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

Challenges before UPA govt

The Tribune Editor-in-Chief Raj Chengappa’s front-page letter to the Prime Minister (May 22) was apt. Though written in prose, his writing is poetic. He has rightly praised the work of HRD Minister Kapil Sibal in the field of education. Mr Sibal gives the impression of being a man in hurry, but urgency is indeed required to set the education system right. Finance Minister Parnab Mukherjee has done excellent work in difficult circumstances and India’s economy is going strong when many countries’ economy is crumbling like a house of cards.

Attacks by Maoists on security forces show that there is a method behind madness. So far, neither the states nor the Centre have been able to tackle the Maoist menace. No doubt, India has done well under the leadership of Dr Manmohan Singh. UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Dr Singh share an excellent rapport and it reflects in the governance of the country.

There are many shortcomings too. But then one must not forget that Dr Singh is heading a coalition government and he has to deal with mercurial ministers like Mamata Banerjee.

The letter has rightly summed up “you have miles to go and . . . . .you will not have much time for sleep.”

ARUN HASTIR, Gurdaspur


Mr Chengappa has articulately given a true account of the achievements and failures of the government. He has impartially drawn the attention of the government, especially Dr Manmohan Singh, to the burning problems demanding extreme and urgent concentration, but has inadvertently missed to include the most genuine, burning and important issue of “one rank, one pension” of ex-servicemen. However, his evaluation, predictions and proposals for improvement in the government functioning cannot be ignored.

S P BASSI, Nawanshahr


The letter has rightly touched the challenges before the UPA government. I agree with the concerns expressed by Mr Chengappa. The problem of Naxalism, I feel, is the outcome of skewed development model. This model was never challenged or audited by independent bodies so as to bring its fault lines to the fore. Time has now come to understand the disparity of development.

We must create a new model and pay attention to good governance in remote and inaccessible areas. There is an urgent need to make new district headquarters in remote and inaccessible areas. We must see the writing on the wall and set our house in order before it is too late.

Col J S GILL (retd), Ludhiana


The letter has made an in-depth assessment of the UPA government’s performance. Indeed, Dr Singh is a man of action, decency and unimpeachable integrity. Surely he has steered our economy through a global economic meltdown with timely monetary stimulus.

The failure to weed out the growing menace of Maoists in certain states and to tackle inflation would prove detrimental. The Tribune team has done a commendable job by suggesting ways and means of meeting the challenges facings the UPA government.

Improving relations with neighbouring countries needs immediate attention. Bold decisions are essential in the field of health care, education, employment and security.

Capt SK DATTA, Abohar

High-value food

RK Luna’s article “Plough to plate” (May 17) emphasised the need for high-value food commodities to avoid skewed distribution of resources. The author has ignored the fact that millions are added to population every year.

Unless the malaise of hunger and malnutrition among the deprived is removed by increasing production and productivity by application of new seeds and agriculture implements and revamping the public distribution system, the shift to high-value food will serve little purpose.


Educate rural youth

Milkha Singh Aulakh’s article “Teaching agriculture to rural youth” (May 19) brought into focus the larger and the real problem of education for the masses in the country. Though 67 per cent of our population is living in villages, their wards get only 3 to 5 per cent seats in universities and colleges. Only a few from rural schools qualify for elite services such as the civil services.

The Centre and the states should take steps to improve the education system in rural India and make appropriate reservations for the rural youth. 

The Karnataka Government deserves our appreciation as it has enacted the law for 15 per cent reservation for rural youth in medical, engineering, agricultural and other sciences.

Punjab and Haryana, being at the forefront in feeding the whole country, should take the lead and play a proactive role in educating rural youth.


Archaic khaps

Khaps should not function as parallel courts (editorial, “Love and hate: Khaps not above the law”, May 17). They have no legal authority to order “honour killings” of young men and women who marry in the same gotra. Even if we disapprove of the same-gotra marriages, killing young couples in the name of “honour” is certainly an inhuman act.

We must learn to live with the changing times and respect the sentiments of the new generation. We will have to change our archaic mentality.

I do not find any justification in changing or amending the Hindu Marriage Act to ban the same-gotra marriages. Politicians should desist from supporting the khaps.

RK KAPOOR, Chandigarh



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