Punjab must fight its own battle

A lot has been discussed on Punjab’s decision on SYL in these columns. But most seem to overlook the injustice done to Punjab by Indira Gandhi. She was not our well wisher and she became more and more vindictive towards Punjab.

Capt Amarinder Singh knew that great injustice was done to Punjab. He has now taken everyone in the state into confidence. All Punjabis should stand by him like a rock. No one in New Delhi will help Punjab. The Congress and the NDA are only worried about their prospects in the next elections in Haryana and so, each one of them is trying to encash on the issue.

One has to look into other problems. It is time the states woke up. The Centre treats them like villages. They need more powers, financial and administrative. We need a presidential form of government. Why do states have to go to Delhi with a begging bowl? Why are no finances made available to them? Income-tax paid by the people in the states is taken away by the Centre. Why Central Sales Tax at all?

Why are IAS and IPS officers imposed on the states? Can’t the states select candidates through their Public Service Commissions and send them for training to the Central academies? Why should the Centre transfer High Court Judges from one state to another? The states should look after their own affairs as in the US.

When the states are in dire need of rice, wheat, fodder and even water in an emergency, they look to Punjab for help. But who helped Punjab last year when there was drought?

Brig DALIP SINGH SIDHU (retd) & Capt Amarjit Singh Jaijee (retd), Chandigarh




Apropos of the letter “SYL: Punjab can’t violate the statute” (July 24), I share Rajinder Rana’s concern over the injustice meted out to Himachal Pradesh ever since its creation under the States’ Reorganisation Act. Arrears amounting to crores of rupees legitimately accruing to it are hanging fire. This has been so probably because in the post-Independence era, the language of reason seldom clicks; the powers that be seem to understand only one language — the language of force.

However, Mr Rana’s plea for abrogation of the aforesaid Act and creation of Maha Punjab by merging Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh sounds more an argument of desperation rather than a reasonable way out of the state’s problem. To my mind, the Himachalis at large would oppose the idea tooth and nail for the simple reason that they tasted the fruits of independence and development only after the hilly state came into existence. Himachal Pradesh must, of course, carry on its fight against “injustice” with much more vigour than has been the case so far.

TARA CHAND, Ambota (Una)


Letter writers need to do some homework about international riparian laws. Mr H.D.R. Bhardwaj’s letter about changing the courses of the river (July 29) is amazing. The alteration of courses of rivers needs to be done with utmost care so that the eco-system does not get disturbed.

The nature has done its course to make these rivers over millennia. How come people get so arrogant as to present a biased opinion without bothering about the consequences of their action on the biodiversity of the fragile eco-system?

I hope projects like the Garland scheme do not happen in India. Otherwise, these will hit the fragile environment very badly. Why don’t we learn from the mistakes of the developed nations? This planet is a gift of God and all systems are attached to each other. 

GURBHAJAN SINGH Grass Valley, California (USA)


Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan are fighting for water of the three perennial rivers, i.e., the Sutlej, the Beas and the Ravi, which originate from the snow-fed Himalayas where the depth of snow is depleting due to the biotech effect of the Green House gases.

Snow-fed rivers only contain 1 per cent of water of the precipitation, i.e., water in the form of rain, drizzle, sleet, snow, hails, dew, deposition by fog, hoar, frost and rime. Why not the run-off water in our seasonal rivers, streams, rivulets and nallahs is collected in reservoirs, harvested and used for hydro-electric production?

R.S. BAIDWAN, Mohali

Saddam’s trial is a farce

Saddam Hussein, who was dethroned by the occupation forces from the presidentship of Iraq, is not a terrorist. In an Iraqi court at a US airbase recently, he defended himself against the seven broad charges against him. Everyone has the right to defend himself. It is a fundamental human right.

The Interim Iraqi government and the court trying Saddam are illegitimate because they were appointed by the occupation forces, those who wanted that he should be executed. By recalling the crimes of the Saddam regime, they seem to feel that they can retrieve some retrospective justification for last year’s unprovoked war.

Saddam’s trial signifies the emergence of “judicial imperialism” where a country led by a puppet regime is being run through remote control by the US and the UK. Needless to say, Saddam’s trial is a farce and a drama.

JYOTI RAI, Gurdaspur


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