India shouldn’t succumb to US pressure

The US promise of "strategic partnership relations" with India is only a tactic to sell its military hardware when there is a slump in its arms trade ("Fuel for arms race" by General V.P. Malik, April 1). Lockheed and Boeing companies are faced with the prospect of retrenchment of their employees. Some of their production units are located in President Bush's constituency and he has a personal interest in helping them out.

By offering F-16s to Pakistan and F-18s to India, the US administration hopes to get the companies going. If at all India requires warplanes to offset US supply to Pakistan, it is wise to buy aircraft of the same quality from elsewhere. Why should we succumb to the US manipulation of creating a threat and showing the way to overcome that threat?

It is time India and Pakistan stopped fattening the American arms producers. In the interest of the ongoing peace process, both India and Pakistan should shun acquiring more arms and keep the military balance intact. A conventional war will not solve any Indo-Pak problem and a nuclear war will be mutually destructive.

N. KUNJU, New Delhi




Dalits deserve a better deal

In his article "Budget ignores Dalits" (March 30), Udit Raj has pinpointed the poor allocation of funds in the Union Budget for the welfare of the SC, ST and OBCs. The provisions for various ministries like the Human Resource Development, Industries, Social Justice and Empowerment fall short of expectations because Dalits comprise 25 per cent of the country's population.

Why are the Dalits unable to get their due even though 119 members of Parliament are Dalits? There is no suitable mechanism to ensure proper utilisation of funds. If the MPs have failed in their duty to safeguard the Dalits' interests, there is need for appropriate course corrections.

The situation in the states is even more alarming. The governments and the elected representatives should rise to the occasion and do the needful. The provision of reservation for the Dalits will be meaningless if the elected MPs and MLAs do not strive to remove the bottlenecks in the implementation of various welfare schemes meant for them.

HARBANS LAL MEHMI, Special Secretary to Transport Minister (Punjab), Chandigarh

Bolt from the blue

The editorial "Crash at Gangoh" (April 1) remarks that fate snatched Haryana Ministers O.P. Jindal and Surendar Singh in a cruel way. The Tribune readers are equally sad about the tragedy. The Chief Minister should appoint the best available personalities as ministers to fill the void.

The real cause of the helicopter crash will be known after the probe by the Director-General of Civil Aviation. I join millions of mourners and bow before God's will.

Prof HARI SINGH, Kheri Jat (Jhajjar)

Public holidays

I do not know why the Punjab government is not following a holiday policy. It should not have cancelled public holidays on important Hindu festivals like Shiva Ratri, Holi and Sri Rama Navami. Ours is a secular country. But secularism does not mean that the government ignores important Hindu festivals.

The state government should learn a lesson from the Narendra Modi government in Gujarat. It restored the public holiday on the birth anniversary of Guru Nanak.

RAMAN JIT, Patiala


The Punjab government should have declared a holiday on account of Holi. Holi is an important festival of joy and brotherhood among all the communities of Punjab. The government should not ignore important Hindu festivals while formulating its holiday policy. This is necessary for religious peace and harmony.


Looting by schools

Private school bazaars are spread all over the country. They loot the people by charging hefty admission and tuition fee right from pre-nursery to Plus Two classes by providing a healthy and fascinating atmosphere in the school campus.

People prefer to get their wards admitted in these schools than the government-run schools. The private schools raise multi-storeyed buildings within a couple of years. No one is bothered to see have they could make money in such a short span of time.

The government should ensure uniformity in the fee structure from pre-nursery to higher classes among all the private and government schools.

This is the only way to end the exploitation of parents by the private schools.

MANJEET ES HANJRA, Shahpurkandi Township

Indecent ad

The indecent TV advertisement sponsored by a cold drink firm seems to be the creation of a sick mind. No healthy person can appreciate such a nauseating sight. Is there no law in India to check such offensive acts? Clearly, such advertisements have an adverse effect on the sensibilities of public mind, especially the young ones.

The advertiser may well be reminded that such obnoxious and abhorring advertisements shall act as negative publicity, creating hatred rather than love for the product advertised for.

Dr S.K. GARG, Clinical Psychologist, Jagadhri

Costlier meters

The Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) has been charging bimonthly rentals of Rs 32 for single-phase mechanical meter and Rs 70 for three-phase mechanical meters whereas Rs 54 and Rs 103 respectively are charged for electronic meters. The PSEB has been progressively replacing the mechanical meters with electronic ones to check power pilferage. The electronic meters are also not pilferage-proof and the dishonest and unscrupulous consumers do steal power where they are installed.

It has been widely reported that electronic meters run fast and show excessive readings but the PSEB has not bothered to look into this anomaly. The PSEB is also not supposed to cheat the public by installing fast running meters. It should supply pilferage-proof and most accurate meters.

The charging of high rentals for electronic meters is discriminatory and unwarranted and should be brought to the level of mechanical meters.

D.P. JINDAL, Mandi Gobindgarh

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