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

Don’t doubt India’s nuclear capability

I fully endorse the views expressed in the editorial “India’s N-capability” (Sept 22). It is really distressing that former senior scientist of the Defence Research Development Organisation K Santhanam has raised a needless controversy over the status of Pokharan-II nuclear blasts, which were declared successful by India.

To raise questions about the authenticity of blasts that too after a decade, naturally raises doubts about his motive. More so, because none other than Dr A P J Abdul Kalam, former President of India, has claimed that Pokharan-II was a success.

Dr R Chidambaram, Principal Scientific Adviser to the Union Government, has also stated that tests had gone through peer reviews published in the past 11 years. Nobody should be allowed to undermine India’s nuclear status in the eyes of the world because hostile neighbours surround India. We need a strong nuclear deterrent even if we are committed to no first-use of a nuclear device. Let the world know that we have the nuclear capability to strike back.


Protect tigers

It is a matter of grave concern that the tiger is facing a serious threat (editorial, “Tiger killings”, Sept 18) despite concerted efforts being made by the Centre for its protection. The reports of tiger deaths crossing the 50 mark this year alone proves that the ruthless killing of the endangered species is going on intrepidly and unabashedly.

The poachers know that they will go scot-free. Besides coming down heavily upon poachers, tiger habitats need to be improved. It is ironical that the government is thinking of bringing back the extinct cheetahs, when it cannot protect its tigers.

Rather than chasing a mirage, the authorities concerned should concentrate on protecting the existing species of animals. While promoting conservation awareness, people must be made to realise that all of them have a stake in preserving the balance of nature.

If the primitive man could live in harmony with nature, why can’t the modern man, who is more civilised, educated and enlightened.


End corruption

Corruption (editorial, “Throw out rotten apples”, Sept 15) is rampant. Despite the government’s repeated announcements to root it out, the problem is becoming more and more gigantic.

Apparently, many of those who are supposed to tackle corruption are often not sincere in their efforts to weed out this menace. It is not difficult to tackle corruption if there is a political will. The government should take drastic measures to do so.


Austere living

In her austerity drive, Ms Sonia Gandhi has asked Ministers and MPs to travel economy class. The step is laudable, but only a small one.

Minister of State for External Affairs, Shashi Tharoor’s “cattle class” remark has made a mockery of the austerity drive.

Even, otherwise, it would have been better if the government had pursued more pragmatic measures like cutting down telephone and electricity bills and reducing foreign travel. Reducing the size of the ministry by half would be a much bigger saving.

Our political leaders have reduced the values of Mahatma Gandhi, socialism of Jawaharlal Nehru, and the austerity of Lal Bahadur Shastri to a nought as they revel in luxurious lifestyles.

Dr H. KUMAR KAUL, Barnala

Arrest water-table

The news report “Farmers soup up tubewell motors” (Sept 24) by Jangveer Singh was timely. Indeed, the water table in Punjab has gone down considerably in the last few decades as installation of tubewells has increased. Days are not far when Punjab will become a desert.

The only effective solution to stop exploitation of water resources lies in stopping free power supply. Instead, the government should install common tubewells at small distributaries and merge the water pulled in canal water to be supplied directly to all farmers. This scheme will save power and water will be distributed equally among all categories of farmers.

The fact is that all farmers do not want free power and their requirement is of uninterrupted supply of power and water. Free power supply scheme doesn’t benefit all farmers. It is wiser to minimise the use of natural resources.


Climate change

India’s concern at climate change (editorial, “Climate change talks”, Sept 25) and its readiness to cut down on carbon emissions is creditable. However, the problem of climate change is a global phenomenon and needs to be addressed globally.


Disclose assets

If bureaucrats (editorial, “Disclosure of assets”, Sept 24) are above board they should have no objection in declaring their assets. Such a disclosure will go a long way in ensuring their credibility.

Dr S KUMAR, Panchkula




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