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

AFSPA must to tackle insurgency

Kuldip Nayar’s article, “AFSPA: Dangers ahead” (Sept 22) contends that the Army Chief is not entitled to state his viewpoint. This reveals a complete misunderstanding of vital national security issues.

The Army has been involved in counter-insurgency operations for over 50 years. The Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) was enacted by Parliament precisely because the Army needed legal sanction when called to counter a secessionist movement and maintain the territorial integrity of the nation after the Assam government failed to retain Nagas’ loyalty. This half-century of success in maintaining the borders intact demonstrates the utility of the Act. This has been done at the cost of thousands of martyred jawans.

The Army Chief is duty-bound to minimise any casualties to his men, which would result from the dilution of AFSPA. Army officers lead by personal example. It is this ethos which ensures the Army’s success when all other state institutions fail.

However, I agree with the article’s sub-title, “Why involve the Army in a civilian matter?” If only the civilian administration were capable enough to do their job, the Army would get the much-needed respite from an essentially hazardous and distasteful task of dealing with misguided citizens.

Maj-Gen PUSHPENDRA SINGH (retd), Panchkula

Double standards

How clever are the separatist leaders in Kashmir! While they are harping on the great Indian nation, their children are either doing courses or working in big cities. Some of their children are living in opulence in foreign countries. This exposes the double standards of the separatist leaders.

I don’t know when better sense will prevail. The separatist leaders should be asked to bring their children to Kashmir to participate in peaceful marches. But they will never do this.

O. ATWAL, Ludhiana

A serious crime

Large-scale adulteration of drugs and food products, particularly milk and milk products like ghee, paneer, mawa, burfi, kalakand, etc. has been going on in different cities and towns for a long time. However, there has been little check on the activities of adulterators.

In the preceding two months, there have been a spate of reports of seizure of quintals of adulterated mawa and ghee from different towns of North India particularly Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, UP, Rajasthan and MP. Adulteration is an anti-national activity and a serious crime. It is playing with the health of the people.

The departments concerned must get active and ensure that the culprits are not only caught but prosecute them expeditiously. On their part, the courts should ensure that the disposal of such cases is prompt.

R.J. KHURANA, Bhopal

CWG mess

The editorial “Systemic collapse” (Sept 23) rightly infers that “some people deserve to be hanged for this national shame”. Despite timely warning, the men who mattered failed to act and meet the deadlines in regard to the Commonwealth Games.

The common Indian who has always proved his mettle in various fields across the globe stands denigrated because some people at home have failed to measure up to the task. Rampant corruption, security concerns, crumbling infrastructure are much beyond goofing up.

I wonder why someone in the Suresh Kalmadi team did not come up with the idea of outsourcing the Commonwealth Games to China and boast that we have raised ourselves to the Olympic standards. Anyway, now is the time for each Indian to stand by the organisers for the sake of national honour.

T.S. SANGHA,Jalandhar

When will quotas end?

The article “Quota syndrome haunts Haryana” (Sept 24) by D. R. Chaudhary presents a realistic picture about the socio-economic-political scenario in the whole country. The Jats’ agitation in Haryana is the natural outcome of their declining economic condition. Increase in families has been fragmenting their agricultural land into small landholdings. Most of them have been rendered unemployed or underemployed.

Moreover, they don’t have funds for quality education, health services and other essential facilities of their children. When they find other communities fight for quotas, they also fall in line. How can we criticise them for their demands for reservation?

The moot question is: When will demands for “quotas” by different communities come to an end? Will someone from the “elite class” tell how to improve the economic health of our country? Agriculture, industry and services, the three main components of our economy, are moving downward and the lives of the poor people have become miserable.

It is time those who want to make Indian democracy a meaningful phenomenon came forward and awakened the masses to stand against the misleading regressive forces which blatantly misuse religion, caste, money and muscle power and other malpractices.




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