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Eco-friendly projects needed in HP

The news report “Government favouring cement firms, says Cong (Mar 15) pertaining to Himachal Pradesh makes me recollect the famous definition of democracy attributed to Sir Wiston Churchill: “A government of the people, by the people and for the people.” But sadly, in the present context, it has changed to “of the politicians, by the politicians and for the politicians.” At least it seems so in Himachal Pradesh.

Politicians cry hoarse in declaring this state a tourists’ heaven. Besides, they leave no stone unturned to pollute and foul its clean environment by opening it to the private companies for setting up as many cement plants as possible. Wily politicians milk the gullibility of simple hill folks by showing them the elusive mirage of creating jobs for the educated and un-educated job seekers of this state. People fall for such populist slogans.

The irony is that even the existing cement plants have not created the expected number of job opportunities for the local youth.

However, they did create opportunities for businessmen and truckers by using thousands of their smoke-spewing diesel trucks for transporting cement to urban markets. In essence, the cement plants spoil the environment in many ways: by mining the sloping hills, destroying their fragile stability, causing soil erosion, damaging flora fauna and forest wealth and by creating air  pollution through thousands of trucks that ply day and night.

Eco-friendly projects using horticulture and agro-products, giving the much talked impetus to tourism, figure nowhere in the priority list of politicians, because such projects cannot fill their and their political parties’ coffers. Himachal Pradesh produces eight million tonnes of maize annually which goes to other states at cheap rates for being processed into various products. This agro product can easily sustain 10 factories in the state and can provide direct and indirect employment to many people and remunerative prices to the farmers.

L R SHARMA, Haripur,Sundernagar

Child marriage

The editorial Let them bloom: Stop marriages of minor girls (Mar 3) was pertinent and made one aware of the social problem that prevails in our society. In rural India, the problem is more acute and should be tackled on war footing. Social, religious, cultural, academic and political organisations have to spread awareness among the rural folk especially about the adverse effects of child marriage. We should discourage the marriage of minor girls.


End quotas

To the news report “Hooda, Maya back quota for Jats” (Mar 11), I would like to add that the Rajasthan High Court has rightly stayed the operation of an Act granting five per cent reservation to Gujjars. The same should be applicable for other communities, caste or religion.

It is strange that despite the court’s decision, the so-called peaceful protests by the members of the few communities have not been stopped. They block rail and road transport and call it a peaceful protest. It’s time to re-visit the reservation policy as political parties often misuse it by playing vote-bank politics. Quotas are politicians’ tool and help nobody but them. Vote-bank politics has to stop. To end such protests and unjustified demands delete the word reservation from our Constitution forever by a suitable amendment.

M KUMAR, New Delhi


I was amused by the news report “Accept quota demand to end stir, says MP Hooda” (Mar 12), I could not help but laugh at the legality and logistics of the demand for quota for Jats. The fact is, the majority of Haryana’s population are Jats. Most of its Chief Ministers have been Jats since Haryana became a state.

Not only that the majority of employees of the state, boards and corporations, etc are Jats. Public facilities like thermal plants, universities, roads and streets are named after Jat leaders.


Indianapolis Cleanse polity

Kuldip Nayar’s article Govt’s stables must be cleansed (Mar 10) echoes the strongly felt sentiments of all citizens sensitive to the national interests of India. The CWG shame, amassing of Rs 360 crore by the Joshi IAS couple, Adarsh Society scam, 2-G loot and the black money stashed in Swiss Banks are all blots on our polity. The criminal waste of Parliament’s precious time for which both the BJP and the Congress are equally answerable to the electorate too cannot be ignored.

Every political leader is focusing his or her energies in nursing the political prospects of his or her son or daughter. Our leaders can only be forced to submit and abide by the democratic ideals. This will happen only if compliance to honest conduct in public life is forced by the fear of a mass-movement led by the upright minority of those who value ideals of honesty and nationalism. For this to happen, the institution of Lokpal and an independent CBI are the foremost requirements.


Judicial activism

The very term judicial activism has a pejorative connotation and it implies that the judiciary is overstepping its authority and is trying to intrude into the domains earmarked for the executive and the legislature. If the executive and the legislature are found wanting in discharging their responsibilities and duties honestly, transparently and sincerely, the corrective mechanism as laid down in the Constitution ought to be adhered to scrupulously.

One mode of inflicting punishment upon the corrupt and erring politicians is elections whereby such persons are ousted from power for their misdeeds. Corrupt practices can legitimately be subjected to judicial review and pronouncements but intrusion into the sphere of policy-making and execution thereof is tantamount to arrogating to oneself the powers conferred by the Constitution upon the other two organs of the government. Moreover, the ever-mounting backlog of cases in courts is not a good reflection upon the functioning of the judiciary.

It should focus more on disposing of cases expeditiously and weeding out its own tainted elements rather than enlarging its domain. The categorical separation of powers must be conscientiously respected by all the power-wielders.

R L GOEL, Ladwa

Consent over euthanasia 

The editorialA landmark verdict: SC allows passive euthanasia (March 8) raised a matter of deep concern. Euthanasia is not a new concept and it has been debated worldwide and only a few countries allow it. In the case of a terminally ill person, it should be acceptable to remove the life support system with the consent of all involved.

If the treatment cannot provide a person a quality life then it is better to give no treatment other than palliative measures. The great philosopher Osho also said, “Euthanasia is our birthright.” Why force people to live who don’t wish to live any longer? Hence, the liberty to choose death should be accepted. The possibility of misuse of euthanasia should also be checked.

ANJU D ANAND, Chamabagaht, Solan



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