Give priority to women’s safety

As we celebrate the 60th anniversary of our Independence Day today, we need to consider the plight of Indian women. Every day we read about the torture and/or harassment of women. The so-called fair sex is unsafe everywhere.

It is time society woke up. NGOs, police, lawyers, doctors and judges should try to help women in their own way. If criminals are given severe punishment for harassing and torturing women, it will act as a deterrent. Until our women - mothers, sisters and daughters - are able to live and move safely, we can’t boast of being citizens of a free and democratic country.



Self-introspection is the need of the hour. There is a need to inculcate the spirit of patriotism among the youth. The media, considered the fourth estate, has an important role to play in nation building.

On this historic occasion, TV channels should show more and more patriotic programmes to revive our love for the motherland as at present patriotism has become an alien word for us.

S.K. KHOSLA, Chandigarh



In the past few weeks, there have been write-ups in the newspapers and programmes in television channels highlighting our achievements since 1947. We are indeed lucky that we are born in independent India.

A visit to Andamans’ Cellular Jail changed my view about India. It made me realise the extent of sufferings that our freedom fighters underwent to achieve independence for us from the British yolk. On this auspicious day, let us hoist the tricolour, sing patriotic songs and pledge to work hard and bring glory to our beloved country.

REYA KUNDU, Chandigarh

Theft in train

During a journey by the Andhra Pradesh Express from New Delhi to Hyderabad in AC Three-Tier on June 14, 2007, I had a bitter experience. When the train started moving, I noticed that my wife’s handbag containing money and important documents had been stolen. After I pulled the chain, the train stopped for a while and moved again.

The Ticket Collector told me that a new passenger friendly system of reporting crime in the train has been started. He gave me an FIR form to fill in. He returned the carbon copy to me and told me that he will hand over the copy in original to the Government Railway Police, Jhansi. The registered copy will be mailed to me by registered post, he said.

I don’t except the GRP to locate the handbag but they could have at least sent me the registered copy to help me initiate further action. I only hope the authorities concerned will take action and redress my problem.

Lt-Col S. S. KATHURIA (retd), Ludhiana


Indian intelligence

I read the news-item, “US, ISI had interest in Punjab militancy: Book” (July 27). There are a number of books rolling out by RAW and IB operatives about the Sikh freedom movement. But I would not evaluate them very highly as foreign governments do not hold them in great esteem. They have no idea what is cooking globally, nearer India or internally. Had they been sharp, they would have pre-empted the events in Kargil.

Only a few months back the LTTE mounted an aerial attack on Colombo. RAW, IB and Military Intelligence got wiser after this ingenious foray. After this the Air Force has installed 20 radars on the Tamil Nadu coast, which woefully are obsolete.

The trouble with Indian intelligence is that it is neither transparent nor accountable to Parliament through a parliamentary committee. It has vast unaudited funds over which the Prime Minister or the Cabinet Secretary, who oversee their working, have neither the time nor the acumen to control.

Such monies are spent on the officers’ whims and at times acquiring or building bungalows before they retire.

Moreover, the Official Secrets Act does not allow officers to write books they want to write. They therefore are doctored and written to further the government policy. What Mr B. Raman writes cannot pass the test of verity. In the Nixon-Kissinger era, he was a very junior officer who was just learning the ropes.


Fringe benefit tax

If a pharmaceutical company sponsored a candidate for doing two years M. Pharma course under industrial sponsored seat and the fee so paid by the sponsoring company to the university is liable to the Fringe Benefit Tax (FBT) during the financial year 2005-06 and 2006-07, what will be the rate of FBT? The candidate is not an employee of the sponsoring company.

J. K. MITTAL, Sangrah (Sirmour)



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