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Separatists and their double standards

The editorial “Killing of two sisters” (Feb 3) has aptly castigated the separatists for adopting double standards on the condemnation of the killings of two innocent sisters in Kashmir. The insidious mindset of the separatists, who pretend to be strong protagonists of the people, now stand exposed by their deafening silence on the killing of the two innocent girls by the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) whereas they raised such a hue and cry on the killing of teenager Tufail Ahmed.

It is unfortunate that Ahmed was hit by a stray bullet of security forces and two girls were intentionally hit by the LeT. Do we need different standards to measure cruelty?

The mindset of the separatists leaves not even an iota of doubt that they are loyal to Pakistan and the LeT. Their hidden agenda is more than clear. They want to destabilise the country by keeping the pot boiling in the Valley. They have been blowing incidents that suited their agenda out of proportion. In fact, the separatists are the sworn enemies of the country and they should be branded as traitors.

The editorial has rightly questioned, “Where are the separatist leaders hibernating, who claim themselves to be the real representatives of the people of Kashmir, while innocent girls have been gunned down?” Are they waiting for another untoward incident to happen, resorting to stone-throwing and keeping the Valley burning?

I applaud The Tribune for its sane advice that it is the right time the people of the Valley lifted the surreptitious veil from the distorted faces of the separatists to see through their evil designs. Pro-Pakistani agents: Enough is enough.

R.M.RAMAUL, Paonta Sahib

Tagging students

Radio tagging of Indian students has rightly evoked shock in our country (editorial, “Tags of embarrassment”, Feb 1). However, we should be equally concerned about the ruining of career of thousands of students closer home in futile, if not fake courses, by equally sham universities.

The regulators entrusted with quality checks in education have miserably failed us. The non-performing regulators should be recast to address the challenges of higher education. The government should also regulate the migration of students.


UPA under pressure

Inder Malhotra’s article Scent of jasmine and India (Feb 4) was thought- provoking. The rising tide of corruption and the government’s failure to control rising prices of essential commodities has fuelled people’s anger. Other burning issues like CVC P J Thomas’ appointment is of more serious nature.

The government is not keen to disclose the names of black money holders in foreign banks. The biggest scam of our country (2G scam) has shaken the conscience of the general public. The UPA government seems to have become “Under Pressure Alliance”.


Control prices

The editorial “Containing prices: Taxes on necessities can be cut” (Feb 5) gives valuable suggestions to overcome the problem of rising prices. Whereas artificial shortages created by hoarders push up the prices, the farmers are also losing production remunerations due to high costs of labour and manure and miscellaneous charges. States should calculate the requirement of foodgrains, pulses, cereals, vegetables and motivate its farmers to change their sowing patterns accordingly. If the demand is met locally, the expenditure on transportation can be cut down.

Further, with the proper management of production, storage, distribution and marketing of farm produce prices can be effectively controlled. The losses of foodgrains must be substantially reduced to keep the supply at an optimum level. Taxes on exports and imports may also be reviewed. Multi-pronged action is required to keep a check on the prices and it is not difficult if sincere efforts are made.

SC VAID, Greater Noida


In the middle of anti-corruption slogans and drives, the Prime minister’s concern expressed in his address to the bureaucracy to reduce opportunities for corruption through increased competition, wider choices for the consumer and the implementation of modern technology is timely.  

The PM’s call to the state governments to waive off mandi, octroi and other local taxes on essential basic items of consumption is laudable. It is surprising that an economy of a vast republic in the current era of globalisation of economy should still be having tax barriers across its own states, even for items of basic human consumption.

The editorial hits the bull’s eye when it says that taxes on necessities can be cut. If the prices of essential items at least can be kept under control, the common man can expect to get a respite.

Further besides improving productivity of farm produce, the Centre needs to urgently study the processing, marketing and scientific storage models adopted by some of the large Western and European economies alongside their supply chain systems.


Turmoil in Egypt 

Maharajakrishna Rasgotra’s article, Arabs cry for democracy(Feb 7), was excellent. Beijing’s response is understandable as it has a fairly large Muslim population in its northwest region of Xinjiang, who are itching to join the fundamentalist fold and revolt against the Chinese Han rule.

Given the deep and continuing interest in Israel, though the US has made all the right noises, it would be loath to upset the balance of power in this part of the Arab world, and would help in all ways possible to keep the Egyptian army in power behind the throne.

Images of a mass of humanity offering the Friday prayers make good visuals for the media, and such an eventuality in the heart of Srinagar is what India has to guard against.

We must certainly have a contingency plan, which hopefully we do already have. We must ensure that hordes of unemployed youth suitably persuaded monetarily by the ISI and other interested parties do not get out of hand on one of the Fridays.

RC ACHARYA, Former Member, Railway Board, via email



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