Defence issues need informed discussion

Our Parliament is woefully lacking of members knowledgeable about defence matters. As a result, no meaningful discussion takes place on this important subject. Even the National Security Council has never played any role in the strategic formulation of the defence policies.

The acquisition of the weapon delivery system such as aircraft, guns, aircraft carriers, submarines and their weapons required for short term and long term periods is left to the staff of the Service Headquarters who keep changing.

Purchase of the aircraft, especially the fighters, is not considered in relation to the strategic war planning. The need for fast, supersonic aircraft with high rate of climb, operational ceilings and endurance and the question of target acquisition and weaponry in relation to the massive concentration of tanks and mechanised infantry deployed to capture vital areas for limited security and negotiations should be examined closely.



Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor, neatly hand-written or typed in double space, should not exceed the 150-word limit. These can be sent by post to the Letters Editor, The Tribune, Sector 29, Chandigarh-160030.

Letters can also be sent by e-mail to: [email protected]

— Editor-in-Chief


While acquiring fighter aeroplanes, have we examined the need to acquire air superiority (a long-time process) and the urgent need for close air support to the army missions?

Air Marshal P.K. JAIN (retd), Chandigarh


A colourful commander

With the death of Vice-Admiral R.P. Sawhney (retired) in London (The Tribune, April 17), the Indian Navy has lost a colourful and courageous commander. His contribution in upgrading the gunnery system will always be remembered.

Sawhney always ensured that the ships he commanded remained fully operational to meet the needs of the navy. INS Amba, the mothership of the submarines, which had earned the nickname “Floating Base” due to her being non-operational for a long time, became operational under his command in 1979.

He took the ship to Visakhapatnam for a long refit, while the family station of the ship’s company was Bombay. He used to send the staff to Bombay to join their families, by rotation, on duty or on short leave. It was on board this ship that I had the privilege to serve under his command.


Pitfalls of quota

One reason for accidents in the railways or functional problems in other sectors is because of the policy on job reservations. When a person with 40 per cent remarks can become a doctor, engineer or IAS officer at the cost of brilliant and meritorious candidates with over 80 per cent marks, how can one expect smooth functioning of the system?

When caste reigns supreme over merit in government departments, one can’t have a smooth ride and there is bound to be problems. Until the government scraps its caste-based reservation policy and gives priority to merit, the future seems dark for meritorious candidates in this country.


Quality of debate

The performance of a MLA or MP depends on the skilful use of appropriate language in the House. The people expect decency and good conduct/ manners from the elected representatives, especially those belonging to royal lineage, educated at prestigious schools and groomed at the Indian Military Academy.

Senior and able political leaders command respect since they pay due respect to others even while criticising their actions and deeds.

BALVINDER SINGH, IFS (retd), Malhipur (Ludhiana)

Corrupt officers

Mr P.C. Hota, former UPSC Chairman, has rightly suggested the government to “Sack corrupt officers summarily” (April 23). The Central Government should also sack non-performing and callous staff. The rule should apply to all departments of the Centre, the states and UTs.

S.K. HANS, Jalandhar

Man of the masses

Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayee is not just the leader of a political party or a group. He is the leader of the nation and the people. If he resigns from a party or official post, it will not restrict his popularity and value. Like Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, Sardar Patel and Lal Bahadur Shastri, he is a man of the masses.


Conserve power

Shortage of electricity is a perennial problem in India. This problem becomes all the more acute in summer. Frequent power cuts prove it. But ironically, the street lights and the lights in the parks continue to dazzle even when there is bright sun. Besides, electric appliances are kept on in offices, schools, colleges, etc. though without any purpose. This way electricity is wasted.

We lack national spirit and do not realise that national loss is our own loss. We must understand the significance of electricity and not waste it. The authorities should take stringent action against those officials who have a tendency to waste this precious resource.

Dr YUGESH KUMAR, Lecturer, MLN College, Radaur

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