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Deterrent law must to curb “honour killings”

To say that the highhandedness of the khap panchayats in Haryana is a ‘law and order problem’ is too simplistic a viewpoint. It is an ominous social nuisance (editorial “Honour killings: Delay but don’t drop legislation”, Aug 27). Snuffing out young lives by taking refuge in antiquated and unenforceable customs not only renders the much-cherished constitutional freedoms and liberties redundant but is also an anathema to the tenets of the great Indian culture and civilization embedded in the ideals of compassion, tolerance, non-violence and peaceful co-existence.

The glorification of such crimes by the khap panchayats should tantamount to criminal abetment and conspiracy because it provides a supportive ground to the misguided zealots. Medieval practices like social ostracism or expulsion of the couple and their family, diktats pronouncing the legally wedded couple, as brother and sister by the khap panchayats should also be punishable.

The gaps in the law need to be bridged adequately. To curb a crime, both the Union and state legislature should enact the law but subject to a rider that in case of any inconsistency in such law, the Central law will prevail. Parliament is obliged to provide a deterrent law to eradicate this social evil. It would be desirable to take the states on board before the enactment of the law.


Spare the Army

I am pained to see The Tribune publishing articles against the Army day after day (articles “At stake, the Army’s izzat” and “Indiscipline in forces a reflection of society” Aug 25, “Army’s image on the decline”, Aug 28). There is no decline and no threat to the Army’s image. It is as disciplined and operationally prepared as ever.

Yes, there have been unfortunate cases of some senior officers involved in corruption or scams, and some cases of fake encounter. There would always be a few black sheep in every organisation. What is important is that action is taken against these black sheep. The Army spares none. Does that happen in the bureaucracy or politics?

The Army is not only guarding borders, but also proves to be a saviour during natural calamities and helps in maintaining internal security. During the recent floods in Haryana, it were the men in the olive green who helped the civil authorities in rescue operations, and restoring the essential services. In Leh, the Army and the Air Force proved to be saviours of the people during the devastation that followed the cloudburst. It is the Army men who are dying every day, fighting the militants, in the valley. It is easy to criticise, carry out protests, and sit on dharnas. Army men do not do that. They continue doing their assigned tasks selflessly. It is the finest organisation and strongest pillar of the country. Individuals are never bigger than the organisation. Let us respect the soldier and discard the black sheep. 

Col R D SINGH, Ambala Cantt

Respect yourself

I M Soni’s middle “Be your best self” (Aug 27) was delightful and made me look inwards. Most of the people are encumbered with false notions about themselves. We tend to take others’ opinion about ourselves too seriously. We always need some appreciation to do better.

It has been rightly said that first learn to respect your self, only then people will respect you. All of us have shortcomings. What is more dangerous is that most of the time, we keep thinking about them only, instead of using our strengths. We need to work more on our strengths than on our shortcomings.

That way we may prove to be better human beings and better equipped to take on life.


Majesty of nature

One fact that Jupinderjit Singh’s middle “Preserving silence” (Aug 31) underlines, is the abuse that nature has been suffering at our hands. Far from preserving its pristine beauty and blissful silence, we do not even give them due importance.

Having become mercenary to the core, our life is replete with all that is artificial; be it our behaviour or the products that we use. Nature, on the other hand, is averse to affectation. Patience, peace and quiet are its inherent qualities.

Conserving nature in its original form is not only our duty but also a prerequisite for our survival. Nature knows its business too well and it will be in our interest to obey it unquestionably instead of interfering and causing irreparable losses.

We have let nature down and the results are there for all to see. The American author, Robert G. Ingersoll has observed, “In nature there are neither rewards nor punishments — there are consequences.”




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