen where students enrolled with private technical institutions are being charged fee at a rate lower than those in the government colleges! This is primarily due to the large number of seats lying vacant with such colleges, which has forced them to give huge discounts.

The irony of the whole situation is that brilliant students have now to shell out more money than those students who had not fared well in the entrance tests for undertaking the same course, since most of the students who had ranked high in the Central Entrance Test opted for the government institutions.

There is, thus, an urgent need to reconsider the whole issue in its right perspective, and effect a similar rollback in the fee structure of technical institutes, particularly those aided by the government, so as to bring about parity in education.


Tread with caution

It is quite encouraging that the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has chosen to knock the doors of the Supreme Court for justice in the the Best Bakery case. Obviously, precious lives were lost and the real culprits must be brought to justice. But there should be no attempt to mislead the judicial process in one direction — under media hype or collective coercion — as it now appears.

In the coming election season, every one would like to make best use of communal cleavages for partisan ends. The NHRC must be on guard against its best intents getting hijacked enroute. However, the best course in the given case should have been letting the law take its own course at least for some time. What about showing similar concern for the political pogrom of 1984?

RAGHUBIR Singh, Pune


There is a hue and cry about the Best Bakery verdict. It is termed a “miscarriage of justice” and a retrial of the case outside Gujarat is sought. Strangely, there was no such reaction when many people were killed during the 1984 anti-Sikh riots following Indira Gandhi’s assassination. Were those victims not the citizens of this country? And what was the people’s reaction when the accused were acquitted?


Shocking act

The death of 22 cows in Paonta Valley is too shocking for words. Only criminals could commit such a heinous crime. The Chandigarh Administration too has exposed itself to the odium. The demand for a CBI probe into the incident is justified. Law is blind, they say. But should the law enforcing agencies also be blind to the vulnerability of domesticated animals?

It is unthinkable that this ‘welfare state’, which is sinking crores of rupees in the rehabilitation of migrant labourers for political reasons, has no money to run a few cattle pounds.

H.M. SAROJ, Chandigarh

Kargil martyr

Apropos of the news-item captioned “Families of Kargil martyrs honoured” , my son’s name has been wrongly published. The correct name is Major Kanwal Gulzar Singh.

Major KARTAR SINGH (retd), Jalandhar

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