Lowering the image of Punjab House

THE Deputy Speaker of the Punjab Assembly, Mr Bir Devinder Singh, had to adjourn the House about one hour before schedule, not due to any ugly scene in the House, but due to failure of the treasury benches to field speakers who could take part in the debate on budget proposals. The commitment of the state government was clear from the fact that the members of the treasury benches did not exceed one-third of the total number.

Capt Amarinder Singh, Chief Minister, was himself indisposed. Ms Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, Deputy Chief Minister, and her all Cabinet colleagues, except just two, were conspicuous by their absence. The near total absence of treasury benches forced Mr Bir Devinder Singh to write a strong letter to the Chief Minister, raking him to direct the Congress MLAs to be present in the House. The result was that even the minister in charge of parliamentary affairs and the Chief Whip of the Congress were also found absent.

Can anyone explain why? Is it not mandatory for them to stay in the House? What action does the Chief Minister propose for those who show scant respect for the legislature? Things would have worsened to this extent nobody could have imagined. The conduct of the treasury benches in the Punjab Assembly have lowered the image of the legislature.

Dr NARESH RAJ, Patiala




Your editorial of June 25 enumerates the reasons for the bankruptcy of the once prosperous Punjab without actually saying so. “Lack of interest” shown by the legislators in the formulation and discussion on the budget amounts to a lack of interest in people’s welfare. To say that many of them “do not understand its implications” is to state that the legislators vote for/against a budget without knowing what they are voting for!

If an economist tells the Hon’ble members that India’s fiscal deficit is at an unsustainable level, the members will not understand the statement. Finding a way out of the situation is out of the question. The tragedy is that they lack the will to remedy the deficiency. What is the way out? How do we deal with a person/firm/undertaking that does not manage finances properly? The same needs to be applied to the state assemblies.

L. R. SHARMA, Solan

Punishment for rape

ACCORDING to the WHO, 42 women are raped everyday in India and the number is on the rise. Out of every 100 rape cases, only 10 are reported and barely 40 per cent is the conviction rate. Rape is even worse than murder. It is most horrifying and depressing to read about rapes of minors almost everyday in newspapers and is a sad reflection on social regeneration of India.

Indian law, despite several amendments on this subject, has failed to curb this menace. Recently, the Supreme Court has asked the government to legislate severe punishment for the rapist. Several eminent persons have suggested death penalty instead of the present 7 to 10 years of rigorous imprisonment as punishment to the rapist, but now they have vehemently opposed the death penalty on the ground that it would prompt the culprit to murder the victim so as to destroy all evidence.

This is quite logical. The rapist must be given such a punishment that should not only meet the ends of justice but also serve as a big deterrent for others. In addition to the existing punishment, the culprit should be paraded naked with his face blackened and flogged in public. Rapists should be castrated and the word “rapist” should be tattooed on their heads.

Fast-track special courts should be constituted for trying rape accused and these should be presided over by women judges only. A national campaign should be launched to eradicate female foeticide and infanticide and TV serials and films depicting rape, violence and extramarital relations be banned.

Wg-Cdr GURMAIL SINGH (retd), Chandigarh

Not a joke

The media, perhaps, has failed to gauge the mood of Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayee in Mumbai. The Tribune even has gone too far to remark in the editorial (June 26) that Mr Vajpayee has not enhanced his image as an elder statesman by some of his recent statements.

What the gentleman has said in joke has fallen out of taste. The gentlemen has came to realise that this time, it is the turn of the media to laugh at him for having chosen the wrong time and the wrong strategy. If he had made certain statements that had irritated the media, it was not his fault.

Mr Vajpayee simply intended to take everyone along. This is a broken man trying to regain consciousness. Moreover, he is a democrat and a man of masses. He is aware of his contribution to Indian economy, which he had taken to a new high. He powered people-to-people dialogue between India and Pakistan even at extreme risk of fanning militancy from across the bonder. He has got so much to his credit that it appears to be greatest paradox that he has lost. To say that he is ignorant of the causes of defeat is a bigger folly.


A boon for public

Education today has become a big business. After a cue from The Tribune article, DAV College for Boys, Chandigarh, started admitting girls also. A good business preposition for them, because now they are in the process of phasing out Plus One and Two classes.

However, Government Colleges did not follow it although these colleges lost Plus One and Two classes long ago. They have been wasting their valuable assets in the form of big and well-equipped science labs in particular now for years.

If allowed even today to admit girl students in boy’s colleges, as has rightly and timely been done by DAV College, the presently unutilised assets can be put to some use. It would also be a boon for general public as most girls from private colleges, because of huge differences in fee structure, would prefer to join government colleges. But who cares for general public interest and wasteful public assets?


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