Bail for seer a setback for TN govt

WITH the dramatic arrest of Vijayendra Saraswati soon after the bail granted to Jayendra Saraswati by the Supreme Court, the intentions of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa are becoming evident. She is playing vindictive politics to consolidate the anti-Brahmin vote.

But the BJP should not be happy as it has no business in the Kanchi Mutt case. Its stand that there are no malpractices in the Mutt is both premature and unhealthy. The Prime Minister's view that due process of law should be followed and also religious sensibilities should be kept in mind is in the best interest of the country.






Every concrete procedural element till now in the Sankaracharya case is not in conformity with the stand of the Tamil Nadu police and the prosecution. The Supreme Court, while granting bail to the seer, ruled that "no worthwhile prima facie evidence" has been brought to its notice by the Tamil Nadu government to show that the petitioner was party to the conspiracy to kill Sankararaman. This demonstrates how the state government laid a strong foundation for the delegitimacy of its actions to be proven afterwards.

From the simple human instinct, it is clear that the case has something more to it than just the normal performance of the petitioner and the deceased. It is for the court of law to decide whether Sankaracharya is guilty or innocent. However, it is clear that the stature and the dignity of the institution has been affected by the Tamil Nadu government's action.


U-turn in Best Bakery case

THE Best Bakery case is a classic example of how the inadequacies of both investigative and judicial systems are brought in the delivery of justice. The judge at the trial stage had found himself helpless to convict the accused on account of tutored statements of prosecution witnesses.

That a heinous crime of monstrous dimensions was committed leading to the merciless killing of many people remains an undeniable fact. The U-turn in the statements of important witnesses at different stages, apparently under the influence of money and muscle power, has made the quest for justice elusive. One wonders how the truth will finally come out of the overbrimming ocean of contradictions and falsehood.

Crime in our society is flourishing and remains unpunished because hardened criminals have acquired the skill and means to outwit the present system. The clever and the crafty among them even manage to gain foothold in politics and become a part of the ruling elite.

This is a challenging situation which calls for complete overhauling of the investigative and judicial systems to make it effective and speedy. The sooner, the better.



Honour Stokes

Apropos of Ambika Sharma's article "Stokes: no longer apple of one's eyes" (Jan 4), during a meeting with the then Chief Postmaster General of Himachal Pradesh in Shimla a few years ago, I had suggested a commemorative postal stamp in honour of Satyanand Stokes. He commended my suggestion and assured me that he would pursue the matter. However, little has been done till date in this regard.

A favourable decision brooks no delay because of Stokes' immense contribution to this region. He imbibed our culture, participated in our freedom struggle and was instrumental in the abolition of the oppressive Begar system in addition to his universally accepted contribution in revolutionising the economy of the hills through apple horticulture.

R.S.S. CHAUHAN, Shimla


In this article, Kotgarh has been described as 'the richest village in Asia' the position attained due to the great economic progress made there as a result of pioneering efforts of American missionary-turned Hindu, Satyanand Stokes, who ushered in the apple revolution in Himachal Pradesh.

Indeed, income from apples has changed the lifestyle of many locals. Beautiful hotels have been built, boosting tourism and allied industries. With the spread of education and thereby interaction among youth, inter-caste marriages are taking place even in remote areas.


Helping slum students

In his article "Slum students learn vocational skills" (Dec 21), Rajmeet Singh has rightly covered various areas of vocational skills. To live in a slum is not a disqualification for any student. In this century, every student has got the potential to compete with others in highly skilled areas.

Teachers should give encouragement to slum students when they get an opportunity to learn highly vocational skills with colony students. The Secretaries to the government, DPI (Schools) and the Depute Commissioners should motivate them by providing sufficient funds for vocational skills. The experiment will succeed if the slum students are in a position to earn after completing Plus Two.

The government should provide free education and books, bags, uniform, meals and transportation free of cost under the Sarv Shiksha Abhiyan at least up to Plus Two level.

A.K. SOBTI, Naya Nangal (Ropar)

B. Ed teachers

The Punjab Government has been dilly-dallying over the recruitment of B. Ed teachers on the pretext of rationalisation which it has not implemented for the last three years for reasons best known to it.

The government is insensitive to the demands of teachers. It speaks of its contempt for the common people. The trained teachers are in a state of despondency and despair. In good faith, they are not resorting to any agitational method. We are hoping against hope that better sense will prevail upon the powers that be.

B.S. PASWAL, Hussaini, Batala

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