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No case for raising HP land value

There are suggestions for raising the HP land value and abolishing Section 118 of the Himachal Pradesh Tenancy Act 1974. This is to help outsiders purchase land in HP at a higher price since the cost of Himachal land is much lower than that of in Punjab and Haryana. The objective is to improve the economic condition of the farmers and enrich the Himachali culture.

Already some illegal constructions have come up and some sections are trying to get adverse possession through courts. This is disturbing the poorer sections. A lot of benami registrations have also taken place.

The state government should not abolish the Act in question but deal strictly with those who have occupied other’s land by unfair means. The authorities concerned should not grant adverse possession. Instead, illegal constructions should be demolished and the sites handed back to the genuine and bona fide owners.

G.S. CHAUDHARY, Hamirpur

No defiance

Your recent, self-proclaimed support of the armed forces on the issue of the Sixth Pay Commission Report has been particularly pleasing to all retired and serving personnel. However, the editorial, criticising the Naval Chief’s so-called “defiance” (September 30) that even goes so far as to headline Admiral Mehta’s conduct as “inexcusable” was out of line and uncalled for.

One of the basic tenets of being a good leader is his ability to understand the needs of his men and not only stand up for them but even stick one’s own neck out in their interest, safety, comfort. Men do not follow into battle a leader who does not know in his heart that the morale of his men is of paramount importance.

The Service Chiefs have, in fact, remained silent for far too long and have over the years borne successive humiliations at the hands of a manipulative bureaucracy with a stiff upper lip that has actually been to the detriment of the armed forces and the nation at large.

Admiral Sureesh Mehta has done nothing wrong in refusing to accept the crumbs thrown to the Services and there has been nothing even remotely unbecoming in his conduct. He has, in fact, done himself and the armed forces proud. For once there is a Chief with a backbone who has not succumbed to bullying or artful coercion.

Commander J.V. SINGH (retd), On e-mail


The Sixth Pay Commission has again created four major anomalies apart from others, for which the three Service Chiefs have been requesting, ever since the award was announced.

If, despite this, the Cabinet appoints a Committee of Secretaries to remove these anomalies and announces the report’s implementation without hearing out the armed forces’ point of view, what do you expect the three Chiefs to do? Surprisingly, there was no armed forces’ representative on the Pay Commission. 
Consequently, they had no option but to write to the Prime Minister to air their grievances when all other channels (including the Defence Minister) have failed to redress these major anomalies.

Admiral Mehta is the Chairman, Chiefs of Staff Committee. As the head of the armed forces, he has taken the correct and honourable course to uphold the values and ethos of the armed forces when the political leadership procrastinates in taking a decision to redress issues. One of them is that the head of the organisation has to speak out for the rights of his subordinates, even if it is at his cost.

The government should now announce that the armed forces will have a separate pay commission henceforth in view of the peculiar terms of service, as is the case the world over.

Lt-Gen KAMALJIT SINGH (retd), Gurdaspur


While the defence forces and ex-servicemen are thankful to The Tribune for championing their cause, the editorial in question was a bit too harsh, knowing the circumstances under which a step was taken.

The defence forces have been complaining against the step-motherly treatment being meted out to them by successive pay commissions, but the government never bothered to correct the anomalies. It is all right that the personnel in the armed forces have to forfeit certain fundamental rights such as freedom of speech and the right to form unions, but does it mean that they can be hanged without being heard?

Why has the government never allowed a representative of the defence forces on the pay commission? Does the demand for its inclusion amount to disobedience? Why was the rank pay not taken into consideration while fixing the pay band? Or should the defence forces accept whatever crumbs thrown at them?

Brig L.C. JAMWAL (retd), Shimla

Skewed sex ratio

The Hindu Succession Act 1956, as amended, is the main cause of the declining sex ratio. This gives equal rights to the daughters in the ancestral property of their fathers. Farming communities in North India are very protective of their landed property and do not tolerate its going out of the family.

Despite the Hindu Succession Act, daughters have rarely been given share in the landed property. Moreover, most North Indian villagers are orthodox and don’t want to live with their daughters.

Social problems are created when impracticable and socially unacceptable laws are passed. The Hindu Succession Act has been found impracticable by farming communities as the land is bound to get fragmented and each couple will have to look after farming at two places. Repeal of the Act is unwise and retrograde.

Village panchayats have started realising the menace of skewed sex ratio. This is changing their line of thinking.

Lt-Col H.S. GUR (retd), Hisar



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