Verdict in perspective

Apropos of “The verdict in perspective” by Pran Chopra (The Tribune, May 21). The writer has rightly observed that the issue of Ms Sonia Gandhi’s foreign origin will now become antiquated. I feel it was an issue only created by the Bharatiya Janata Party to win elections.

Ms Sonia Gandhi has clearly emerged as a world-class leader and has gained moral ascendancy over even Mr Vajpayee and Mr L. K. Advani. She has done India proud in the eyes of the world.

She has done the wisest thing by putting forward Mr Manmohan Singh as the PM. But now she must give a free hand to him to run the government.

There should be no backseat driving. She should dissuade Congress leaders approaching her from the point of interfering with running of the government.

MADHU SINGH, Ambala Cantt (Haryana)




Acquisition of land

PUDA and HUDA are both acquiring productive land of villages around the periphery of Chandigarh and other big cities in Punjab and Haryana, respectively. This practice is not good. Much thought is needed before taking such steps.

If this expansion is allowed to continue in this already thickly populated area, Chandigarh too will face difficulties like shortage of water, electricity, poor sewage disposal, dense traffic, etc.

Urban areas should be created on barren land, such that the nation is not deprived of land suitable for food production.

B. S. SIRA, Daun (Ropar)

DA merger

There is widespread resentment among the Punjab Government employees and pensioners over the failure of the state government to issue the DA/DR merger notification as decided up by the Punjab Cabinet on February 4. Though the code of conduct imposed during the general election is no longer in force, the Punjab Government remains silent on the issue, while the Haryana Government has issued the DA/DR notification.

Moreover, another Punjab Government decision to enhance the rates of reimbursement for spectacles, hearing aids, dentures and lens has also not been implemented. All this has dismayed employees and pensioners.


Bhagat Puran Singh

The decision of Guru Nanak Dev University to set up a Chair in memory of Bhagat Puran Singh (May 9) is laudable. I suggest that in implementing the decision of the Syndicate to set up the Bhagat Puran Singh Chair, the Pingalwara Society of Amritsar should not be burdened with grant of Rs 25 lakh.

The assets of the society were built with Herculean efforts and single-minded devotion by Bhagat Puran Singh and, today, we find hundreds of collecting agents for donations coming from all parts of India.

Let these valuable assets remain with the society for its development in the cause of service to the suffering humanity and deprived sections of the population.

K. L. MALHOTRA, Chandigarh

English or computers

This has reference to the decision taken by Punjabi University, Patiala, to introduce computer applications as a compulsory subject at the degree level in its affiliated colleges by cutting total marks for English and Punjabi.

This decision, to say the least, is highly unwise, unpractical and ill-conceived because a majority of the colleges affiliated to this university have neither the requisite equipment nor the qualified staff to teach this new subject to hundreds of students who take admission in BA Part I every year. They are already starved of funds. From where will the funds to buy computers and hire new staff come?

The study of languages has its own importance in the education and education in modern age is incomplete without a proper knowledge of English. On the one hand, the Punjab Government is planning to teach English in its schools from class I, and on the other, Punjabi University is undermining its importance by cutting total marks for it by 50 per cent. Isn’t it a retrograde step which will hamper the over all growth of students and shrink the job market? Moreover, can anyone hope to be proficient in computer applications without a proper knowledge of English?


Don’t sow paddy early

I want to draw the attention of the government towards the menace of early sowing of paddy. Early sowing of paddy will spell doom for the already descending water table. Due to the exercise, a huge amount of electricity is lost, which is already in short supply during summers. In spite of recommendations by the government, farmers carry on the unscientific practice of sowing paddy early.

I request the government to enact strong laws to prevent early sowing of paddy. Due to the lax attitude of the authorities, our future generations will inherit a man-made desert. Rising above vote-bank politics, the government should act stern or the coming generations will never forgive us for what we have done.


Sonia stroke

Apropos of the editorial “Sonia Stroke” (May 20), full marks to Sonia Gandhi for first resurrecting her party and then not succumbing to temptation.

Surely, as you have rightly observed, as a Prime Minister, she would have been utterly hamstrung by her foreign origin and that would have gone against the national interest. Besides, her own and her children’s political career would have been at stake.

By taking such an unprecedented dramatic step, forced as it was by the expediency, she has allowed herself to be regarded by a section of people as embodiment of renunciation and put in the category of Mahatma Gandhi, Jaya Prakash Narayan and Mother Teresa. This is tantamount to stretching it a bit too far.

Dr K. C. PRASHAR, Kulu

Pentagon’s ploy

The raid on the Pentagon’s own favourite to head a new US-appointed ruling group should not be a surprise. It is a ploy to give some credibility to Mr Chalabi. By targeting him through a contrived raid, the US authorities are trying to hoodwink the people of Iraq and rest of the Arab and Muslim world. They want to show that Mr Chalabi is no longer a US stooge.

The change in policy was dutifully laid out by Newsweek editor Fareed Zakaria, in his latest article, where he exhorted: “an interim government... will need not just power but legitimacy. And legitimacy can come only if it shows Iraqis that it can stand up to the occupying power. Washington should understand and even assist in this dynamic. At least in appearances, we have to lose for Iraqis to win.”

The raid on Mr Chalabi is all part of a contrived effort to build up public image of the CPA as an independent and nationalist authority, though the reins of power will always remain with the US.



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