SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI


THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
M A I L B A G

Stay vindicates students’ stand on quota

The Supreme Court stay order is a vindication of the stand of Youth For Equality, which is at the forefront of the movement against caste-based quotas in educational institutions. The UPA government is furthering caste and communal divisions through its politics of quota.

Nehru had warned that the policy of reservation is “not only folly, but disastrous.” In a letter to the Chief Ministers on July 27, 1961, Nehru wrote: “I want my country to be a first class country in everything. The moment we encourage the second-rate, we are lost...If we go in for reservations on a communal or caste basis, we swamp the bright and able people and remain second-rate or third rate...”

On Sept 6, 1990, the late Rajiv Gandhi criticised in Parliament the V.P. Singh government’s decision to implement 27 per cent quota for OBCs in government jobs. He said: “It was the British who tried to divide our country on caste and religion and today it is the Raja Sahib (V.P. Singh) who is trying to divide out country on caste and religion...”

Alas, today, a government controlled by Sonia Gandhi is doing much worse. The Supreme Court’s intervention is a positive development and politicians, particularly of the Congress, must give up their divisive policies in the light of what Nehru and Rajiv Gandhi had said then and what the apex court is saying now.

AVUTHU SRIHARI, Hyderabad


 

II

Merit and talent are being compromised at the altar of caste-based quotas. What right does the government have to create distinct communities on the basis of their backwardness when they may be economically far better and advanced than others?

Instead of giving them reservation, why not give them a chance to compete at general level and, if selected, give them concessions in fee and other financial help?

MEENAL PANT, Nahan (HP)

III

Union HRD Minister Arjun Singh should get his priorities right before it is too late for himself and the nation. Instead of trying to convince the Supreme Court against its judgement, he should start a National Movement for Mass Education.

He should consider the plight of the average middle class people finding it hard to get their children admitted in primary and high schools run by the missionaries and private business houses.

The government has failed to ensure basic education to our children. The standards of government schools have gone from bad to worse.

The Centre should mobilise available resources of government schools, improve their capabilities and standards, open new schools on a war footing so that we do not have to beg English missionary and public schools for seats of our children.

MUKESH BANSAL, Chandigarh

IV

The court should have taken the available data into consideration. The Mandal Commission report contains data pertaining exclusively to the OBCs. The Central Statistical Organisation and the National Sample Survey Organisation collect and maintain data and share them with the National SC/ST Commission and the National Commission for Backward Classes for inclusion and exclusion of different castes from the official list.

The court has asked for comprehensive data, which will take another five-six years to compile. This will result in severe deprivation of opportunities for the OBCs.

SHERIFF ASHIK MOHIDEEN,  Chennai

V

The Supreme Court's order staying the 27 per cent quota for the OBCs in Central educational institutions is perplexing. A nine-judge Bench of the same court had satisfied itself about the legal tenability of and justification for OBC quotas in government jobs, based on the available data on the backwardness of the masses.

When a measure could be upheld for granting employment, how could it not be upheld for extending education? The OBC reservation is based on the Mandal Commission report, which studied the social and educational backwardness of the people exhaustively. The Supreme Court has erred in adopting different yardsticks for the same issue.

S. RAMACHANDRAN PILLAI, Chennai

Unaffordable cinema

Cinema had been the cheapest source of entertainment for common folks in the past. Of late, however, it has become dearer for the middle class in Chandigarh and all other cities in the region. It won’t be a surprise if it becomes out of the reach for many sections.

Chandigarh’s theatres are giving place to huge malls and housing multiplexes. A few have already been flattened while others could be on the way. Building sharks are swallowing the K.C. Theatre.

True, a multiplex provides amenities that the old theatres lacked. But those who watch the movies in the lower stall find it tough to afford a ticket today. Chandigarh is now left with only a few theatres for this class of viewers. From the point of view of regular visitors, the multiplex owners should be considerate and reasonable. After all, they are the ones who decide a movie’s fate.

HARBINDER SINGH, Chandigarh

SYL canal

The SYL canal running parallel to the Bhakra canal and its present condition can be viewed from two bridges on both sides of the canal - one on Ropar side and another on Morinda side. Water from Bhakra canal and two canals from Harike flow continuously throughout the year.

The width and depth of the canals need to be checked periodically. The seepage of water should also be checked. The vast area of land submerged can be seen from the Ropar bridge. Harike looks like a sea with water flowing towards Ferozepore headworks. The Punjab government has not taken steps for reclamation of land submerged at Harike and Ropar. There is no dearth of water in the rivers.

Lt-Col P.S. SARANG (retd), Chandigarh

Restore the benefit

The Punjab government had decided to grant relief to the children of those persons killed in 2001. However, even as the process of identifying the deserving beneficiaries had started, the government withheld this relief without citing any reasons in 2002.

Now that the Badal government has taken over after the elections, it may please restore the above relief to the deserving persons promptly.

K.K. KAUSHAL, Sirhind Mandi

Farm panel

I endorse Dr G.S. Dhillon’s view in his letter, “Make farm panel broad based” (March 26). To attain optimum performance of the farm sector, irrigation and water management are of paramount importance. And so, the Punjab government cannot ignore the two sectors.

The farm panel should be expanded to include irrigation experts.

G.R. KALRA, Chandigarh
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