Towards a nation free from strife

HK. Dua’s front-page editorial, “Let’s have an India at peace with itself” (Jan 1) is very timely and deserves to be taken seriously by those at the helm. He has put forth a billion-dollar question to the politicians to make a resolution to work for a more tolerant India, free from tension and mutual killings. Sadly, Indian ethos of tolerance, forgiveness and compassion has become a thing of the past.

Who is bothered about growing violence in the country? The appointment of inquiry commissions and transfer of honest officers have never yielded positive results.

Cases like Nandigram take place only with the assistance of vested interests and these will not stop till persons with criminal background are allowed to enter Parliament and state legislatures. The media is playing an important role in this regard. It should not be branded as biased.

R.S. HAMDARD, Hamirpur



It was a good piece of critique, covering the entire spectrum of the genesis of violence in the country. Of course, the analyses are aplenty. Only the solutions are missing. The pious platitudes are no substitute for concrete and firm action.

There is a strong suspicion amongst the thinking class that the politicians are not really interested in any solution for the cessation of all riots and agitation does not coalesce with their interests. They do not want to let go their captive vote banks.

The main culprit in this respect is the Congress party though others do not lag behind in exploiting such situations to their own benefit. It has brought rich dividends to all parties. Obviously, the solutions will not emanate from self-serving politicians and bureaucrats. It’s only the people and the media which can help clean the Augean stables.



I share the writer’s deep concern that the nation’s politicians have failed to address the volatile situation in an effective and imaginative manner. It is also apt to comment that the criminals have entered politics in a big way and they are being respectfully adjusted in electoral politics. This is bound to damage the basic structure of our democratic polity unless remedial measures are taken.

Caste is still a very powerful factor in our society and the common people still use it as their I-card. We can still feel the pangs of ethnic division, which emanate from tribal and communal organisations. I think Mr Dua has done justice by exclusively focusing on our internal affairs in the editorial.

We must address the massive problem of regional disparity and contain the growing migration of masses from remote districts and states to far off prosperous states. We must set up more industries for gainful employment with or without SEZ framework.



I don’t know whether the politicians will heed Mr Dua’s advice because they are in league with insensitive bureaucrats, businessmen and criminal elements.

This nexus has created a horrific situation which calls for a revolutionary change in the vicious system which breeds violence and corruption.

Indians do believe in the “ethos of tolerance, forgiveness and compassion” but the power-hungry politicians exploit people’s religious, caste and ethnic sentiments to meet their selfish ends. All patriotic and honest social workers and intellectuals should rise to the occasion and stem the rot in the system.

Prof HARI SINGH, Khri Jat (Jhajjar)

Problem of water-logging

IT is surprising how the problem of water-logging has occurred in Muktsar, Abohar and Fazilka. When there was 15 per cent less rainfall during the monsoon and the water-table too is fast depleting in Punjab, how did water-logging occur?

Moreover, these areas are not close to any river which could cause water-logging. The problem, if analysed scientifically, will be due to unnecessary use of the canal or tube-well water. The farmers first use the water in excess and then request the government to compensate them for damages due to water-logging.

The government has dug some water-logging preventive drainage structures to carry the wasted water (ranging from 400 to 700 cusecs). All this water is discharged into Pakistan free of cost. Under the Indus Water Treaty, we are not supposed to give this water to Pakistan. If we can’t use this water, we should sell it to thirsty Rajasthan, by lifting it up and putting it in the canals going to that state. Let Punjab charge money from the Rajasthan government for this supply of additional water.

HARJAP SINGH AUJLA, Monmouth Junction New Jersey (USA)


No exemption yet

Even after a report in The Tribune (October 19, 2007), the toll barriers staff are still forcing ex-servicemen to pay tax. At some places, they have quoted a Ministry of Road Transport and Highways letter of 2005 and without showing any evidence they charge toll tax from the retired defence personnel. This is in contravention of the existing orders on the subject.

I hereby draw the attention of the staff and management of all toll barriers to a letter No. NHAI/CMU/GMA Off/EXTEMPT/Toll Tax d 1166 dated November 17, 2006 from the National Highway Authority of India, Ministry of Road Transport and Highways.

In this letter, it has been clarified that Defence Personnel/Ex-servicemen and their families are exempted from paying tax on production of I-card. aCol KULDIP SINGH GREWAL (retd), Patiala



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