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

Centre & states must fight Maoists jointly

The editorial “Passing the Maoist buck” (May 21) was objective in its analysis and rightly called upon the Centre and the states to realise their respective responsibilities and fight the Maoists jointly. Really, this is not the time to play blame-games. The onslaught of the Maoists has become serious. They are hell-bent on destroying the democratic structure of the country. But, at the same time many questions strike us.

Why did our political system fail to reach out to the local people of the affected areas? Why did we fail to develop democratic leadership from these areas? Why did political and civil administrations fail to serve socio- economic causes of the people? Why did intelligence fail to sense the activities of Maoists? How were the Maoists able to establish “international links” to fight the Indian state? Why have the Centre and state governments, till today, failed to evolve joint “comprehensive strategy” to fight the Maoists? The list of questions only gets longer.

The need of the hour is to isolate the Maoists and mobilise the local people to stand by the democratic and human norms of life. The civil administration, civil liberties organisations, the civil society and the media should work to mobilise and organise the people in the right direction. The security forces should be trained well to tackle the Maoist insurgency. Win over the people through democratic and humane measures so that they convincingly and willingly reject the exploitative Maoists. All this is possible if both the Centre and the states work in unison with a strong political will.


Law varsity

Although the Hooda government in Haryana has in recent years established the state’s first women’s university at Sonepat and state varsities for Science and Technology and Health Sciences at Murthal and Rohtak respectively but the state is yet to set up its National Law University on the lines of other states.

Almost all state varsities and their affiliated colleges offer the discipline of law — both three-year as well as integrated five-year course. But the state of legal education in Haryana cannot be compared to other states unless there is a national law school in the state. The state should immediately act in this regard and the law varsity can be named after the late Ranbir Singh Hooda who was a member of the Constituent Assembly.

HEMANT KUMAR, Advocate, Ambala City

Berth for Rahul

One was surprised to find the usual editorial page missing on May 22. But various articles, which covered burning issues, more than compensated it. Incidentally, Rahul Gandhi found mention in some of them. He is most likely to be projected as the next prime minister by the Congress. One must say that he is doing well in the party work, but he also needs some experience in government administration. He should not have declined Dr Manmohan Singh’s offer to join his Cabinet since that would have given him the required experience.

Prior experience in governance would strengthen his claim for the high post and also make the Congress’s job easier as and when it decides to nominate him as the prime ministerial candidate. It will also silence his critics.

Wg Cdr C.L. SEHGAL (retd) Jalandhar

Trust deficit

The Tribune Interview by Raj Chengappa with External Affairs Minister SM Krishna (May 20) was interesting. Both the countries do not trust each other and Mr Krishna has rightly said that it is an effort to eliminate distrust. Trust can be best built through dialogue. 

The give and take policy has to be adopted. Besides solving the water issue a visa-free regime can also be worked out. Terrorism and extremism need to be comprehensively and permanently defeated at both ends. The welfare of the people of J&K must be considered to be of paramount concern. The media can help strengthen the peace process.

HARISH K. MONGA, Ferozepur


The word “trust deficit” is unique in many ways and covers the need of the times. Both neighbouring countries unfortunately equipped with nuclear arsenals have no other option than to strive for peace at all costs.

Otherwise, the other alternative is war, which is beset with disastrous consequences. Mahatma Gandhi wisely believed that peace and non-violence is the armoury only of strong men.


Recruit more teachers

The proposed policy of the UGC to lower the teacher-pupil ratio in higher education in various faculties and disciplines, and simultaneously raise teachers’ workload, is inherently inconsistent (news report, May 19). This is so because by raising the teaching load of a university professor from five periods per week to 14 periods per week would lead to an increase in demand for teachers, as the number of seats in all courses in universities is being inflated in order to muster up more resources to make universities sustainable.

This is bound to increase the teacher-student ratio. Moreover since 1982, for example in Punjab, there has not been a single addition to the sanctioned posts of teachers in the university system, and that posts which fell vacant due to retirement or otherwise, were not filled up with regular replacements. This is further widening the gap between the number of students and teachers in institutions of higher learning.

As a matter of fact, every year about 16,000 specialist teachers are estimated to be required in the country’s higher education institutions in view of the increased number of students in higher education, while only 12,000 qualified teachers are available. But how many of them are actually engaged for the purpose in the face of the ‘financial crunch’, is anybody’s guess. Thus in the times to come, the teacher-taught ratio is bound to increase perceptibly, unless the states, in tandem with the Centre, resolve to actually discreetly expend the budgeted and planned expenditure on recruiting good teachers in sufficient numbers.

  Dr VIKRAM CHADHA, Amritsar 



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