Guidelines needed on campus polls

The editorial “Campus elections” (Sept 21) reminds me of the campus election scene in Maharajas College, Ernakulam, during 1958-63. There were enough political distractions to destroy the career of even hard working students.

Accompanied by my father, I entered the campus for the first time. We had our first shock. Half a dozen students showered notices on us. It was a part of the election propaganda. Different political parties supported them.

Students agitated successfully against the increase in bus fare from six paisa to 10 paisa. Many students became leaders because of this One anna samaram. Hostels were hotbed of politics. But none enrolled as “permanent” students to continue their political activities.

My contemporaries, Mr A.K. Antony and Mr Vayalar Ravi, have made their mark in politics. Now campus politics is taking its toll. There must be guidelines to control this activity. Enough is enough.




Of late, students’ union elections have lost their academic purpose. Even for creating the right kind of academic atmosphere in colleges and universities, the court has to intervene. As the Principal of a local government college, I have raised these issues in writing often with the Chandigarh Administration and Panjab University, but no gain.

Hope things would be settled well now. However, educationists should do intense soul-searching to find reasons for their failure and the consequent intervention of the courts in academic matters.

— BALVINDER, Chandigarh

No relief yet

The Haryana Government has not yet sanctioned relief to its pensioners who attained the age of 65 and 75 years at the rate of 5 per cent and 10 per cent respectively. The services of Haryana pensioners are to be protected under the Punjab Reorganisation Act 1966. As the number of such pensioners is meagre, the Haryana government should immediately sanction this relief to its pensioners.



The service conditions of such employees are protected under the Punjab Reorganisation Act, 1966. When Punjab Government’s pensioners are able to get relief at the age of 65 and 75 years respectively, why shouldn’t the Haryana Government sanction this at least to the government employees who were allocated to the Haryana on Nov 1, 1966 and have retired from service.

— Dr H.S. BAJAJ, Rohtak"

Mother of all mantras

This refers to A.J. Philip’s middle “Mysteries of mantra” (Sept 22). Gayatri mantra is regarded as the mother of all mantras. By establishing connections with this goddess, one can attain blessings for his/her enrichment.

God has unlimited powers among which Gayatri’s position is sublime. She exhorts human beings about right thinking and right actions. Those who chant and recite this mantra regularly get a non-stop divine current of consciousness in them which mainly casts its spell on mind, body, spirit and intuition. It dispels darkness, evil thoughts and misdeeds by its divine light and blessings.

In a book, Pandit Shri Ram Sharma Acharya, a noted spiritual master and founder of Gayatri Mission Centres in India and abroad, has written that those who have worshipped Gayatri mantra have been immensely benefited spiritually and materially.

— R.C. SHARMA, Kurukshetra

English from Class I

There is an Urdu couplet, Lamhon ne khata ki thi, sadion ne sazaa payee (An evil moment destroys what centuries make). This is exactly what is going to happen when English is introduced as a compulsory language from Class I in Indian schools.

The country is sure to lose its culture, values and history and its own language will get entombed sooner than before. The crow will try to imitate the swan but forget his own gait into the bargain. There will be repentance, deep and dark.

In Punjabi, we have been rightly warned in these words, Je maat bhasha bhul jawange, kakhan wang ru jawange (If we forgot our mother tongue, we will be blown off like dry straw). Let us celebrate our linguistic annihilation, in anticipation. Or else we will have to search for proper words in Queen’s English. Death bell has been rung for our languages.

— Dr T.R. SHARMA, Patiala

Grape cultivation

A delegation of Punjab Agriculture Export Corporation will reportedly visit Europe, Australia, the US and some other countries to select suitable grape varieties to promote grape cultivation in Punjab. As the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) is solely responsible for selection and development of suitable varieties in the state, this task should have been assigned to PAU. How will a foreign jaunt by the PAEC team help?

Grape cultivation was introduced in Punjab by the late Partap Singh Kairon. He hired Mr Pansare from Maharashtra as a consultant. He introduced Anab-e-shahi and later Perlette varieties. The campaign was successful, but due to lack of follow up, the processing industry was not promoted. This affected grape cultivation. A few years ago, Israeli experts visited Punjab and did some good work to improve the quality of grapes grown in the state.

The government should direct PAU to develop/search desired varieties within a timeframe. After all, it spends over Rs 150 crore annually on PAU. Testing of a new variety before its adoption on a mass scale is essential to save the farmers from problems.

— Dr RANJIT SINGH, Former Dean (PAU), Ludhiana

Conductors’ ways

Some bus conductors in our region do not return the balance to the passengers after issuing tickets to them even for a 3-5 km journey. Instead, they write the balance amount on the reverse of the ticket and don’t return the money unless demanded. If the passengers forget, they lose the money. This has become a perennial problem.

Why don’t the authorities give sufficient funds to the conductors? For instance, it should not be a problem for the authorities to arrange (from the treasury or banks) currencies and coins of different denominations to help conductors. This will put an end to avoidable disputes between the crew and the passengers.

— A.K. SOBTI, Naya Nangal

Fringe benefit tax

To simplify income tax without effecting tax collections, I suggest that the Fringe Benefit Tax should go. It can done by abolishing all perquisites, tax concessions etc. to the salaried class. Let their gross salary including all perks and concessions be taxed fully.

In whatever shape or account if any money is being received by any employee, tax it fully as salary. Then there shall be no need for tax planning for the salaried class.


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