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

Deal sternly with hoarders

The editorial, “Tackling drought: PM wants states to get tough with hoarders” (Aug 10) was thought provoking and timely. Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh has rightly asked the states to act tough against traders indulging in hoarding and black-marketing of essential food items like pulses and sugar. Due to insufficient rains this monsoon, the country is facing a drought-like situation.

Traders, especially the unscrupulous ones, resort to hoarding of essential food items and indulge in black-marketing and harass the public. There are genuine fears of prices of food items rising further making the lives of the common man even more miserable. Any trader found indulging in malpractices should be given exemplary punishment.

Since the government has enough food stock in its reserves to face any eventuality, people should not panic. The government, both at the Centre and in the states, must take steps to bring down the prices of the food items to instil confidence in the general public. The editorial has rightly opined that some imaginative steps will have to be taken immediately to ensure that the prices of basic food items like sugar, pulses, edible oils and vegetables begin to come down.

R K KAPOOR, Chandigarh


Dr Manmohan Singh’s remark that we have adequate food stocks and in no case will we allow the citizens of the country to go hungry, is an indication ithat the government is ready to tackle a difficult situation. The measures suggested by the PM and his tough stance against hoarding implies that India will be able to rise to the challenge that comes in the wake of drought afflicting 161 districts of the country.


Laudable decision

The Supreme Court (editorial, “Schools, or shops? : SC bid to end extortions”, Aug 11) has taken the right decision regarding the fees charged by the unaided schools in Delhi. This decision of the apex court in principle will be applicable to all such schools in India. Indeed, the decision should be implemented in all the states of India so that a uniform policy is followed in the country.

In addition to the fees structure in the unaided schools, the judiciary must give guidelines on the salary of teachers who are not paid their due. As a result, teachers are forced to take private tuitions that affect their teaching ability. Schools must appoint qualified teachers and pay them well.  


Water museum

The National Science Centre and the Delhi Jal Board’s plan to set up a water museum is appreciable. Water, rightly called the elixir of life, needs to be preserved, as it is a precious natural resource.

Most of us are guilty of wasting water in innumerable ways. Initiatives such as these will certainly be a good beginning in making the citizens aware of the repercussions of wasting water, instilling in them a greater sense of responsibility which may make them think twice before wasting it.


Corruption menace

The editorial “The stink of corruption” (Aug 3) was emphatic and balanced. The CBI had arrested former Union Minister Buta Singh’s son Sarabjot Singh on bribery charges. As rightly stated in the editorial, it is an extremely serious matter. There is hardly a sphere of life where we do not have to encounter the menace of corruption. No other country in the world witnesses the number of scams and scandals as India does.

Politicians and bureaucrats when caught repeat the same words ad nauseam: “It is a conspiracy against me to damage my political career.” Why waste money and time on commissions and investigations when the indicted and the guilty invariably go unpunished.

Dr H KUMAR KAUL, Barnala

Common man’s woes

The rising prices of essential commodities, the racket of fake currency, synthetic milk, spurious medicines, adulterated eatables, long power cuts, erratic water supply, lawlessness, scams and now swine flu knocking at the door — the list of common man’s woes is endless.

Thus, it is not difficult to understand why the aam admi is forced to resort to strikes, bandhs and corruption. This vicious cycle needs to be broken by those who have promised to set the system right and are governing the nation.


Review reservation policy

It is highly deplorable on the part of our parliamentarians that no serious debate took place over the introduction and subsequent passage of the Constitution (109th Amendment) Bill, 2009. This constitutional amendment would pave the way for extending reservations to the Schedule Castes and Schedule Tribes in the Lok Sabha and state assemblies for another 10 years.

As things stand, it is simply impossible for any political party or group to question the relevance of reservations in our country because of political compulsions. However, there should be checks and balances so as to ensure that the fruits of reservation go to those who actually deserve them rather than being hijacked by a handful of powerful and influential groups among them.

Besides, there is a need to find out: whether the purpose of reservations has been fully achieved or not. There should be a reappraisal of the status of castes included in the SC/ST list to identify which of those have been uplifted and which are still lagging behind? India needs inclusive growth. Sadly, no political party dares to call for a reassessment of the reservation policy that should be implemented as a development and social welfare measure.




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