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

Deal with khap panchayats firmly

I fully endorse the views expressed in the editorial “Deal with khaps: Haryana must protect individual rights” (July 16). The apathy of the Haryana government in dealing with self-styled khap panchyats is encouraging them and they continue to issue fatwas against couples who defy outdated customs of caste and gotra.

The medieval mindset exhibited by khaps in recent times borders on barbarism. It is intriguing that they keep mum on social evils like female foeticide, dowry deaths and domestic violence.

The editorial has rightly observed: “While regressive khaps need to be restrained by law enforcement authorities, the villagers who tacitly approve of their obscurantist edicts have to be educated.”

Social organisations like the Jan Natya Manch are trying their bit to awaken the villagers through plays.


Gorkhaland agitation

What the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (editorial, “Gorkaland or No”, July 17) is doing in the name of Gorkhaland is completely unconstitutional. By defacing government office signboards and inscribing “Gorkhaland” on them, they have made a direct assault on the Constitution. Similarly, by replacing “WB” on the number plates of vehicles with “GL”, they are challenging the legal procedures of the state.

Also, they have no qualms in physically assaulting those who dare to defy their diktat and practically cut off Sikkim from the rest of India. The tragedy is that not only is the BJP supporting them, the Centre and the state government have also become mute spectators.



It is not desirable that we keep sitting on the fence and let devious forces play truant. The entire issue of creation of a new state needs to be resolved through decisive steps. Delaying tactics will not be of any use. Even the media should step out of their comfort zone and offer tangible opinion on such issues. It is high time we voiced our concerns and resolved this volatile issue.


Shun foul language

One fails to understand that how a woman leader and the Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee chief, Ms Rita Bahuguna Joshi, can use such an offensive language. Though Ms Mayawati is now talking about morality in public life, people forget that she, too, was guilty of a similar offence some two years ago. Still, the Congress party must take exemplary action against Ms Joshi. Such objectionable remarks should have no place in a public discourse.


Unacceptable verdict

Mr K N Bhat in his article “Delhi HC on Sec 377” (July 16) has aptly emphasised that liberty must conform to decency and morality. Whenever man has defied nature the results have been devastating. Such unnatural behaviour is totally unacceptable in our society. All religions have vociferously spoken against gay relationships, as these are alien to our culture.



Much has been said for and against homosexuality. Actually, it is an unacceptable and unnatural act that does not deserve so much coverage. We should not copy undesirable acts of the West and shun our cultural heritage. Our society has survived and retained its moral values. Even the British rule was not able to dent it.

T R GUPTA, Chandigarh

Machine slavery

Dr S S Verma has raised a significant issue in his article, “Doing our bit for the environment” (July 17). All of us need to develop a conservative attitude towards the usage of energy gobbling machines. Doing routine chores on a regular basis makes one agile and keeps most of the health problems at bay. Even otherwise we should not become slaves of machines.

Famous psychologist B F Skinner has observed, “Technology was developed to prevent exhausting labour. It is now dedicated to trivial conveniences.” We can call ourselves truly ultra-modern only if we take pride in contributing our bit to saving the environment. Surely, we owe this much to our planet.


CAG report on Army

The Indian Army has been indicted for misuse of funds (editorial, “CAG’s revelation”, July 13) on two counts. The more serious indictment questions the operational suitability of the Advanced Light Helicopter named “Dhruv” which was inducted into Army service. The ALH was conceived, developed and manufactured by the HAL with India’s Defence R&D scientists on the operational parameters set down by the Army.

Dhruv stands cleared for “operational ceiling” of up to 16,500 ft and not 15,000 ft as contended both by the CAG report and the editorial. In fact, its “upper-ceiling” proven and accepted is a credible 21,500 ft. A few developing nations have already purchased the Dhruv and more orders have come in.

Is Dhruv among the best in its class? Probably not. But did the Indian Army have a choice to opt for another helicopter when sellers expect unreasonable strategic gains from the deal and the Government of India insists on indigenising the defence armament manufacture and more or less coerces the armed forces to pick up indigenous products?

A similar point in case is the Main Battle Tank Arjun which, given a choice, the Army would not have touched even with a barge pole. Yet the government has already equipped one armoured regiment with Arjuns and two more regiments are slated to follow suit. In much the same manner, the IAF had to induct the Avro transport plane developed and manufactured indigenously in the 1970s.

Lieut-General BALJIT SINGH (retd), Chandigarh



HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Letters | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |