Thursday, October 16, 2003, Chandigarh, India


No salaries for teachers

THIS refers to an October 6 news item regarding the boycott of teaching work in protest against the non-payment of salaries to teachers for several months. Everyday there is protest and every month a call is given to stop work. I wonder why educators have been given such a shoddy treatment, and yet our society believes that its future depends on the kind of students colleges turn out.

Even today there is no dearth of people who believe that it is the educator who will shape the future of humanity. Yet there are those who think that the educator has no such role to play. Business, commerce and trade will determine the value of man and money.

I appeal to the masses to come forward in favour of the colleges. Let the government think thrice before declaring cuts on the salaries of teachers. The agreements in the past were made by people who had a vision. The vision may have failed the present generation of rulers, but the idea behind funding education cannot be questioned. The earlier the government realises this, the better.

J.S. ANAND, Bathinda





Ancient buildings in Chamba

This has reference to a news-item that appeared in The Tribune in the first week of October saying that the Chamba Welfare Association has put forth a proposal for linking the Dalhousie and Chamba hill resorts with a railway line from the main railway junction at Pathankot from the tourism point of view. It is a good proposal.

In fact, the association is making all-out efforts for the development of Chamba town. But unless steps are taken to preserve the ancient monuments in the town, there is no fun in attracting tourists. After all, what tourists will see when they come to Chamba.

The old heritage buildings in the town are being pulled down and getting replaced by concrete structures. The centuries’ old temple of Sri Lakshminarayan is faced with threats from the northern edge where landslides have started. Akhandchandi Palace, the main heritage building in the heart of the town, has been subjected to vandalism and is in the process of decay.

The main attraction of the town is the Chowgan, which has lost its old glory due to the apathy of the local municipal authorities.

The unauthorised clusters that have sprung up at most places in violation of civic bylaws are making the town gasp for breath. It is time the Chamba Welfare Association launched a “Save Chamba” movement before it was too late.

RAJNEESH, Chandigarh

Neglected monuments

Erstwhile Rohtak district, now comprising three separate districts of Sonepat, Jhajjar and Rohtak, has many monuments and mounds of historical significance. At Sonepat it is the tomb of Khwaja Khizr. In Jhajjar district town there are a group of tombs and some masonry tanks whereas at Dujana, once the capital of the erstwhile Dujana state, the ruling family of Nawabs and officers in the administration had constructed several important buildings.

Besides these, the ancient mound at Mohanbari (near Jhansua Khurd) in Jhajjar district and two mounds, both named Khokrakot — one of them near Asthal Bohar and the other situated in the northwest of Rohtak town — have provided valuable historical and archaeological information to us.

In spite of efforts in the past by the Central and state departments of archaeology and the respective district administrations, the condition of all the monuments and ancient mounds has not improved. This can be ascribed to unscientific management and constant neglect. The tombs at Jhajjar have been encroached upon by unscrupulous people, defaced by sticking posters and bills.

The inscriptions and several stones of artistic value have been removed from the tombs. The adjoining Buwa Walah masonry tank has crumbed. The whole area was converted into a memorial park dedicated to martyrs.

Until sometime ago a vast ground, now a park, was used to organise an annual cattle fair. After the conclusion of the fair the site remained littered with cattle dung and garbage. Although the district administration made an effort to restore the structure of the masonry tank, the work could not be accomplished due to the lack of vision and an unscientific approach.

At Dujana, Dhauli Masjid, a fine structure on the western-most flank of the village, crumbled in 1995 due to heavy floods.

There is need for starting a large-scale public awareness campaign during World Archaeology and Heritage Week in November.


Growing corruption

Corruption in India has taken a front seat today. We have seen many such cases in the past few years, in the areas of employment, education, etc. The situation is such that people are compelled to pay bribes.

Corruption is no longer treated as an evil. If the present trend of increasing corruption continues, soon there may be special loan schemes (on an EMI basis) to pay bribes.



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