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Leaders should change old mindset

This refers to the wonderful article, “Why India needs to keep talking to Pakistan” (June 23) by Raj Chengappa. I fully endorse the views that no matter what happens, we as a nation must not give up on Pakistan. It is true that Pakistan has emerged as a flashpoint of terrorism in the world. But this is primarily due to poor leadership in that country, and the excessive involvement of a military mindset in the administration. It seems to be a sham democracy with all powers basically in the hands of the military. Where I see hope is in the fact that the common man, especially the youth, seems to have had enough of violence and a life full of fear, insecurity and revenge.

The youth there wants to move on from the past baggage of strife towards economic growth, peace and brotherhood. I say this on the basis of my visit along with 18 students from my school to Pakistan in October last year, when we were there for eight days at the invitation of our sister school Lawrence College, Ghoragali, Murree. At one point, while I was talking to a lot of students and young teachers on the lines that if the wall between the two Germanys could be demolished, why can’t India and Pakistan at least live in peace like two good neighbours. Their unanimous response was, “Sir, the youth is totally for it, and we shall make it happen one day.” The way forward is to have more cultural exchanges and more economic interdependence. Basically, there has to be a continuous people- to-people contact for a better future for both the countries. Yes, this can eventually become the defining story of the century. I see winds of change blowing everywhere. If leaders with old mindset do not change, at the appropriate time, people will change them, democratically or otherwise.

PRAVEEN VASISHT, Headmaster, The Lawrence School, Sanawar


The article, “Why India needs to keep talking to Pakistan” (June 23) by Raj Chengappa, quite rightly says that we need to keep talking to Pakistan. We cannot be oblivious of the fact that Pakistan is our neighbour, and no matter what, we cannot choose our neighbours. But what is more important is the fact that the people of Pakistan want to have friendly relations with India. It is the successive political regimes that have kept their citizens in the dark.

They were told that India posed the biggest threat. This has created a negative psyche against India. We also find it difficult to believe that a common man in Pakistan would not want to see us destroyed. However, times are going to change. In this age of information technology, no political regime can keep its people ignorant for long. There is much scope for people-to-people contact even in a virtual environment, such as through social networking sites. So, there is much hope for Indo-Pak relations in the near future.

JAIKUMAR, Panchkula

Build consensus

The editorial, “Mid-course correction” (July 1) rightly hails the Prime Minister’s recent meeting with a few distinguished newspaper editors to clear the air regarding the huge “governance deficit” and public anger over a series of scams. Undoubtedly, this mess calls for an immediate “mid-course correction” for the UPA government if it wants to successfully complete its remaining three years of the second term in office. Now is the time for the government to recast its immediate national priorities. First, there is an urgent need to induct genuine leaders of impeccable integrity, patriotism and proven competence in the forthcoming Cabinet reshuffle. Youth must be given a chance, but purely on merit and through democratic process. Secondly, the draft Lokpal Bill and other related issues concerning black money, tax evasion, corruption etc that have angered the masses, must be resolved at the earliest through comprehensive debates and consensus inside the Parliament.

 Thirdly, there is the need for reining in corruption. Corruption emanates from just a few corrupt politicians, greedy bureaucrats and dishonest businessmen. A nation-wide concerted effort to identify and punish the guilty in an exemplary manner should be launched.


Inculcate patience

This refers to the editorial, “Testing teachers: Protests by the jobless unwarranted” (July1). At times protest is the only way to attract the attention of the government. Teachers have a genuine grievance. Even after completing B.Ed course, they have to appear for yet another test. How many times will they have to prove their worth? If courses like B.Ed are not enough to prove one’s capability, it is for the government to decide which course one should opt for. It is almost as if one passes one examination only to take another test.

This suggests that our education system is losing its way. One can’t blame the teachers alone. The government must also share the responsibility. As for those aspiring to become teachers, they should also understand that it is not just another job. The job of a teacher will require them to inculcate patience.



An alluring trap

The middle, “Conditioned to an AC” (June 27) by Amaninder Pal, has beautifully portrayed the dilemma of a middle-class family. Today, the scenario is quite different. There are many options available to the consumers of all classes to buy the products of their choice. Be it home appliances, cars, jewellery, tour and travel or luxury flats. Everything is available on EMI. Remember that EMI is an alluring trap for a common man. Mesmerized by these options, the consumer is lured into buying a product beyond his budget and status, and ultimately, lands into trouble. Along with EMI, “conditions apply” is always written in fine print. These “conditions” lead to a poor consumer’s sorrow. Therefore, wisdom lies in not being tempted.

HARBANS SINGH, Ambala Cantt 



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