Demonisation of the British rule unfair

A J. PHILIPís article, ďThe Rebellion, warts and allĒ (Sept 28) was a sharp departure from the prevailing popular opinion. Indeed, freedom was not the main objective of those who joined the rebellion and neither was this for the benefit of the common man.

The distorted account of the First War of Independence provided by our sarkari historians and nationalists represents a horrifying fascination for generalisation that amounts to total disdain for empirical rigour.

The problem starts from the point when the fine line between myth and reality gets blurred and history becomes a variant of folklore. Apparently, the historians were not interested in the documents to speak for themselves. They select precisely those documents that would prompt pre-determined conclusions.


Equally misplaced is the carpet demonisation of the British Raj. Its imperialist vices notwithstanding, evils like untouchability, sati and child marriages were abolished under it. Also, major rail networks converged with modern harbours at the port cities of Madras, Bombay and Calcutta. Clearly, the idea of India as one nation also got foothold first in this country under British rule.

GAURAV JULKA, Ferozepore City

Misplaced priorities

In the face of fast depleting yields of food grains per acre in Punjab, the need of the hour is to strengthen the research and development wing of the Punjab Agriculture University. The government must allocate more funds to help PAU develop high-yielding, pest-resistant and cost-effective varieties of seeds, replacing the four-decade-old, pest-prone and low-yielding seeds which have outlived their utility.

Surprisingly, the farmer-friendly Punjab government has asked the PAU to part with 29 acres of land at its Bathinda branch and hand it over to the Bathinda Cricket Association for building a cricket stadium of international standard. The government should reconsider its decision.

SUKHDEV SINGH GILL,  Jagraon (Ludhiana)


Introduce right to recall

Our electoral system, in vogue for over five decades, needs to be updated and strengthened to cater to the present requirements of the country. Circumstances warrant many changes such as educational qualifications for contestants, the retirement age for politicians and the state funding of elections. However, giving the citizens the right to recall their representatives in Parliament, state legislatures and municipal bodies is a pressing necessity.

Most MPs and MLAs donít work at all. They donít attend legislatures nor do they work in their constituencies. In the absence of the right to recall, people donít have any other weapon in their hand other than periodic elections to sensitise the representatives.

Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee has endorsed the demand for the right to recall. Political parties may decide the procedure. This has been working well in countries like Switzerland.

S.K. KHOSLA, Chandigarh

Veterinary university

The Haryana governmentís decision to set up a Veterinary and Animal Sciences University is welcome (Oct 5). Haryana is known for its livestock wealth, particularly its world famous Murrah breed of buffalo and Haryana breed of cattle. With the shrinkage of land holdings with the farmers because of urbanisation, industrialisation and increasing population, the villagers cannot sustain on agriculture farming alone. They need supplementary income through the livestock. In fact, diary farming and poultry farming are proving great sources of income in terms of milk, meat, egg and wool.

Having realised the livestock sectorís crucial importance in the rural economy, the state governmentís decision on veterinary university would help the farmers and all stakeholders in the state.

Dr S. L. GUPTA, Former Dean, College of Veterinary Sciences, Chandigarh

Traffic blues

An evening walk at The Mall, Solan, has been a pleasant and pollution-free experience since it was closed to vehicular traffic. A few more steps are needed to regulate the vehicular traffic. The road from Narsimha temple to Tank Road and further is now being used as a state highway without widening it. It should be closed to very heavy vehicles; only light and medium heavy trucks should be allowed.

One-way traffic is a must on the steep gradient starting at the temple to the next curve by installing integrated traffic lights at the two ends; jams are a daily feature on this stretch.

Again, Circular Road is the narrowest path open to heavy traffic anywhere in the world. All commercial vehicle traffic may be restricted to night hours. Buses and trucks to and from Rajgarh should be diverted and a survey to build a bye-pass should be undertaken urgently.

Dr L. R. SHARMA, Solan



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