Education alone can help Muslims

I refer to the editorial “Not a happy situation” (Oct 24). I agree that no country can make progress if its largest minority is illiterate and jobless. While many misplaced notions are prevalent among the Muslims, the political parties are opportunistic and they treat Muslims as a vote bank.

Day in and day out, clerics and mullahs pronounce fatwas, ordering the community to behave in a manner defying all logic and reason. However, the Muslims do not strongly oppose these zealots and their medieval mindset.

The Rajinder Sachar Committee’s report on social, economic and educational status of Indian Muslims has found that they lag behind even those of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes. The Muslims should come forward, send their children to schools and colleges, especially girls, because only education and knowledge have the power to uplift a society by removing the unscientific dogmas plaguing it.

The Muslims should accept the realities of the ever-changing world. While the government must extend a helping hand to them, the media can play a vital role in improving the situation.




Justice Rajinder Sachar has said that the Muslims are far behind even the SCs and the STs. But what about those who live miserably on the outskirts of every city, town and village? They have no food, shelter, clothing, and health care. Are they Indians or foreigners?

It is the government’s duty to protect and help every Indian irrespective of their religion, caste, colour or creed. The government must provide shelter to the homeless, feed the hungry and quench their thirst. If half of the country’s population lacks basic needs, why talk of raising the socio-economic status of the Muslims alone? This is purely vote bank politics.

D.R. SHARDA, Chandigarh

Bleak prospects

I refer to Rupert Cornwell’s article, “Don’t mention the war!” (Oct 21). From what appears from the mid-term poll in America, the Gulf War has doomed the prospects of Republicans’ hopes to enter the Senate, the House and the Governors’ post. It therefore means that the Bill on nuclear technology awaiting approval in the Senate must be presumed to die a natural death. This had become inevitable after the North Koreans had conducted nuclear tests.

Our party feels that the Americans giving India nuclear technology without having India sign the NPT was immoral. That is why North Korea taking a cue from the American and the Nuclear Supplier Group’s ambivalent stand over the NPT went ahead with testing the nuclear device. We think, with such double standards of America, Iran, Egypt and Saudi Arabia will also detonate nuclear bombs.

With the American public’s tolerance with the Gulf War having reached an end the Republican candidates are shying away from it from their campaign. It would be best for peace in Iraq to divide it into three parts — Shia, Sunni and Kurd, so that the American troops can be back home for their Christmas turkey dinners. They have done well but we must allow them to live and fight another day.

It would be wrong to extol the virtues of Saddam Hussain in keeping Iraq together. He was doing it but with massive human right violations. American intervention was thus imperative. But now it must end. If Iraq is divided into three states, fighting and civil strife will stop and the Americans will not feel humiliated as they did after their withdrawal from Vietnam, as partition of Iraq will give stability to the region and all three states will look up to America for its statesmanship.

Instability in West Asia will end. Only the Israelis will remain a problem and if Americans deal with them fairly and not pamper them, the Palestinian problem will also be solved.

SIMRANJIT SINGH MANN, President, Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar), Quilla S. Harnam Singh

B.Ed teachers

The Punjab government’s new recruitment policy for block level teachers, with their jobs being non-transferable, will be discriminatory towards urban people. It will also compromise the quality of education in many ways.

By proposing recruitment at the block level, a clever attempt is being made to deprive urban people of competing for the posts. Once vacancies are notified, urban areas will have less vacancies than those in rural areas. As a result, a rural candidate with a higher percentage may get recruited at the cost of a urban candidate with a higher percentage.

Secondly, by denying weightage to those with higher qualifications, the government seeks to equate candidates having passed out from nondescript colleges with those having post-graduate degrees from premier universities. Making the job non-transferable will lead to complacency. Instead of changing the rules to favour a particular pressure group or area, the government should improve administrative efficiency and give performance-linked incentive to teachers.

ASIT SHARMA, Mukerian (Hoshiarpur)

Crackpot views

The Tribune (Chandigarh supplement, Oct 29) carried a news item about a former PGI professor who believes that Einstein’s theory is wrong and that the universe is not expanding. Nobody in his right mind would give credence to such crackpot views.

Your reporter innocently informs the readers that the professor was nominated for medicine Nobel Prize in 1996, giving the impression that his work in medicine belongs to that bracket. The reporter has obviously published what the professor told her. She has not made any attempt to crosscheck the claims with other scientists.

As it is, interest in science is on decline. If respected papers like yours start glorifying pseudo-science, what future can mainstream science have?

Prof RAJESH KOCHHAR, Former Director, NISTADS, New Delhi

Why no seats for Kalka?

At the Chandigarh ISBT the Shimla-bound buses of Haryana Roadways and the HRTC do not allow Kalka bound passengers. If Delhi-bound buses allow passengers from Chandigarh to Ambala, then why not Shimla-bound buses allow them from Chandigarh to Kalka?

I appeal to the authorities concerned to direct all Shimla-bound buses to carry passengers for Kalka. This will not only help Kalka-bound passengers but also increase the revenue of the state.




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