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Gujjars and politics of reservations

The Gujjars’ stir for their inclusion in the Scheduled Tribe category for reservations is highly unfortunate. The Gujjars demand ST status as has been given to the Meenas.  Because of ST status, the Meenas have been in a position to enter the Central services on a big scale. By demanding ST status, the Gujjars, who have been given OBC status, too want a bigger share of the cake. However, the violent agitation launched by the Gujjars is not good for the country. If their plea is accepted, other castes may make similar demands tomorrow.

The Gujjar leaders across the country should appeal to the community to withdraw the stir and stop damaging public property. The Government of India should also draw a lesson from such caste-based reservation demands and reconsider/review the whole issue of reservations to avoid such happenings in future. In place of reservations, the socially and economically backwards should be given the best of educational facilities so that they come to the level of open competition.

The recent decision of the Government of India to allocate Rs. 3,300 crore for educational scholarships is timely. The moral of the story is to make the best possible educational facilities available for all and educational scholarships to the deserving and needy. 

PURAN SINGH, Assistant Professor, Haryana Insitute of Rural Development, Nilokheri



I keenly read the editorial “Gujjar war” (May 30). The law regarding maximum reservations should be abolished. The Gujjars should be given 6 per cent reservation in government/semi-government and private jobs, assembly and Lok Sabha seats in Rajasthan even without giving them the Scheduled Tribe status.

We should agree to their legitimate demands. People born in poor castes/tribes cannot compete with landlords or the Ambanis. Let us share everything with the Gujjars instead of beating them daily.


Not above law

I read the editorial “Justice at last—Neelam Katara wins battle for son” (May 29). The conviction of Vikas Yadav and Vishal Yadav is a slap on the face of powerful mafia dons and politicians who think and act as if they are above the law of the land.

Neelam Katara, the unfortunate mother, and the media that stood behind her “in her lone fight for justice” deserve appreciation from every Indian who has a faith in the judiciary.

The political parties should learn a lesson that the wooing of gangsters for their narrow and vested interests is not only against the spirit of the Constitution but also goes against the interests of society at large whom they profess to serve.

LAJ PAT RAI GARG, Chandigarh

No regular Principal

Quite often editorials are written about the low priority the government gives to our education system. It is strange that the same media too puts education on the back burner.

For instance, no one seems to be bothered about the fact that none of the government colleges in Chandigarh has a regular Principal now for the past five years. Even the one who has been selected through the UPSC has been denied the appointment for unknown reasons. Paradoxically, the local media, forgetting its self-laid man-bites-dog news-making rules, has launched a campaign in regard to the non-filling of a bureaucratic slot (Home Secretary’s post).

BALVINDER, former Principal, Government College, Chandigarh

Aarushi murder

The Aarushi murder in Noida holds a lesson for all. In the past, our India was known for its culture and upright social behaviour. Today, India is known for corruption, murders and agitations. In the past, we lived in joint families and the eldest member performed all responsibilities of the family. The rest of the members lived freely without worries. But now joint families have fallen apart and people like to live separately. 

Aarushi was a sweet girl and it was her family’s responsibility to develop her behaviour and understanding. But her parents, it seems, didn’t have such moral power. A child first learns things in home and he/she behaves outside as he/she behaves in home.

SANDEEP FOGAAT, software engineer, Mundhal Kalan (Bhiwani)

Abnormal hike

The Punjab government, while announcing its excise policy for 2008-09, has announced that the rates of country liquor will be raised by Rs 5 and IMFL by Rs 10 a bottle. But in Patiala alone, the contractors have increased the rate of IMFL by Rs 50-80 a bottle. This goes against the government policy. The government should intervene and rectify this anomaly.

S.S. RANDHAWA, Patiala


Vanishing birds

The editorial “Vanishing birds” (May 24) forces one to think of the importance of rich biodiversity India is endowed with. On a land area of only 2.4 per cent of the world, India has 8.1 per cent of species diversity. A lot of diversity yet remains unexplored.

But are we taking care of the available species? Species diversity is important for productivity, stability resilience and the health of an ecosystem. Though there have been natural and mass extinctions in the past, the most harmful is the anthropogenic (man-made) extinction. The rate of man-made extinction is 100 to 1,000 times higher than natural extinctions. The main causes of the loss are: habitat exploitation, over-use of resources, introduction of exotic species, intensive agriculture, commercial forestry and, above all, pollution of the soil, water and air. These are all man-made problems. As they say, there is enough for everyone’s need but not for greed.

We should not forget that the loss of biodiversity would lead to (a) a decline in plant productivity, (b) reduced availability of alternative food resources, (c) a decline in genetic variability, and (d) lowered resistance to draught. Moreover, we should not forget the economic utilitarian value of diversity of species. Ethically and ecologically also, all-out efforts should be made to conserve biodiversity. Banning hunting and products made from animals and controlling population should be the top priority of all environmental projects.

ANITA KATARIA, DAV Public School, Patiala



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