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Need to create repository of knowledge

NS Sisodia’s article “India’s knowledge deficit” (Apr 9) was thought-provoking. It is a wake up call for the Indian government and native intellectuals to shed their complacency. The government’s policy of reservation in every sphere has sounded the death knell of real talent. Our teachers in institutions of higher learning rarely recognise talent and nurture it. It is often seen that pseudo-scholars succeed in winning official laurels through nepotism. No wonder really talented persons get relegated to the background.

In contrast, the Chinese have consciously encouraged openness and merit.

They are trying to develop a system in which only the best research secures funding, not the one proposed by the politically influential or senior most researchers. The reason why India is lagging behind China is not far to seek. The Indian political leadership seems to be completely devoid of vision. In fact, we have developed tremendous expertise in scam-spawning. To hide the lack of national progress the leaders seek shelter behind one alibi or the other. It is time the people at the helm of affairs stopped passing the buck and gave top most priority to the pursuit of intellectual excellence without which no worthwhile progress is possible.

“Knowledge is power” is no doubt an old maxim but it has not lost it validity as a potent tool of progress. Hence we should brace up before it is too late and like the Chinese create a vast repository of modern knowledge to ensure our place in the comity of advanced countries.

O.P.SHARMA, Ambala City

Protect heritage

The letter “Save heritage sites’’ (Apr 22) amply emphasises the utmost need to protect heritage sites. Just one example of how our heritage is being lost should suffice. Sita, wife of Lord Rama, during her exile from Ayodhya believed to have stayed for some time at Sunam in district Sangrur in Punjab, before reaching a Rishi’s ashram further west (in present day Lahore – Kasur region). There is a big rectangular sarowar (water tank), called ‘Sita -Sar’, spread over many acres, dedicated to her memory. It has three temples on each of its sides, dedicated to Rama-Sita, Lakshman and Hanuman each, the town being on the fourth side.

The sarowar was charged from the water of Sirhind choe which in good old days was a perennial stream. Main Rama –Sita temple was a pilgrimage site with separate facilities for males and females for a dip in the holy sarowar. Tragically this sacred relic is dying.

The tamed Sirhind Choe no longer charges the sarowar which has dried up. Its dry bed has become a garbage dump and is just one tiny step away from being gobbled up by the land mafia. There is an urgent need to de-silt the tank and make arrangements for its continual refilling with water. If the same is not done an ancient and sacred heritage will be lost forever. There is an urgent need to save this great and sacred site.

Brig HARWANT SINGH (retd), Mohali

Khap-style justice

In our own backyard we have the infamous episodes of khap panchayats doling out diktats and justice on a lynch mode (editorial, “Mukhtar Mai’s travails”, Apr 23). A constitutionally elected state government here, chooses to wave off these incidents and refuses to take action to uphold the law of the land. The only saving grace is that our apex court has come down heavily on appalling diktats of khaps while in Pakistan its apex court seems to acquiesce with the Jirga dispensation. The deep tribal traditions from the Af-Pak heartland appear to have taken strong roots in India’s north as well; the two regions being geographically contiguous.        

R.NARAYANAN, Ghaziabad 

Girl power

The news report, “All-girl institute shines in foeticide hub Tarn Taran” (Apr 20), has once again proved that the girls are not lesser mortals, as they are treated in our society. If given an opportunity they cannot only perform as well as boys but also better than them. What makes the report all the more inspiring is that the girls are making a mark for themselves in armed forces and police which are usually seen as men’s forte.

It is sad that girl child is being killed at Tarn Taran district whose Khadoor Sahib town has been visited by Sikh gurus who have spread the message of gender equality. Those resorting to killing of unborn girl child should see how the girls of this institute at Khadoor Sahib have made their parents proud and desist from aborting female foetuses.


Boost to tourism

Indeed, it is a matter of great satisfaction that the situation in Jammu & Kashmir is improving. People are heaving a sigh of relief. The opening of a luxury resort in Srinagar bodes well. As a matter of fact, J&K Valley depends on tourism.

The editorial “Resorting to hospitality: Peace brings hope of better times” (Apr 19) has rightly observed that Chief Minister Omar Abdullah and his father Farooq Abdullah are right in stressing the importance of the tourism industry in providing jobs and economic opportunities to Kashmiri people. Further it is good to note that hardcore leaders have appealed to Kashmiri Pandits to come back to their homes, which they left two decades back.


Importance of name

Justice S.D Anand’s middle “Naam mein kya rakha hai” (Apr 19) made me think about the ideas expressed in it. Earlier people used to think that unusual or abnormal names of their children would save the children/the family from ill-fate.

But now, parents, particularly the educated ones, try to give attractive and impressive names to their children. These names often reflect parents’ wishful thinking, hopes and aspirations. It is also assumed that the name reflects the character of the person and the person concerned tries to prove true to his or her name.

My parents named me Sirjan which means creativity or creation and I think I am proving my name right as I write poems. Parents should be careful while naming their children and give them only meaningful names.




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