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Healing touch can save the valley

The editorial Valley must be saved (Aug 4) was timely. The law and order situation in the Kashmir valley is so grim that the state government finds itself in a blind alley. Till date, we have not come to know what the stone-pelting masses want. All this shows that the state government is not in touch with the feelings and demands of the people. The cycle of violence is not coming to an end.

No doubt, the role of the PDP has not been constructive and cooperative but the ruling alliance of the NC and the Congress also failed to involve the different sections of society in the political process. Despite his good intentions, J&K Chief Minister Omar Abdullah has not been successful in developing an efficient and humane civil administration. The security forces did what was expected of them. But the security forces can’t fill the vacuum generated by the inertia on the part of politicians and institutions of the government. The separatists are fishing in troubled waters.

The Centre, the state government and democratic parties must act in cohesion and prepare a comprehensive “action plan” to address the socio-economic and emotional problems of the masses. Humanise the civil administration and make every effort to remove the resentment of the people. Expose the activities of the ISI. Console the bereaved families and offer them all possible help. The media, NGOs and other democratic institutions must educate the angry masses by involving them in a dialogue and discussions. People too must learn to protest in a peaceful and democratic manner. Violence generates more violence. Human rights of the people should be protected without any bias.

Other states can learn from the situation in the Kashmir valley. Political involvement and participation of the people in the political and development processes is very important. The Punjab Government must take notice of the situation prevailing in its border areas.



The editorial is a true assessment of the deteriorating situation in J&K as well as a timely alarm. Leaders of both the ruling party and the Opposition must realise the gravity and complexity of the situation and must rise to the occasion and strive hard to handle the crises. There is an urgent need to leave no stone unturned to calm the people in the valley by addressing their genuine concerns.

No doubt, the ISI is instigating the people but to counter the evil designs of the enemy our leaders have to show more dynamism. There is no better alternative than an elected government in understanding and removing the grievances of the people. Let every one in the media and society, members of the ruling party and the Opposition support the young Chief Minister. The people in the valley also must be made to realise that the whole nation is with them and feelers from across the borders are nothing but the enemy’s mischievous designs.


Biased police force

When a state, howsoever efficient on economic and other fronts, fails to maintain the rule of law and its officers indulge in criminal conspiracies and unflinching cover-ups, it must either be “in connivance with the accused or thoroughly worthless” (editorial, CBI is right, Aug 3). Gujarat has an unenviable record of many instances of political and bureaucratic complicity targeting the politically and culturally ‘inconvenient’.

Every time a skeleton tumbles out of the Gujarat cupboard, the leadership, and not just Narendra Modi, lashes everyone with invectives mastered over years of political arrogance. Naturally in such a vitiated atmosphere no investigation, involving senior political leaders, police and bureaucratic officers can be free and no trial would be allowed to remain fair. So why should the RSS leadership feel charged at the mention of ‘Hindutva terror’? One wishes to ask the efficient and successful Narender Modi if any probe by a central agency in Gujarat becomes a ‘political vendetta by the Centre, how will he describe a trial, an encounter or punishment of his rivals in Gujarat itself?

In fact, now is the most crucial time the BJP not only overhauls its rhetoric and ideology but also tames its leadership to respect the prevalent rules, norms and above all the laws of the land.


Revamp PDS 

While famines and starvation deaths remain the popular representation of the contemporary problem of hunger, one of the most significant yet understated and perhaps less visible area of concern today is that of chronic or persistent food and nutrition insecurity (editorial, Criminal waste”, July 22). An estimate is that between 20 crore and 30 crore Indians are sleeping hungry every night, and that India’s malnutrition figures are not coming down despite a number of government programmes. There is an urgent need for a revamped public distribution system.

The FCI godowns should be modernised, upgraded and expanded for the successful and sustainable national food security. The government must enhance the effectiveness of some of the important food-based interventions like the Public Distribution System (PDS), the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS), and the Mid-Day Meal Scheme with improved performance.

There is need to create a PDS with uniform prices affordable to the poor and the allocation should be based on the number of consumption units in the household.

Dr S K AGGARWAL, Amritsar



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