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Why oppose French ban on turban?

As a policy France does not permit any students to wear the religious symbols in its government schools (“France adamant on turban ban” -December 7). The ban is not against students of a particular religion.  We should, therefore, desist from protesting too much against the ban on the Sikh students wearing turbans. Not wearing the religious signs is part of the dress code of the government schools in France.

But as per the information available, there is no ban on wearing religious symbols in private schools in France. Sikh parents can, therefore, very well send their children to these expensive schools. We have to sacrifice something to keep our identity intact.

In any case, it is we people who go to foreign countries in search of greener pastures. If the culture and rules and regulations of alien lands come in conflict with our religion or our way of living and thinking, we should avoid migrating there. Nobody forces us to live in places not of our liking.  If the host countries allow us to live there the way we like, it will be their greatness and broadmindedness but we cannot force our beliefs and faiths  on them.

Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor, neatly hand-written or typed in double space, should not exceed the 150-word limit. These can be sent by post to the Letters Editor, The Tribune, Sector 29, Chandigarh-160030. Letters can also be sent by e-mail to: Letters@tribuneindia.com

— Editor-in-Chief

It is also pertinent to say that in some schools run by the SGPC and other Sikh social and religious organisations in India, there is a dress code for students. Some time back there were news reports that the parents of non-Sikh students had withdrawn their wards from these schools in protest against the dress code. Why do our Sikh leaders not protest against the dress code enforced in some Sikh institutions?


Not an unwanted child

The concept of cradle, introduced by the Deputy Commissioner of Amritsar, to save the girl child deserves to be held out as an example (“Pangura, a home for unwanted children”, December 6). This scheme needs to be widely publicised and adopted on a wider scale.

The abandoned infants should be befittingly brought up and educated as per their aptitude in a manner they become special and put to shame those who abandon female children. This group of society, on maturity, can help discourage female feticide and incidents of abandoning unwanted children. The concept of “Nanhi Chhan”, which includes female feticide, environment and promotion of secularism, is viable, innovative and meaningful, and should be followed more in observance.

The obsessive preference for a son must go if the problem of female feticide and abandoning of unwanted children is to be tackled. A female child should get same opportunities as a male child.

Soshil Rattan, Amritsar

Crop diversification

The Central Government’s proposal to discourage paddy plantation by not granting a bonus is a right step towards improving Punjab’s farming (editorial “Pulses, not paddy”— Dec 7). Diversification of crops in Punjab is the need of the hour to save soil health and minimise the pumping out of groundwater.

As we are related to farmers’ families and have had talks with many farmers on this issue to impress upon them that at least 1/10th part of the cultivated land be utilized for sowing pulses, if not for marketing, at least for domestic use.

Many of the farmers are adamant on paddy. They sow it on all the land they possess. Paddy production is the only source of income for them. They have to purchase scores of daily use items from the market which they can easily produce in their fields at a lower cost. Farmers are not aware of the alarming loss they are causing to the state and to themselves.

Paddy plantation — partially, if not fully — depends upon rain. If the monsoon fails, paddy crop depends heavily on ground water as canal water remains insufficient, eventually increasing diesel consumption.

The Punjab government, therefore, must not run after a paddy bonus but educate the farmers about how to go in for a proportional reduction in paddy cultivation. The government must promote the sowing of pulses, vegetables and fruits in Punjab and consider a bonus on these crops.

Karnail Singh Sekhon, Kamaljeet Kaur Sekhon (Dr), Bachhoana village (Mansa)

Neera Yadav’s fall

It is very heartening to know that Mrs Neera Yadav, a former Chief Secretary of Uttar Pardesh, was convicted by a special CBI court in a land scam case (“Noida land scam, December 8). The CBI deserves a pat on its back. The reason for the spread of corruption in our country is that the corrupt manage to get away without being booked for their wrongdoings. The failure of the rules and laws to fix the corrupt officials encourages fence-sitters too to make hay while the sun shines. They understand that corruption is a low-risk and high-profit venture.

Interestingly, Mrs Yadav was voted as one of the three most corrupt officers by the State IAS Officers Association in 1997.That despite such public censure, she managed to rise to the post of Chief Secretary should force the political elite in the country to introspect and devise ways and means to prevent the recurrence of such episodes. Had the apex court not ordered her removal from the post of Chief Secretary, she would have continued to loot the exchequer. Will the then Chief Minister, Mr Mulayam Singh Yadav, explain what prompted him to elevate her to the top post?

S C CHABBA, Patiala

DCs’ responsibility

I fully agree with the suggestion to Sukhbir Badal that like the good old British times every Deputy Commissioner should be held personally responsible for the performance of every department in his district (editorial, “ Reforms in Punjab”, Dec 4).

During the British times the DC used to reach a thana suddenly at midnight, knock the door of the thana and exclaim “Koi Hai” and check the staff of the thana on the spot. Can’t the same be done today?




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