New strategy to save unborn daughter

I refer to the editorial, “Shame of Patran” (Aug 11). The main villain is the mindset of the people who regard the girl as a burden. Sadly, our outdated traditions despite our strides in education and industrialisation are responsible for keeping the girl’s social status lower in the families.

I offer a three-pronged strategy to fight the menace — combat traditions through effective scientific education; implement the PNDT Act sternly; and check crimes against women firmly. The Nawanshahr pattern to check female foeticide may be followed in all the districts.

We must empower women through quality education, health services and job opportunities. The religious leaders must help eliminate anti-women traditions. Women leaders and teachers should encourage and help girls to develop their innate capacities to face the future challenges boldly. Drugs and liquor need to be checked.

Creative education and vocational skills are the answers to save the youth from these evils. For this, we need strong political will and effective administrative machinery.



The editorial correctly pointed out that “had not the quarrel (between the mid-wife and the couple over salary) occurred, the couple would have continued their practice. The PNDT Act was enacted to fight female foeticide.


Sir Chhotu Ram had only two daughters. His wife tried to persuade him to marry again to have a son. He wisely remarked, “All Jat and Kisan sons are my sons. What if the second wife gives birth to only daughters?”

Dr Paul, my economics lecturer in Lahore’s F.C. College, had three daughters. He too answered my question thus: “In America, there is no discrimination between a son and a daughter. All are treated equally”.

Jawaharlal Nehru was proud of his only daughter Indira Gandhi whom he groomed to lead India. Legislation alone cannot cure or prevent a social evil. The government must implement it seriously with societal mobilisation.

Prof HARI SINGH, Kheri Jat (Jhajjar)


The Patran episode has sent shock waves among citizens. Paradoxically, though the elderly people often say that daughters are more sincere and helpful, they pray for grandsons. This mindset needs to be changed.

Every young couple, at the time of marriage, must take a solemn oath that they will share the responsibilities of both their parents and in-laws. The in-laws should provide adequate space to daughters to help their parents.

The myth that parents are safe and secure only in sons’ hands must be demolished. This attitudinal change will go a long way in checking female foeticide.

M.M. BHATIA Amritsar

Introduce recall

While reading Mr H.K. Dua’s front-page editorial, “Freedom for whom?” (Aug 15), I was reminded of Albert Camus’ famous quotation: “Freedom is nothing but a chance to be better.”

We the people want freedom from tainted politicians, ministers and bureaucrats. We can achieve freedom only if we get freedom from poverty and illiteracy. Only educated and enlightened voters can exercise their franchise with utmost discretion and elect the best candidates.

Sadly, the present-day politicians only think of themselves. There is a need to introduce the right of recall so that if people feel that a particular representative has not come up to their expectations, he/she can be recalled from Parliament and other representative institutions.

Lt-Col ONKAR CHOPRA (retd), New Delhi


Mr Dua expresses the anguish and frustration of a true and patriotic soul borne of the disturbing conditions and threat of violence spread out in the length and breadth of the country. India is surviving and progressing not because of its present leaders, but in spite of them.

Ultimately, it is India’s inherent strength which will help it to steer clear of heavy odds and reach new heights. According to a noted Urdu poet: “Kuch baat hai ke hasti mitati nahin hamari”. We should also remember Dr S. Radhakrishnan’s last Republic Day message: “The feeling should not be encouraged that no change can be brought about except by violent disorders”. If the people abroad think, the 21st Century belongs to India, it will.



Though Independence and democracy are meant for both the voters and the representatives, the latter have a duty to conduct in a manner that the former followed them with respect and alacrity. But then, we do not get decent politicians, especially those known for honesty, integrity and diligence.

To fulfil our basic needs, all the political parties must strive for politics of development. The ruling party and the Opposition should pursue the politics of consensus and not politics of confrontation. Both the ruling and the Opposition parties should accommodate both sides of the spectrum. Problems can be solved if they are examined objectively across the table, cutting across party lines.


This isn’t good governance

The government — at the Centre and in the states — expects the people to work honestly and stay within the parameters of law. The people too expect the government to be honest, transparent and enact such laws which will help the people and facilitate good governance.

Consider the enactment of the Office of Profit Bill. It will be implemented with retrospective effect, i.e. from April 4, 1969! Ostensibly, this has been done to bail out 45 members of Parliament against whom petitions for disqualification were pending before the Election Commission. The President was helpless and he had to give his assent when the Bill was sent to him the second time.

Another Bill that seems to have escaped the public attention is the Finance Act 2002. This too came into force by amending Section 158 (b) of the Act to help government cap money retrospectively, i.e. from July 1, 1995, on the additions to the income of the assessee on estimated basis. The practice of making laws retrospectively should go.

Dr A.L. ADLAKHA, Amritsar



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