Promoting inter-caste harmony

THIS has reference to the editorial “Hooda must stand up” (Sept 12). Caste hatred is increasing despite codified laws and punishment. I am sorry to say that no person of the upper caste is ready to share the meals prepared in the kitchen of a lower caste.

I watched former Prime Minister Charan Singh having lunch with Balmikis in Balmiki Chopal at Panipat. That was on Gandhi Jayanti, 1977. People have animal meat, but hate to touch a lower caste.

The main aim of the Sarve Khap Sarve Jatiya Maha Panchayat at Garhwal (Gohana) was to maintain peace, harmony and brotherhood in society. Responsible people who spoke appealed for brotherhood among the Jats and the Balmikis. The panchayat lauded the CBI inquiry into the incident. The Jats are agriculturists and they love to work together with the people of other castes. They are secular and non-casteist by nature.

KULBIR SINGH MALIK, Former Minister, Jind (Haryana)



The Gohana incident and similar cases in other states indicate a disquieting trend of the widening gap between the development process and the social system characterised by paternalism, inequity and hierarchy. While the state machinery has failed to deliver prompt and fair services, there is no debate, dialogue and discussion between the communities.

Over the years, the development model of the state based on the as criptive criterion of empowering “Dalits” has led to a sense of xenophobia, alienation and intolerable aggression among other communities. The civil society’s failure to nurture “social capital” values of trust, norms, networks, collaboration and negotiation in improving efficiency is also one of the reasons for this malady.

The social fabric of legitimate equilibrium should never be allowed to tear apart. It is only through collective initiatives by the civil society, the media and an improvement in the quality of governance that such incidents can be prevented.

Dr RAJ KUMAR SIWACH, Lecturer, Ch. Devi Lal University, Sirsa


The role of the Khap leaders has vitiated the situation in Gohana. The elderly caste leaders should try to pacify the agitated people; they should not incite or provoke them to take revenge which is quite unthinkable in a modern society.

In a similar incident at Dulina in Jhajjar district in 2002, five innocent persons were killed in the presence of the police. The guilty went scot-free under the pressure of local caste leaders.

The rule of law must prevail in a democratic and civilised society. The Khap/caste leaders should intervene at the most in social matters only, not otherwise. The elderly people should not threaten or hijack the whole system of law and governance.

Are we not returning to the tribal period of history where there was no end of caste wars? Where are the Panch Parameshwar of Munshi Prem Chand? All right-thinking people should ponder over it seriously and strive for societal peace and development.

LAL SINGH YADAV, Advocate, Narnaul


The editorials on Gohana (Sept 2 and 3) rightly emphasised that casteism is the bane of Indian politics. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has cautioned in the National Integration Council (NIC) meeting on August 31, 2005 that the monsters of communalism and casteism pose serious danger to the Indian polity.

The Gohana incident is a serious threat to societal peace and harmony. All citizens should be treated equally irrespective of their caste, colour or creed, under the law as enshrined in the Constitution. Otherwise, the octopus grip of casteism would devour the vitals of Indian society, causing irreparable loss to our polity.


Liberalise NSS withdrawals

THE National Saving Organisation started the National Saving Scheme in 1987 with an yearly interest of 11 per cent. The NDA government reduced the same to about 7 per cent unilaterally which in the case of NSS cannot be done. Normally, the new rate of interest is applicable to new schemes and not to the old ones. The senior citizens screamed hoarse but the government did not listen to them.

Now it is for the UPA Government, which professes to be for Aam Admi, to undo the injustice done to the holders of the NSS-87. The present rate of interest already stands reduced and the deposits in this scheme have already been closed; only withdrawal is permissible. It would be fair if senior citizens are allowed to withdraw the total amount lying in their NSS accounts in one go. The amount withdrawn should not become tax deductible income for the year in which it is withdrawn because it is the government which threw the principles of justice to wind.

RAMESH C. GOEL, Panchkula


HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |