Women officers deserve justice in the Army

The lady officers in the Army deserve to be treated with respect and dignity. The life values of the patriarchal society should not condition them. The deceased officer in question was reportedly unhappy with her undignified working conditions. Lt Sushmita Chakraborty was reportedly forced to serve the male officers till 4 a.m. at staff parties. In such circumstances, top officers were expected to encourage lady officers to come forward with their complaints and do justice.

In a modern and vibrant democratic country, old-fashioned ideas about fairer sex must be condemned and rejected. The top Army officers cannot be allowed to treat the lady officers casually and contemptuously.




The editorial “Cracks in male bastion” (June 20) makes some valid observations, inter alia, for the formation of a comprehensive policy to tackle the increasing psychological stress factor afflicting soldiery and claiming more than 100 lives every year.

Counter-insurgency and border security duties in hostile terrain and hunting for an elusive enemy are very exacting, physically and mentally. The government should address itself seriously to make the life of soldiers less exacting. The huge shortage in the officer corps is due to the youth’s disinclination to choose Army as a career instead of other less strenuous but more lucrative jobs.

As the Vice-Chief of Army Staff has apologised for his remarks, the matter should be considered closed.

Brig H.S. CHANDEL (retd), Una

Illogical decision

This has reference to the editorial “Aaj Ka MLA” (June 20). The Punjab government’s illogical decision has imposed an indirect burden on the common people, the middle class and the salaried class. Even pensioners have to file the income-tax returns. However, politicians enjoy maximum perks and other luxuries. The government is just squandering away public money. It should review the policy on tax payment of ministers and MLAs immediately in public interest.



Politicians have been aptly dubbed as the government’s sons-in-law. Public money meant for the development of the state is being squandered away. Why should the government pay their taxes at the expense of people who are taxed? This practice should be either stopped or the government should stop taxing the people. Public money should be used only for people’s welfare.


Fill the vacancies

Justice H.S. Bedi of the Punjab and Haryana High Court has forwarded 36 out of 39 names to the Haryana government for appointment as judicial officers. There are 31 vacancies at present. The Haryana government will, apparently, accommodate all the 36 selected candidates.

Since the Punjab and Haryana High Court is short of some Judges, the Haryana government should recommend promotion of five seniormost session judges as High Court Judges to meet the shortfall. The Punjab government too should take similar action to tide over the problem of judicial officers. The Selection Board should expedite action in this regard.

Lt-Col P.S. SARANG (retd), Chandigarh

Basmati farming

According to reports, Markfed has announced contract farming for Basmati. The report that the ridge planting of paddy, quoting Dr Daler Singh, has saved 40 per cent water is correct. After my retirement, I did it on a small scale near Kurukshetra, but it was “bed planting” and not ridge planting; the variety was a high-yielding one and Basmati was transplanted in the ditches (khalies).

The beds were made five feet wide. With intermittent irrigation, water was saved up to 50 per cent. This method needs to be tried by the rice breeders of both HAU, Hisar and PAU, Ludhiana. The Rice Breeder of the Rice Research Station, Kual (Kaithal) has also established that the Green Manning Basmati gave more yield than with chemical fertilisers.

The market may also opt for green manning on a large scale as Zaid Rabi by broadcasting 15 pregerminated dharicha seed in standing wheat with last irrigation.

J.L. DALAL, Former Director, Agriculture (Haryana), Ludhiana

No monopoly, please

The Department of Posts, with its vast network, provides dependable and cheap communication service all over the country. To cover the budgetary gap, it has introduced new systems like e-post, e-billing, online track and trace system for speed post, passport service, demit service, electricity and telephone billing, rural insurance etc. Still there is a vast gap.

The Department is now planning to disallow private courier firms from carrying letters weighing below 300 gram. This is a retrograde step. Healthy competition is a must for maintaining efficiency and better customer service.

Consumers who need to send urgent letters should not be deprived of the facility to avail themselves of the courier service which can render faster service irrespective of the cost involved. The Department of Posts should thrive, but not by resorting to monopoly.

R.K. GUPTA, Advocate, Mohali

Our forgotten heroes

The editorial, “Justice in lifetime” (June 13) examines the plight of the 92-year-old Major Gurdit Singh who dared to rebel against the Royal Army officers and fought for India’s freedom. This case reminds me of the Naval Ratings Mutiny in 1946 that shook the British Empire.

Many may not know that these great sailors, who made the Navy and the nation proud were treated like traitors. They were tortured and forced to starve in the prison and subsequently dismissed from service. They had to spend their life in misery.

These sailors’ supreme sacrifice was recognised only after dailies like The Tribune and officials like the late Rear Admiral Satyendra Singh forced the government to commend their role in the freedom struggle. Consequently, some small craft were named after them and were treated as the real heroes of the nation.




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