Safeguarding workers’ rights

This has reference to the news-item “Punjab to initiate labour reforms” (June 29). The Punjab Government is harassing workers and employees, particularly of power and education sectors, under the guise of labour reforms.

Everybody knows that the Punjab Government cannot amend the Industrial Disputes Act (1948) and the Trade Union Act (1926). But in its desperate move to implement the World Bank’s dictates, it can go to any extent to browbeat the employees by invoking ESMA-like legislation. It has already attempted to gag the PSEB employees by declaring their strike illegal and forfeiting their previous service. But in the face of growing resistance, it had to beat a hasty retreat.

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: Letters@tribuneindia.com

— Editor-in-Chief



The Punjab Finance Minister’s statement might be a veiled threat to bring the belligerent employees in line, but the danger is not over. The workers and employees of the public sector will have to be vigilant for safeguarding their hard-earned democratic rights.

K. BARSAT, Sangrur

No remedy this

In his article “Appointments, or disappointments: Disband Collegium for selecting judges” (June 18), Fali S. Nariman has suggested the democratisation of the collegium by including all the 26 judges of the Supreme Court for selecting judges. But the malady lies in insulating the judiciary from the other two wings of the state — the executive and the legislature.

Doubtless, the current system of appointment through collegium is far better than the practice of the ruling party’s supreme leader surrounded by a coterie being the sole arbiter. This began with the late Indira Gandhi, leaving no remedy to restore the constitutional balance.

The manner in which a junior judge superseded three seniormost judges as the CJI was inimical to democratic accountability and good governance. Mr Nariman’s suggestion will make no difference unless the judiciary is insulated from political interference.

UMED SINGH GULIA, Advocate, Supreme Court, Gohana

Welcome step

The editorial “Iodised again” (June 17) rightly observed that the mistake committed by the NDA government in 2000 has now been corrected by the present government by banning the production and sale of non-iodised salt.

The latest decision to reintroduce universal salt iodisation (USI) by reimposing the ban on the production and sale of non-iodised salt and fortifying the edible salt with another micronutrient, iron, for tackling anaemia, so common in women and children, is commendable indeed.

Dr S.S. SOOCH, Jalandhar

Right decision

The Haryana Government has rightly curtailed the powers of the HPSC which, of late, has acquired notoriety by openly violating the directions of the Election Commission and dared to open its offices even at night times. Since the workload of the Commission has been considerably reduced, there is no justification for retaining a big platoon of members which are a big burden on the state exchanger.

The sooner its junior members are shown the door, the better it would be for the fund-starved state.


This isn’t dharma

Is rape legal? No. Then why a legally wedded woman, Imrana, a victim of rape by her father-in-law, is being compelled to leave her legal matrimonial right in the name of Shariyat? The implications of the fatwa from Deoband will be: One, the woman’s father-in-law who committed the rape, an illegal action, may be given legal status as husband.

Two, for the illegal act, the punishment will be given to the son, daughter-in-law and five children. And three, the woman or those in similar circumstances will in future remain tightlipped to avoid the dissolution of marriage and disintegration of the family. “Dharma” should not be allowed to spread “Adharma”.


Harping on veto

News is rife that the US is interested to divide the G-4 countries by inducting Japan as a permanent member of the UN Security Council and sideline the remaining three. The San Francisco conference in 1945, fathered the UNO, when the sun of the Axis Powers was setting. The Big Five, then in their framework, retained veto, their privilege.

The end of the World War II saw the USSR and the US, two contending super powers. The new defunct USSR used veto, a negative right, many a time. However, the super powers disregarded the veto. Russia, Germany and China, with veto or otherwise, couldn’t dissuade the US bent upon a regime-change in Iraq.

Veto is without fang in the hands of weak states. If the G-4 countries could cross the hurdles created by the US, intrigues of the P-5 and the Coffee Club and the antagonistic neighbours, they should forget the veto and strive only for permanent membership of the UNSC.

V.I.K. SHARMA, Jalandhar

Amritsar airport

The complaint about Amritsar airport (Letters, June 30) is true. I too faced the same ordeal when I went to Amritsar International Airport to see off my father-in-law very recently. The airport authorities should take effective steps to improve things. This is the right way to contribute to its progress and development.


Scrap MPs’ scheme

I endorse the views in the letter regarding the MPs’ Local Area Development Scheme (June 22). I have been opposed to the scheme from the very beginning as it only helps unscrupulous MPs to grossly misuse the public money, even though there is a small minority of members belonging to the Left Parties who may be using this money for genuine development. There may be some other exceptions also.

The scheme as a whole is ill-conceived and should be scrapped. On the basis of principles, it has no justification. In some states, similar schemes have been introduced for MLAs and MLCs. They too should be scrapped.

SATYAPAL DANG, Former MLA, Chheharta (Amritsar)


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