L E T T E R S    T O    T H E    E D I T O R

Kasab deserves sternest punishment

The editorial “Death for Kasab: HC concurs, but he has a long way to go” (Feb 22) rightly pointed out that 29 cases of mercy petition are still pending for want of a decision. Surprisingly, this list also includes the name of a convict who had waged a war against this country by attacking the Parliament building.

If such cases have not been given priority by our governments how can Kasab’s case, though settled well by the two courts, see an early disposal? So there is nothing to feel good as our government will keep wasting taxpayers precious money to keep these hardened criminals alive for years and decades even if the highest court of this land sentences them to death. It will merely add another name to the pending list.



The verdict pronounced by the Bombay High Court confirming death for Ajmal Kasab, the only Pakistani terrorist caught alive during the audacious 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks, is praiseworthy. It is correct to say that it goes to the credit of the Indian judiciary to have disposed off the Kasab case in record time.

Rather, this stringent sentence will send a bold signal to other would-be perpetrators. It is equally true that though the verdict is justified, there will be a number of hurdles before the death punishment is actually implemented. Even if the Supreme Court approves the decision, Kasab has an opportunity to file a mercy petition.


Right to service

To the news report, “Badal approves Right to Service law” (Feb 19) I would like to add that the government services are rightful claim of people. The Act would have the   provision to penalise the government authority concerned for delaying the delivery of the citizen service. The numbers of days to provide services like ration card, driving license, new electricity connections and registration of vehicles have been fixed. The government employees will be accountable as well as punishable for a delay in service. 

The officials at fault will have to pay penalty. The Act is likely to tackle red tape in offices, bring transparency and weed out corruption to a large extent. Yet at the same we need to remember that the people have misused the Right to Information Act. The government should implement the Right to Service Act but keep in mind that there is a shortage of staff and working employees are under stress while performing their duties. Vacant posts should be filled without political interference and on the basis of merit. People who misuse such acts should also be punished.

M L GARG, Chandigarh

Religious symbols

I would say that religion, like culture itself, consists of systematic patterns of beliefs, values and behaviour acquired by people as a member of their society (article, “Religion and culture in an alien land” by Kishwar Desai, Feb 23). In other words religion is based on culture.

Although religious symbols have meanings and interpretations that are specific to the religion, when one wears them it becomes personal. People wear religious symbols for a variety of reasons; most of them are personal reasons and others to declare their belief in their faith to the world as it allows people to recognise their faith.

The case of Shabina Begum’s battle over a long coat was also in this context. Religious symbols have sparked controversy often enough. It is not understood as to why can’t people have the freedom of wearing religious symbols? It seems to be a lack of understanding regarding particular religions. We live in a diverse multicultural society and wearing various religious symbols reflects this diversity.

If we have to live in a foreign land, we have to keep an open mind, make an effort to learn the local language, get acquainted with the social conduct of the alien environment and not to take cultural familiarity at face value.

HARISH K. MONGA, Ferozepur

Canker of corruption

P R Chari’s article “Corruption in civil services?” (Feb 22) has tried to diagnose the canker of corruption in the civil services. The malady is acquiring serious proportions. The writer has rightly pointed that at the maximum entry age of 28, most entrants are found to have experienced the taste of one job or other before joining the IAS. This changes the perception of an entrant due to which the intensity of dedication in the IAS gets diluted. Hence the maximum entry-level age needs to be reduced. Similarly, the training needs to focus more on personality building.

However, I do not agree with the argument that the bureaucracy is too weak to resist the wrong dictates of a corrupt politician. The infamous politician-bureaucrat nexus is a marriage of convenience.

L R SHARMA, Sundernagar

Inculcate discipline

Mini Sapra in her letter (Feb 21) has echoed the sentiments of millions of mothers who want to inculcate discipline and good values in their wards. Pampered sons and daughters of today becoming wayward is as common a phenomenon as pollution in the air. The ambience and the milieu of present- day society already provides many undeserved liberties to the youngsters, which remain unchecked.

Further laxity allowed by the parents, especially the mothers, towards their children in matters of education, discipline and moral values can only make the latter irresponsible. The age-old adage “spare the rod and spoil the child” seems correct, at least metamorphically.

NEENA SHARMA, Sundernagar

World Cup

The editorial, “Spirit of cricket: The World Cup promises rich fare” (Feb 19) rightly says that “cricket in the sub-continent remains more than just a game and generates passion that is often far more potent than religious fervour.” Surely, coming days will witness most exciting matches being played in the fields of India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

This is the most historic event in the history of cricket where Australians will try to once again dominate the One Day Internationals. Other teams will also try their level best to perform in a way that saves their honour and reputation.

R K KAPOOR, Chandigarh



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