Manmohan will prove his mettle

Dr Manmohan Singh has taken over as the Prime Minister at a time when the country is passing through the most critical period in its history. There has been a drastic decline in ethical, spiritual, communal, political and moral standards. Centuries ago, Tulsi Das said that "The kingdom is destroyed when leaders are on the prowl with impunity". Sadly, this is what is happening in our country. As said in the New Testament (Luke, XXVIII, 34), we Indians can only pray: "Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do".

Dr Manmohan Singh is a noted and upright economist and administrator, but not a politician. He may find it difficult to keep the ruling United Progressive Alliance (UPA) constituents together while trying to solve the multifarious problems. It is said that a successful man is one who lays a firm foundation with the bricks that others throw at him. It is hoped that Dr Singh will show that he is that kind of a 'man'.



The Prime Minister would do well to remember the words of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru: "Success often comes to those who dare and act; it seldom goes to the timid who are ever afraid of the consequences. We play for high stakes; and if we seek to achieve great things, it can only be through great dangers. Whether we succeed soon or late, none but ourselves can stop from high endeavour and from writing a noble page in our country's long and splendid history".

K. GOPAKUMAR MENON, Trichur (Kerala)

Vet university for Punjab

It was a matter of great pleasure to learn about the Punjab Government's decision to set up a separate veterinary university. I being a veterinarian and former Director of Animal Husbandry Department, Haryana, endorse it since creation of such a university is the need of the day. The Haryana Government is also considering the issue of setting up a veterinary university which I sincerely urge upon the government to accelerate.

The Chief Minister, Mr Om Parkash Chautala, on the occasion of the inauguration of the building of Pashudhan Bhavan, Sector 2, Panchkula, on October 22, 2003, had announced the intention of the Haryana Government to establish a veterinary university in the state. This has become necessary to strengthen and gear up the development activities in the field of animal husbandry and veterinary science.

Once this university is established, it will greatly help not only in shaping the veterinary education, research and extension but also the governments in proper implementation of all its development projects and thus would revolutionise the livestock and poultry industry in the state.

H.S. DAHIYA, Director (retd), Animal Husbandry, Haryana, Panchkula

CMP ignores the aged

It is a matter of deep concern that the interests of over 10 crore senior citizens have been totally ignored by the ruling UPA government in the Common Minimum Programme (CMP). Regrettably, no alliance partner has suggested the inclusion of social security measures for the aged in the CMP.

Steep fall in the interest rates - the main source of income for senior citizens - is their biggest worry. The government should allow at least 2 per cent of additional interest to the senior citizens on the small savings schemes in the post office as a welfare measure. Dr Manmohan Singh's government will earn the gratitude and support of the senior citizens if this issue is given due consideration at the highest level.

Wg-Cdr C.L. SEHGAL (retd), Jalandhar

Arrogance won't do

The National Democratic Alliance leaders showed astounding arrogance in claiming that they had a panacea for all the problems and that, given another chance, they would make India a super power like the US and China. None of them talked about the millions suffering from TB, diabetes, AIDS, malnutrition, illiteracy and hunger. India has the largest share of these diseases except some African countries.

The arrogance of the present ministers claiming to solve all the problems (on television) is equally nauseating. If the ministers give up their arrogance and assure us that they will not make false claims and try to solve these problems with sincerity and earnestness, they will endear themselves to all and may succeed in reducing the misery of millions of Indians.

K.C. PANDEYA, IAS (retd), Ghaziabad

DA merger in HP

Sometime back, the Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister announced that his government will follow Punjab as and when it grants financial and other benefits to its employees and pensioners. Now that the Punjab government has allowed the merger of 50 per cent of DA in the basic pay and pension for its employees and pensioners from April 1, 2004, the Himachal government should follow suit and issue orders immediately. Haryana has already implemented this.

Moreover, the Himachal government should allow 2 per cent of additional relief due from Jan 1, 2004, which is already being drawn, by Punjab government employees and pensioners. While Punjab paid DA arrears to its pensioners @ 4 per cent which fell due to them on July 1, 2003, the Himachal pensioners will get the same in two instalments (the first in October 2004 and the other next year). In the past, such arrears were always paid in cash. Why has Himachal not followed Punjab in this case? It should release DA arrears from July 1, 2003, to its pensioners in one go.

T.R. SHARMA, Ludhiana

Community policing

While reviewing the "Community Policing Scheme" (CPS) at Nurpur Police Station (Kangra) recently, Mr O.C. Thakur, Deputy Inspector-General of Police (North) is reported to have confessed that the scheme in question has failed to give the desired results. He reportedly said that the functioning of police stations in the range would be evaluated and necessary guidelines for the purpose were being issued to the police stations to improve their functioning.

Undoubtedly, the CPS has failed to click. In fact, the novel scheme seems to have been implemented by the field staff rather lackadaisically for reasons best known to them.

I wanted to meet Mr Thakur soon after he took over as DIG at Dharmasala long back and discuss with him regarding the CPS as also the functioning of the police in the Northern Range. I had also written to him with a request to let me know whenever he happened to visit Una district, my part of the state so that I could call on him for an interaction session. The matter, it appears, escaped his busy mind.

TARA CHAND, Ambota (Una)

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