Gohana: it’s a matter of shame

I appreciate the editorial “Not through violence, please” (September 3) and the appeal to people of Haryana for maintaining peace in the wake of caste conflicts in Gohana. The entire communities cannot be and should not be blamed for the condemnable acts of a handful of hooligans.

However, one thing has obviously come to the fore: we Indians still cling to tribal beliefs. Caste consciousness is deeply embedded in our collective psyche. We have more faith in caste and our social background than in any ideology or religion on earth. Unruly mobs can tear apart our social harmony.

This is not the time to inflame passions. Different caste leaders ought to exercise the maximum restraint while raising the Gohana issue. Those who torched the locked houses should be punished. At the same time, the killers of the young man who hailed from a village near Gohana should also be booked. Then, the caste panchayats must not be allowed to act as law enforcing agencies in India.





The editorial “Burning casteism” (Sept 2) is timely. The violence in Gohana is deplorable. It is shocking that even after 58 years of Independence, our society is still entangled in the chain of casteism.

The innocent people should not bear the brunt of others’ misdeeds. The real offenders should be brought to book. The politicians should not try to exploit the situation for their partisan ends; they should try to pacify the people.

Mahatma Gandhi devoted his whole life to root out the evil of casteism. Let us not trouble his soul. Let us rise above caste and creed.



I do not know why Dalit colonies are set up separately. When will they be allowed to join the mainstream and start living together with the people of other castes? The reservation system breeds casteism and divides the people into various classes and categories. And this is the handwork of the political parties to protect their vote banks.

In Gohana, the law enforcing authorities have failed to tackle the situation. In a secular society, people should promote religious tolerance and harmony. Torching the Dalit houses is highly condemnable.

SHER SINGH, Ludhiana


The torching of Dalit houses in Haryana indicates that even after 58 years of independence, we are not ready to change our mindset. Despite laws like the Prevention of Atrocities Act, 1989, the state has failed to tackle caste violence. Most of the rural India is yet to accept the idea of an inclusive India.

Economic and political empowerment of Dalits is resisted by non-Dalits across the country. Resistance by the oppressed communities is met with violence — often with the support of state officials, even in a state like Tamil Nadu, a place known for remarkable progress in human development including literacy.

These incidents reflect the failure of public institutions and political parties to make the polity democratic and egalitarian. Strict enforcement of laws by the state can address these problems. The process of social transformation will have to be coercive if non-Dalits refuse to share power by consensus.



The Gohana incident is humiliating, painful and a matter of great shame. It is shocking that all the looting and arson happened under the nose of the Deputy Commissioner, the SP and others. The dispute was three days old and emotions could have been defused, if those accused of murder of one member of a particular caste were apprehended. The police failure to nab the culprits triggered the violence. Lives were saved only because they had fled the scene.

How did the district administration fail to foresee the brewing trouble for three days? Why did it fail to control the mob, which was on way to the Dalits’ colony? The administration owes an explanation for its inertia, lethargy and irresponsible attitude.

J.K. MAGO, Panchkula


Haryana is no more a peaceful state. I am afraid, it is going to be like another Bihar. Incidents like Gohana can vouch for it. How can anyone tolerate such atrocities on Dalits? Today it is Dalits, tomorrow some other community will be the target. Is there no end to this vicious circle?

The general public must rise above casteist issues, take pride in the development of weaker suctions of society and must protest strongly against such intolerable incidents. At this hour, it is everyone’s duty to strongly condemn the Gohana incident and ensure that such things don’t recur.

MINI SAPRA, Ambala City

Popularise solar energy

In the context of the soaring prices of oil, solar energy is the need of the hour. The Centre must popularise this most valuable energy. Recently, the Oak Ridge National Laboratory has created a device called ‘Hybrid Solar Lighting’, which can completely replace electric light with sunlight.

In this device, a roof top collector concentrates and sends sunlight through optical fiber tubes made of special high purity material that transmit light by reflecting it down their inner walls.

When less natural light is available during cloudy days and at night, a sensor activates the controls. That increases electric lighting adequately to supplement natural lighting and maintain the desired illumination levels.

The Centre should popularise the solar equipment, specially this device, which can save billion of rupees spent on electricity. If the Press takes active interest in it and the Centre provides full support, in association with NGOs, every house will get lights free of cost.

SANGITA CHAKI ROY, DAV College, Jalandhar

Water balance-sheet

There should be no objection to the suggestion for publication of the water balance-sheet of rivers flowing through Punjab (Letters, Aug 22). Rather its usefulness for proper management of water resources should be duly understood.

Nonetheless, for a clear picture of the entire region, it may be necessary to publish the same data expeditiously in regard to the Yamuna river which was also a river running through Punjab prior to the state’s re-organisation in November 1966.

G.R. KALRA, Chandigarh


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