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Menace of Taliban must be fought

The Taliban’s brutal act of beheading of two Sikhs is inhuman and condemnable (editorial, “Taliban’s outrageous act”, Feb 23). The killers perhaps don’t know about the brave and humane history of Sikhs. The Taliban are living in a distant past and it will be foolish on their part if they think they would ever succeed in forcing the Sikhs to change their religion.

At this moment all the peace-loving people and the governments especially in India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and the US should launch a strong campaign and take stern action against the Taliban and other fundamentalists. Minorities must be protected. Let us carry on our movement in favour of human cooperation, dignity, fraternity, justice and peace. If the Taliban have any iota of humanism they should immediately release the other captives.



Less strident
February 22, 2010
Pitfalls of democracy
February 21, 2010
Need to rein in Maoists
February 20, 2010
SC clips states’ power
February 19, 2010
Policemen as sitting ducks
February 18, 2010
Score it like Sachin!
February 17, 2010
Fresh crisis in Pakistan
February 16, 2010
Now it’s Pune
February 15, 2010
Ethics in the criminal court
February 14, 2010
Strengthen democracy
February 13, 2010
Vandalism in Mumbai
February 12, 2010
Bt Brinjal on back burner
February 11, 2010


The Taliban are notorious for kidnapping and killing people and the recent episode of beheading Sikhs is just another despicable act. The Quran clearly states, “There is no compulsion in religion”. But when have the Taliban followed the diktats of the Quran or the Prophet of Islam? The ominous shadow of terrorism and extremism descended upon Swat, adjoining areas of the NWFP and large swathes of North-eastern Afghanistan and has plunged them into an era of darkness under the Taliban.

They have destroyed numerous girls’ schools. Music and barber shops have been blown up. All forms of entertainment and cultural activities have been prohibited and they invoke death-sentence against anyone opposing them. So unbearable is the Taliban rule that only terrorism thrives. Young suicide bombers prowl in Pakistan, sowing death and destruction. Bearing in mind the terrible times in which we live, a genuine Islamic order must express compassion and mercy for its subjects as it did during Islam’s greatest days in the past. The Taliban are nothing but a bunch of uncouth youth who truly do not have an iota of knowledge about Islam. On the contrary, they are defaming the name of this great religion.



The barbaric beheading of two innocent Sikhs by the Taliban who were first kidnapped along with some others to extract ransom, has shocked the civilised society. If the report that the innocent Sikhs were done to death after their refusal to change their religion is true, they only followed the path of the great Sikh Gurus.

The issue of the safety of minorities in Pakistan should not only be taken up during the India-Pakistan talks but also be addressed by the United Nations. It has rightly been pleaded in the editorial “The Sikhs who are still in the Taliban’s custody must not be allowed to meet the fate of their two unfortunate brethren.”

The Taliban are bent upon turning the clock of history to medieval era of darkness. All the right-thinking people of the world should prevail upon the Pakistan government not to shy to fight the menace of Talibanism.



The editorial has rightly expressed grave concern over the barbaric beheading of two Sikhs. Brutalisation of defenceless people is neither justifiable nor pardonable and has to be condemned by all. Victimisation has become order of the day. Surely minorities are not safe in Pakistan.

As a matter of fact, extremists still control most of the area in Pakistan’s tribal belt bordering Afghanistan in spite of continuing US drone attacks and military action by Pakistan. The Indian government must pressurise Pakistan to ensure the release of abducted Sikhs, stop prosecution of minorities and shun anti-India terrorism emanating from its soil if normalisation of relations is sincerely desired.

Capt SK DATTA, Abohar

Assess teachers

Shelley Walia’s article “Evaluating teachers” (Feb 16) has raised key questions related to evaluation in teaching. Universities must ensure high standards for admission of students and fair selection procedures for faculty in order to create a better learning atmosphere.

It would be unethical of any institution to set “absolute” norms to ensure quality education, especially in universities. For it would stifle the spirit of mental freedom.

PRITIKA, New Delhi 

Single entrance test

On the appreciable decision taken by Union HRD Minster Kapil Sibal to hold a single entrance test by 2013 for the students of Class XI1 seeking admission to medical and engineering colleges, the editorial “Single entrance test” (Feb 18) has rightly opined that it will reduce students’ stress as they will no longer be bogged down by the multiplicity of entrance tests. While the proposed change that shall be preceded by a uniform science and maths curriculum for the students of Class XI and XII across the nation to facilitate the common test is undeniably a step in the right direction, yet to make it a success there should be greater clarity on what the framework of the new examination would be.

Would it be an aggregate of staggered and possibly elective examinations like the A and O-levels? Would it be a SAT sort of examination that would test aptitude and allow colleges multiple criteria for assessment? Or would it just be a board examination by another name? Each option’s implication has to be taken into consideration to ensure equal opportunity.

Although the Council of Boards of Secondary Education has approved the plans for common science and mathematics syllabi from 2011, the preparation and implementation will require time. The editorial rightly concludes that while evolving a fair criterion for the entrance test, it must ensure that merit prevails. Indeed, to truly make it a milestone in the history of education, as Mr Sibal thinks it is, all irritants, including the concerns of different states, will have to be sorted out since implementing a change of such a magnitude will require both will and resources.

DILBAG RAI, Chandigarh



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