SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI


THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
M A I L B A G

Lessons to learn from Maya’s win

Mayawati’s victory in Uttar Pradesh elections reveals some significant characteristics of modern India. We thought that the only way to reach people and brain wash them in one’s favour was to use the powerful media in a major way. After all one cannot sell anything without marketing.

In today’s market economy, it is almost sinful to think otherwise. What would happen to all the advertising machinery of the world if every one began to behave this way and got away with it? How much of the expensive infrastructure would lie idle? How many well-dressed intelligent looking people often mouthing sophisticated inanities would lose their jobs? It is against present-day religion and definitely violates all current societal ethics.

To shun billions of dollars worth of advertising infrastructure, so many managers often trained in top business schools, cell phone companies, matchless talents of our actors, wooing a mass of people to turn away from religious bigotry, to overlook their caste and ethnic differences and line up behind a formation like the BSP seemed like an audacious but a foolish enterprise. I admire Ms Mayawati and her colleagues for showing the courage to go this way for achieving a miraculous result. The only parallel can be found in Gandhi’s efforts during the freedom struggle.

A special feature was that all the pollsters, almost without exception, were embarrassed that the result was so different from the learned predictions or their wordy analysis. Most likely, many of those empowered by this exercise have never been sampled in any poll taken for this election nor have they ever expressed their view on any topic by sending an SMS.


 

They are also not members of a class that visits malls, discos, or nightclubs. It is a segment of our society that has not participated in any of our colourful media events, actively or even passively. Very few of them can be considered as members of the “Shining India” club. Apparently, they predominantly belong to the segment specially reached by Mayawati and her friends.

Significantly, thanks to the Election Commission, there was no booth capturing, little or no violence, and no one was stopped from casting his/her vote.

Prof YASH PAL, New Delhi

Pension for teachers

The demand for pension by aided school teachers is reasonable and justified. There are about 484 aided schools in Punjab. These schools exist mostly in urban areas. The children of poor people living in the cities get education in these schools. The teachers of these schools have played a major role in the victory of the Akali-BJP coalition in Punjab Assembly elections.

The Badal government should implement the pension scheme for the aided school teachers which was stopped peremptorily by the Amarinder Singh government. The vacant posts in these schools should also be filled.

ASHOK BHANOT, Jalandhar Cantonment

Then and now

This month we mark the 150th anniversary of the mutiny, The Great Rising of 1857. Led by heroes like Mangal Pandey and heroines like Rani Laxmi Bai, our countrymen knew what they were doing. And slowly and steadily, we were goaded and guided through the freedom movement onto freedom itself.

150 years later, ours is a proud country. Sans Mangal Pandey, sans Rani Laxmi Bai. Proud indeed, with leaders like Babubhai Katara, Shibu Soren, Navjot Singh Sidhu, Arjun Singh and many others of their genre. They lead the pack and we wag our tails. What a tribute to history!

No, I am not talking about another uprising. How can I? The Rani is dead and so is Mangal Pandey. As for you and me, we are all humble citizens of India (except our honourable leaders of course) who must work within the parameters of the Constitution, lest Mr Somnath Chatterjee should accuse us of ‘public activism’.

NIDHI KANTH, Shimla

Leading by example

Amritsar MP Navjot Singh Sidhu’s gesture of using his own money for developing his Lok Sabha constituency is welcome. He is certainly different from others. Sidhu has a definite plan for the holy city’s development. He is keen on generating resources. We the residents feel inspired to do something worthwhile for the fast growing city.

RAJU ARORA, Amritsar

Bist Doab Canal

The Bist Doab Canal is in bad shape from Garhshankar in Hoshiarpur district to Adampur in Jalandhar district. Useless plants have grown on both sides. Many accidents occur due to the broken railing of the bridges.

The authorities should clean up the stretch, repair the canal and the bridge on priority.

PARVINDER SINGH KITTNA, Nawanshahr

Water at hospitals

During a recent visit to Guru Nanak Hospital, Amritsar, on entering the main hall, I felt thirsty. I saw a water tank. But it was in a deplorable condition. There were no glasses. I request the authorities to ensure that clean drinking water with good glasses are provided in the hospital for visitors.

HIMMAT SINGLA, Amritsar

 

Checking railway accidents

Of late, accidents at unmanned railway crossings have increased, taking a heavy toll. The latest is the death of six persons on May 18 when the car in which they were travelling rammed into Seemanth Express near Beaspind on Jalandhar-Pathankot section, while crossing an unmanned railway level crossing.

This is the third such accident in one month on an unmanned level crossing. Earlier, 11 Tamil Nadu officials were crushed by a train on April 17. On April 28, five were killed when a trekker hit a train. The three incidents take the toll to 22.

I had suggested to the railway administration how the country’s 30,000 unmanned level crossings could be manned with no additional cost. Pick up one gang man from the nearest gang and post him at the level crossing duty for four hours in the morning and four hours in the evening. If the gate lock is misused or damaged, accountability must be fixed on the village sarpanch; he should be booked and fined.

Q.L. GAUTAMA, Rly Divisional Engineer (retd), Sonepat


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