Bangladesh needs democracy and secularism

Mr H.K. Dua’s article “A clash of ideologies” (Feb 8) gave an objective analysis of the political situation in Bangladesh. Clearly, the fight in the coming Parliamentary elections will be between the “modernists” and the “fundamentalists”. The alliance led by Sheikh Hasina Wajed stands for a democratic and secular state while the alliance led by Mrs Khaleda Zia has the support of certain fundamentalist parties also.

India, of course, does not have any role in another country’s elections but in principle India should be committed to democracy and secularism. A theocratic state not only represses her own people’s free and creative thinking but also creates troubles for others, through its worldwide appeal to fundamentalism. Ultimately, such a state becomes a source of terrorism; when it fails to resolve its socio-economic issues, the problems spill across borders.

Let us hope that free and fair elections take place in Bangladesh and the new government will take the country on the path of progress and prosperity, while maintaining friendly relations with India.


Dear readers

Letters to the Editor, neatly hand-written or typed, upto 150 words, should be sent to the Letters Editor, The Tribune, Sector 29 C, Chandigarh. Letters can also be emailed at the following address: letters@tribunemail.com

— Editor-in-Chief


Hang the rapists

Shame on these men! How can they call themselves teachers? A teacher is one who should mould a young mind, give knowledge and direction in life to the students. The men responsible for these rapes in the school in Jind, Haryana, should be given the severest punishment possible. In fact, they should be hanged so that others take heed.

My heart goes out to those young minds and parents who have been devastated by this heinous crime. I know it is very difficult in our rural society to report such matters because of the stigma and the expected future problems.

But it is good that affected families have taken this step or it would have gone on and on. Every step should be taken to punish these criminals and protect youngsters in schools.

KARAM SINGH KHOKRA, Rotorua, New Zealand

Saraswati river dispute

This is apropos of the observations made in these columns by Mr I.S. Kalsi, disputing my research findings on the Saraswati river at Kalayat, Haryana (Feb 1). While I am happy to learn that the ONGC is working on the possible existence of a Saraswati channel in Himachal Pradesh, the fact is that numerous archaeological sites related to the river exist in the Indian subcontinent right up to the Arabian Sea. My findings are on the basis of numerous lines of evidence, including sedimentological investigations, hydro-geochemistry, geo-morphological studies, remote sensing interpretation of imageries, archaeological findings and descriptions in ancient writings.

Investigations of the Kalayat paleo-channel sediments have revealed a heavy mineral suite derived from the higher Himalayas where high grade crystalline and metamorphic rocks are exposed to denudation. The sediments have angular to sub-angular outlines indicative of high current velocity and volume, suggesting the presence of a mighty river. Remote sensing studies amply prove the existence of a paleo-channel close to Kalayat. Extensive work has been done by me and my co-workers comprising experts from HARSAC (Hisar), ISRO (Jodhpur), GSI, ASI, and Kurukshetra Science Center and Panorama. What is more, the findings of the Saraswati paleo-channel shall go a long way towards solving the drinking and irrigation water problems of the saline tracts of Haryana.

Dr A.R. CHAUDHRI, Reader, Department of Geology, Kurukshetra University

Value of time

Raj Kadyan’s middle, “We need more Pintos” (Feb 7) made inspiring reading. “Time and tide wait for none” is an age-old saying that is as true today as ever. Making the most of time implies being punctual in the first place. After all, we are answerable to those waiting for us.

We are good at imitating western culture but we have not learnt to worship time like the westerners. The fundamental principle underlying any developed economy is “Time is money”.


Land mafia

Apropos of the article “Politics of Slums” Mr Jagmohan has rightly pointed out that an equally pernicious and widespread phenomenon, similar to that of unauthorised occupation of public lands, is the illegal appropriation of additional space in private properties.

Thus, the land and building mafia, the landlord of the property, the buyer of the additional space, the tenant who rents the said space, and the political elements who support the illegal activities, all constitute a self-serving network.

The judiciary could have acted when unauthorised constructions were at their initial stages.


Grid system flops

The introduction of the grid system by the Chandigarh Transport Union (CTU) from January 23 has brought nothing but undue inconvenience, puzzlement and hardship to those living around Chandigarh. It is a flop. CTU should take a second look at its old system.

SUNDER SINGH GIANI, Dialpura (Patiala)


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