Check misuse of flags and red lights

The report on the misuse of flags and red and blue lights on staff vehicles was interesting (Sept 13). The zeal displayed by Haryana Transport Secretary Ramender Jhaku and his promise to check the violations is indeed amusing.

The use of lights, flags and sirens by officials is a notorious legacy inherited from our colonial rulers. The British developed the concept of asserting the state’s authority to instill fear and subjugation among the ruled. Indeed, the colonial state’s character was oppressive and insensitive. Salutes at circuit houses, flags, sirens and lights are symbols of a bygone era which should have no place in the life of a nation striving to free itself of obsolete and medieval mindsets and march forward in a new world.

One thing that greatly worried Mahatma Gandhi in his last days was the manner in which the bureaucracy inherited and reestablished the colonial edifice after 1947. Indian democracy is threatened today by the increasing disparity in the quality of life and marginalisation of a majority of people. The bureaucracy symbolises the self-seeking character of our state and its operative wings.


Mr Jhaku would do well to focus on making roads safer, checking the speed of the state’s killer buses and, of course, restricting the misuse of official vehicles for personal use. As for the lights, Haryana should take the lead in doing away with these lights with exceptions only for ambulance, fire brigade and police vehicles on actual duty.

RAGHUVENDRA TANWAR, Professor & Chairman, History, Kurukshetra University, Kurukshetra

Time to introspect

In the present age of globalisation, when materialism is soaring on cloud nine and moral values crumbling, our leaders must sit and introspect. The root cause of the upheaval in the world is the medieval motive but cloaked in the media hype of terrorism.

We, as Indians, must reflect on the causes of religious fundamentalism in Egypt, West Asia and Europe and how certain countries of Europe have pulled them out of this mindset and have concentrated on social uplift and equality for all irrespective of caste or creed.

The confrontation over Vande Mataram proves that our politicians have not learnt any lesson from Partition. They have paid only lip-service to social uplift masses. India’s demographic, multicultural, multiregional and multilingual structure warrants unity and goodwill among all communities.

Lt-Col CHANAN SINGH DHILLON (retd), Ludhiana

Stark realism

The editorial “One more day” (Sept 6) focusing attention on Teachers’ Day is noteworthy for its stark realism. Indeed, the Teachers’ Day seems to have lost its sanctity, importance and glamour. It not longer inspires the teaching fraternity. The society at large views it with steady indifference. Official celebrations lack fervour.

The day in question, of course, provides a fine opportunity for our leaders to deliver serious homilies to the dispirited teaching community and get themselves garlanded by the captive audience.

TARA CHAND, Ambota (Una)

Save vultures

The Centre should examine the adverse effects of the drug, diclofenac sodium. This drug is a major reason for the decrease in the population of vultures. It is feared that the bird is on the verge of extinction. The World Conservation Union at Switzerland has declared three species of vultures including Indian vultures as critically endangered species.

Diclofenac sodium is found in the carcasses of cattle on which vultures feed leading to their death. In the absence of vultures, there can be an outbreak of epidemic because of decaying carcasses.

The Indian Journal of Pharmacology (Aug 2006) has reported that in India, Parsis find it difficult to carry out their tradition of exposing human corpses to elements. In Mumbai, they have stopped leaving human corpses in the Tower of Silence because the birds that quickly consumed the carcasses once are now vanishing. Steps to save the vulture population brook no delay.

Dr AJAY BAGGA, Hoshiarpur

Teachers as rapists

I refer to the editorial, “When teachers are rapists” (Sept 15). The teachers in ancient India were highly respected due to their high moral character, dedication and devotion to their profession. They changed with the changing of moral, social and ethical values. Their profession lost its glory and dignity accordingly.

The situation has since been going from bad to worse as some of the teachers are found to have sexually exploited their students. They are a blot on the fair name of the sacred profession. Such teachers deserve exemplary punishment.

CHAMAN SINGLA, Bhuch (Bathinda)


I appreciate the editorial on how teachers have turned rapists. Stern and exemplary punishment to such teachers is the need of the hour. Besides immediate dismissal from service, they must be put on trial in a fast track court. Rapists deserve no less than capital punishment.

Prof B.M. RAWLLEY, Nabha



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