Kashmir Bill must be withdrawn

The editorial “Daughters’ rights sacred” (March 9) makes a dispassionate analysis of the woeful gender-based discriminatory Jammu and Kashmir Permanent Residents’ (Disqualification) Bill, depriving the state’s daughters of their permanent resident status and the right to immovable property in case they marry an outsider. Strangely, the rights of a young man who marries some one hailing from outside the state are to remain unaffected and protected. This is obnoxious and in contravention of the constitutional provision of the right to equality guaranteed to all men and women, including those residing in Jammu and Kashmir.

The state’s lawmakers who have a solemn obligation to safeguard the constitutional rights of both men and women of the state are intriguingly set to deprive the latter dubiously of these sacred rights for their personal and political gains. It will indeed be unjust to penalise a woman who, due to certain unavoidable compulsions, marries someone hailing from outside the state. The impact of the Bill will not merely remain confined to Jammu and Kashmir but has wider implications all over the country.

Besides, it will adversely affect the ongoing movement for emancipation of women and amileoration of their lot. The proposed Bill, if approved, will do more harm than good. It should be withdrawn forthwith.

O.P. CHHABRA, Mohali




The editorial “Bill of contention” (March 15) rightly appreciates the role of Assembly Speaker Abdul Rashid in applying brakes on the Jammu and Kashmir Permanent Residents Bill by adjourning the House sine die. Sadly, instead of enacting more laws for the betterment of women, the existing rights are being snatched away by the lawmakers. Why are such sensitive Bills introduced and passed? It is because of the inadequate representation of women in Parliament and the State Assemblies.

The Women’s Reservation Bill is still pending, though it was recommended by a national committee on the “Status of women in India” long back. Dowry deaths, rape cases, female foeticide continue unabated because there are no strict laws to punish the culprits. Even if they are caught, they escape from the clutches of the law due to loopholes in the system. The need of the hour is to make the laws foolproof. Women’s empowerment is possible only if there is adequate representation of women in Parliament and the State Assemblies.



The editorial “Bill of contention” rightly puts the question: “Who bothers about the daughters’ rights?” I fully endorse the view that the drama enacted in the State Assembly shows that “politicians of all hues are bothered about their own interests only. What happens to the interests of Jammu and Kashmir’s daughters is not their concern.”

In a nutshell, the Jammu and Kashmir Permanent Residents’ (Disqualification) Bill should not only be regarded as doing injustice to the daughters of the state but also to the motherland as it poses a threat to our slogan “From Kashmir to Kanyakumari, India is one”.

R.K. ARORA, Chandigarh

Democracy hijacked

Apropos of H.K. Dua’s front-page editorial “People must assert” (March1), people elect “rulers of the wrong kind” because such are the persons who are offered for the elections. These leaders have, particularly since the 1960s, highjacked Indian democracy out of the common man’s reach by making the process of elections costly. The position of MP/MLA has been made so lucrative and powerful that a person once elected tries to stick to it at any cost. Money and muscle power is freely used. The “criminal and the corrupt” have to remain in power because a defeat means going behind bars. That is the reason for the politics of dynastic succession — someone from the family has to be there to protect the member. The next Lok Sabha may have the same faces. Rendered helpless, the voter loses interest. A low turnout is the result.

L.R. SHARMA, Jallandhar


Ben Johnson rightly said, “Politics is the last refuge of the scoundrel”. Dirty and corrupt people with criminal background turn patriots overnight after joining politics. Today, politics has become an industrial or commercial enterprise. Investment in politics yields rich dividends. But the people’s representatives are an unnecessary burden on the national exchequer. Some MPs would prefer to sit on the back benches and enjoy nap during the proceedings. The ensuing Lok Sabha elections are a golden opportunity to the people to throw away the corrupt and ineffective members.

Prof. A.D. BHALLA, Ludhiana

Nafisa shows the way

Nafisa Ali has recently said, “if people elect me and if I cannot perform within a year, I will resign”. This is well appreciated and we wish that all our representatives emulate her spirit. That will be the day when our country will really start moving in the right direction. A new young generation needs to arise with a distinct national character of self-discipline.

Today, the situation in politics is quite the reverse of what Nafisa Ali has boldly expressed. Our representatives, once elected, just get glued to power (with what kind of Fevicol we do not know) and never come unstuck, performance or no performance.

There is an outcry among the public that people, who elect the representatives to Parliament and State Assemblies, should also have the power to recall them after a period of two years, based on their performance. Parliament is not likely to adopt any such measure for obvious reasons. Therefore, people may have no option but to continue to suffer .

Air Vice-Marshal KULDEEP SINGH (retd), Mohali


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