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India wants peace with Pakistan

The editorial “Indo-Pak talks: Looking for small but substantial steps” (June 23) was objective in its analysis. No doubt, both countries have their respective concerns but the main objective is to reduce the trust-deficit between them. The editorial rightly points out that India’s concerns pertain to cross-border terrorism, infiltration, ceasefire violations, drug trafficking, fake currencies, etc.

India wants peace and good relations with her immediate neighbour. India wants a stable government in Pakistan. But without socio-economic growth, no government can remain stable.

Pakistan must understand that in today’s recession-afflicted world, the country’s human and material resources need to be developed and utilised for the welfare of the people. It should accept India’s friendship in all sincerity. Terrorism is a hydra-headed demon that can only lead to killings and destruction. The Government of Pakistan must come forward to destroy the network of terrorists. It should also get rid of the extremist and hawkish elements present in the government departments, the Army and other institutions. Perpetrators of 26/11 should be brought to justice without any delay.

It is good that India has now put itself in an “exploratory mode” to establish peace with Pakistan. Pakistan’s economy is on a weak wicket. It is fighting the Taliban and other inimical forces. Trade with India, people-to-people contacts, cultural exchanges, joint anti-terror mechanism, granting of the “MFN” status to India and other confidence-building measures can go a long way in generating peace and stability between the two countries. All other contentious issues can be resolved as it becomes possible.


GoM report

I must compliment The Tribune for writing a hard-hitting editorial, “A good beginning” (June 23) in which the Centre and the Madhya Pradesh governments have been asked to help the victims of the Bhopal gas tragedy generously.

Surely, the main focus of the Group of Ministers (GoM) seems to have been the relief and rehabilitation of the families of the victims of the Bhopal gas leak that occurred 25 years ago. It is useless to talk of getting Warren Anderson extradited from the US at this belated stage. The Rs 1500-crore compensation package recommended by the GoM for the victims is certainly “too little, too late”.

In fact, the money already paid to the hapless victims should not be deducted from the fresh compensation recommended by the GoM. It is a pity that no accountability for the tragedy has been fixed by the GoM. Those responsible for the Bhopal gas leak should not be spared at all.

The apex court should have taken a serious view of the matter at that time itself and treated the industrial disaster as a unique tragedy in the history of mankind and should have called for stricter punishment to those responsible for the leakage of the poisonous gas that killed over 15,000 innocent people in Bhopal in 1984.

It is ridiculous to compare the world’s worst industrial disaster with ordinary road accidents and punish the guilty with just two-year jail term and then letting them go scot-free by granting them immediate bail. Unless adequate compensation is paid to the families of the Bhopal gas victims and the persons responsible for the tragedy are put behind bars for life, justice cannot be said to have been delivered.

R K KAPOOR, Chandigarh

Divisive census

Reservations were originally used by the British to divide the Hindus in the name of betterment of the economically, educationally, morally and socially deprived (Buta Singh’s article, “Caste in census must for social justice”, June 21). After Independence the same policy of divide and rule was taken forward. It is now considered a dignified way of capitalising on vote banks. Sixty years of reservation has only helped in evolving a creamy layer among the reserved classes.

If leaders are really interested in the upliftment of the backward classes they should debar the creamy layer from utilising the benefits of reservation. The need of the hour is to either drop the reservation policy altogether or to revamp it.

Caste in census will further divide society. Political leaders should mull over the burning issues like population explosion, pollution, corruption, adulteration, recession, price rice, terrorism and nepotism.        

Dr N K SHARMA, Phagwara

Same gotra marriages

It is felt that the acts of commission and omission by khap panchayats coupled with the downright denunciation by the media have obfuscated the issues in question (editorial, “Hooda’s flip-flops: Haryana CM must act firmly on khaps”, June 7 and Ved Guliani’s letter, June 9).

Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda is not far from the truth when he calls the khap panchayats social organisations, warts and all.

Indian society is caste-ridden. That is why inter-caste marriages are given incentives by the Centre and state governments so that the caste barriers are diluted. In this perspective, the inter-subcaste (gotra) marriages deserve all the state support and appreciation by civil society. Such marriages integrate society. Doctors have also expressed the view that “couples of the same gotra should avoid getting married.” Under a programme on “Genetic Counselling and Bioethics” held recently at PGIMS, Rohtak, citing the example of the same gotra marriages in Haryana, Dr Rajiv Gupta, Professor of the Psychiatry Department, claimed that such marriages should be avoided because medical science has proved time and again that marriages among close relatives might lead to genetic disorders.

Last but not the least, avoidance of the same gotra marriages is a societal norm followed not only by the Jats, but all other castes also with some variations. The Hindu Marriage Act must be amended to prohibit same gotra marriages.




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