A girl called Harneet

The editorial “A girl called Harneet” (June 29) appropriately translates a stark reality that the system/culture in government institutions eclipses the performance of employees (teachers in this case).

In spite of all what is said about government schools in villages being ill-equipped, the teachers there are more qualified and better paid than the private school teachers. On an average, a government teacher draws a monthly salary which is sufficient for a private school to hire 8-10 teachers, but the results of the latter are far better.

Students like Harneet are among the few blessed ones, but we must give credit to private schools for churning out a huge number of Harneets every year. Even otherwise, chidren from the same family, one studying in a private school and the other in a government institution, would show a marked difference in their future success. The former is more often more successful.

The budgets and facilities in government schools are manifold in comparison to private schools and even the staff is more qualified; the difference, however, is in work culture. Politicking has adversely affected the performances of government schools and the standards need to be upped.

M. P. S. CHADHA, Mohali




You deserve to be congratulated for writing an exclusive leader on an intelligent village girl who stood first in the board examinations. “A girl called Harneet” will surely encourage Harneet and other students like her to work more diligently to bring a good name to the family and school.

I have been reading The Tribune since 1945 and have seen many news items on intelligent students, but never an exclusive editorial. It speaks of your love and affection for the student community. You have made a mention of her daily shuttling between the non-descript village and Amritsar, about her covering 24 km by auto-rickshaw, but I’m sure that unlike the city girls of her age, she must also be helping her mother in finishing the chores along with her studies. All praise and congratulations to the little girl and the teachers who prepared her for this.

SHYAM SUNDER AIRI, Retired Principal, Kapurthala

Wine and poets

This refers to the news item “Writer-poet in hospital; administration apathetic” (June 26). The octogenarian poet, Deepak Jaitoi, was reportedly suffering from infection caused by excessive drinking. Many people believe that wine supplies poets with creative power. This is not correct. Despite being teetotallers, Zauq, Riaz Khairabadi, Allama Iqbal, Josh Malsiyani, Tilok Chand Mahroom and Mela Ram Vafa were highly distinguished poets. Intemperate indulgence in wine cut short the lives of many great Urdu poets and writers. Once Josh Malihabadi said he always keep a “ghari” (watch) before him while drinking. “And if it were in my power, I would keep a “ghara” (wine pitcher) before me, Majaz shot back. Saroor Jahanabadi was a boozer. A few moments before his death at the age of 37, he asked for wine. His attendant gave him water. He mumbled: “Bajaaey mai diya paani ka ik gilaas mujehy/samajh liya merey saaqi ney bad-havaas mujhey.”

At times, Jigar Moradabadi forgot some hemistiches while reciting his verses in “mushaairas” because of over-indulgence in wine. Ghalib, too, had fondness for the “daughter of vine”, but he took a couple of moderate potions in the evening only. Yet he felt that wine had told upon his health.


That was then

Apropos of the letter from Mr Bhagwan Singh Qadian, “Defining Siropa’, I find it difficult to agree with the assertion made by the learned writer. The incident quoted by him is relevant to the Mughal tradition, whereas the Sikh tradition is in variance with the Mughal tradition, which was distorted by the politics of the time rather than under religious and socio-cultural considerations.

Dr S. S. KRISHAN PURI, Patiala

New Iraq

Apropos of your editorial “Towards New Iraq” (June 30), irrespective of the legitimacy of the interim regime in Iraq, Prime Minister Iyad Allawi has to gain confidence of the Iraqi people by not only providing them with security and political stability to revive the country’s shattered economy, but also ensuring support from the wide range of local leadership. The country which has been ravaged and ruled by the US-led Coalition Provision Authority for more than 14 months would need a lot of dedicated hard work to arrange basic amenities for the masses before the government can devote itself to curbing internal violence and Iraq returns to a normal civil life. This, it will do without taking instructions from the much-hated US representatives in the country. Iraq has traditional friends like India to fall back upon and it also has the sympathy of the entire world. This would be an added asset for the new government, but the earlier it can shed its dependence on the US-led coalition troops the better it would be for attaining political and economic stability.


No wood use

I find myself inconsolable on seeing tons of logwood being used in tarring the roads. The same task could be accomplished using the LPG. The use of the LPG or kerosene would go a long way in protecting the forests, but the big question is who would enact a law to strictly ban the use of wood for road building? The authorities concerned should assign such a work to only those contractors who have the requisite plants working on the LPG or kerosene.

V. K. SHARMA, Shimla


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