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Beyond the Jats’ stir for quota

DR. Choudhry’s article, “Quota syndrome haunts Haryana” (Sept 24) was timely and thought-provoking. I endorse his perceptive and very balanced viewpoint about the ongoing Jat stir for reservation in the government services.

Our rural areas have been criminally neglected and the reservation policy has put the different caste people against one another pathologically crying for fair treatment. In Haryana, the caste consciousness is not as rabid as it is in other parts of the country but the caste system still crucially shapes the identity of the Jats, Ahirs, Gujjars, Bishnois, Punjabis, Aggarwals, Sainis, Rajputs, Brahmins and Dalits.

In the last one decade, all the caste groups in Haryana have raised multi-storied dharamshalas with modern facilities. The Jats have just emulated others and even they have come to build and possess big and beautiful dharamshalas throughout the state. But they feel somewhere in the heart of their hearts left behind in getting gainful government jobs in proportion to their population in the state. Their counterparts in UP and Rajasthan have already been accorded the OBC status.

Like Rajputs in Rajasthan and UP, the Jats have the dominant presence in the rural areas of Haryana but in the present times they find themselves lagging behind other communities (particularly the Yadavs, Sainis and the prosperous Dalits) because of the reservation policy. They find their old world of powerful social influence collapsing in the face of rapid commercialisation, rising prices of seeds and fertilisers and shrinking land holdings. These ground realities have prepared the actual ground for the present stir for the OBC quota.


Welcome package

The Union Government is once again at its best to defuse the prevailing tension in the Kashmir Valley. Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram has come forward with an eight-point initiative for Kashmir.

The main focus is on restoration of peace in Kashmir. If law and order returns to the Valley, the influx of tourists will increase manifold and the financial condition of the natives of Kashmir will show positive growth.

The government has planned to enlist the services of eminent personalities to start the process of dialogue and consultation with various groups. Students’ education will be badly affected if they are on the roads and don’t attend schools and colleges. We should convince the students and all others to give up their agitation and join the national mainstream.

As regards the Armed Forces Special Powers Act, it should not be withdrawn or even diluted unless and until peace returns to the strife-torn state.


Doctors’ woes

Rural doctors appointed through Zila Parishads in 2006 are getting much lesser pay than the regular doctors appointed in 2009.Why this discrimination? Instead of giving incentives to doctors, the government is punishing them for having served in rural areas. Their career growth has stopped after joining Zila Parishads.

There is no PG quota for these doctors though most of them have completed four years of rural service. Many doctors have already left the job due to uncertainty and insecure future. If the government wants to strengthen the rural healthcare network, it should regularise the services of the doctors and provide them incentives.


Pawar’s Diatribe

Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar has criticised Commonwealth Games Organising Committee Chairman Suresh Kalmadi for his “poor management” (Sept 26).

Before criticising others, Mr Pawar should first examine his own managerial skills. Consider the manner in which he has handled the food grains of our country. He has made a mockery of our country in the comity of nations.


Road Blockades

The other day agitators blocked the highway leading from Chandigarh to Ambala near Zirakpur and held the road users to ransom. The protesters should note that this way they are doing a disservice to the common man. We can’t sympathise with those who put the innocent public into hard ship.

I would also request the Punjab and Haryana High Court to pass an order banning all kinds of Rasta Roko. Whoever blocks the roads and rail traffic should be penalised with fine and imprisonment.

R.K. GARG, Chandigarh

Holding Games is in order

A couple of issues have been raised regarding the Commonwealth Games. A former Union Minister continues to say that games should not have been held and that the money be spent on poverty alleviation indeed. However, poverty alleviation, globalisation and participation in such events should go parallel. Already we are wasting foodgrains while millions go hungry. These things would continue so long as the rule of law and accountability do not come. So holding the games is in order.

The media showed only what they saw. This nation should feel proud of the electronic and print media which brought all negatives and would bring positives, if any, into public domain. In the absence of a free and fearless media, we would not have known how corrupt, inefficient and lousy our machinery is, how low our organisers think, and how most of them suffer from foot-in-mouth disease.

Our image as organisers suffered a setback. Hopefully, the games would go fine till October 14. The media should keep sustained pressure to bring all those responsible for the mess to justice.

The people have the right to know the reasons for the late start of preparations; large-scale corruption in various projects; sub-substandard works; those responsible for handing over the village without inspection; and collapse of the foot-over bridge.

That would give the positive message to all Indians and the world at large that this country can go wrong but it has the institutions to fix things.

MADAN MOUDGIL, Kurukshetra



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