Balancing career and family

In his article, “Women in uniform: Need for balancing career and family” (Aug 1), G.S. Bedi has given a comprehensive and analytical view and suggested intake of more lady officers in the Army.

It is felt that the need of the hour is resource development and management and better selection of candidates by the selection boards. Besides, granting permanent commission to deserving and potential lady officers would lure more lady officers to the Army. Even posting some of them in the combat arm on trial basis would prove a positive test case.

There is no dearth of candidates, especially those hailing from Army families with robust mind, zeal, sincerity and dedication in states like Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab and other states. Given an opportunity to serve, they will, certainly, prove their worth.

R.S. GURUNG, Commandant (retd), Kandrori (Kangra)



Strangely, even after 14 years of service, women do not get regular commission. They are simply jettisoned to find their army training irrelevant for their requirements. The result: most of them end up as dependent housewives.

The ever-looming financial insecurity causes severe mental trauma. Once they have given the most useful years of their lives in the service of the nation, the government should look after them. The President of India, being the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, should take due notice of this. The Supreme Court too may take suo motu notice of this problem and issue directives to ameliorate the same.

When lady officers in other countries and our own civil and police services can rise to the ranks of Lt-General, Chief Secretary and Director-General of Police, why shouldn’t our lady Army officers climb the ladder?


Castro’s mission

I refer to the editorial “Castro and his Cuba” (Aug 3). I appreciate Fidel Castro’s courage of conviction and strong willpower to take on Uncle Sam. I, however, differ with the view that “Communism no longer catches the imagination of the people”. In fact, this is the finest ideology of the have-notes. It inspires the poor and the weak to stand up against injustice and exploitation.

Castro nourished this pro-people ideology in Cuba for five decades and was able to motivate the comrades of other countries also to stand by the have-nots. He has shown to the world that even the mightiest nation can be resisted if the masses are fired with the lofty ideals of people’s ideology, Marxism.



Much has been written about Fidel Castro, whose 47-year-old reign may have come to an abrupt end, but history is replete with instances when Cuba made its presence felt on the international front. Cuba twice defended Algeria, once against French colonialism and then against the Moroccan expansionism.

After ensuring freedom, Cuban forces actively defended Angola from ensuing attacks. It acted as a catalyst in the freedom of Namibia. Several Latin American countries witnessed Cuban blood being shed, including that of Che Guevara in Bolivia. Countries like Nicaragua and Grenada would never forget the times when Cuba stood up for them in the hour of their need.

Despite the US’ aggressive policies and the rising hostility aimed at the Cuban people, Cuba managed to endure everything and many Cubans would be optimistic about Castro’s return to the helm of affairs.

TEJINDER SINGH, Khurbura, Dehra Dun

Common practice

Students engaged in construction work at government schools is a common practice. During a visit to the Sabzi Mandi in Pathankot recently, I noticed two government school students purchasing mangoes for their teacher.

The last two decades has seen steady erosion of values of all professions. The system needs a complete overhaul by bringing a positive change in the minds of professionals through continuous training and by imposing strict controls.


Loan trap?

Every now and then, banks raise interest rates on home loans. In the past two years, the interest rates have gone up from normal 7.5 per cent to a whopping 9.75 per cent. Before the end of this year, the increase is sure to surpass the 10-per cent mark.

This is nothing but cheating by the banking sector as the people borrowed loans at affordable interest rates and after they were roped in, the banks are given a free hand to increase the lending rates as per their whims. There is hardly any justification for increasing the interest rates quarterly. Consequently, many more EMIs will have to be paid for more years, failing which the property (here your sweet home) will be forfeited.

This is the loan trap the Centre has laid for the innocent citizens. Isn’t the government proving worse than the moneylender of yore?

KARNAIL SINGH, Sunny Enclave, Kharar



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