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Adding insult to migrants’ injury

I agree with the view that “Raj has been running wild only because he has been given an extra-long rope” (editorial “Raj running amok”, May 28). Raj Thackeray feels emboldened to spit venom against the migrants from North India because the Vilasrao Deshmukh government has turned a blind eye to his hate campaign in Mumbai.

The state government has actually added insult to injury to the migrants by accusing them of being an “unbearable burden on Mumbai’s civic amenities”. Perhaps a pusillanimous Chief Minister is afraid of challenging Raj Thackrey ideologically because of petty electoral gains. This “wily nephew” of Bal Thackeray is hell-bent on snatching the migrants’ right to live and earn their livelihood in Mumbai. This reflects his deep contempt for the basic spirit of the Constitution.

I fully share the apprehension that the divisive agenda of the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena can be emulated in other parts of the country as well. I am quite surprised to note that even a senior and responsible politician like Sharat Pawar is also intriguingly silent on Raj Thakeray’s irrational statements.


Poor people from UP and Bihar, even middle class gentlemen from other states and now even students are being targeted. The tacit silence of major political parties is equally alarming as it exposes their hypocrisy and double-talk about their being national. The migrants deserve sympathy of the Central government, TV channels and the print media as well.


Renewal of sporting culture

Himmat Singh Gill’s write-up “Sporting culture in dire need of renewal” was very appropriate. Our cricket-crazy public, media and corporate giants have put cricket on a high throne, which is unreachable by Olympic sports. As a result, conventional sports like hockey, football, basketball, volleyball and athletics have been neglected. In America most high schools have synthetic tracks for athletics.

In India great sporting institutions like Khalsa College, Amritsar, which used to win Panjab University athletic championships before partition in Lahore and after that too in East Punjab, is still without a synthetic track. What a shame!

The tehsils of Patti, Khadoor Sahib, Tarn Taran and Batala, which boast of high milk consumption and wholesome diet in India, are totally devoid of appropriate sports infrastructure. I am glad Dr. Manohar Singh Gill has been made the sports minister at the Centre.

He knows how funds are obtained from the Ministry of Finance and the Planning Commission. I hope he will pay attention to the areas which have so far been ignored by the Sports Ministry.


‘Police’ vehicles

The number plates and windshields of vehicles often carry expressions which seem to have been written to impress/intimidate the traffic police/toll tax barrier staff. The frequently used expressions include “Govt of India”, “Punjab Government”, “Haryana Government” and “V.V.I.P”. The most common perhaps are “Police”, “Press”, and “Army”. Some vehicles even mention the full name of the office which has bought the vehicle.

Some persons write “Govt of India” on their private vehicles. I have even seen ladies driving “Govt of India” vehicles. I do not think that any government department has female drivers on its staff. I do not know whether this gives some immunity to the vehicle-owners or their drivers from rash driving, jumping the red light or driving without proper papers.

Why doesn’t the administration come forward and curb the practice? I feel that if a vehicle-owner has all the requisite documents and is driving properly, there is no need to write such words. The fact that a vehicle belongs to a government department is clearly mentioned in the registration certificate. Then where is the need to mention it prominently over the vehicle?


Tendulkar’s craft

Neelam Mansingh’s write-up on Tendulkar (May 21) is a befitting tribute to the doyen of modern Indian theatre. The consummate craft of Tendulkar as a dramatist exposes the fraudster and the hypocrite in this seemingly sound and sane society. The characters created by him in plays like “Sakharam Binder” and “Ghashiram Kotwal” are monuments in world dramatic literature.

The relentless but authentic criticism of society provided by Tendulkar’s oeuvre proves beyond doubt that no one can understand and analyse human nature better than a playwright and no other art portrays human life better than the stage art. He was indeed the greatest among the makers of modern Indian drama.


Road in bad shape

The passengers travelling by bus between Jammu and Amritsar undergo a traumatic experience due to the dilapidated condition of the road at Madhopur and Verka. The bypass road at Madhopur is so small that only light vehicles can ply. However, heavy vehicles are common and so are traffic jams and accidents. I request the authorities concerned to get the road repaired at the earliest.


Gas connections

The proposal of the government to ban the release of new gas connections is highly unjustified. Newly married couples living away from parents will be put to a lot of inconvenience. It will also result in black marketing and profiteering.

The gas problem is due to the fact that domestic gas is being diverted for commercial use, which is a misuse of subsidised cylinders. Instead, the government should immediately conduct raids on commercial establishments which misuse cylinders meant for domestic use.

H. S. GHAI, Khanna



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