Support Burma’s cry for democracy

This has reference to John Bercow’s article on the Oped page “Support Burma’s cry for democracy” (Sept 27). The orgy of violence and brutality that has been let loose by the Burmese military junta over the peacefully demonstrating Buddhist monks for the restoration of democracy in their land should be condemned by every nation.

The Burmese have lived under long spells of military junta rule in their country. It is shocking that 40 per cent of that country’s budget is spent on military and less than 60 per cent per year goes to health and education.

Burma’s elected leader Nobel laureate Anug San Suu Kyi has been kept under house arrest by the junta. It is strange that the US that had waged a war against the dictatorship in Iraq has been maintaining silence over the happenings in Burma. Nor has the United Nations come to the rescue of the Burmese. The United States considers itself as the biggest saviour of democracy in the world. All supporters of democracy should unite to overthrow the present regime in Myanmar and restore democracy there. Will Uncle Sam help?

IQBAL SINGH, Bijhari (Hamirpur)



Your editorial “Monks on the march” (Sept 26) in support of thousands of Buddhist protesters of Myanmar deserves full appreciation. Once part of the British empire, Burma has never tasted freedom although the colonial masters left it after World War II. Out of the frying pan into the fire, Burma has been under a ruthless dictatorship of a coterie of Generals for almost half a century now.

It is an irony of world affairs that this peaceful nation produced a Secretary General for the United Nations, but has itself been at the mercy of the military junta since 1962. Its crusader for freedom Anug San Suu Kyi, Nobel Peace laureate, has been in prison for long. Thank God, it is free of terrorism.

The winds of democracy have bypassed this ancient land of rich cultural heritage. Where is the international community? What is the United Nations doing for the most peaceful people? Why are its neighbours silent? Burma cries for help.


Turmoil on campuses

Apropos Shahira Naim’s write-up “Vested interests hurting Aligarh university” (Sept 24), it is unfortunate that killings on the campus have become frequent and the academic environment has got vitiated to such an extent that the university had to be closed indefinitely.

Often a disgruntled coterie of teachers is directly or indirectly involved in this type of dirty politics. Such teachers yearn to grab plum administrative assignments, not on the basis of merit, but through bullying tactics.

The ultimate sufferers are those students who join a university to acquire knowledge and skills. The well-meaning and principled Vice-Chancellors have to give a tough fight to these powerful disruptive forces to bring about worthwhile improvements in the educational set-up.

Similar unholy alliances of teachers exist, maybe to a lesser extent, in almost every college. Their main agenda is to wield power in the institution. Recently the Principal of a girls’ college in Chandigarh had to withdraw from hosting the PU youth festival at the eleventh hour, apprehending non-cooperation from a section of the teachers, for reasons entirely unrelated to academics. It is ironical that in this tussle both the teachers and the authorities concerned care two hoots for the interests of students.

J.P. GARG, Principal (retd), Chandigarh

Fill vacancies

The Government College, Malerkotla, is the oldest in the Malwa belt and accredited with “A” grade by NAAC. However, many posts of regular lecturers have been lying vacant for many years.

To overcome the shortage of faculty, Punjab’s Higher Education Department should permit the college authorities to recruit guest faculty lecturers.

At present, there is only one regular faculty member to teach B. Sc, Medical and non-medical degree classes. The Chemistry Department is being run by two part-time lecturers. Similarly, Physics and Zoology departments have one part-time lecturer each. There is an urgent need to fill the vacant posts immediately.

S. R. GUPTA, Patiala

Criminal waste

It has been learnt from reliable sources that about 1200 cusecs of water is being continuously released below Husanewala Head Works (earlier off take point of Bikaner Canal) which is being utilised by neighbouring country Pakistan since about April 15, 2007.

This quantum of water is sufficient to irrigate about four lakh acres of land annually. It is said that necessary record of these releases is being maintained by the Irrigation Department of Punjab.

KULDEEP SINGH KANG, former Chief Engineer Jaipur

Tariff hike unfair

The Punjab State Electricity Board has announced increase in tariff. This is not justified. Giving electricity free to one section of the people and forcing others to pay more is most unfair and totally unacceptable.

The best option is not to increase the charges, stop free power, stop theft and pilferage and above all stop greasing the palms of the staff and officers. This will make the PSEB healthy and self-sufficient.




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