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Take steps to check gender imbalance

The editorial Missing daughters (Oct 16) is right in suggesting that only a broad-based movement involving people from all sections of society can help check gender imbalance.It is a shame for Punjab that out of five lakh daughters that go missing in India, one lakh are deemed to be from Punjab alone. Thus, the concern of President Pratibha Patil is justified and should not be taken lightly. The initiative called Nanhi Chhan is appreciable. It is gaining momentum.

There is definitely need for NGOs to educate the public. They should hold seminars and arrange pre-marriage counselling sessions for both the groom and the bride. The NGOs can play a vital role in detecting illegal sex-determination clinics and bring this to the notice of the district administration. The PNDT Act, the Domestic Violence Act, the Dowry Act, etc, are appreciable steps towards giving rights to women. Only these need to be implemented in letter and spirit.


Question paper mistakes

To the news report Recheck papers, orders HC (Oct 8), I would like to add that the reporting of errors/ mistakes in the answer key has become a regular but unfortunate feature of nearly all the entrance tests based on objective- type multiple-choice questions.

I can say from experience that the multiple-choice questions which are error-free are not that easy to compose. Due to the increase in the number of entrance tests in all disciplines/ subjects, the question paper setting agencies have to depend on the reservoir of questions available in the market. Under the circumstances, one needs to be extra careful in screening questions and checking the choices prior to using the question for the test.

A specially designed optical mark reader (OMR) answersheet with a carbon sheet should be provided so that candidates have a carbon copy of their darkened/circled responses. The answer key should be published in the newspapers or be displayed on the website.

Dr IM JOSHI, Chandigarh

Sad affair

The editorial, It’s SAD: Needless targeting of Manpreet (Oct 19) was apt and timely. The Shiromani Akali Dal should desist from playing ugly politics. It seems that the SAD-BJP combine has been shaken by the impressive gathering at Mr Manpreet Badal’s constituency, Gidderbaha. Surely, if an honest person like Mr Manpreet Badal is humiliated in public, people will be on his side.

The people of Punjab are taking a serious view of the ongoing fighting between the two cousins. The voters of today are an enlightened lot and very well know who is right and who is wrong. It is really a pity that an honest person like Mr Manpreet Badal has been expelled from the party. Certainly, honest persons can have no say in politics.

Instead of indulging in mud-slinging, leaders should sit across the table and devise ways of getting rid of the debt-trap in which Punjab is caught. By simply adopting a rigid attitude on the free distribution of power to the farmers, the SAD-BJP combine has already lost the sympathy of the Punjabis in the state. Both parties, the SAD and the BJP, will suffer a huge loss in the 2012 Assembly polls on account of their adamant stance.

R K KAPOOR, Chandigarh


It is really sad that the SAD-BJP government is using unwarranted, illogical, unethical methods and tactics to prevent Mr Manpreet Badal from meeting people and holding public meetings. There is no political armour with the SAD-BJP government, which can stop the influence of a right-thinking, ethical politician like Mr Manpreet Badal, who was wrongly expelled from the government and the party for his pro-state and pro-people stand.

Stopping him from holding public meetings in his constituency, locking the gates of the Gurudwara at Kahnuwan, using the media adviser of the Chief Minister to make irrelevant things public and Mr Sukhbir Badal’s justification to continue illogical, unwarranted freebies and subsidies at the cost of the state exchequer are in sharp contrast to Mr Manpreet Badal’s stance.

Mr Sukhbir Badal should realise that no state can survive without getting rid of its debt. Freebies may benefit his government politically but not economically. The SAD must act with restraint and show wisdom.



I do not agree with the policies of Mr Manpreet Badal on the issue of subsidies to farmers. But I agree with the views expressed in the editorial. India is a democratic country. Everybody, including Mr Manpreet Badal, has the right to express oneself in public. The SAD should not use unlawful and highhanded tactics to throttle him.

 AMAR JIT SINGH GORAYA, Griffith, NSW Australia 

Musharraf’s confession

Pakistan has always adopted a belligerent attitude towards India and is hell bent on destabilising it (editorial, “Musharraf’s confession,” Oct 7). In fact, its foundation was laid on hatred for India. Pakistani leaders have all along been denying the existence of terrorist training camps in their country. However, General Pervez Musharraf (retd) unequivocally asserted to give moral, financial and diplomatic help to the terrorists operating in the Kashmir valley. Now, he has clearly blurted out the truth that Pakistan had trained militant groups to fight against India in Kashmir. According to him, India is not prepared to discuss Kashmir at the United Nations.

Does he not know that because of the failure of Pakistan to comply with the terms of the UN resolution it has become dead as a dodo? Even otherwise it stands superseded by the Shimla agreement. Gen Musharraf said that, “It is the right of any country to promote its own interests.” Does this right authorise any country to play havoc with the life and property of the people of a neighbouring country?

Pakistan has occupied about 78,000 sq km of Jammu and Kashmir. It is from this side that Pakistan-trained terrorists sneak into the valley. They have turned the paradise on earth into a killing field. Their ethnic-cleansing campaign has caused the exodus of Kashmiri Pandits. When Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayee made a gesture of goodwill through his historic Delhi-Lahore bus ride, Gen Musharraf brazenly ordered armed intrusion in Kargil.




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