India shouldn’t compromise on Kashmir

I read H.K. Dua’s article, “Walking the peace track” (Sept 3). The central point of dispute is, certainly, Jammu and Kashmir. It need not be said that Pakistan’s claim over Kashmir is based on the Muslim majority feature of Kashmir valley. These peace talks are going to prove futile if our experience since 1947 in dealing with Pakistan is any indication.

Some of the ideas worked out by Dr Manmohan Singh and Pervez Musharraf’s representatives are very dangerous for Indian security. First, open borders in Jammu and Kashmir will open the floodgates for terrorists from Pakistan. Secondly, autonomy for both sides of Kashmir would mean surrendering our claim over Jammu and Kashmir.

And thirdly, reduction of forces in Jammu and Kashmir without any positive commitment by Pakistan to stop terrorists would be dangerous. Again, Pakistan has no business to interfere in our affairs, in this case Jammu and Kashmir, which is a part of India.


It reflects badly on the Indian leadership which has been invariably compromising our national security and interests right from 1947. If Pakistan can claim Kashmir for being a Muslim majority, why India failed to claim Tharparkar district of Sind with more than 90 per cent Hindu population, and the Chittagong Hill Tract (CHT) with 97 per cent Buddhists Chakma population?

India, being secular, is justified in keeping the Jammu and Kashmir provision in the Indian Independence Act of July 1947, which authorised rulers of the states to decide their future, a provision specifically made because Mohammad Ali Jinnah wanted it. However, Pakistan being an Islamic country has no business to keep Tharparkar under its control. Our forces had freed or captured Tharparkar and CHT during 1965 and 1971 wars but Lal Bahadur Shastri and Indira Gandhi returned them.


Pitfalls of panchayats

Sarabjit Dhaliwal’s article on the plight of the panchayats was timely. Sadly, every government boasts of democratic decentralisation, but the exercise remains on the paper. The true tests of devolution of power at the grassroot level are that there is genuine transfer of power and responsibility, adequate resources are made available to the panchayats to discharge their responsibilities efficiently, panchayats sponsor development plans as per their local needs and funds are made available to the panchayats without discrimination.

The government should render prompt remedies to the woes of the duly elected sarpanches. The workload of the panchayat secretaries should be reduced and their services made available to every panchayat at least twice a week. Illegal occupation of the panchayat land must stop. Land-grabbers should be given severe punishment.

Steps should be taken to implement the approved resolutions of panchayats. If they are made self-sufficient and self-reliant, they can undertake new schemes and projects. Progressive dispersal of initiative, vertical and horizontal, must be ensured if panchayats are expected to deliver the goods and ameliorate the condition of the poor and downtrodden in remote villages.


Slaves of brands

I read Sunita Dhawan’s middle, “It’s an ad world” (Aug 28). The writer is quite right that branded names force us to buy or use a specific company’s products, which is very harmful for the modern man.

We live in the new century but man doesn’t use a product of his choice. We have become slaves of the big brands. We use their products as a status symbol.



Amend law to check rash driving

I appreciate the Bombay High Court for having convicted Aliaster Pareira to three years imprisonment for mowing down seven persons in Mumbai (Sept 7). The trial court had earlier given him only six-month jail. However, following a public outcry, the High Court took suo motu cognisance of the case and enhanced his sentence. This is bound to have a deterrent effect on rash drivers.

Early this year, the Supreme Court called upon the government to make the law harsher on rash driving. Presently, the law on causing death by rash and negligent driving under Section 304 A IPC) provides for a maximum sentence of only two years. Since all the accused, especially the high and mighty, are convicted under this section and not under 304 (ii) (IPC) (culpable homicide not amounting to murder), they get away with mild punishment.

The loophole in the law can be plugged if Section 304 A is suitably amended incorporating a higher sentence and with a provision prescribing a minimum sentence in such cases so that the trial courts are barred from acquitting or sentencing the accused to lighter terms.

HEMANT KUMAR, Advocate, Ambala City



HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |