A bloated bureaucracy at what cost?

The news-item 22 Punjab officers to be in Chief Secretary’s scale (July 24) and Dr S.S. Sooch’s letter “Criminal waste of funds” (July 28) remind me of my memorable interactions as a forest officer at Keylong with Mr P.H. Vaishnav when he was Lahaul & Spiti’s Deputy Commissioner in 1964. Whenever he came across a good-for-nothing officer, Mr Vaishnav would say, “With officers like you, a day will soon come when the government will collapse under its own weight”.

The remark fits rather fully to people governing the country today, especially Punjab. The state’s fund position is such that many employees (regular and daily wagers) have not been paid salary for months. The politicians and their sycophants are squandering away the state exchequer on meaningless advertisements only to see their photos in print.

The Supreme Court and the Punjab and Haryana High Court have drawn adverse inferences about the state governments’ (Punjab in particular) avoidable waste of public money on unnecessary advertisements. The direction, however, seems to have had little effect on the Punjab politicians who are obsessed with self-aggrandising advertisements.

The situation reminds one of an anonymous critic’s couplet: Barbaad gulistan karne ko, bus ek hi ullu kafi tha,/ Har shaakh pe ullu baitha hai, anjaam gulistan kya hoga!

K.L. NOATAY, Shimla



Giving Chief Secretary’s pay scale to so many officers is nothing but open loot of public money. This action is aimed at keeping senior IAS officers in good humour. The same is the case with the government’s decision to give the Director-General of Police’s rank to 18 ADGPs. Strange are the ways of the Amarinder Singh government in Punjab! But one thing is sure. The people of the state are very wise and they will surely take a decisive action in the forthcoming elections to the State Assembly.

G.S. BHULLAR, Jalandhar Cantonment

Caste discrimination must go

I was shocked to read the report Dalit family forced to leave village (July 25). The Dalit family’s only fault in Dhingsara near Fatehabad was that it organised a marriage which was disapproved by the Jat and Thakur communities. Subsequently, they beat up poor people and warned them against organising such functions. As a result, the Dalit family was forced to leave Dhingsara.

The police failed to act promptly. Sadly, despite 59 years of Independence, the caste system exists and a large chunk of the population has been deprived of the right to equality and freedom. This episode is a slur on the entire society.

Though the Centre and the states have enacted various laws to eliminate untouchability and curb atrocities on Dalits, the mindset of some upper castes remains unchanged. There are still places where Dalits are forced to use separate tumblers and wash them after use. They are also prohibited entry in some temples. When will this caste bias go?


Welcome ban

The Centre has banned employment of children below 14 years as domestic help or servants in the hospitality industry from October 10. It is a welcome step. However, this is like an attempt to catch the sky with one jump because children work to support their families. Government servants are banned from employing children but not a single official has been booked so far. Chotus, Ramus and others can be easily found working as domestic servants in almost all bureaucrats’ and ministers’ houses. About two crore children are working. At the work place, children have to face physical and sexual abuse which usually go unreported. Most child workers live in inhuman conditions.

The government must find alternative modes of employment to check child labour. Let us hope for a new beginning for the lives of these tiny tots.

Dr NARESH RAJ, Patiala


Before taking any decision, the Centre should make certain strict measures to implement these rules. The emphasis should be on proper and effective implementation of the decisions. The government should set up monitoring committees in every city to enforce the ban on child labour and act as a watchdog of society. It is also the responsibility of the general public to bring them out of the clutches of child labour and rehabilitate them properly.


Scouts & guides

I am reminded of the scouts and guides camp in Amritsar in the seventies. The Indian Railways-sponsored camp for boys and girls organised in the huge Railway Stadium helped develop the spirit of discipline and service besides co-operation and fellow feeling and the spirit of gratitude and appreciation of others.

Over 2,000 cadets from all over the country attended the camp. Those days the government used to promote such camps more than the NCC. The NSS came much later. We should encourage boy scouts and girl guides as a compulsory or optional subject at the school level.

SANJEEV, Kurukshetra

In bad shape

The Mandi bus stand is in bad shape. Its entrance from the left is full of mud, slush and garbage. Passengers are sometimes forced to disembark at the entry point itself due to the overcrowded bus stand. To add to the passengers’ woes, the stinking and overflowing corporation dustbin welcomes the passengers. Things are worse at the bus stand and this is an open invitation to some epidemic. The authorities concerned would do well to improve the condition in the bus stand. Please don’t make it a health hazard.




HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |