Thursday, September 4, 2003, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi



Why and when terrorists hit back

For the past more than 20 years, I have been observing that whenever our government leaders or Army top brass have claimed that the cross-border terrorism/militancy has declined, the terrorists have promptly made their presence felt, in the only way known to them, the killing of innocents.

The same happens when a VIP is on a visit. The Chhatisingpura incident in which 35 persons, including women and children, were massacred happened at the time of the visit of President Clinton. And now the Central Telegraph Office incident has taken place when the entire central leadership was in Srinagar.

This trends needs be noted and taken care of.


Cost of cotton

I have gone through the news reports (Aug 28) regarding the state of cotton in Bathinda, Sangrur, Mansa etc. The statement of Mr Gurdial Singh, Joint Director, Agriculture, is convincing to the extent that the American bollworm is under control except in case of those cotton varieties which are prone to the bollworm. He has also stated that the farmers have reduced the number of sprays from six to one or two. It does not mean that the cost of cultivation has reduced. Farmers have used such pesticides as are 10 times costlier than the brands used earlier.



Debt, not loss

Apropos of the report captionedHMT chief told to take action for losses (Aug 27), a total debt of about Rs 160 crore has been shown as loss. We would like to mention that Rs 160 crore is the debt as on March 31, 2003, which is recoverable. In the first four months of this year itself, over Rs 50 crore has already been recovered.

Since its inception, HMT had only 47 ancillary units out of which 39 units are still in operation. However, with the industry on the downslide for the past five years, our sales have also come down from around 19,000 units to 6,802 in 2002-03. The entire industry has been cutting cost to survive. In this regard, we have also started manufacturing in-house some of the components which were earlier sourced from some of the non-ancillary manufacturing units.

As of March 31, 2003, the total credit is only Rs 66 crore which includes the outstanding to ancillaries and other suppliers.

The tractor industry has been registering a negative growth since 2000-01. Despite this, our organisation has geared up through following initiatives: introduction of new models, tie-up with banks for providing finance to customers to purchase HMT tractors and thrust on diesel engine sales. Already a separate assembly line has been installed. We have already generated a sale of Rs 100 lakh during April-July, 2003.

L.D. SHARMA, General Secretary, HMT Officers’ Association, Pinjore


Non-academic VC

The closure of Punjabi University, Patiala, is a serious development. Such a situation has arisen because of the appointment of a non-academic Vice-Chancellor and non-academic teachers, who are misguiding the VC to settle their personal scores. Instead of blaming the Education Department, the district administration and the Pro-VC, he should do some introspection. His crisis managers have always been crisis creators. The government should get rid of such a non-academic Vice-Chancellor

Dr NIRMAL SINGH CHAUHAN, Kurukshetra University, Kurukshetra

Kumbh mela

The design of the Kumbh mela area is outdated. It is rather harmful because of the polluting atmosphere and waters; more so, because of the threat being faced by India from within and without. It is so easy to launch a missile from a shoulder-strapped rocket launcher. The media, particularly TV channels, have overdone the publicity of the salvation aspect of the Kumbh mela.


Nashik stampede

I was a witness to the tragedy at Nashik. It was a mistake on the part of the administration to allow sadhus take the holy dip after 12 noon. They dropped small coins, sweets and fruits which pilgrims along the way tried to grab, leading to the stampede. The horrendous mishap could have been averted had the sadhus taken the dip before 12 noon as was initially arranged by the administration.


London Chamber

Thank you for promptly correcting any impression that either the London Chamber or any of its former Presidents were involved in certain protests relating to the Punjab Government. The London Chamber is an apolitical organisation and we do not get involved in any matters of this nature.

The chamber to which you referred is the Southall Chamber and Mr Sandhu is a former President and long-standing committee member of that chamber. There is no connection between the London and Southall Chambers.


Dowry harassment

Articles crop up now and then in newspapers glorifying young and bold girls who snap marriage ties just after or before marriage on grounds of dowry harassment. But not a single word is written about those who are made to suffer on account of fake dowry harassment charges.

Articles 498 and 406, for instance, have become potent weapons at the hands of not-so-weaker sections of society to succumb to bridegrooms. These charges of harassment have nothing to do with dowry harassment, but are tossed at the drop of the hat so as to fulfill the whims and fancies of brides to teach a lesson to bridegrooms and their close relatives.

It comes as a rude shock for the bridegroom's party, when police pounces upon them. The bridegroom side seems to lose both the worlds when their advocates charge fanciful fee, exploiting their innocence. The ultimate concern is not just who is the loser — girls tucked away at their parental homes or boys at financial loss. It speaks of lack of tolerance, mutual faith and respect, crumbling social ties and collapsing Indian culture and tradition.

Is it not a mockery of the Indian Constitution? Is it not an infringement of human rights? Is it not a rude jolt to human trust and values? O forget everything! It is always males who are malevolent. Worship the new-age liberated women!


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