Centre should come to Punjab’s rescue

I refer to Sarabjit Singh Dhaliwal’s article, “Centre creating problems for state government”(Aug 7). It seems Punjab’s woes are perennial because of the Centre’s typical indifference. When it comes to the country’s interest, however, the Centre has never failed to invoke the Punjabi spirit — whether in defending the country or to achieve food sufficiency and surplus.

The green revolution was achieved at Punjabis’ cost. Now innocent farmers are confused between pro- and anti-diversification arguments of leading scientists. Successive governments at the Centre have left the people of Punjab struggling against the miserly increase in MSP every year.

The same is the case with industry. The powers that be say that industry is not a good proposition in Punjab as it is a border state. This is in sharp contrast to the practice that obtains in many developed countries where industries flourish near each other’s borders.

Ironically, the Centre is generous when it comes to helping the victims of farmers’ suicides in other states. But Punjab’s case is lost in the corridors of power. Concessions to industry have been extended to other states, but what about Punjab? The Punjab Chief Minister has brought this to the notice of the Prime Minister and the UPA Chairperson. The Centre should come to Punjab’s rescue.

Lt-Col CHANAN SINGH DHILLON (retd), Ludhiana


Bring them to book

The news-item, “Farmer-Arhtiya row growing, government urged to act” (Aug 12) refers to non-payment of bonus to farmers on wheat which was brought by private traders through commission agents. In fact, there is no difference between private traders and commission agents. They are the same people dealing with food grains produced by farmers.

Moneylenders torture the farmers. But they are not brought to book because of their links with the politician-mafia-police nexus. They also control the village panchayats with their money power. Their terror tactics force marginal farmers to lose title of their land.

To protect farmers from exploitation, government procurement agencies should directly purchase food grains from farmers without involving middlemen or Arthiyas. The cheques should be directly handed over to farmers.


Rising prices

In the present dispensation at the Centre, prices of all essential commodities have risen abnormally. Inflation affects all section of society — politicians, government servants, pensioners and the Aam admi.

The Union Cabinet had approved setting up of the Sixth Central Pay Commission. However, under the garb of the so-called pay commission, the government has raised the emoluments of MPs, almost doubling them. Therefore in all fairness, the government should announce an interim relief of 25 per cent to the government servants and pensioners with the same lightning speed with which MPs passed a hefty hike for themselves.



I request the authorities concerned to provide multiple speed breakers on Staff Road, adjoining Convent of Jesus Mary School, Lord Mahavir Jain School and Cecil Convent School, Ambala Cantonment. This will give protection to school children while crossing the road from both sides during school hours. This stretch of Staff Road is extremely busy with buses, trucks, army and other vehicles running at high speed.

MANINDER SINGH SODHI,  Ambala Cantonment

Bismillah’s magic

One day in the fifties, a friend brought to me passes for Ustad Bismillah Khan’s shehnai recital (for AIR’s library) in three sittings of three hours each. I was running a temperature of 102 degrees. After my return from the first session, I found that my temperature was normal. This is the magic of Bismillah’s three-hour soul-stirring music!

M.G. KAPAHY, New Delhi


Proof of Pak role in terror

PAKISTAN President General Pervez Musharraf continues to ask for concrete evidence of his country’s involvement in terrorism. A recent article in The Wall Street Journal notes that Pakistan remains a principal centre for terrorist training globally.

According to this newspaper, it is a nexus for extremist Islamic groups, many of which grew out of militant groups active in Jammu and Kashmir. Elements of Pakistan’s intelligence service keep in contact with militant groups. And despite the arrest of more than 600 militants over the past five years, Pakistan keeps producing extremists.

Pakistan’s differentiation between Al-Qaeda and Kashmir-focused terrorists has caused it to be the lightning rod for all terrorist wannabes. The Kashmir-focused terrorists often train other terrorists or put them through to Al-Qaeda.





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