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Democracy will survive in India

The article, “Pitfalls of democracy” by Ash Narain Roy (Perspective, Feb 21) was very informative. The writer has done a thorough post mortem of the Indian political scene.

I felt proud of being an Indian on reading the views of Bernard Levine of The Times, London when he says: “If democracy in India fails, the end of democracy will be in sight”. This implies that the world acknowledges that democracy really exists in India.

However, I am saddened by the fact that politicians here “wear several hats” and they keep promising the undeliverable and keep denying the undeniable. That keeps us wondering whether democracy will survive in our country for long.

The writer gives us some hope that the democracy will, certainly, survive because of the liberty given to the people at the grassroots to involve themselves in the Panchayati Raj system. Apart from this, the women, the masses among the SC and ST have also been brought in the mainstream and they now have a say in the governance of the country. The roof needed over the Panchayati Raj system will also be provided with the passage of time.

R.K. KAPOOR, Chandigarh

Quest for identity

Every one has his own concept of his identity and is also right to announce it publicly. We speak, write and do good deeds to establish our identity. One has to establish his existence by showing enthusiasm for something for political or religions cause. However, the use of the word “idiot” by the writer for a person who can convince with his argument is not appreciable. Fanatic is the right word. Let this word be withdrawn from the article for someone else.

I agree with the writer that someone sitting at a distance has no right to define the identity of someone else.


E-book hopes

The article “Kindle interest in books” (Spectrum, Feb 7) by Mehak Uppal is informative about the latest technology of e-books. It compelled me to have a look at old books in my personal library.

E-books are an important breaktrough in the history of the book. They can be published and sold at a much lower cost than paper books. There are no returns to the publisher, they are instantly procurable with shipping costs, can be easily updated or corrected by the author and they don’t go out of print.

However, many claim that reading an e-book is not as satisfying as holding and reading a paper book. It has many minuses also, like you need three things to read e-books — hardware, software to download the books and its compatibility with the hardware operating system.

Such electronics gadgets are successful in western countries where power supply is without any interruption as this e-book has to be charged from time to time for downloading and reading purposes. Moreover, the strain on eyes with the use of the e-book cannot be ruled out.

These e-books, being costly, are beyond the reach of the common man. They are also not free from virus. The view of the publishers is right that the iPad can boost online reading, but a revolution is unlikely.

HARISH K. MONGA, Ferozepore

Need to rehabilitate Punjab farmers’ widows

I read Ranjana Padhi’s write-up “A burden too heavy” (Spectrum, Feb 7) about the plight of the widows of the farmers in Punjab who took their lives due to agrarian debts and conditions of misery.

These unfortunate widows have become machines in the hands of a cruel destiny. They simply live and toil only for their families. Really, with a huge burden on their minds, they somehow manage to meet the demands of each and every member of their families.

It is common knowledge that our “welfare state” has failed to extend the much- needed monetary, mental and emotional support to these hapless women. The governments at the Centre and in the state must devise an action plan to help these women and their families. Liberate them from all kinds of loans. Monthly pensions should be sufficient to keep the families in a lively spirit. Ensure free education and healthcare for them.

Encourage cooperative farming among the small and marginal farmers. Encourage self- help groups (SHGs) to enhance their income. Save the youth from drug- addiction by all means.

Religious organisations, NGOs and NRIs should arrange mass marriages and ensure follow-up measures to make these marriages successful in all respects.

Every effort should be there to ensure that in future no farmer or agricultural labourer commits suicide to leave his family hapless.


Benefit for Begum

I read the review “Write cause” (Spectrum, Jan 10). During the political up heaval of 1857, the last Delhi king, Bahadur Shah Zafar, was arrested by a fierce officer Lt. Hodson, who also shot down his two sons. He was deported to Rangoon.

He cried “Yahi hasrat thee ke ghar mera Madeeney mein rahey/Bana Rangoon mein armaan merey seeney mein rahey” and died as an exile lamenting “Kitna hai bad-naseeb Zafar dafn key liyye/Do gaz zamin bhee mil na saki koo-e-yaar mein”. Many members of his family wandered in an unspeakably wretched condition, looking for food and shelter.

Some years ago, Sultana Begum paid an abeisance at Harmandar Sahib, Amritsar, to atone for the sins of the Mughal kings and apologise for the excesses they committed on the Sikhs. She was not given any financial aid in the absence of an evidence of her being a descendant of Bahadur Shah. Shivnath Jha and his wife, Neena, deserve all praise for their noble endeavour to raise money for her rehabilitation.

Bhagwan Singh, Qadian

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



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