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Tough road ahead for Omar Abdullah

The youngest ever Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir, Mr Omar Abdullah, has to live up to the high expectations of the people of the state. Besides dealing with strong opposition from the People’s Democratic Party and the Bharatiya Janata Party, he has to tackle separatists.

Mr Omar Abdullah perhaps is the first CM who will have to grapple with the sharpest regional divide in the state since Independence. The outcome of the recently concluded Jammu and Kashmir assembly elections clearly reflects a huge divide between the two important regions of the state. This polarisation happened due to the long Amarnath shrine land row.

Though the young chief minister is energetic, optimistic and a man with “fire in the heart”, propelling the state on the path of development and peace will not be easy. He should take effective steps to integrate the state and put it on the right path.


Friendly Hasina

I agree with the views expressed through the editorial “Hasina returns to power” (Jan 1). Sheikh Hasina’s re-emergence is significant in many ways. Her landslide victory has restored democracy in Bangladesh.

The results have given a dressing- down to religious extremism and terrorist outfits like the Harkat-ul-Jihad- al-Islami, which has been responsible for terrorist attacks in various cities in India. We expect that the new regime led by the daughter of Bangabandhu, Sheikh Mujibur Rehman, will tackle the HUJI and other terror organisations operating from Bangladesh with a heavy hand.

We hope that Ms Hasina’s regime will herald a new era of friendly relations with us and put an end to illegal migration of Bangladeshis into India. Increasing trade and exchange of cultural activities will create goodwill and understanding between New Delhi and Dhaka.


Soft India

Since Mumbai terror attacks, a large number of editorials, and several letters have appeared in your paper. However, a few pertinent questions remain unanswered. Why has India become an overly soft state, always adopting the carrot and not the stick policy? Why does it always want to be a sitting duck, rather than a hawk? Why has it always projected the image of being merely a paper tiger, a dog, which has no bite, a serpent that only hisses?

Today, India has the moral support of all major countries of the world. Isn’t it high time to act instead of merely collecting and furnishing evidence, knowing fully well that these would be scoffed at by Pakistan? It is India’s soft stance that encourages Pakistan to indulge in its nefarious designs. Wouldn’t India in due course of time be looked down upon, as an impotent and ineffectual nation?

D K AGGARWALA, Hoshiarpur

Unfair relaxation

The news “‘Rice millers’ demand accepted” (Jan 1) points out the lopsided decision of the Union Government. By providing relief in norms to the rice millers of Punjab and Haryana to be procured by FCI, the government has once again played with the food security of the nation.

In fact, there was no need to give any relief, for the traders and rice millers of Punjab and Haryana could have improved the quality of rice by using a sortex, a machine used for winnowing damaged grains.

Now, since the government has already committed this blunder, it should depute special checking squads to inspect the FCI stocks. It is in the interest of the poor who depend on PDS for their rations that the government should take immediate effective steps.

ANIL CHAUDHRI, Dhariwal, Kapurthala

Noise pollutes

The editorial “Silence, please” (Jan 2) was thought provoking. It has taken us really long to realise that noise is also pollution. We Indians, especially Punjabis, are noise friendly people. Noise has a detrimental effect on our circulatory and nervous system and in extreme conditions can even cause deafness.

Yet, no celebration is considered to be complete without the use of loud- speakers. It is impossible to talk to each other at most of the wedding parties, as DJ’s play music at full volume .The government must become serious about reducing the noise levels before it gets too late. Schools too can step in to spread awareness.


No probe

As expected, the JPC has found no one guilty in the murky “cash for vote” scam. This is nothing new. Similar JPCs and commissions have been set up for the umpteen number of times in India to probe the wrongdoings of the high and mighty. But the results always remain the same. Millions of rupees are spent on investigation but the rich and the powerful go scot-free. It’s the poor and powerless that are made scapegoats.

The alleged bribe money of Rs 1 crore should be put in a fixed deposit account and the interest so accrued can be used to pay the expenses of the next JPC. Thus at least, the hard earned money of the taxpayer will not go waste. For the outcome of future JPC probes too will draw a blank.

Principal NARESH KUMAR, Noormahal

Bills must be discussed

The main function of Parliament is effective deliberation. The bills passed without debating the issue at length are bound to be ineffective. While framing the Constitution, the founding fathers deliberated over every article of the Constitution. However, today the scenario is absolutely different. The only healthy and meaningful discussion that has taken place recently was on National Investigation and Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

In the monsoon session of Parliament, eight Bills were passed in seventeen minutes. Actually, the precious time of the House is lost in disruptions of proceedings and bills are passed in the din of noise without discussion.

In coalition politics, it is difficult to discipline the members of Parliament. The politicians must realise their responsibility.

If an ordinary person and a government employee can be punished for dereliction of duty, then why should the politicians not be dealt with severely?

R. K. MAHAJAN, New Shimla



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