Farmers key to Punjab’s prosperity

In his article “Punjab progress: How Bihar looks at it” (Oct 23), Mohan Guruswamy points to the Government of India’s “munificence” regarding irrigation of land in Punjab. However, he has ignored the source of irrigation of land in Punjab and Bihar. The “Statistical Abstract of Punjab-2003” shows that Bihar farmers had used 1,136 government canals and 2008 tubewells for irrigation of 4,808 hectares of land.

On the other hand, Punjab farmers used 1,296 government canals and 2,695 tubewells for irrigation of 7,487 hectares of land. Punjab had only 160 government canals and 687 tubewells more than Bihar but it irrigated 2,679 hectare more land than Bihar from these sources. We don’t understand where is the “munificence” of GOI in providing irrigation facilities to Punjab farmers?

The writer has overlooked the alarming groundwater situation following its overuse by helpless Punjab farmers, the scarcity of river water for irrigation and bad monsoons almost every year. He lamented about the 50 per cent contribution of foodgrains by Punjab farmers in the Central Pool and in turn obtaining huge food subsidies. Punjab farmers are using comparatively modern agricultural techniques for increasing their production. Punjab, for instance, has 43,4032 tractors as against Bihar’s 99,413.

If Punjab farmers produce huge foodgrains by using their own sources, why cannot Bihar use its natural resources? If Punjab’s people are innovative and prosperous in comparison to Bihar’s, is it Punjab’s fault?

JASVIR SINGH, JATINDER SINGH & SUBHASH KUMAR, Research Scholars (Pol. Sc), Punjabi University, Patiala




The writer has overlooked the hard work put in by the people of Punjab. He did not mention the fact that till the late 70’s, India was always at the risk of famine and Punjab’s foodgrain output has been helping the country like a cushion.

The plight of Bihar and other states is more because of the misrule of the respective rulers than unfair benefits given by GOI as stated in the article. We need to find out as to how much resources have been used for the benefit of the state and how much had been pocketed by the politicians and the civil servants.



I wonder why the writer sought to compare Bihar with Punjab. His views on the outlay on the Bhakra Dam are misplaced. Similarly, his opinion that Punjab has progressed at the cost of other regions not because of Punjabis’ hard work, innovation and enterprise is unfair.

Punjab rightly had more personnel in the armed forces during Partition which was a colonial legacy. At the same time, Punjab contributed 50 per cent of the INA force and thus provided a great push to the Independence movement. Since Independence, efforts have been made to cut and shove the state politically and economically. It has been deprived of its only natural source, water, leaving the farmers high and dry.

The writer rightly accepts that Punjab has been providing 50 per cent food to the country. But he is wrong to say that the farmers are benefited through the subsidies. In fact, the subsidies are garnered by the big business and not by the farmers who get raise on their produce after so much clamour.

Lt-Col CHANAN SINGH DHILLON (retd), Ludhiana


The economy of both Punjab and Bihar is agriculture based. To increase agriculture production, the Punjab Land Reforms Act 1972 was enacted. It was duly implemented for optimum utilisation of the surplus land and thus brought maximum area under cultivation.

The case of Bihar is totally different. How can it make progress when there is no agrarian law in force? A few land owners in a village rule the roost and the rest sweat as farm labourers who till today are not paid in cash but given some course grain to survive for the day. Therefore, a socio-economic revolution is a must in a state like Bihar. Otherwise, it will never be able to catch up with Punjab.


Checking inflation

The Reserve Bank of India’s move to curb disbursement of huge loans — housing, vehicle and so on — by the commercial banks is welcome. It assumes special significance because unlimited lending of surplus money to the public will give rise to many problems. It will not only stimulate public expenditure but also trigger inflation. Economists say, inflation rises due to the increase in the demand of commodities. And the demand rises because of the increase in the public expenditure. Needless to say, the expenditure will rise only if the people have additional or surplus capital.

Keeping in view the theory propounded by modern economists like Milton Friedman and D. Patinkin, RBI Governor Y.V. Reddy has taken a pragmatic step to limit money supply to the public by putting a check on huge loan disbursement. This is bound to check inflation.

NANDEEP BHULLAR, Malout (Muktsar)

Incorrect remarks

Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh Chief K.S. Sudarshan’s remarks in Nagpur during Dussehra festival that Urdu language was responsible for the vivisection of the country are incorrect. The boot is on the other foot. He conveniently forgets that Sanskrit (which he holds in high esteem) is a language of oppression as all the black laws and deeds perpetrated on majority of people including women, Dalits and OBCs (Sudras) were codified in this language called the Devbhasha. Suffice it to mention that Sanskrit was meant for the exclusive use of a minuscule priestly caste (Brahmins) which sowed the seeds of social disharmony and discord.

Dr RAM LAL JASSI, Jalandhar City

Relics of the past

Gotra-based Khap panchayats are relics of past when their writs did run due to less population, illiteracy and ignorance of the law. Now the people are enlightened. They know that the very constitution of these panchayats is illegal and hence not enforceable in any court of law. Haryana tops in divorce cases in the country. Why can’t Khap panchayats help resolve these cases in their communities?



HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |