SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI


THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
M A I L B A G

Tackle khap panchayats with iron hand

Ranbir Singh and Chaitali Pal’s article, Strengthen panchayati raj to tame khap menace is timely. I do not think delegation of more powers to panchayats will tame khap panchaysts. In fact, they need to be dealt with an iron hand by the administration. They are running parallel governments and are interfering in the personal life of other
citizens. This is a slur on the  democratic set up.

Ironically, khap panchayats generally issue diktats against the poor and weaker sections who dare not utter a word against the rich and the powerful. For instance, no panchayat said a word against Mallika Sherawat (a Jat girl) who has crossed all limits of obscenity.

In the case of the Punia couple of Jevali village in Bhiwani district, the khap panchayat had issued a sermon that the Punia boy who married a girl of sheoran gotra won’t be allowed to enter the village.

The administration kept mum over the incident while the Punjab and Haryana Court had ruled in earlier cases that the administration should curb the misdeeds of khap panchayats by dealing with them firmly and that they should not allowed to reign over the lives of other poor sections of their community.

G.D. GUPTA, Jagadhari


 

Emerging reality

Mr Simranjit Singh Mann has written a very honest and meaningful letter with regard to the circumstances of neglect and repression that is suffered by the Dalits and Backward Castes even today in spite of the teachings of equality and tolerance by the Sikh Gurus and Mahatma Gandhi.

It is a pernicious attitude of the powers that be in governance at the administration of the state and in the religious institutions, that has let this continue. It is time for the people to awaken to the looming reality of a globalised society in the 21st century, and accept that social divisions on anything less than merit will no longer be tolerated by those that have remained marginalized for centuries.

Their aspirations for an equal space in society, in all spheres of human endeavour will have to be accepted. Moreover, full support needs to be provided for the weaker sections to lift themselves out of the morass they are currently in.

If we do not accommodate their aspirations willingly, and in good faith, we can expect violent agitation in the future. We have recently seen how autocratic leaders have been put aside in our neighboring countries. Awaken India! Ask not for whom the bells toll. The bells toll for all of you.

MOHANPAL SINGH SIDHU, Chandigarh

Lesson to learn

In the Nithari killings, police officials (from SHO to SSP level) failed to see a pattern of several children going missing from a small area. It was not the case of one or two instances.

It also makes a mockery of the claims of the government and senior police officials of using information technology tools in the policing work. The exact reasons for a child who goes “missing” can be known only after a thorough inquiry. It is also necessary to trace a missing child and to prevent its recurrence.

There is a need to make changes to the existing system so that a proper investigation or inquiry is conducted in every complaint of a missing person.

RAKSHA, Chandigarh

Ill-advised move

For solving the 50-year-old silt problem of Chandigarh’s Sukhna lake, the UT Administration is on the verge of deepening this lake without emptying it, in five years, at a cost of over Rs 50 crore. This should be opposed tooth and nail for various reasons. The lake can be emptied free of charge. The cost and construction time of the deepening can be reduced by 90 per cent in an empty lake.

Why deepen the lake when the silt problem can be solved permanently by constructing an innovative silt excluder, costing less than Rs 1 crore, at its mouth? The Institution of Engineers had recommended this solution.

Deepening of the lake would be unwise if sufficient water is not available for the lake. Moreover, deepening will not prevent the entry of silt into the lake and thus will have to be repeated periodically.

S.P. MALHOTRA, Former Engineer-in-Chief  
(Irrigation), Panchkula 

 

Sycophancy is here to stay

The growth rate of sycophancy in our country seems to be even higher than that of inflation. In this “lucrative trade”, sycophants know well that a drop of honey catches more flies than a gallon of gal.

It is not surprising to see Mr Surinder Singla, Congress candidate for the Amritsar Lok Sabha by-election almost unashamedly prostrate before Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on February 5 and then before Congress President Mrs Sonia Gandhi on February 7 (Front page photos in The Tribune, Feb 6 and Feb 8).

Flattery is like a bad coin. It belittles those giving it and impoverishes those who receive it. Still everybody indulges in chamchagiri without, however, wishing to be called a chamcha. Anyhow, even if heavens fall or a neutron bomb explodes, sycophancy will survive and it is here to stay.

D.V. JOSHI, Bartana (Zirakpur)


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