Road-map for Kashmir

I agree with Mr K. Subrahmanyam (“Road-map for Kashmir: a Round-Table Conference will help”; June 19) that if we are looking for peace and normalcy, a round-table conference should be held between the Centre and various Kashmiri dissident groups.

The Centre should remember that there is no single party or group that is capable of representing all sections of the people of Jammu and Kashmir. It is, therefore, important for it to interact with as many segments of opinion as possible.

The Kashmir scenario calls for an open-minded and flexible debate taking into account the aspirations and grievances of all. Once such an atmosphere is created, the hostilities will cease and make it easier for India to begin dialogue with Pakistan on the final status of Kashmir, given that its moral stand would have been really strengthened in the process.

K. M. VASHISHT, New Delhi




Vanishing companies

The initiative taken by the Company Affairs Minister, Mr Prem Chand, to declare war against companies that have vanished with Rs 10,000 crore of investors’ money deserves appreciation. If the government is put on high alert, a good number of such companies can be streamlined.

Some such companies have either changed the their name or started selling their products to other concerns under new trademark. These “dignified robbers”, promoters of vanishing companies, should be strictly dealt with. The prosecution and the Centre should render maximum possible help in the crusade against such fly-by-night operators.

The assets of such robbers should be confiscated and the amount accrued should be distributed among the robbed. If some of these companies still want to exist, these should be made to get their scrip enlisted. The robbed investors are indebted to the minister.

R. K. NARANG, Phagwara

Back to basics

You have rightly observed in your editorial "Back to basics" (June 24) that Hindutva does not appeal to the majority. It is a matter of great pity that the Bharatiya Janata Party has not learnt any lesson from its defeat in the recent parliamentary election.

The hardliners in the party are confident that they can return to power only after leaning towards Hindutva. They are in the wrong. They cannot fool the voters every time. India is a secular country and cannot become a nation of one religion.


Defining ‘siropa’

This refers to the news item "Call to boycott Chandok for honouring Tytler". According to Mr Prahlad Singh Chandok, President of the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee, anything given at a place other than a gurdwara cannot be described as a "siropa".

Mr Tarlochan Singh, Chairman of the National Commission for Minorities, is also said to have expressed the same view on the ground that the occasion was a social function. "Siropa" is a derivative of the Persian word "Saraapa", meaning "Khil'at" (robe of honour).

It is preposterous to say that only the robe of honour presented in a gurdwara can be called a "siropa". It can be given at any social function. Aurngzeb's son and successor, Bahadur Shah, presented on July 23, 1707, a very costly "khil'at" to Guru Gobind Singh in his royal camp at Agra. That robe of honour was definitely a "siropa".


Pains of riots

The wounds of November, 1984, are getting deeper. At present the yearly interest that the riot-affected have to pay is more than the original loan; the total dues have become more than 10 times than the actual loan, even after adjusting the amount of the Central Interest Subsidy Scheme (Revised). Most of us are senior citizens and have no repaying capacity; the loan can neither be paid by us nor by our children or even great grandchildren. We request the Prime Minister to kindly write off these dues.


Mother's name

While attesting a certificate for a student, I was surprised to find the name of the father who had not even seen the child since birth, after he had been legally separated from his wife. What then is the sanctity of giving the name of the father in the form?

More so, all documents should rationally carry the name of the mother. Some time ago, this issue had been highlighted and instructions had been issued to the university registrars by the authorities concerned. However, male chauvinism still prevades.

J. KHANNA, Panchkula

Laloo on the rampage

This is regarding “Laloo on the rampage” (June 23). Unfortunately, it is the image of Mr Laloo Prasad Yadav, our Railway Minister, which doesn't allow his proposals to be perceived rationally by the elitist media.

He is one of the very few who think about the underprivileged and the deprived. His proposal to convert reserved compartments into general ones during day-time doesn’t look appealing, but let us not forget that till five years ago the same system was in vogue. Going back will be a retrograde step, but possible solutions can be:

A: To increase the number of unreserved coaches. It is absolutely essential when one looks at fully packed unreserved compartments.

B: To run a few totally unreserved trains on the lines of Jannayak.

C: To subdivide the sleeper class, one reserved for 24 hours and the other reserved only from 9 pm to 6 pm. Off course, with differential charges.

Credit has to be given to Mr Laloo Yadav for being the first Railway Minister who has thought about the unreserved ticket holders.



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