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Mamata plays a dangerous game

The editorial “Mamata & Maoists: She cannot run with the hare & hunt with the hounds”(Aug 11) has rightly commented that the recent public rally at Lalgarh seems to vindicate the allegations that Mamata Banerjee is not just soft on the Maoists but is also actively courting them. There is no denying the fact that the Trinamool Congress chief, who is also the Railways Minister, is always eager to mobilise every dissenting section and use every available weapon against the Left Front government in West Bengal. She is playing a dangerous game fraught with major implications for the internal security of the country. Her increasing rapport with the Maoists and their supporters has much to do with the state’s politics.

It is worth mentioning here that although the railways under her charge has been repeatedly targeted by the Maoists, the Trinamool chief spoke up for the Maoist front, the ‘People’s Committee Against Police Atrocities,’ whose members are known to take the law into their own hands. In her battle with the Communists on home turf, Ms Banerjee has found an ally in the PCPA. So what if the outfit is under the scanner for allegedly killing innocent people and destroying public property!

Indeed, it is an irony that Ms Banerjee, who has never encouraged any dialogue with the Marxists, should seek to build bridges with the Maoists. While she is welcome to fill the anti-Left Front space in the state, as a Union minister she can hardly be allowed to sympathise with the forces opposed to the Constitution and the duly elected government. At the same time, she must beware of riding a tiger she cannot dismount. The PCPA may be her ally, but it can turn against her the day it realises that even she too is unable to back every mindless act of violence that it perpetrates. One hopes better sense will prevail over her.

DILBAG RAI, Chandigarh


Ms Mamata Banerjee is obviously hobnobbing with Maoists more because of political considerations than anything else. Their political ideologies, programmes and policies have nothing in common. Her opportunistic politics is glaring. 

She is apparently leaving no stone unturned and pulling out all stops to trounce the Left parties in the May 2011 Assembly elections. But in the bargain, she is embarrassing the UPA-II Government of which she is an important Minister.

Undoubtedly, she is undermining the credibility of the government that has termed Maoism as the biggest threat to the country’s security. The Centre is hard put to explain its stand on its wayward minister’s shenanigans. It will be interesting to see how she dismounts the tiger she is now patting so profusely if she sweeps to power in her state. Maoists will ask for their pound of flesh.

HEMA, Langeri, Hoshiarpur

Housewives’ role

The editorial “Housewives’ worth” (July 26) was thought-provoking and timely. It is shocking that the census of India clubs housewives as non-productive workers alongside beggars, prostitutes and prisoners. The apex court aptly desires that the value of the Herculean task the housewife performs should be recognised. The anomaly in the census too should be rectified in the ongoing census operation for the year 2011. Society too must value her contribution.

RIKHI DASS THAKUR, Palbhu, Hamirpur

Teachers’ merit

D S Cheema has presented the real picture of our educational institutions in his article “Assessing institutions” (Aug 10). Even after six decades of Independence, we have not been able to set our education system right and we have high expectations from the recent initiative taken by HRD Minister Kapil Sibal. 

Education plays a vital role in making an individual, society and nation as well. Education is the real currency, which can be capitalised in the market, if gained through dedicated teachers. The faculty of an institution is more important than the building and other infrastructure. The criteria for assessing the institution should be based on the expertise of its faculty members. The recruitment of teachers should be strictly on merit. The NAAC (National Assessment and Accreditation Council) should keep in mind all the parameters. 

HARISH K. MONGA, Ferozepur city


Mr Cheema has rightly stated that there should be a different evaluation process if we are seriously bothered about the standards of education. Infrastructure and transport facilities should not be included in the assessment process.

The most important thing is the teaching faculty. But the Centre and state governments have no clear-cut policy for this. In most of the institutions, teaching faculty does not complete the eligibility criteria mentioned by the UGC. On the other hand, the management of the educational institutions often exploit the teaching faculty.


Women not ready for combat

IN their articles, “Bullet knows no gender” and “High time Army shed retrograde outlook”, Lt-Gen (Dr) S B S Kochar (retd) and Maj Seema Dagar have discussed a serious issue in bits and pieces. A majority of commanding officers who are the backbone of the Army and deal with troops and officers directly do not support the views expressed by the writers.

The Indian Army has not yet achieved technological excellence to fight the war from airconditioned war offices. The troops led by their officers have to engage in hand-to- hand combat with the enemy, and the ground so captured has to be physically occupied. Will women officers undertake such task? In my opinion, they should not be granted commission in combative units.

Even in Engineers, Signals, Ordnance and Army Service Corps their performance is not on a par with their male counterparts. Physical attributes contribute to their falling short of the job requirements. Units already being short of officers suffer more, especially when women officers are on the posted strength. Before any decision on granting permanent commission to women officers in the Army is taken we must seek views of the commanding officers on the issue.




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