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

Mamata’s stamp on railway budget

In the editorial “Mamata Express: A socialist touch to railway budget” (July 4) you have rightly observed that Ms Mamata Banerjee’s budget is set to change the railways from being a profit-driven corporate organisation to a social welfare entity. It is heartening to see that she is in sync with the sentiments of the common people who rightly wish that the benefits of national growth must reach the poor. The corporate concept of the former Railway Minister, Mr Lalu Prasad Yadav, was good as it revitalised the railways and proved that public sectors can also be efficient if led by a dynamic minister.

Now, Ms Banerjee has added on to the good work done by her predecessor and made the railways people-friendly. This approach of improving the quality of life of people, especially at the grassroots, is the corner-stone of inclusive growth and will strengthen the weakest link of the chain.

Col R D SINGH, Leh


The common man, unaware of technical terms, views gains and losses in the budget in terms of his convenience and pocket. Easy availability of confirmed tickets, punctuality and comfortable journey at affordable rates is what he wants and seeks. By ignoring Punjab and Uttarakhand, the Railways Minister has done injustice to its residents

Prof ANUP K GAKKHAR, Haridwar

Gay couples

Though the Delhi High Court ruling (editorial, “Couples or companions?— HC verdict will excite some, not all”, July 4) concerning gays’ rights has been hailed by groups of persons having abnormal sexual preferences, there was no “urgency for the judiciary to resolve an issue that concerns a very small segment of population.”

The hype created by some sections of society over the judgment that it would help “modernise” the country is not based on ground realities. Such issues are “purely moralistic in nature and in the societal domain” and need a wider debate by the public at large and the courts should refrain from meddling in such matters.



The Delhi High Court’s judgment on homosexuality has come as a bolt from the blue for those with sound, healthy and balanced minds. The judgment is likely to spell disaster for humanity in general and Indians in particular. It will only usher in an era of degeneration and depravity.

The need of the hour is that conscientious legal luminaries challenge the judgment in the Supreme Court, before it is too late. A Sarv Dharam conclave should also be organised to seek edicts from religious heads.

Prof K B S SODHI, Ludhiana


You have thoroughly analysed the Indian societal set-up in the editorial. The issue of gay sex in India is more moralistic than legal and lies within the societal domain and requires an attitudinal change. The gay sex—whether the intending partners live as couples or companions — is alien to the ethics of the Indian society that is predominantly moralistic. It is only a microscopic segment of society which wants homosexuality to be legalised. The Union Government should challenge the judgement in the Supreme Court.


Overdue educational reforms

To Harpal Singh’s article, “From marks to quality: Sibal plans are forward looking” (July 2), I would like to add that the educational reforms are long overdue and a welcome step. Education liberates and any change or reform for the betterment of the education system must always be welcomed.

However, the announcements made by the Union HRD Minister, Mr Kapil Sibal, for improving the quality of education needs to be debated in view of the vast rural population. Along with the objective of sustainability and universal benefits, the reforms must target the most deserving. The real challenge of imparting quality education lies in rural areas, where the infrastructure is poor and quality of instruction is low. Thus, reforms must keep this reality into account.

Before initiating steps like opening foreign universities or abolishing Class X exam, let us first improve the quality of rural education. Let us also stop commercialisation of education. Besides, we must put a blanket ban on coaching institutes for professional exams. Such institutes promote cramming and lay little emphasis upon proper understanding of the subject. Abolishing the cut-off percentage for admissions, however, may prove to be counterproductive.

PURAN SINGH, Assistant Professor, Haryana Institute of Rural Development, Nilokheri



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