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THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
L E T T E R S    T O    T H E    E D I T O R

Bride burning deserves strict punishment

Justice Markandey Katju of the Supreme Court (editorial, “Killing for dowry: SC favours hanging as punishment”, June 3) deserves kudos for his remark that perpetrators of heinous crimes like bride burning should be hanged. It is certainly a positive and constructive departure from the rigid legal and procedural intricacies of the judicial system that resulted in the acquittal of the accused in a majority of the dowry death cases. It also reflects upon the change in the mindset of the Judges of the Supreme Court. They are concerned with not only upholding the law of the land but are also interested in combating social evils by awarding exemplary punishment to the accused.

You have rightly observed: “The judge’s comments, though an obiter dicta, should be taken with due weight as they bring out the apex court’s deep anguish over this menace and the imperative need to tackle it firmly.”

LAJPAT RAI GARG, Chandigarh




II

The editorial rightly commended the Supreme Court’s tough stance on the bride-burning cases. One hopes the apex court’s views will go a long way in checking dowry-related deaths and complaints. But at the same time as observed in the editorial, there is a need for a powerful reform movement to change the mindset of the people. In fact, the overall outlook of the people towards the social status of the women needs to be radically transformed. The evil is so deep-rooted in our society that our education, religion and the media have failed to produce desirable results.

Female foeticide, infanticide, honour-killings and other discriminatory practices are widespread in both Punjab and Haryana. While the law must take its course, the youth, must take a strong stand against giving or taking dowry. Workshops and seminars should be organised to sensitise the youth on this issue. Steps should be taken to save women from greedy in-laws. Legal literacy is the need of the hour.

SUDESH KUMAR SHARMA, Kapurthala

III

Terming bride burning as a barbaric act, the Supreme Court has rightly stressed the urgency of death penalty for the bride burners. Verily, an outcome of senseless sadism, this cold-blooded and wilfully planned crime deserves no relief or mercy. The Apex court’s observation would certainly have far-reaching consequences.

O P COUSHIK, Kurukshetra

Environment day

Come June 5, the World Environment Day, and there are rituals galore in the shape of workshops, lectures on environment protection, energy security, protection of natural resources, regeneration of planet earth and much more. School students with placards carrying environment slogans are paraded through the main markets. Despite the High Courts order that the practice of using children for rallies in the name of environment violates children’s rights, this unhealthy practice is being followed without fear.

The ground reality, however, is that in Palampur (Himachal Pradesh) where only a few decades ago towering trees used to provide dense green cover and mineral-rich drinking water was supplied from springs and silt-free rivulets, all has been lost. Wrong policies of the state government, rampant corruption in the government machinery and apathy and incompetence of the concerned agencies have led to an irreversible environmental damage. Forests and water bodies have been turned into garbage dumping grounds. A large number of trees have become casualties of administrative indifference and the remaining trees are drying up. The forest department is clueless about the cause.

Nine conventions on environment protection and combating climate change have been held here since the year 2000, yet nothing concrete has emerged. The state government should shun ad-hoc measures and initiate action to resurrect the environment in Palampur.

K B RALHAN, Palampur

II

Pollution has become a big threat to human life.Industrialisation has led to uncontrolled urbanisation and at the same time it has aggravated the problem of pollution. The destruction of trees and the emission of greenhouse gases have led to adverse climatic changes. On this day, we should make a pledge to save our planet from pollution and make concerted efforts to cut down harmful emissions.

DR S K AGGARWAL, Amritsar





Fight against Taliban

The views expressed in the thought-provoking article “Pak offensive against Taliban” (June 3) by General V P Malik (retd) are thought provoking. Understandably, handling the root causes in Pakistan, i.e. the “socio-economic and socio-political factors” as against an outright offensive against the Taliban, would have been a far better option to tackle the ongoing problem.

Nonetheless, the Pakistan army is displaying military naivety by deploying heavy armaments like tanks, guns and fighter aircraft against the Taliban. Such indiscriminate use of firepower is bound to lead to collateral damage and affect the lives and property of innocent civilians who will ultimately be alienated.

The Pakistan army may win a few battles against the Taliban but such action is unlikely to win the hearts and minds of the people that ultimately counts in counter-insurgency operations. Such operations take a long time to succeed. Presently, the final victory over the Taliban in Afghanistan appears a distant dream. Till then, we are bound to feel the heat of a troubled neighbourhood. It would, therefore, be in our best interest to revamp our vital security concerns and remain prepared to meet any threat to our national security.

GOVIND SINGH KHIMTA, Shimla

 





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