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Social ties in Haryana under stress

D R Chaudhry’s article “The phenomenon of Jat assertion” (Feb 25) was comprehensive and enlightening. I share the writer’s historical awareness and agree with his view that the Jats in Haryana have been free from the rigours of Brahminical ideology. They opposed Brahminical rituals under the influence of Arya Samaj and distanced themselves from some retrogressive social customs also. It is a fact that the caste conflicts between the Dalits and the Jats are marked by a new quest for identity among the Dalits.

In cases of Gohana and Mirchpur particularly, the Dalits wanted an equal footing. The caste leaders took full advantage of the situation and tried to put one community against the other. In fact, the centuries old social ties in Haryana seem to be under unprecedented stress because of the growing urbanisation everywhere. The social relations in Haryana are now in a fluid state and the old societal organisation has come to develop obvious cracks.

The Jats, despite their practice of liberal ethos, find themselves in a dilemma and utter confusion under their community leaders who happen to be motivated by a clannish mindset.

To cap it all, unemployed Jat youths now find themselves lagging behind Dalit youths because of the reservation system for the latter. I fully support the writer’s substantial argument: “The caste conflict is symptomatic of the sweeping changes taking place in the economic and agrarian relations in the state.”


Virtual revolution

Except for a few youngsters most are wasting time in chatting (articles, “Faceless fetish or a social revolution?” by Mohit Sharma and “Revolution gone virtual” by Nosheen Kapoor, Feb 25). Only those who are sincere in exchanging views on important topics are really gaining from this revolution.

It has rightly been assessed as an electronic version of a drug. Rather I would say that it is an electronic romance. Since majority of the young generation is using these networks, I would suggest that they should make the best use of it by exchanging ideas.

HARISH DIDO, Chandigarh

Romance of rail journey

The middle, “Love at the level crossing” (Feb 25) by Surjit Singh was a welcome break from the unfortunate news of deaths at the unmanned railway crossings. It reassures that railway crossings can lead to romantic overtures too. The scene of an approaching train with loud whistles and the clanging sound made by the wheels against the rails creates a fleeting moment in time. Railways have been a favourite subject with the film makers too. Many romantic songs have been shot around the beautiful toy trains dotting the hills. Train journey provides an excellent atmosphere for a romantic to go into a trance.

Innumerable stories have been written by famous authors about train journeys. Ruskin Bond in his stories,“The night train at Deoli” and “The eyes have it” beautifully portrays the pangs of meeting someone interesting and then having to part with that person at the end of the journey.

I am a great fan of train journeys; the atmosphere at a railway station with a sea of humanity is breathtaking. Sometimes we may feel very lonely among so many people. But the next moment we meet someone familiar and are relaxed. Trains, their overcrowded compartments, bustling railway stations and level crossings with loads of vehicles waiting for the train to cross, are all like a fairytale setting.


Judiciary’s health

Kuldip Nayar’s article “Prejudices against judiciary” (Feb 23) was apt. Negligible budgetary allocation, shortage of personnel, poor infrastructure and ever increasing arrears substantiate the point. If the judiciary is ill, democracy cannot remain healthy. The swift erosion of democratic norms and principles is the direct repercussion of the ill-health of the judiciary.


Foreign craze

The editorial “Homeless in Southhall” (Jan 29) was thought-provoking which rightly pointed out that dreams of many to settle down in developed or advanced countries has turned into a horrible nightmare. It is also true that many are homeless and are in a state of complete destitution. When I was in Europe for three years, I realised that Indians who are well-settled there are not at all motivated to help and guide the people of their own country. There were many cases of betrayal and disputes.

The community that has a proud tradition of helping the needy now needs to look within and extend a helping hand to the needy and helpless. Indians, particularly Punjabis, must give up the craze for settling abroad. We should remember that “The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.” If we are willing to work hard in another country, we can also make progress in our country.


Women’s burden

Kishwar Desai’s article “Religion and culture in an alien land” (Feb 23) brought out the complexities of the issue rather well. The most disheartening aspect is the fact that it is the women who are made to carry the larger portion of the painful burden of this religio-cultural paradox.

BALVINDER, Chandigarh

Curb drug menace

The editorial, “Infertility in Punjab: Need to wean youth away from drugs” (Feb 24) presented a grim picture of the youth in Punjab. It is sad to note that the young men in Punjab, which were proudly known as “gabroos” are drowned in drugs and alcohol. It is really shameful that, according to a World Health Organisation (WHO) study, there is a sharp increase of infertility among Punjab’s males on account of rampant drug abuse. Drugs are easily available throughout the state.

More shameful is the fact that there is a thriving nexus of politicians, policemen and drug peddlers in Punjab and the government is not taking any action. Obviously, where the government closes its eyes and the drug mafia is active, the health of the youth will certainly decline. The condition has deteriorated to such a scale that today the Punjabi youth does not even match half the qualities of the physical fitness required for the recruitment of armed forces or the police.

The Government of Punjab seems to ignore the blatant abuse of drug menace among the youth of the state. It should take a serious view of this social malaise and take all necessary steps immediately to stop the flourishing drug business in the state. All those involved in this trade, whether they are politicians, policemen or drug peddlers, should be identified and given strict punishment.

Urgent action is required to control this social evil. The youth need to be counselled on the deadly effects of drugs. Those addicted should be given free treatment in government dispensaries and hospitals in the state.

The remedial steps are worth considering. More money should be spent on sports in schools and colleges, and the youth should be involved in the agri-business of the state. The state government should create more jobs for the educated and uneducated youth to keep the youth busy.

R K KAPOOR, Chandigarh



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