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

Need to give priority to research

The article, “Developing knowledge society” (July 5), talks about the need to undertake research projects that solve the problems of communities and also become valuable for our industry. This is essential because research endeavours should not just remain an academic exercise without any tangible results. Research scholars remain involved in their work, submit their thesis and once it is accepted, it is kept safely away in a cupboard gathering dust. No effort is made to see if the results of the work can be applied. As the writer says, in the US, research is accorded a lot of importance. They understand that if research in any area is not socially relevant, it is a waste of time and money.

In India, we seem to have forgotten the reason why research is done at all. Naturally, when our research areas and topics are far removed from the interests of the community to which we belong, none will be interested. There will obviously be no hope of receiving funds. On the other hand, if we are able to convince the community that the research, if completed, will benefit the members, they might be interested. But it is still highly speculative.

The typical Indian mindset is such that we tend to give money to religious organisations but find it hard to contribute where it is most needed. The industry will also not show much interest and continue to remain sceptical unless they find any merit in backing research endeavours. I, therefore, feel that we need to change our mindset and give priority to research endeavours to solve problems and improve the quality of life. I also agree with the writer that our industry, communities and the academia need to work together to “make India a strong knowledge society”.


Public scrutiny

The editorial, “2G takes its toll again” (July 9), rightly says that it is time for the DMK to introspect now after the resignation of Union Textiles Minister Dayanidhi Maran. One wonders how many more ministers will resign in the coming months! It is also amazing that the government has managed to survive this long. The DMK was shown the door in the recent Assembly elections. It is now time for its leaders to introspect. But it is also time for the UPA to introspect. What takes the government so long to act? As for Maran, he blames the media for the negative publicity targeting him.

But we all know that it is because of the media we have come to know of the mess. I also feel that the Prime Minister should assert himself when needed. The coalition partners need not always put pressure on him. This is because they also know that aided by the media, they will be under intense public scrutiny.


Leadership crisis

There is no denying the fact that the political scenario in the country is confusing (Confusing political scenario, July 9, by S Nihal Singh). While the country is witnessing a large number of scams, political leaders seem to be utterly unprepared to face the public in this situation. Take for instance our Prime Minister. It is wrong to think that our Prime Minister does not want to face the media. When a Prime Minister has to face difficult and embarrassing questions from the media, he must be adequately prepared before reacting.

Congress leaders like Digvijay Singh find it difficult not to make inappropriate statements. Then, we have Rahul Gandhi who seems to think that his ‘magic’ would work only in Uttar Pradesh! BJP leaders are also confused. They do not seem to know what should be their stand on several issues, including the Lokpal.

Anna Hazare has added to the confusion, it seems! Their leader LK Advani is more comfortable targeting the Congress. Sushma Swaraj is trying to figure out where she fits in the party. Narendra Modi remains confined to Gujarat despite his ambition to become a national leader. The worst of all, we, the people of India, are confused and want to know who our leader is!

KAPIL SHARMA, Chandigarh

UP farmers

This refers to the editorial, “State as a broker: Profiteering invites Supreme Court wrath” (July 8). It is a positive development for the farmers of Uttar Pradesh that the Supreme Court has dismissed the appeal of the Greater Noida Industrial Development Authority against the Allahabad High Court order quashing the acquisition of 156 hectares of land in Sahberi village. This landmark judgment is going to revive the badly shaken faith of the farmers in the system. The farmers were paid Rs 800 per square metre for their land, which was further sold to builders at a much higher rate. This must be condemned.

It is actually a well-planned commercial and political conspiracy to grab the farmers’ fertile land. But this phenomenon of land grabbing is not confined to the Greater Noida villages in UP, but it has spread to other states also, as the editorial observes, “There are governments in various states and their agencies that are acting as property dealers and raising cash to fund the extravagant ways of ruling politicians and bureaucrats.” This dangerous trend to uproot farmers from their land must be checked at the earliest.


Stringent laws

I am surprised that the Centre in its affidavit to the Supreme Court says that police and public order are state subjects under the Constitution, and it is the state’s responsibility to deal with the offences like honour killings (the editorial, “Washing hands off ”, July 8). In fact, honour killings must be condemned by one and all. It is highly disappointing that honour killings are continuing despite the implementation of various laws to prevent them.

There is a need for launching a campaign against honour killings. Our society also needs social reformers like Raja Rammohan Roy. Besides, the government should also introduce stringent laws to deal with the menace.


Summer hospitality 

The middle, “Summer guests!” (July 8) by Manika Ahuja, was very interesting to read. In summer, people, particularly children, have great plans of enjoying the free time at their disposal. It is the time when Indians set out to explore the countryside. But due to a tight budget, the travellers decide to stay with their relatives at their residence.

I have been a resident of Shimla for four years. After my transfer from Varanasi, I was happy to reach Shimla. However, within 15 days of our arrival, a steady stream of our friends started pouring in to “meet” us. But we knew it was the charm of the hill station and the “free” hospitality of a relative that attracted them to our house. 




HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Letters | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | E-mail |