Increasing crime rate cause for concern

I bring to the notice of your readers the deteriorating law and order situation in the state and the country as a whole. The common people feel that there is a nexus between the criminals and the politicians. The criminals dare to commit heinous crimes with tacit support of politicians. There has been an increase in robberies, murders and rapes with innocent small girls and children. After committing these crimes, they run for the support of politicians who are more concerned about their vote banks and shamelessly influence police investigation. The position of police is pathetic and they find themselves between the devil and the deep sea.

The people also feel that laws in our country are not very stringent and criminals manage to free themselves from the clutches of law. Before last election, the BJP leadership promised that, if voted to power, they will enact capital punishment for rape. If this appears too harsh, as it does not fall in the category of rarest of rare cases, then life imprisonment will deter the rapist from committing his despicable act. At present the maximum punishment is ten years. In China, death sentence is given for rape and corruption. Similar is the position in the UAE and Arab countries. In our country, laws are not deterrent and criminals manage to get scot-free with the help of politicians.



The parents of small children, especially the girls, are worried about their safety while going to schools and returning home. The unfortunate incident involving the President’s Bodyguards has further made the parents apprehensive of the safety of their daughters.


Ismat enriched Urdu

This has reference to Naseeruddin Shah’s delving into Ismat Chughtai’s amazing body of literature in his first Hindustani language production, “Ismat Aapa Ke Naam” (Sept 29). Ismat Chughtai (1915-1991) was a “luminous star on the horizon of the new Urdu short story”. Though neither innovative nor experimental in the matter of form and technique, the investigative instinct of a fiction writer in her, made her to survey the entire gamut of social and moral scene in her short-stories, novels, dramas, and even film dialogues and scenario. She, thus, cut an extraordinary niche in the temple of Urdu literature. Her works characterised the decaying feudal society of her times, with a special stress on the plight of women. She, thus, recreated her complex and intricate experiences into her compact stories.

Rebellious by nature since her childhood, against the social, and family traditions and customs, she once declared: “I have broken chains all my life. No longer will I be kept in any chain or straitjacket”. She believed that society, with all its weaknesses, vulnerability and foibles, had a role to play and should fulfill its obligations by bringing to light all its afflictions, plagues, woes and wretchedness. This belief finds expression both in her short stories and novels with a rare intimacy of perception and a powerful style, which are all her own.

She brings out clearly and markedly, even ruthlessly, the reluctance and disinclination of the orthodox society to move with the times and to adjust itself to the fast-changing realities of modern times. She writes with a fearlessness that would rattle lesser mortals. Unlike Khadija Mastur (b.1927), Ismat openly and directly attacks social sensitivities and traditions, and does not care if her realism hurts a misguided and injudicious social leadership, for she belongs to the Progressive School, and she stuck to her commitment all her life. Like Mohammad Hasan Askari, she believes in administering a shock treatment. Chauthi Ka Jora (bridal attire) is her milestone in Urdu fiction. Other well-known short stories such as Kaliyan, Choten, Ek Baat, Chhui Mui and Do Haath also deserve special mention.


Awardee teachers

The Himachal Pradesh Government’s decision to withdraw giving extension of service to national and state awardee teachers is welcome. Providing cash incentive instead of extension of service should be acceptable to the teachers. It will help infuse dynamism and vibrancy in the department.

In the absence of vacancies, a number of teachers have been deprived of their genuine promotional avenues in the recent past. The aspiring teachers of the department will now be inspired to work with zeal and enthusiasm, as they will have an incentive in the form of promotion in the near future. The indirect favouritism provided to the awardee teachers has led to stagnation among the teachers.

KHUSHAL CHAND, Dharamshala

More the merrier

Advocating smaller ministries at the Centre and in the States, Deputy Prime Minister L.K. Advani disclosed the other day that a bill limiting the size of ministries to 10 per cent of the legislature was pending with the Parliamentary Standing Committee. I am a staunch votary of the idea. To my mind, small is beautiful.

However, looking at the way the ministers function — concentrating their time and energy solely on the constituencies from where they get elected and ignoring the rest of the state — my thinking on the subject has undergone a change. Consequently, I have veered round to the view that the states must, in the larger public interest, go in for full-sized ministries, comprising each and every member belonging to the majority legislature party. The sooner, the better.

Would not the proposed full-sized ministry help enhance considerably the burden on the state exchequer, one may pertinently ask. Well, candidly speaking no. Who can deny that even under the existing scheme of things, the ruling party legislators who are denied ministerial berths are adequately compensated in numerous visible and invisible ways in order to keep the flock together?

Incidentally, the proposal, if given a practical shape, would help check the bane of dissidence once and and for all. Over to Mr Advani.

TARA CHAND, Ambota (Una)


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