Where have we gone wrong?

While staying abroad even for a couple of weeks one cannot miss the stark difference between the conditions prevailing in many foreign countries and in India. On coming back home, one is stunned, yet again, by the scenario here: the same grimy surroundings, inadequate infrastructure and pervasive poverty, the same selfish and self-centred mindset, the very same surliness and casualness for duty. 

The change hits us in the face the moment we approach Delhi airport. I felt angry and anguished when   the captain of the aircraft matter-of-factly announced: “ ... the usual hazy sky over Delhi... there are at present 15-16 aircraft waiting to land.. We are sixth on the list ... maybe another 15-20 minutes more  .…”

Outside IGI airport, while waiting for transport in the poorly lit porch strewn with handcarts, discarded cartons and bottles, I was left in no doubt that I was indeed back to my homeland.

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One could even sense a spray  of fine dust suggestive of mild  stench in the ambient air, and so on. The list is almost interminable.

I felt let down as a citizen of this great country because, frankly  speaking, I still love India  that is certainly capable of  doing much better.

But we must know: where have we gone wrong? 

Wing Commander S.C.KAPOOR, (retd) Noida


Illegal ripening

We use a ripening agent for the fruit because transporting ripe fruit over long distances is not possible.......”, Anil Jerath quotes Raju, a fruit seller at Banga Road in Phagwara in his write-up “Behind the mango shine” (May 3). He reveals that calcium carbide is the chemical used.

 Raju is brazenly violating Rule 44AA of the Prevention of Food Adulteration (PFA) Rules, 1955, which prohibits the use of carbide gas in ripening of fruits. I request the state food inspectors to confiscate and destroy such tainted stocks  and prosecute the violators.

On May 22, 2004, local officials in Tirunelveli, Tamil Nadu, destroyed two truck-loads of mangoes because the traders had ripened them using calcium carbide stones.(The Hindu, May 23,2004). They repeated the action in May 2005.(The Hindu Business Line, May 3,2005).

The PFA Rules must be enforced uniformly in all states. No action against the hazardous practice amounts to statutory negligence.

 Dr K.S.Parthasarathy, Mumbai

Shameful treatment

The brutal way of handling the agitation by medical science students and doctors all over the country is highly condemnable. It is shameful for society and the nation to see the cream of their children being treated in a very rough manner by the thick-skinned politicians who are no match to them.

Doctors, engineers, etc—with their hard work, dedication and discipline and by nourishing values throughout their study period, right from the school days, and getting selected at each level, facing tough competition among the best ones—prove themselves as the most valuable children of the nation. The nation should be proud of them.

But what a funny administrative set-up? It should not be forgotten that the leftover students come to the IAS, PCS and other civil services and become the controlling authority of doctors and engineers.

What a cruel joke it is that those who had no standing in the studies and have been disrupters or violators of the rules become politicians using their money and muscle power. It would be interesting to know the percentage of ministers in the Union Government and state governments who have been toppers or even merit holders?


CMC’s functioning

The news item “CMC society threatens to close down institutions” (May 18) is not the first of its kind. It is the second time in less than a month that such a news item has appeared in The Tribune. On April 27 a similar report appeared in another newspaper. The CMC has a chequered history. In 1884 Dr. Edith M. Brown started it with four women medical students being the pioneer in the East. The Punjab Government recognised it in 1916.

It was with the generous financial aid of the Government of India and the Punjab Government that this institution was upgraded to the MBBS level the in 1950s. There is an agreement signed between the institution on the one side and the Government of India and the Government of Punjab on the other so that it functions like the other institutions of the country. The institution had been receiving grants from the Government of Punjab until around the 1980s when it unilaterally suspended to receive the grants to escape from conforming to the provisions in the agreement.

The institution was required to have on its managing society and governing body two representatives each of the Government of India and the Government of Punjab. Both the governments must look into the agreement signed by the CMC before is finally closed down.


Positions on Siachen

I was read the article by Lieut-Gen Harwant Singh (retd) published May 20 on Indo-Pak relations in which he has rightly suggested to work out some way to solve the Siachen problem. When we appraise the outcome of the confidence building measures taken by both governments in the recent past, the result seems to be quite dissatisfactory.

The reason is obvious as both governments are quite insincere to the public.



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