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Clear judicial backlog with urgency

It is indeed shocking to note there are over 52,000 cases pending in the Supreme Court, more than 40 lakh in the high courts and a whopping 2.71 crore in trial courts (editorial, “Reforming judicial system: Need to clear the backlog on war-footing”, Aug 18). Certainly, the issue needs to be addressed on a war footing. More shocking is the fate of nearly 1.7 lakh undertrials languishing in jails for petty offences.

The government should take all possible steps to clear this backlog. Vacancies of judges should be immediately filled up. I agree that cutting down holidays, longer working hours, better infrastructure, recruiting retired judges and setting up additional courts will help in reducing the backlog. Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh’s, call for a war against pending court cases is timely and deserves to be taken up seriously. 

R K KAPOOR, Chandigarh

Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor, neatly hand-written or typed in double space, should not exceed the 150-word limit. These can be sent by post to the Letters Editor, The Tribune, Sector 29, Chandigarh-160030. Letters can also be sent by e-mail to: Letters@tribuneindia.com

— Editor-in-Chief

Women empowerment

To the article, “Empowerment of women: Knowledge panel ignores gender issues” (Aug 17) by Ratna Ghosh and Paromita Chakravarti I would like to add that India is already on the path of greater empowerment for women. Women are holding many key positions such as the President of India, Speaker of Lok Sabha and Chairperson of the UPA. It is an auspicious augury for the Indian democracy. Of course, much more needs to be done.

It is the duty of the states to survey areas where there is cultural resistance to allow girls to study. The authorities concerned should spread awareness about the advantages of female literacy especially among the illiterate and backward sections of society.


Review reservations

I agree with the views expressed by Hemant Kumar in his letter in the column “Letters to the editor” (letter, “Review reservation policy”, Aug 13). There is an urgent need to review our reservation policy.

Indeed, the real beneficiaries are the persons and families who have already availed reservation benefits. In politics, too, only those individuals are getting party tickets that have already availed the benefits of reservation. Such individuals, if capable, should be given the ticket in the general category. Similarly, in other fields also they should be assessed on the basis of merit. If we want to develop a strong nation in the 21st century we have to take bold steps so that we can compete with developed nations.


Undue fuss

Why is there is so much hue and cry about Shah Rukh Khan’s questioning at Newark Airport? When his name popped up on the computer it was the duty of the officials to check and interrogate him.

Remember, Shah Rukh Khan is only a film actor and not a diplomat. Hence, the statements made by Ms Ambika Soni are out of place. She should know that SRK is an ordinary citizen of India and like anybody else he is vulnerable, too. Anyway if our former President, Dr APJ Abdul Kalam could be frisked, that, too, at the Delhi airport, then questioning SRK is insignificant.


Negative inflation?

Recently even the government of India admitted that prices of essential commodities are rising. Thus any talk of negative price index is not only absurd but like rubbing salt on the wounds of aam admi. While calculating the price index, prices of essential commodities should be given more weightage.

Dr S S PAL, Gurdaspur

Leave history to historians

Neither Jaswant Singh nor the BJP high command has covered itself with glory in the recent episode relating to the former’s book. He could well  have left the business of writing history to the historians and the latter could have  taken a  somewhat indulgent  view of his trespass.

Nobody seems to know or remember that  division of the country was the game plan of the British laid half a century earlier. After WW II there was increased pressure from the Americans to leave India and it is to the “credit” of the British that when things became unmanageable, they sold the idea of partition to the Americans, found in Jinnah someone who played along admirably, carried out their plan  to  the satisfaction of all the dramatis personae  and left the country with an image of fairmindedness.

 It may be an unpopular view but one can maintain without recourse to hindsight and without much fear of contradiction that Partition was a blessing for India. Nehru may have had his reasons for accepting it but Sardar Patel could see distant events clearly.  It was good for both Hindus and Muslims.

All  sanctimonious talk of ‘Ganga-Jamuni’ culture notwithstanding, the historical cleavage was colossal. As one who has seen things from fairly close quarters from the early forties, I can state that all hopes of permanent goodwill and acceptability between the two communities — or, rather — two nations, as Jinnah made it out, were just Utopian thinking. If the British thought they were sowing dragons’ teeth in the subcontinent  while leaving, they have fairly succeeded. It is another matter that India is merrily muddling along while the Muslims have made a mess of Pakistan.

So we can  thank all who were instrumental in dividing the country, including Jinnah. Those in India who are lamenting it are either doing so because they think it is the right thing to say or they know not better and do not have the imagination to see what things would have been  like  if this “vibhajan” had  not come about.

N. Khosla, IAS (retd), Panchkula



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