SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI


THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
M A I L B A G

Caste-based quotas must be scrapped

The policy of quotas in government jobs and educational institutions is the root cause of clashes between the Gujjars and the Meenas in the most peaceful state of Rajasthan. This does not augur well for the rest of the country. Our present-day politicians have done everything in their power to divide the country on caste, tribe, class and religious lines to strengthen their vote banks. Our Constitution provided for reservations to specified Scheduled Castes and Tribes only for a period of 10 years. There is a serious danger to the national unity and integrity if caste-based quotas are not done away with.

No doubt, the poor of all castes and religions need help to improve their standard of living. Some obvious methods which the government can adopt are providing free education and scholarships, free treatment in hospitals, encouraging labour intensive industries, subsidised dry ration and better wages to the labour class. The government could ask public and private industries to give special consideration to the poor in giving jobs.

Brig DALIP SINGH SIDHU (retd),Patiala


 

II

I donít see any reason for any community to demand Scheduled Caste or Tribe status. Today jungles are gone, villages are more accessible and small villages and towns are developing rapidly. In the North-East, Christianity has enabled youth to be English-speaking and become westernised. Those who got jobs as ST and live in towns, how can their children be called as ST when they are studying in public and Christian schools?

It seems in this country the burden of the SCs, the STs, Muslims, riot victims, children of those killed by terrorists, accident relief, loan waiver, Haj subsidy and so on will have to be borne by the so-called upper castes. These upper castes are themselves in a minority - more minority than the majority community amongst the minorities.

UDITA AGRAWAL, New Delhi

III

It was disconcerting to watch violence, arson and blockades during the Gujjarsí protests for ST tag. Whatever the compulsions, destruction of private or governmental property and blockage of traffic cannot be justified. We destroy our own assets and infrastructure of which we are already woefully short of besides creating chaotic conditions and panic.

Who is accountable for the huge losses? Is not the country becoming increasingly ungovernable? There is need for deterrent measures to check such mindless destruction.

RAVI RANA, Kapurthala

IV

Pran Chopraís article, ďPolitics in the heartland" (June 6) was incisive. He has made a most pertinent point when he says that lower and higher caste syndrome melts when political interests of both come closer. It is becoming more and more clear that political interests of groups or castes are more important to the voters as a whole.

However, it is the polity of all hues and to a certain extent, the media, which perpetuates or helps to solidify the caste factors for fractured politics. This is the bane of Indian democracy which had been thriving on caste and religion for the past six decades.

India and its polity could have done much better if they had unshackled society from the curse of the caste system. The question is how long Indian politics and parties would cling to this outmoded system of caste-based reservations which have been a drag on development.

Lt-Col CHANAN SINGH DHILLON (retd), Ludhiana

V

Wasnít the unconstitutional Delhi bandh called by the Gujjars on June 4 during which public and private prop

erty was destroyed a national shame? Buses burnt, roads blocked and private vehicular traffic was badly affected.

Railway property was also damaged and tracks uprooted. I was shocked to watch on TV the Porbander Express being attacked near Mathura by hooligans. They smashed windowpanes of AC coaches and injured passengers including drivers. The Railway Protection Force was nowhere visible. If police were seen it didnít show guts to stop all that. If police donít protect national property and stand as silent spectators, where is the need to recruit them and waste national funds?

KARNAIL SINGH, Patiala

 

Himachalís killer roads

Of late, accidents have assumed alarming proportions in Himachal Pradesh. The circuitous roads, reckless driving, overloading and non-adherence of traffic rules are major reasons for this situation. For tipsy drivers, roads are just play fields where they can play with peopleís lives. This callousness results in anarchy and disorder.

No one should be allowed to use public roads for stacking building material. In bazars, no kiosks should be permitted to congest the vehicular traffic. Stray dogs, animals and even pets aggravate this threat to human life when they are let loose. Negligent people making use of roads for a jaunt only should be sternly dealt with for blatant violation of traffic rules. And finally, dubious and devious curves should be straightened. The state highways patrolling and the police should help minimise the dangers to human life.

RAVI DATTA, Dehra (HP)

 


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