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Multi-pronged approach to tackle Maoists

In his article “Dangers of Dantewada” (May 15) Lt-Gen Harwant Singh (retd) has painted a true picture of our preparedness to deal with Naxalism. The Indian state has been painfully slow in waking up to the Maoist-threat. The vast sections of society in the affected areas were marginalised and dispossessed of their native places by mining mafias, hydel-projects and MNCs. They were left with no means of livelihood.

The gradual withdrawal of administrative machinery at district levels and the all-pervasive corruption among government officials who hijacked all poverty alleviation schemes and development plans in collusion with the political class spread deprivation and disaffection among the locals.

However, it is not advisable to use the Army to tackle such insurgencies. Rather the Central Police organisations such as the CRPF and the ITBP should be given intensive training in counter-insurgency operations. Young competent officers should be inducted. A multi-pronged approach should be adopted. The affected districts should be brought under control by restoring law and order. It should be followed by development activities. Gainful employment and economic activities should be created.


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

Termite control

I read with great interest the news report “Pest on its way out in Amritsar” (May 17). Termite is a hardy pest, which is a menace to not only houses and wood but also trees and crops.

The life history of this pest is very interesting and an organised one. A termite queen lives in the “royal chamber” and her “kingdom” is organised under her command.  

Termites damage wood, paper documents, textiles, leather and other materials. Infestation of termites causes losses in millions to the buildings. Even trees are falling prey to termites as reported in The Tribune. Sheesham and Kikar trees are especially being affected and their numbers are decreasing drastically.

Prevention is better than cure. You can prevent termites from infesting your home by following some simple measures. Keep moisture away from your house. Get rid of wood debris in your house. Check your house for cracks. Wood structures near your house should not touch the ground. Use woods that are termite-resistant. Use sand barriers and have your house inspected regularly — at least once a year. Get pesticide treatment done before constructing a building.


Decline in morality

Kuldip Nayar’s article “Silence over scams” (May 15) was apt and has brought to light that morality has been declining among our political class.

Power is all that matters to most political parties. Scams and scandals have become a routine affair in our democratic system. Even protests, walkouts and long debates in Parliament prove futile. No minister has ever been prosecuted. All successive governments have been misusing the CBI for grinding their own axe.

Capt SK DATTA, Abohar

Patronage to khaps

Khap panchayats in Haryana that have been notorious for sanctioning ‘honour killings’ against the same gotra marriages enjoy political support and patronage (editorial, “Cultivating obscurantism”, May 11) 

Navin Jindal, the Congress MP from Kurukshetra was in the middle of a storm for supporting the khap panchayats.

By being sympathetic to their demand, he might have further emboldened these violent keepers of middle age morality and given credence to their unconstitutional authority.

RAMA KASHYAP, Chandigarh

Prevent stampedes

To the editorial “Stampede and after” (May 18), I would like to add that stampedes often occur during pilgrimages, sports and music events. These are often triggered by panic, as a result of a fire or explosion.

Stampedes can be prevented and the railways should learn a lesson from such incidents and ensure that these are not repeated. Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee’s statement was highly irresponsible. She should have owned the responsibility instead of shifting the blame on the people.


Intellectual freedom

Shelley Walia’s article “Freedom and the University Intellectual”(May 8) brought into focus the larger role that a university can play in bringing novel ideas through research on contemporary subjects. The spirit of intellectual freedom that a university offers should result in a major contribution to the body of present-day knowledge, which in turn could offer solutions to many current problems.

A university researcher, given the freedom and the support system, can put together unconventional ideas to find solutions that may be extremely inspiring and helpful. Newer courses that cover areas like foreign policy and counter-insurgency must be introduced and taught in universities. Specialisation at times limits and prevents inter-disciplinary research.

Besides this, a perpetual occupation with ‘daily concerns’ without any ‘theoretical’ and ‘historical’ perspective makes the body of research work poor and restricted. A university thus has to play a proactive role in showing the way in order to heighten our perception of society as a whole.




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