Tasks before the new HP government

The Himachal Pradesh government’s decision to enhance the daily wages and the old age pension is welcome because it will help the economically vulnerable sections of society. The Prem Kumar Dhumal government has also rightly decided to maintain cordial relations with the Centre. “Here is your friend, ring up and get relieved when in trouble”, how inspiring are these words of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to Mr Dhumal.

The Prime Minister’s assurance to extend the period of industrial package and to expand the railway network in the state is also welcome. Industrial backwardness is the main cause of growing unemployment in the state. The state government should also solve the problems of the pensioners and senior citizens.




The new government should improve the quality of education, health, drinking water and garbage management. The state has done well in literacy, but the quality of education is far from satisfactory. Similarly, the common man cannot afford specialised health care in case of emergency. The quality of tap water is extremely poor. We do have roads, but these are bad. The new government should consider Switzerland and Singapore as role models and not our other states which are mismanaged in many ways.

Tourists visiting Himachal expects clean roads and good civic amenities which are in a mess today. If the new government keeps its word, development will get a boost.



The new government should put the education department on the right track. Over 500 Senior Secondary Schools have been running without principals for over a year. The same is the case with high schools. The previous government made a mess of education and this led to many controversies. Today, neither the TGTs nor lecturers are willing to teach though a dozen notifications have been issued.

Moreover, the previous government was recruiting teachers on an ad hoc, contract and PTA basis disregarding rules. After backdoor entry, the teachers were more interested in getting their services regularised with all other benefits instead of teaching.



Memorial for Mayo

After a visit to Port Blair’s Cellular Jail and the Museum, every Indian visitor can get a glimpse of the sacrifices made by our freedom fighters. Especially poignant is the panel on Sher Ali, a prisoner, who was executed in 1872 for assassinating Lord Mayo, the then Viceroy of India. Sher Ali walked to the gallows with his head held high, as did Bhagat Singh years later for India’s freedom.

A memorial to Lord Mayo to mark the spot where he was assassinated would have been a befitting historical monument. However, on the way to Mount Harriet, seeing a memorial to Lord Mayo erected nearly 60 years after India’s Independence was an unpleasant surprise. Whatever his achievements, erecting his post-Independence memorial here mocks at Sher Ali and many other prisoners who died in Kalapani for loving their motherland. 

Maj-Gen S.G.VOMBATKERE (retd), Mysore 

Not another panel

Maj-Gen Himmat Singh Gill’s article Heed the dead of 1984 (Dec 20) and Kuldip Nayar’s piece Seek truth and reconciliation (Dec 27) were timely. Reconciliation is a fine idea but not by appointing yet another commission. Let those involved in the heinous crimes make an open confession of their role and then, if law permits, make a plea for forgiveness or reconciliation before the court itself. We have had enough of commissions.

Admittedly, life has to go on and one cannot live in the past. Forgiveness is a virtue but the culprits behind the killings must be brought to justice.

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

Buddha and Modi

Historian Sumit Sarkar has recently pointed out that the Nandigram incident is similar to the violence in Gujarat. Undoubtedly, the conduct of the Chief Ministers of both the states — Mr Buddhadeb Bhattacharya and Mr Narendra Modi — is same to a considerable extent.

While Buddha babu is silently facing opposition from the Forward Bloc, the RSP and the CPI for the Nandigram episode, Modi is also in no position to openly criticise his violent cadres. Both are trapped between ideology and governance and are unpopular in their own parties.


Soft on terror

The terrorists’ attack on the CRPF camp in Rampur (UP) on New Year’s Day confirms that India is a soft state where terrorists can attack as and when they like. The terrorists attacked Parliament, army camps, courts, temples, crowded markets and what not. This is because there is no stringent law against terrorism. Lack of such a law strengthens the terrorists’ hands. TADA and POTA, anti-terrorist laws, have been repeated, ignoring the national security.

Politicians always talk about human rights for terrorists. When a terrorist can ruthlessly eliminate innocent people, how can he (or his friends) speak of human rights? The government of the day should ponder over it in the interest of national security and integrity.

RAM LAL, New Delhi

A challenge

Global warming has become a big challenge today. To protect the health and economic wellbeing of the current and future generations, we must reduce our emissions of heat-trapping gases by using the latest technology and know-how.

The government is attaching more importance to higher GDP than issues like global warming. Only NGOs and some social organisations are serious about these sensitive issues. Let’s all resolve to curb global warming which will be the greatest gift to humanity.

NIKHIL BHARDWAJ, Shahkot (Jalandhar)



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 |