Need to check the Maoist menace

The article, “Emerging Maoist corridor: Government on the horns of a dilemma” (Aug 31) succinctly highlights the alarming spread of Maoist menace in more than 125 districts of over a dozen states in our country. Unless checked, this menace could spill over to the rest of the country, posing a serious threat to our national security. Violent movements in Nepal and Bangladesh, with frequent acts of cross-border terrorism, do not bode well for peace and stability in the region.

The problem cannot be solved without a national policy. It’s time our political leaders, policymakers and intellectuals with the media’s proactive participation, synergised their efforts to tackle this menace. As a national priority, all political parties must get together to evolve consensus on two counts. First, to formulate a common approach to combat this scourge. And secondly, to create awareness among the public (especially the vulnerable sections) so that this subversive movement cannot resurface anywhere in the country.

Brig GOVIND SINGH KHIMTA (retd), Shimla



The Himachal Pradesh government’s decision to thoroughly check and register all Nepalis is laudable, belated though. Similar steps should be taken by other states, especially UP, Delhi and Punjab.

Many undesirable elements have intruded into India. Some of them indulge in surreptitious and criminal activities in addition to creating unhygienic conditions on the roadside. It would be much better if the Nepalis’ entry is regulated through the visa system.

D.K. AGGARWALA, Hoshiarpur

Rewriting history

This has reference to Amulya Ganguli’s article “Tempering with texts: Perils of rewriting history” (Sept 10). Mr Suraj Bhan, Chairman, National Commission for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, rightly suggests removing derogatory references to the Dalits, starting with Sant Tulsidas’ celebrated lines in Ramcharitmanas: Dhol, ganwar, shudras, pashu nari — ye sub taran ke adhikari. It has only one correct interpretation; more interpretations are distortions. Caste system, as product of history, deserves respect, but not to be followed for being outdated.

Rishi Manu, the product of the Slave era, gave slave life to the vanquished class, against instant death by the victor clan and thus became Bhagwan of both Shudras and Brahmans. Can this caste system be glorified as Ramayan’s scripture under democracy based on liberty, equality and fraternity?

Maximum good to maximum people is the only eternal universal dharma of the Almighty; which is also Mother Earth’s (incarnation of god on Earth) blessing to her children.



Mr Suraj Bhan’s idea of editing the scriptures is “strange”, if not irrational. However, Amulya Ganguli’s different interpretation to the lines in Ramcharitmanas to justify Tulsidas was not very convincing as the latter’s views were anachronistic, being the social norm in 16th century. In fact, our scriptures are full of anachronistic pronouncements and unjust doings of our Avatars. But then, sanitising the scriptures would be like clothing the sculptures of Khajuraho.

The right way to deal with the problem is to leave the holy books alone and take only the portions relevant to present day society. In fact, Gandhiji practiced Hinduism by following the ethical and moral aspects of the scriptures such as being truthful (Satyagraha), non-violence (Ahimsa) and love towards all fellow beings. He did not practice idol worship or visit temples to pray. For him, to be good was to be godly.

N. KUNJU, New Delhi

Kisan clubs

The Tribune report on Kisan clubs (Aug 16) was nice. The Tribune is one of the few newspapers in the region that is sincerely interested in the welfare of the farmers. As one who headed a Regional Rural Bank in Madhya Pradesh, I would say that the kisan clubs were sanctioned by the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD), the apex development financial agency for agriculture.

This programme was introduced in the 1980s. Nearly 1000 kisan clubs are in Madhya Pradesh alone.


HP pensioners

The Himachal Pradesh Government has not so far sanctioned two DA instalments 3 per cent each to its staff and pensioners which became due on July 1, 2004, and January 1, 2005, respectively. Those in Punjab and Haryana are lucky because they have already got the benefit. I don’t know why the Himachal government is always late in following the Central government on sanctioning DA instalments to its staff and pensioners.

T.R. SHARMA, Ludhiana

Bonded labourers

This has reference to the editorial “Mines of misery” (Sept 1). The system of bonded labour presents a very grim picture of society. This inhuman and illegal practice is a social stigma in a civilised society. No doubt, there are stringent laws to curb the menace. But these are useless without the political will to enforce them.

The law enforcement agencies should punish the money-grabbing contractors and human traffickers. The retribution of one will be an eye-opener for others.

RAVI PARKASH, Kalayat (Kaithal)

English from Class I 

The National Council for Educational Research and Training (NCERT) deserves congratulations for recommending English as a compulsory subject from Class I in all schools. This major step was long overdue.

Look at the large number of students getting relegated to the background for no fault of theirs. The bogey of unpatriotism linked to the English language has been a clever device of self-serving netas. Sadly, students are deprived of proficiency in English because of dogmatic public policies, while the netas choose prestigious English medium schools for their own children and grandchildren.

The youth today requires multi-task capabilities, including versatility in computer skills. And English, certainly, provides an excellent portal for forward-looking Indians. China’s backwardness in the English language is a classical example. Let us introduce English as fast as possible.

A.R.K. PILLAI, Mumbaih


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