Kashmir’s true picture of everyday life

The Tribune’s front-page photograph (July 29) of girls running for shelter in Srinagar, during a militant attack, reflects the true picture of the everyday life of the people of Jammu and Kashmir.

It has become so easy for the government to count the number of the dead and the injured in the militant attacks, almost everyday, and then issue press releases, every six months or so, year after year, to the effect that so many policemen and civilians were killed by the militants in Kashmir.

It has also become so common for us to read about policemen and army men killed in action being honoured posthumously for bravery. However, I think, it is the residents of Jammu and Kashmir who are the true soldiers.

The sound of the people’s scampering feet now and then, the continued fear of the parents who send their children to schools and colleges, the employees who leave for the office in the morning with absolutely no guarantee of returning home safely in the evening, the shopkeepers catering to the needs of the local residents at the point of the gun have all become a way of life for the people of the state.



Surely, credit should be given to these people who are forced to lead such a life for years. Hats off to the people of Jammu and Kashmir.

VINISH GARG, Panchkula

Politics of renaming cities

Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh, while presiding over the state-level function to mark the 65th Martyrdom Day of Shaheed Udham Singh, declared that he has taken up the matter of renaming Sunam with the Central Government. He intends to call Sunam as Shaheed Udham Singhwala Sunam.

Politicians rename cities simply to win cheap popularity. Is the name Sahibzada Ajit Singh Nagar or SAS Nagar popular? Mohali will always be known and called as Mohali only and not by any other name. Same is the case with Ropar. How many of us call Ropar as Rup Nagar today. This practice is not confined to Punjab or Haryana. It is prevalent in other states too. The renaming spree was in full swing in Uttar Pradesh during Ms Mayawati’s chief ministership.

After the death of General Bikram Singh in Jammu and Kashmir, his native village Siana (near Balachaur) was named Siana Bikram Singh. It sounds somewhat appropriate. Similarly, Sunam Udham Singh is appealing to the ears rather than Sunam Shaheed Udham Singhwala.

The best way to immortalise the name of a person is to establish a national institute or centre of excellence in the name of the person or to establish a new township adjacent to the old town but with a crisp name.


Killing the goose...

Amulya Ganguli’s article Move for quota in private sector (July 28) is a timely warning to those at the helm of affairs to desist from taking such retrograde steps. The quota system already prevalent in the public sector has taken its toll.

India, once a well-knit nation, now stands divided on caste, creed and communal lines, thanks to the politicians who have translated the short-term quota system into a long term vote bank. The disastrous results are there for everyone to see. Efficiency in the administration has nose-dived and due to rampant corruption in every segment, governance has been reduced to ridicule.

Having given a decent burial to the efficient and stable public sector system, the power-hungry leaders are now conspiring to make the private sector suffer the same fate. The Indian economy is drawing its sustenance from the well organised and competent private sector. Why kill the goose which lays the golden eggs?

KARNAIL SINGH, Shahpur Kandi

Quota for Muslims

A fresh controversy has erupted on the question of reservations following the announcement of quota for Muslims in Andhra Pradesh. It is apparent from a careful reading of the Report of the Backward Classes Commission, 1980 (Mandal Commission Report) that its main recommendation of 27 per cent reservation for OBCs who constitute 52 per cent of the population was made keeping in mind the Hindu as well as non-Hindu OBCs. (see particularly para 12.22 and para 13.11 of this report).

As a broad consensus has already been reached among main political parties regarding the Mandal Commission Report, there is no need to raise any fresh controversy. The reservations for Muslims can be fulfilled within the purview of the Mandal Commission Report.

Any effort to communalise this issue by raising a new controversy should be condemned. Our society should get along with important development objectives without getting embroiled in unnecessary controversies.


Airport at Phillaur?

The citizens of Amritsar voice their concern over the government’s plan to build an international airport at Phillaur. We already have an international airport in Amritsar. We fail to understand the logic of having yet another airport 80 miles away from Amritsar.

The huge funds to be mobilised for the grandiose Phillaur project could well be utilised for making the GT Road and Jalandhar to Amritsar road four lane as also for upgrading and modernising the facilities available in Amritsar airport at present. The advantages that would accrue from this project far outweigh the disadvantages to a privileged a few from Ludhiana and Jalandhar.

Amritsar has suffered massive economic losses since Partition and three wars besides an inept political leadership. Taking away or even reducing the importance of Amritsar international airport is the last straw. Amritsar might as well be reduced to the status of a tehsil in Jalandhar district.

It would be eminently sensible to review the proposal and instead make the Jalandhar-Amritsar highway four lane immediately.

Medical Director,
SB Dr Sohan Singh
Eye Hospital, Amritsar

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