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Root cause of the Amarnath shrine crisis

The root cause of the Amarnath shrine problem is the cancellation of the land transfer order by the Jammu and Kashmir government under pressure from separatists, militants and political opportunists like the Hurriyat, the PDP and the NC which communalised the issue. (Editorial, “Resorting to passions”, July 3).

The National Conference government constituted Sri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB) in 2001. As the number of Amarnath yatris swelled to four lakhs, the period of the yatra was extended to two months in 2004 by the PDP regime. Nobody had objected to the conduct of yatra by the SASB under Governor’s guidance.

Clearly, a 40-hectare barren land at Baltal at an altitude of inhospitable 10,000 ft cannot be called “a large chunk of land”. Former Governor General S.K. Sinha did not commit any sin by asking for this land for erecting pre-fabricated facilities like toilets and shelters for the benefit of the yatris who were forced to defecate in the open, thus degrading the environment. As the SASB’s ex-officio head, General Sinha was duly and legally entrusted with the responsibility of overseeing all aspects of the yatra. To blame him in retrospect defies logic.

The BJP has been protesting against the abject surrender of the state government to the communal and separatists forces in the valley. It is a political and not a religious issue. Minority appeasement by the Congress is and will remain an election plank for the BJP. The whole chain of events in the valley once again underlines the need for abrogation of Article 370.



Hindus grudge some political parties’ double standards in the name of secularism and minority appeasement. At Baltal, the land transfer was not sought on permanent basis but on lease for which the SASB duly deposited Rs 2.5 crore.

By some strange logic, our secularists condone pro-Islam, pro-Pakistan, pro-Azaad Kashmir and anti-India violent protests by Muslims in the Kashmir valley but would not miss any opportunity at Sangh Parivar bashing. What is wrong if these organisations exercise their right to express and protest?

Sadly, it is the Jammu and Kashmir government, and not the BJP, which has played into the hands of the communal elements. Had Mr Ghulam Nabi Azad, the then chief minister, stood firm, he would have reaped electoral benefits and the separatists, too, would have got the right message.

AKANKSHA, Chandigarh


Mr Ghulam Nabi Azad, Jammu and Kashmir chief minister till recently, took the honourable route out of a morass not of his making. A decent man, he watched his government’s collapse amid a fortnight’s bizarre political drama. He was twice betrayed — first by the PDP and then by his own party, the Congress, and its leadership in Delhi.

Mr Azad sought to uphold the law and do the morally correct thing, but found the Union Government and his own party bosses undermining him.


Good tribute to Abu

H.K. DUA’s Sunday tribute to Abu Abraham (Spectrum, July 20) is very very good.


FM vetoes

Unfortunately, Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram is said to have vetoed even the 15 per cent hike in pay for defence personnel recommended by the Committee of Secretaries. If he could spare Rs 70,000 crore towards the farmers’ loan waiver, he could have easily spared Rs 4,000 crore for the defence forces.

Inadequacy of equipment and manpower in all the three services and despondency creeping into the defence forces due to the adverse report of the Sixth Pay Commission is taking the country to pre-1962 era and Mr Chidambaram appears to be emulating the late V.K. Krishna Menon.

Maj-Gen SATBIR SINGH (retd), Chandigarh

RBI policy

The RBI’s recent monetary policy has forced banks to raise both deposit and lending rates across the board. Banks have to rearrange demand time liabilities and assets portfolio. The increase in the lending rates will force banks’ rescheduling of repayment of loans as installment component fixed is going to change.

There is also the possibility of a little spurt in the banks’ NPA percentage as a section of borrowers won’t absorb the fall of financial hammer on their little and fixed income.

Banks have a tough time to withstand the increase in CRR to 8.75 per cent and other requirements ahead of meeting the RBI’s Basel II norms.

RAJESH SARAF,Sr. Bank Officer, Ludhiana



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