THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
M A I L B A G

Dalits deserve support, not quotas

Apropos of Justice Rajindar Sacharís article ďDalitsí place in private sector: Ensure equality of opportunitiesĒ (March 12), I do not endorse his support for quotas for Dalits. In the US, government contracts are given to minorities. However, significantly, Americans have never compromised on quality and efficiency.

In India, the situation is quite different. The government is already providing 50 per cent reservation to SCs and STs at various levels. Various schemes have been put in place at the Central and State level for their social and economic upliftment. They also get concessions in health services, education and various other fields. In some states, reservations have crossed 80 per cent!

The writer admits that many vacancies for Dalits in the government are yet to be filled up for past many years. If the government has not found them competent, why should the private sector accept them? This has been the situation when various supportive programmes are available at the disposal of the SCs and the STs.

The writer did not cover the issue of quality of services being provided by the SCs and STs and other beneficiaries of the quotas. The need of the hour is to improve the quality of services and promote competition rather than triggering conflict among various communities.

KIRAN KUMAR, Jalandhar City

 

 

II

The writer has rightly pleaded that Dalits should be recruited in the posts reserved for them but he has not examined the case where Dalits are given out-of-turn promotions due to the reservation in promotion policy, as in Punjab.

The Punjab government provides for 14 per cent reservation in Class I and II posts and Dalits are already adequately represented in all the state government undertakings and departments. Now those Dalits who have already enjoyed the benefits of reservation policy are asking for the implementation of the Constitution 85th Amendment in the State. This amendment provides for seniority along with promotion to Dalits. If this is implemented in the state where reservation already exists in promotions, then all the top posts of every department and corporation shall be manned by Dalits irrespective of their seniority.

Article 335 of the Constitution has clearly laid down that reservation would be consistent with efficiency in the administration. The elite Dalits are already enjoying the benefits of the reservation policy and are asking for the moon at the cost of the really deserving Dalits. The government should ensure that all the categories are well represented in the jobs.

V.K. GUPTA, Ropar

III

The policy of reservation runs counter to the principle of equality of opportunities. Brain drain, inefficiency and a sense of helplessness all around are the result of this policy. The writer perhaps does not know that Dalit students are already receiving liberal stipend, books free of cost and other help. Even they do not pay any examination fee to the Punjab School Education Board. All this is being done to help them compete with non-Dalit students. Even free coaching is arranged for them.

Nobody objects to these facilities being given to the Dalits. But people do raise their voice when Dalit students with 35 per cent marks in PMT are given admission in the medical colleges, overlooking non-Dalit students securing over 80 per cent marks! Merit alone should be the criterion for admission in all fields or recruitment in any sector.

GURBACHAN SINGH, Patiala

IV

I do not endorse out-of-turn promotions for Dalits. Let them be given opportunities to develop, but no quota should be given to them.

SUMAN SHARMA, Palampur

Spare Iraq a puppet

It has become abundantly clear that the attack on Iraq by the United States, Britain and Australia jointly was unjustified and was merely meant to grind their own selfish axe. As such all these countries should be declared as aggressor countries and their leaders publicly tried and punished.

The deposed Iraqi President Saddam Hussein was innocent. It is misleading to call him as a prisoner of war. He should be released immediately and reinstated as President of Iraq. The US and other countries should pay compensation to Saddam Hussein and Iraq for the damages they have caused to Iraq. Nothing short of this will meet the ends of justice. Mere installation of a puppet regime of their choice cannot undo injustice.

V.P. CHOPRA, New Delhi

DA instalments

The Punjab government has announced the grant of fresh DA instalment @ 2 per cent from Jan 1, 2004 to its employees and pensioners. But the Himachal Pradesh government has not so far sanctioned DA instalment @ 4 per cent to its employees and pensioners. The government should promptly release DA instalments from July 1, 2003 and Jan 1, 2004 @ 4 per cent and 2 per cent respectively.

Moreover, the letter for the merger of 50 per cent of DA in the basic pay and pensioners from April 1, 2004 already announced by the Chief Minister has not been issued so far. The Chief Minister should issue the letter at the earliest. By allowing the above increase in DA, the HP government will not be violating the model code of conduct as this is a routine administrative matter. The employees and pensioners will get the benefit without waiting for the completion of general elections.

T.R. SHARMA, Ludhiana

Pension problem

Of the many problems faced by pensioners, the Central government has taken a bold initiative in accepting the DA merger problem. However, it is yet to be implemented. In spite of the Pay Commissionís recommendations to merge 50 per cent of DA, the government has merged 30 per cent only. The state governments are yet to effect this merger.

The Punjab State Electricity Board Pensionersí Federation has been facing problems because of the undue delay in the implementation of the Pay Commissionís recommendation. An early merger of 50 per cent DA is the need of the hour.

The government may remain sympathetic to MPs, MLAs and ministers, but it should not be apathetic to pensioners. The PSEB pensioners deserve justice.

S.K. KAPOOR, Ludhiana

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