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Punjabi must be given due status

We understand the need for learning English in this age of science (editorial, “Row over Punjabi”, Nov 29). Of course, the teaching of a subject at the college level is the concern of educationists and not of writers, but the views expressed in this editorial should not give leverage to anti-Punjabi feeling (as appears from the letters published in this column).

It should be understood that people avoid sending their wards to government schools because of the deterioration of educational standards in such schools. English medium schools, as per their name, have to teach English from the very start but some people do not want Punjabi to be taught even from Class-1. Why is Punjabi not given the second place in these elite schools? Children are asked either to talk in English or Hindi and are discouraged from talking in Punjabi. Why is Punjabi not accepted as a second language in these schools in Punjab? Punjabi writers should aim their guns against this problem.

There is no fear from English if the so-called public schools and the so-called “educated elite” don’t hate Punjabi by denying it even a second position. Nothing will go wrong if the English medium schools allow students to speak/study Punjabi next to English and give Hindi its due status as the national language.

Dr VIDWAN SINGH SONI, former Principal, Government Mohindra College Patiala

Silence over Myanmar

Shelley Walia’s article “The long road to freedom”(Nov 30) exhorted the Gandhian struggle of Aung San Suu Kyi which she has carried out for years in suffering and deprivation. At the same time, the writer has also regretted the indifferent stance that India has taken with regard to Myanmar and its violation of human rights under the junta.

India continues to be constantly silent, and this silence has a dubious overtone as it is laced with geo-political considerations. While on the one hand India lobbies for a permanent seat in the United Nations Security Council and wants the US to condemn Pakistan’s terror tactics; we are not willing to express our views strongly on the issue of Myanmar and condemn the junta and their successive attempts at repressing a nation. If we wish to carry our resentment against Pakistan wherever we go, then we too must be willing to take the responsibility of speaking for our neighbour with whom we have enjoyed cordial ties for a long time.

Aung San Suu Kyi’s struggle is really a never-ending one in an environment that is hostile to the very idea of democracy. Mobilisation of world support towards the cause of Myanmar is essential, and India must take a lead if she wishes to stake a claim to the status of a world power in the near future.


Social networking

Tejinder Singh Sodhi’s middle, “Facing the Facebook”, (Nov 30) was interesting. Today, the whole world is on Facebook and I truly agree that the person who does not have an account on Facebook does not “exist”.  Social websites such as Facebook or Orkut have made our life interesting. Firstly, such websites offer a perfect platform to stay in touch with one another and make our contacts stronger. Due to the fast pace of our life, one may not get time to meet friends but through a social networking site it is really easy.

Such sites also give one a golden chance to find old friends and stay connected to them. According to Alison Lurie, “In any social network there are always some people who are as it were ‘friends’ by social compulsion, though if the net fell apart they would seldom or never see each other”. So, being a part of such “worlds” is a must to keep up friendship in the purest form. According to Samuel Johnson, “If a man does not make new acquaintance as he advances through life, he would soon find himself left alone. A man, Sir, should keep his friendship in constant repair”.

I would also firmly say that we also get a chance to use our right, “freedom of speech and expression” in a real way. One can share pictures, thoughts and send messages whenever one wants. Expressing oneself is important especially as we lead a life full of worries and cares. I myself being an active member of Facebook and Orkut share my pictures and thoughts from time to time with all my friends. Every individual must become a part of some social networking site to stay in touch with friends.


Keep it up

Please accept my heartiest congratulations on The Tribune remaining No. 1  in the region. I have been an ardent reader of The Tribune since 1965 when  its price used to be 4 to 6 paise. Until and unless I read The Tribune with  my morning cup of tea, I am not satisfied.

The language used in The Tribune is simple and rich in vocabulary. The  printing is excellent and the paper used is superb in quality. If one wishes to  learn or improve one’s knowledge of the English language, I always recommend the reading of The Tribune. The editorials are informative and educative. The “middles” are amusing and intelligent. Even the Sunday Tribune magazine is quite admirable. I wish The Tribune a long-long life and hope it continues to inspire the readers of the region. Keep it up!

R K KAPOOR, Chandigarh

Judicial accountability

The need for transparency and accountability in the higher judiciary has been concisely brought out by P.P.Rao in the article “Ensuring judicial accountability” (Dec 8). Although judicial review is held to be a basic feature of our Constitution, the objectionable acts of members of the higher judiciary remain uncovered. The only remedy of impeachment under the Constitution has proved unrealistic.

The principle of judicial restraint remains merely a doctrine. The definitions of the terms “misbehaviour”, “judicial discipline” and “judicial propriety” need to be elaborated as per the law laid down by the Supreme Court. If the judiciary is entitled to devise new tools in the form of judicial activism for the other organs of the state, why can’t the doctrines of self-restraint, judicial discipline, judicial propriety, etc be expanded to include remedial measures?

Why do the constitutional courts wait for Parliament to enact the Judicial Standards and Accountability Bill 2010 when the core principle of the rule of law is: “Be you ever so high, the law is above you?” Why can’t the provisions for the issue of advisories, warnings and withdrawal of work from the erring judges of constitutional courts be made part of the rules and orders?

RTPS TULSI, Chandigarh

Like father, like daughter

Ved Prakash Gupta’s middle “An hour with Sam Manekshaw” (Dec 10) was hilarious and reminded me of what Lord Wavell, one of India’s last Viceroys, wrote in his memoirs about the late Jagjivan Ram. Among his ministers in the first Interim Government of 1946 he regarded Babuji as the most efficient.

Competence begets competence, as when we watch on the television the current Speaker of the Lok Sabha conducting proceedings on those rare, and now still rarer, occasions when Parliament meets to transact the nation’s business.




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