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No concern for human rights

Might is right even today. The powerful nations can tinker with the laws according to their whim. The same is true with the US. It was painful to read the editorial, Drugging deportees: US guilty of serious violations (May 19). In its aftermath, the World War II (1939-45) gave rise to intense concern about the use of human beings for medical research. The German medical specialists were conducting gruesome experiments on prisoners of war without taking their consent. In 1947, the Nuremburg Code emphasised on explicit individual consent.

In 1948, the UN Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It expressed concern about human beings being subjected to involuntary maltreatment. In 1966, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights specifically stated that no one should be subjected to torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. In particular, no one shall be subjected without his or her consent.


The editorial reflects the gross irregularities committed by the law enforcers in the US. The government should take appropriate action against such cruel activity that is neither ethical nor rational and is quite unexpected in a country that is projected as ethically upright and rationally rational. Otherwise, the old proverb, ‘I believe in preaching, not following’ will come true.

Prof Dr C. S. GAUTAM, Head, Pharmacology Dept, GMCH, Sec 32, Chandigarh

Check dropouts

V. P. Prabhakar’s article Why children remain out of school (Education Page, May 13) was interesting. He has not mentioned the period of the data mentioned. It appears, however, that the data pertains to 2004-05 and much has happened since then. The enrolment figures at primary stage rise from 20.7 lakh in 2004-05 to 21.2 lakh in 2006-07. So is the case with other stages of school education. Besides, the dropout rate has also declined.

It, however, does not mean that the universalisation of elementary education is a finished business. Much remains to be done in many sectors of education. The latest data should be used in any analytical study before drawing inference. The efforts made in the direction should be applauded and the maladies cropping up like misutilisation of funds must also be highlighted and condemned.

Hopefully, Haryana will overcome the heavy odds and pass through the majestic passage to obtain the first position in education in India.

Dr S. KUMAR, Former Director, Bharat Scouts & Guides, Panchkula

National assets

The killing of a budding engineer is a great loss to India. When our country is zooming past various nations, we need technocrats most. They are the real national resource and we cannot lose them. The incident underlined once again the insensitivity of the police and law enforcement agencies which just categorise such incidents as college disputes and close the file.

The college authorities too come under scrutiny. How is it that the college had no access to ambulance or emergency medical aid? The victim was let to bleed till he died. Why is the staff not trained in first aid? Are high safety standards required only for ‘A’ class professional colleges?

It is time we learnt from developed countries. Though there are reports of shootouts in those colleges, the institutions are fully equipped with facilities and first aid and trained staff to check the loss of human life.


Food for thought

Mina Surjit Singh’s article, When the nerve is extracted (May 22) provides a lot of thought for contemplation. “We lead fractured lives, yet continue to live through pretence,” she says. No two persons think similarly. With the result they cannot live peacefully in the same house. So what is the binding force for husbands and wives? It is sex and when it is gone, only compromise remains. And compromise is never the ideal situation for happier living. Once a correspondent asked Indira Gandhi, “Why did you marry?” Pat came the reply: “Only to have children”. It was a realistic answer. And thereafter she never lived with Feroze Gandhi.

The writer has rightly concluded that currently we are helpless and are forced to lead a married life. But certainly we can give a thought to the whole process and arrangement of things. If and when socio-economic conditions change, certainly, they will have a strong impact on their married life. The only condition is openness of the mind towards human relations according to the need of the hour.


Save Kalatop wildlife sanctuary

India has a wide variety of about 76,000 species of fauna and flora in 17 types of forests. But human beings, in their race towards modernisation, are depleting the natural resources. Many of the quadruped animals live in the Kalatop wildlife sanctuary.

The government has wrongly decided to reduce the area of this sanctuary from 69 sq km to 11.7 sq km. This will disturb the wildlife. Homes of these animals like ghoral, bear, leopard and many others are being destroyed for the sake of urbanisation. This is gross injustice to those who admire the beauty of the wildlife sanctuary.

These quadruped animals will have no place or habitat to live and they would get extinct either by poaching or by loneliness. The reduction of flora and fauna will lead to the extinction of the planet and humankind as a whole.

ABHISHEK SINGH JAMWAL, Hill Top School, Dalhousie (HP)



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