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

Centre must get its act together

I read Amar Chandel’s review of Ved Marwah’s book “India in Turmoil: Jammu and Kashmir, the Northeast and Left Extremism” (“India in turmoil: We have only ourselves to blame”, Oct 5). Indeed, the ruling government’s “self-congratulatory mood” is misplaced since more than half the country is in turmoil.

One is reminded of a historical parallel when the Roman Emperor Nero was busy fiddling while Rome burned. The review correctly latches on to the core of Mr Marwah’s oft-repeated missive: “Terrorism could not have raised its ugly head but for New Delhi’s short-sighted policies.”

Raving and ranting about the “foreign hand”, is getting away from accepting primary responsibility for the mess up, by an uncaring, corrupt political leadership across parties, an unresponsive and clueless bureaucracy and inefficient policing.

The hurtful thing that demoralises men in uniform and their dependents is the sheer callousness of governance and the media, in respecting those who sacrificed their lives for upholding the law of the land, in word and in deed. The book is obviously a grim and timely wake-up call for the government to get its act together.

Maj-Gen RAJ MEHTA (retd), SAS Nagar


The reviewer has aptly interpreted the views of Mr Ved Marwah regarding India’s security. No doubt, narrow and shortsighted vision of our politicians and bureaucrats has created this mess.

Our enemies are prepared to take advantage of our casual approach towards security. Politicians should rise to the occasion. They must think beyond petty gains.  


Need for libraries

Arifa Akbar’s article “British public libraries becoming friendlier” (Sept 30) has given a detailed account of library use in Britain. It is startling to read that the use of library in the developed country has declined considerably. But it is heartening to note that Society of the Chief Librarians has introduced a membership card where by the holder can take books from any library in the country.

Culture minister Margaret Hodge has championed ideas to rejuvenate libraries, such as having libraries in shopping centres or rail stations and a possible deal with coffee chains.

In India, libraries are available in towns only and rural people are denied easy access to books. Libraries go a long way in inculcating reading habits among people.

RIKHI DASS THAKUR, Palbhu (Hamirpur)

Punish the corrupt

The suggestions put forth by Chief Justice of India Justice KG Balakrishnan (editorial, “Throw out rotten apples, Sept 15) who stressed the need for the confiscation of properties and assets of the corrupt bureaucrats convicted of offences under the Prevention of Corruption Act are commendable.

It is deplorable that India is among the most corrupt nations of the world. Undoubtedly, corruption is multiplying fast and has been percolating from top to bottom. Its corrosive and suicidal effects are adversely affecting society.

Often, the corrupt officials are caught red-handed accepting bribes. Yet they go scot-free. The poor conviction rate further exacerbates corruption. Indeed, only certainty of punishment can prove to be an effective deterrent.


Mental health

The editorial “Restoring mental health” (Sept 23) was an eye-opener and has rightly stated that the government should give high priority to mental health. Unfortunately, it is normally ignored.

The government should improve the conditions in the existing hospitals and also promote other systems of medicine like homeopathy and ayurveda, etc to cure mentally ill patients. Besides, awareness drives must focus on preventive methods.

SANJEEV, Amritsar

Talks the only way

Kuldip Nayar’s article “Break the logjam: There is no alternative to talks” (Oct 3) was well argued and logical. He has rightly stressed that the common feeling in Pakistan is that India has not reconciled with the creation of Pakistan. This deep-seated mindset of the Pakistan’s rulers has been upsetting all bilateral efforts and frustrating the confidence building measures so far.

It is surprising that while the approach of the Indian government to work for world peace is hailed globally, Pakistan has often been busy in promoting terrorism against India. In fact, Pakistan deliberately diverts the attention of its people from India’s democratic traditions and economic progress.

Though all efforts to change the heart and mindset of Pakistan have failed, still dialogue is the only way.

R M RAMAUL,Paonta Sahib



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 |