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India’s war with itself

In the opening lines of his front-page editorial,
India cannot be at war with itself” (Aug 8), H. K. Dua aptly said: “Politicians…do things without thinking a wee bit about the consequences of what they are doing.”

Most politicians today blatantly testify the second meaning of ‘politician’ enumerated in the dictionary as “person who acts in a manipulative and devious way to gain advancements”.

All politicians, in or out of power, should be loyal to India and not patronise any religion, region or community. They should desist from minority appeasement to gain votes to the detriment of India’s interests.

The world has become a global village. No language, culture, religion or region can remain aloof and unaffected for long. This stark reality has to be accepted, be it in Kashmir, Tibet or elsewhere.

Let Jammu and Kashmir be a homogenous part of India like other states. All citizens of India living in Jammu or Kashmir must strive for the advancement of the state and the country as a whole. Regional and parochial attitudes are enemies of growth and development.




We must uphold national unity at any cost. Our political leaders’ sole aim is to protect their vote bank. The present agitation in Jammu is an outcome of it. The agitation arose due to the cancellation of a few acres of land, allotted to the Amarnath Shrine Board, which was for the wellbeing of the yatris for their stay on pilgrimage. The said allotment was blown out of proportion by the PDP which got the notification of land allotment cancelled.

Mr Omar Abdullah’s speech in Parliament on July 22 added fuel to the fire. The people of Jammu region agitated and took to the streets. The Centre has reacted very late in calling the all-party meeting. The Union Home Minister was buying time in Delhi. The Opposition parties, particularly the BJP, have incited the people to agitate keeping an eye on the ensuing elections.



It is wrong to blame former Governor S. K. Sinha for the Jammu problem. He is an expert and competent general. Being the seniormost Lieutenant General, he would have been the Chief of Army Staff, but was superseded for political reasons.

The Governor is only a titular head. The decision of allotting the land to the Amarnath Shrine Board was taken by the then Ghulam Nabi Azad government including the PDP ministers. This land was given for two months only, that too, at a price of Rs 2.31 crore. But later, under the PDP’s pressure, and to appease the separatist forces, the notification was withdrawn.

Now the agitation has become a mass movement supported by all political parties. The government should take corrective steps immediately. Otherwise, Pakistan’s ISI could take advantage of it.

Y.K. SHARMA, Narnaul


The writer has examined the ugly drama enacted by some unscrupulous elements in Jammu. I fully share the tone and tenor of the editorial and whole-heartedly endorse the point adumbrated therein.

Looking at the incidence of violence over the issue of transfer of land to the Amarnath Shrine Board by the Jammu and Kashmir Governor, it appears as if the country at large is at war with itself, as the editorial aptly points out. The culture of violence as a means of protest is highly deplorable.

The issue should be discussed through dialogue across the table. Let the agitationists pause and ponder over the consequences of their mindless approach in the larger national interest and give it up forthwith.

TARA CHAND, Ambota (Una)

Give priority to school education

Ironically, while search is on for a suitable place for setting up a Central University in Punjab, the government has no plans to put primary education back on the rails. Hardly 5 per cent of 13,000 primary schools and 3,000 elementary schools have teachers and infrastructure.

For the last 20 years, schools are without teachers. Nearly 30 lakh students have been without education for years. It is a crime against humanity. The other day, the Punjab government’s Research Committee had revealed that only 6 per cent of +2 passed school students could join higher education. It said that the share of rural students in higher education was merely 4.02 per cent. The reason: poor education in government schools in rural areas.

According to the UGC, 90 per cent colleges and 68 per cent universities in the country are substandard. This poor state of affairs is due to poor school education, large-scale absenteeism of teachers and poor equipment. It is time we gave priority to school education.

Dr T.R. SHARMA, Patiala



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