No need to quarrel about Ram

The myths and historical realities have got blended in course of several millennia in case of Lord Ram. Though it is very hard to prove the physical existence of Lord Ram, it is a plain fact that Ram dwells in the hearts of all Indians cutting across caste, creed and region. But it is people’s Ram, not the one projected and patronised by certain communal forces in our country.

As Prof D.N. Jha, a reputed historian, says, Ram belongs to our cultural heritage and we needn’t quarrel over his actual existence. I feel that the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) must not be forced to change its judgement based on decades’ study and research about our great epic, Ramayan, by the Central government.

The Tribune argues very aptly that the BJP will be shortsighted if it believes that the Ram Sethu can help the party come back to power” (Sept 15). We, as a democratic nation, must grant the freedom of conviction to our archaeologists and historians. If they consider the Ram Sethu as a natural formation, they shouldn’t be coerced or pressurised to change their perception just because some politicians and mandarins in the South Block wish them to do so.




The Supreme Court has given three months time to the Centre to file a fresh affidavit regarding the Sethu Samudram project. But this time is too short to draft a fresh affidavit that should be acceptable to all sections. The Centre should seek more time so that all aspects of the case can be thoroughly examined.

If again, the affidavit shows the non-existence of Ram and Ravana, the Centre may face the wrath of the Hindu majority in India and abroad. If their existence cannot be proved, how was the existence of Lord Shiva, Krishna, Jesus Christ and others proved for declaring government holidays on Dussehra, Diwali, Shivaratri, Janmashthmi, X-mas and other festivals?



Of the seven letters published on the subject on Sept 20, four blame the UPA for questioning the very existence of Lord Ram, two blame the BJP for politicising emotive issues and one blames both for playing politics. The writers’ opinion divided in the ratio of 4:2:1 appears to be the correct reflection of general public opinion in the matter. But the heading given to the letters doesn’t seem to reflect this.

Wg-Cdr C.L. SEHGAL (retd),Jalandhar

Farm growth

I read Sarabjit Dhaliwal’s article, “Centre should attend to Punjab farmers’ woes” (Oped Page, Sept 21). Efforts to promote agricultural growth deserve due emphasis. But unfortunately, too often, it is overlooked, particularly in analytical approaches based on partial equilibrium models frequently used by the government.

The writer rightly showed his concern about the increasing dependence of government on corporate houses. Of late, the government has come to rely too much on the big corporate houses, and is seriously thinking even to have a close public sector-private sector partnership in pushing forward the country’s agricultural research agenda. Private sector research by nature will emphasise only short-term objectives with high probability of profit.

Basic research on complex traits such as yield potential or N-use efficiency or on ecological studies of crop and soil management to optimise both productivity and environment quality, will receive little emphasis. There will be a conflict on the associated Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) issues, which will adversely affect the free flow of information and germplasm to the end-users, i.e. farmers. In such a partnership, private sector will always try to influence the scope and focus of our agricultural research to their own advantage.

So, what is the compulsion of having such a partnership? Are we not able to arrange sufficient funds to invest in public sector agricultural research or do we lack in adequate skilled scientific force to carry out our research programmes independently as we have been doing so far in state agricultural universities and research institutes?

Dr N.S. PASRICHA, Former Director, Potash Research Institute of India, Gurgaon

Shamlat concept

I read Chitleen K. Sethi’s report (Real Estate, Sept 15). The writer is not conversant with the concept of shamlat and that is why terms like “hall of shame” and “usurped the land worth crores” have been used. She has mentioned the name of only a few villages whereas there are many more villages with almost similar conditions.

Such large areas as hundreds acres are not left as shamlat in the villages in the plains, it is so only in the kandi area. Even here, the cases are being contested by the owners and are at different stages in the courts; some have even been decided by the courts and the land owners have become full owners of their shares.

Apparently, panchayat officials want to become virtual masters of land. If it is given to the panchayats, they will become big landlords of the village whereas the actual owners will be reduced to the status of tenants. Moreover, it will become a big source of corruption. The cost of the land has suddenly bounced everywhere in the state. Now it should be left to the land owners in the villages who have gained sufficient awareness on the subject.



Time to expedite justice

The Punjab and Haryana High Court is short of 19 judges out of its authorised strength of 53. Why seasoned senior session judges from both the states cannot be elevated to fill in the vacancies? Chief Justice of India K.G. Balakrishnan and Union Law Minister H.R. Bharadwaj should do the needful in public interest.

The government can easily eliminate shortage of judges at all levels in the country by introducing the India Judicial Service (IJS) on the lines of the IAS. The judges at all levels should refrain from giving a date beyond one month and pull up advocates for giving dates without valid reason in writing as this hinders the pace of justice.

The High Courts and all other courts, where appeals are preferred, must not decide the appeal on judgement basis but must get proper file papers on which the judgement is based. This can be obtained from the record office concerned in a week’s time and finally decided instead of throwing it in the storeroom as stay order for years. If these suggestions are implemented, justice can be speeded up and the backlog of cases reduced.

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



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