Thursday, August 28, 2003, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi



Foreign jaunt to improve our jails?

MR P.P.S. Gill’s report “Jails of corruption, indiscipline?” (Aug 19) quotes Mr A. P. Bhatnagar, Punjab’s Director-General of Prisons, as having said that the Minister of Prisons is likely to visit jails in Canada, Australia and the UK to study the prison administration there and improve the living condition of the jails in the state.

Everyone knows that the proposed trip abroad will not and cannot help improve the condition in our jails. That may not be the real intention of the Minister. If the Minister is interested to improve our prisons, he should visit three to four jails, including one Central jail, and spend one or two working days in each one of them to see things for himself and to hear the grievances of the prisoners and the staff. Then, he will surely get to know what needs to be done. Of course, his visits should be unscheduled.

I feel the Director-General of Prisons is duty bound to advise the Minister accordingly. But then, bureaucrats too have a new culture now. An essential part of this culture is not to displease the political bosses. Of course, as in the case of ministers, there may be exceptions among bureaucrats too.

It is time the media and the people raised their voices against wasteful expenditure of all kinds.

SATYA PAL DANG, Chhehrta (Amritsar)


No end to sanitation problem

We are the residents of Narain Nagar/ Suraj Nagar, Ward No. 3, Nagar Council, Hoshiarpur. The authorities have never bestowed attention to the woeful sanitation in our area. Rain water and overflow of sewerage tank water have added to our woes. No officer of the Nagar Council has ever visited our area and enquired about the problems we have been facing over the years.

In a delegation, we met the Municipal Commissioner and the President, Nagar Council, Hoshiarpur, recently. We requested them to provide the necessary amenities in our area out of the Rs 1,17,72,000 fund available with the authorities. In fact, the Punjab Government had sanctioned this money to the Nagar Council for this purpose. However, the authorities have refused to make use of this fund for improving our amenities, citing administrative reasons.

As regard street lights in our area, the less said the better. A clerk was directed to attend to our complaints in this regard. Surprisingly, however, either he is not available in the office or he does not register complaints from the residents.

We our proud of the fact that our area houses the famous Suki Choe Ashram. Situated in the outskirts of Bahadurpur, this is a holy place and people from far and near visit this temple every day. The careless attitude of the authorities is also affecting the maintenance of the temple and its surroundings. The Municipal Commissioner seems indifferent to our problems. Is there a way out?


Pervez’s intentions

Mr S. Nihal Singh, in his article “MPs’ peace mission” (Aug 19), has strangely observed that General Musharraf missed an opportunity to make a bold move when our parliamentary and media delegation called on him recently. That he charmed our delegates without giving away anything and stuck to his assertion that the problem in Kashmir was “the core issue in our relations”, reveal his real intentions.

Even though the common people in both countries would welcome early restoration of good neighbourly relations, the rulers in khaki and their lackeys in Pakistan will forever remain hostile. Hence in our peace process, we should not bite more than what we can chew!

Brig GOVIND SINGH KHIMTA (retd), Shimla

Vedic mathematics

Knowledge of mathematics is essential in business, professional as well as day-to-day life of every individual. But it is a subject which is a nightmare for many a young learner. Thus, it is important to make its learning interesting and joyful to students.

I am happy to know that the CBSE is now laying stress on this aspect. But I was a little upset to know that it is not the ancient Indian art of mental mathematics that is to be employed for teaching mathematics to the young minds but the Chinese technique using an abacus.

Abacus may be useful in very early stages when mathematics is just being introduced to children of the 4-6 age group to learn counting, plus and minus. But mental mathematics contained in the Vedas and named as "Vedic Mathematics" by its discoverer H.H. Swai Bharati Krishna Tirtha, the late Shankaracharya of Puri’s Goverdhan Peetha has no parallel for a little older children. The revered Swamiji located and reconstructed after years of intensive research 16 formulae or sutras for the Vedas with which all problems of all branches of mathematics can be solved almost mentally or in a few simple steps, where as the Chinese system is primarily for arithmetical calculations only.

I appeal to the authorities concerned including all Boards of Education to introduce Vedic Mathematics in all schools and colleges so that our children may outshine the students of all other countries in this subject. Our association, which is the representative body of 9,000 engineers who have got their degrees from the Thapar Institute of Engineering & Technology, Patiala, is ready to give a demonstration of the techniques of Vedic Mathematics to any institution free of cost.

F. LAL KANSAL, Chief Engineer (retd) and President, TIET Alumni Association, Panchkula

Best school teacher

The No Confidence Motion in the Lok Sabha against the BJP-led NDA government gave an opportunity to the ruling alliance to place its achievements before the nation. The Congress and other Opposition parties gained nothing nor the ruling alliance lost anything. The biggest gain of the NDA government was that Defence Minister George Fernandes got an opportunity to come out of his political boycott by the Opposition. He forcefully put forth his points and the Congress had no alternative but to listen to him.

Lok Sabha Speaker Manohar Joshi had a very tough time controlling the members. He was acting like a strict school teacher trying to enforce discipline in his school. He did a marvellous job, sometimes ably assisted by Deputy Speaker P.M. Sayeed. September 5 is Teachers' Day. I request the Government of India to confer the Best Teacher of India Award on Mr Manohar Joshi in recognition of his able handling of Parliament’s proceedings.



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