How to check inflation is a daunting task

Rising inflation is baffling our policy planners. It hits the poor and the middle class harder. Unscrupulous producers and traders take advantage of the situation. Ever since the Union Budget was presented, prices have been on the rise. This is more due to 'cost push' rather than 'demand pull' reason. Continuous rise in the international crude oil prices and the escalating domestic demand for petroleum products have contributed to this ugly situation.

No doubt, the RBI and the government are trying to control inflation, but this is a daunting task. The government has reduced excise and custom duty on petroleum products, iron and steel. But short-term measures need to be taken to check price rise.

One way of checking inflation is that the RBI could sell dollars in the foreign exchange market which, in its turn, will lead to appreciation of the Indian rupee against the US dollar, making imports cheaper. The government can also borrow more money from the public resulting in reduced money supply in the market.

The RBI, no doubt, has numerous options to choose from but it has to exercise caution. For instance, it should not ignore or sacrifice the country's economic growth which is the outcome of improving capital formation.


  GURMEET SINGH, Lecturer in Economics, Govt College for Women, Ludhiana

Of rituals and miracles

In the 'middle' "The need for a clear strong voice" (Sept 1), Harish Dhillon has set down the dilemma he is faced with: whether to prefer the lessons he learnt in his childhood about eschewing the rituals and superstitions imprisoning one's mind or whether to accept miracles etc., especially those which so impressed him at a wedding anniversary kirtan and sermon in his old age.

As regards rituals, it is reasonable to take the view that they are in the nature of formalities and merit being treated only as such. If undue importance is attached to them they degenerated into superstitions and become a veritable blot on religion. In fact, many reformist movements have been led against rituals when, thanks to the boundless greed of vested interests, they have gone out of hand and been used to exploit the public.

The position regarding miracles is, however, very different. The thought of miracles occurring, no doubt, provides man comfort and solace, particularly in adversity, but miracles are a physical impossibility which runs counter to the establish laws of science and defies logic and reason. Indeed, miracles are something like shadows lacking in all substance.

The question, therefore, is whether there can be any justification for shadows being accepted as a reality as actual happenings only because they are a source of some comfort to man. The answer to that question can only be a categorical "No."



Slaughter in Russia

I was shocked at the terrorists' dastardly attack on the innocent school children at Beslan in Russia. How can terrorists be so cruel? They do not spare even children. I am reminded of a quotation: "God made man in his own image, In the image of God He made him". Is this the dream He (the Almighty) dreamt while making man and giving him powers to control over the sea and the land?

Shame on those hands who have slaughtered innocent angels. Is there a Messiah in this world? Please come forward to guide their path of darkness to light. May God grant peace to the kith and kin of the deceased.

MEENA VERMA, St Francis School, Tarn Taran


It was an action most barbarian, a lethal avatar of terrorism. The thought itself is blood-curdling. The masked gunmen, for a full 53 hours, denied food and water to the children and later sprayed bullets on those fleeing. Even prisoners of war are treated humanely and are paid wages under the Geneva Convention.

The Beslan episode proves that terrorists have no code of conduct. They are simply inspired by theology. They are dehumanised and full of moral revulsion. They are a tribe untempered by moral restraint. In this new millennium, terror's new wave does not spare even children.



Russian President Vladimir Putin's admission of his country's failure to contain terrorism which has recently caused the death of 380 people, mostly innocent students, shows his deep concern for this ghastly act of terrorism. He has rightly admitted: "we have showed weakness and weak people are beaten".

Why can't our politicians too admit their weakness of having failed to contain terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir and elsewhere? Why don't they admit that they are not capable of containing widespread corruption and indiscipline in all spheres of our pubic life? How can they take steps to eradicate these evils unless they admit their failure and weakness?

R.P. SHARMA, Ludhiana



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