CIA report on India wide of the mark

According to a CIA-commissioned study “21st century belongs to ‘Asian Giants’, India and China, which are set to rule the world” (Jan 15), one does not wish to sound like a prophet of doom but this assessment seems to be wide of the mark so far as India is concerned.

Studies are often conducted and selectively  leaked to dupe the gullible into a false sense of euphoria, to win concessions or curry favour for tactical gains.

Unless India can nurture and sustain a strong feeling of unity, discipline and national pride, curb petty short-sighted policies driven by vote-bank divisive politics, and rid itself of corruption-infested servile mindset, there is no hope for India, now or ever.

Let our intellectuals, leaders and academics spell out  their views as to the direction they think India will take and its status among the international community in, say, 10-15 years, as also suggest  the concrete steps that should be initiated to expedite our economic and social progress.

We need not be hustled into unthinkingly accepting in toto what others  from foreign countries choose to tell us.




Army: cause for concern

The recent reports of malpractice and corruption in the armed forces are cause for concern. Officers of the rank of Brigadier, Colonel and Major have been convicted for their involvement in the illicit sale of canteen liquor and fake encounters in Siachen. These cases prove erosion of traditional values and discipline in the armed forces. The action taken against the guilty reinforces the fact that the internal judicial mechanism in the defence services is working well.

Falling standards of honesty, moral values and integrity of men in uniform are a direct result of the ills plaguing the civil society and the political system as a whole. Serving soldiers have not come from a different planet but are chips of the same block.

I don’t defend or condone the service personnel found guilty of misdeeds. Their acts of omission and commission are condemnable. At the same time, we must introspect and make a sincere endeavour to cleanse the nation of these ills.

Lt-Col BACHITTAR SINGH (retd), Mohali

Apt assessment

Aditi Tandon’s piece “Future of library science not bright” (Jan 16) could not have been more apt and accurate. It is a pity that the profession is not getting its due. There is a vicious cycle that needs to be broken somewhere.

Salaries are pathetic and hence the quality of professionals that we attract in library schools is poor. As such professionals’ output is questionable, they cannot obviously command good pay. The only solution I feel is for our President, Professor A.P.J. Absdul Kalam, a library lover himself, to intervene and suggest a massive revamp for India which has produced none other than Dr S.R. Ranganathan, the Father of Library Sciences.


Banishing poverty

The population explosion, illiteracy, the lack of technical education right from the high school level and unemployment are the main causes of poverty in India. As a result, poor people commit crimes like thefts, robberies, kidnapping, murders, looting in trains, sex rackets and so on.

Unemployment should be tackled on a war footing. If one has no job, he/she should be given unemployment allowance by the government. China, despite a higher population rate than India, is on the fast track of development and reducing unemployment. Why should India lag behind China in development?


Treat it as FD

All the commercial banks force the account holders of savings bank account (with cheque book facility) to keep a minimum balance of Rs 1,000. While banks pay a simple interest on it, they invest it on a very high interest. This is the account holder’s money and it must be treated as fixed deposit (FD) with interest paid against it.

B.R. KAUSHIK, Karnal

Shabby theatre

During a visit to Chandigarh’s Capital theatre recently, I was surprised to see its deplorable condition. The projector system is very old and on the edges. The picture gets foggy and out of focus. The seats are in a horrible condition, most of which are damaged. The back springs of almost all the seats have lost their tension. It was really uncomfortable to sit throughout the movie.

The hall is also very dirty. No cleaning is done after the show. Mosquitoes do not allow one to sit comfortably. Toilets are very dirty.

Major R.P. DIWANKAR, C/o 56 APO


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