Resolving the Kashmir problem

IN his article “Self-governance proposal: An opportunity for India in Kashmir” (Feb 15), Sushant Sareen has suggested that the grant of internal autonomy to Jammu and Kashmir as recommended by the State Autonomy Committee Report (April 1999) would defeat the Pakistani designs and resolve the Kashmir dispute. He said this would not dilute Indian sovereignty over Kashmir.

However, we must consider the implications of the SAC Report which demands withdrawal of all Union laws and institutions extended to Jammu and Kashmir after August 9, 1953. It recommends reestablishment of a local oligarchy, with people having no civil and political rights and the council of ministers exercising unbridled legislative, executive and judicial powers. It suggests greater autonomy, bordering on sovereignty.

It also demands abrogation of the March 1846 Treaty of Amritsar under which Kashmir became part of the Jammu kingdom. If the report was implemented in toto, it would lead to the revival of the Jammu and Kashmir Constitutional Act of 1939 under which the ruling elite and not the judiciary, “shall be the final interpreter of the Constitution”.

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Moreover, the terms “Kashmir” and “Kashmiris” should not be used loosely. Kashmir is a very small part of Jammu and Kashmir and it houses people who are vertically divided into five groups, demanding autonomy, merger with Pakistan, independence, close relations with New Delhi and separate homeland for the displaced Hindus.

Prof HARI OM,  University of Jammu, Jammu

Nursery admission

Unfortunately, admissions to nursery schools are not governed by merit but on the basis of the parents’ status and extent of donation. In some schools, the lottery system is in practice. As a result, many students have been deprived of admission on merit.

Interviews will not justify the admission of children in nursery. There is an imperative need to introduce the interaction method in which teachers can watch groups of children for making an honest assessment of their aptitude. This would also ensure transparent selection. The interview of parents for their wards’ admission is unjustifiable.


Rob Peter to pay Paul?

WILL the Bhakra Main Line-Hansi link serve the purpose of equalising the canal water distribution in Haryana? The Bhakra Canal system was planned to serve the huge arid area of East Punjab. With careful operation, the Bhakra Canal command area emerged as the most efficient system with no waterlogging.

Additional water to the extent of 2,000 cusecs is to be given to Hansi area. Whatever area is waterlogged in Haryana falls in the Western Yamuna Canal command area in which more water is being given to the detriment of the Bhakra Canal command area where water delivery (intensity of irrigation and water allowance) had been kept low by the Bhakra planners.

Thus, the Central Water Commission and the Union Ministry of Water Resources should help resolve the problem. The principle of Rob Peter to pay Paul will not work in this context.

Dr G.S. DHILLON, Chief Engineer (retd) (Irrigation), Chandigarh


CBSE paper

The Physics (Theory) paper of CBSE for class +2 held on March 4 was difficult. The questions were complex and the paper setter has ignored the preset norms while preparing the question paper.

Papers should be set in tune with the syllabi and standard expected from the students in that particular class. The CBSE should give grace marks to the examinees in this paper.


Station defaced

The Amritsar railway station building is known for its old and impressive structural beauty. However, it is literally defaced with slogans of the warring railway employees’ unions. This has spoiled the beauty of the building, giving a shabby look to visitors and foreign tourists.

The authorities, citizens, NGOs seem helpless to check this menace. Why is the administration keeping mum? The only answer is privatisation of station maintenance.

B.M. SINGH, Amritsar

Air pollution

The problem of air pollution is increasing day by day in Amritsar. The road from Amritsar to Chheharta is overcrowded with autorickshaws which run on kerosene-mixed diesel and emit poisonous smoke. The administration does not seem to have control over these vehicles.

The owners of such vehicles are unaware of the harm they are causing to the health of the people, specially children who suffer the most. Should the people file a public interest litigation in the Supreme Court even for getting clean air to breathe?

RAVI KUMAR, Chheharta

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