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Peace requires mutual understanding

India and Pakistan have learned to leave aside the ‘irritants’ and move ahead (editorial, “Drive for Indo-Pak peace”, July 28). This was obvious when India and Pakistan held ministerial-level talks on Wednesday in a “cordial” and “constructive” manner. India did express its unhappiness over Pakistan Foreign Minister’s meeting with Kashmiri separatists. But the whole issue was not blown out of proportion.

The two sides held deliberations on a host of issues, including Kashmir and terrorism. It is good to see that India is not averse to Pakistan raising the Kashmir issue, just as Pakistan is not insistent on discussing the contentious issues first before taking up other issues. What is good to see, both countries are now prepared to discuss issues on which they agree.

Terrorism is one of the issues on which there can hardly be any two viewpoints. In other words, both India and Pakistan have been targets of recent terror attacks. Here also, people-to-people contact may help. It is important for the people of Pakistan to know us. This would help us understand and appreciate our mutual concerns. If we develop mutual understanding, we may see an era of enduring peace in the region.


Coaching centre

Vipul Grover in “Coaching industry – a parallel education system” (July 27) has aptly drawn attention to the emergence of a new trend of growing coaching industry. This has given birth to another tendency. Students seek admission to recognised schools in class XI without showing their presence. This makes them eligible for appearing in Board exams. Here, a nexus between various coaching centres and schools cannot be ruled out in this marriage of convenience. The schools show results without putting in labour and the coaching centres get high monetary returns.

As a result, there is no education. There is only preparation for competitive exams to enter into some professional course. The system of education is collapsing where academic growth of the child is crucified at the altar of professionalism. It is only the rich who gain from such a system. The poor can hardly aspire to compete with the students who attend coaching centres at a very high cost. The government should take steps to improve the education system rather than the system of examination.

Dr S KUMAR, Panchkula

Private universities

I read with interest your thought-provoking editorial, “The more, the merrier: Himachal lures private universities” (July 21). The editorial rightly points out that education has become a thriving business. Private universities offer “market-dictated” courses, which are normally not offered by State-run universities. Therefore, private universities attract a large number of students despite the fact that they charge a hefty fee.

Promoters of private universities seem more interested in getting large chunks of land in the state at low prices. They have little interest in promoting the educational interests of the people living in hilly areas. These universities stand to gain even if they subsequently close the “shops”. Given the trend, the affluent people from the neighbouring states would swallow the smallholdings of the cash-starved Himachalis, thus depriving them of the economic security their land holdings offer them.

In my view, the state government’s penchant for mushroom growth of private universities is potentially dangerous. The state government will do well to ponder over the issue before it is too late.

TARA CHAND, Ambota (Una)

Image management

This refers to the very interesting middle, “Unkempt Heights” (July 26) by Rajan Chugh. Former American President Richard Nixon once confessed to Bennet England (author of “As Young As You Look: Male Grooming and Rejuvenation”) that he lost an American Presidential election because of a bad hairstyle (apart from poor make-up and an improper suit).

In fact, hairstyle is likened to a frame and face to a photograph, fixed in it. So, a suitable hairstyle is essential to highlight one’s face, just as a picture needs a proper frame. Many feel that in addition to one’s ability, it’s the image that ultimately impresses. Perhaps never before have male looks changed so much. Today, men have more money and time to spend in parlours, health clubs and gymnasiums. I also recall the following lines of Hoffenstein: Babies haven’t any hair;/ Old men’s heads are just as bare;/ Between the cradle and the grave/ Lies a haircut and a shave.


Economic growth

The editorial, “RBI has done enough” (July 28), raises valid questions about governance or the lack of it that is plaguing the government. It is quite common to see Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee addressing the media and proclaiming that inflation would come down, only to retract a few days later. While we agree that the government has a responsibility to strive for growth, the real questions are, growth at what cost and growth for whom?

There has been a mushrooming of showrooms selling cars worth one crore or more, indulgent hotels and boutiques. But they jostle for place with growing shanties and slums where an increasing number of the poor cannot get one good meal a day. It is disappointing to see the government failing in its duty to look after the people who elected it, and not just a small section. The government must wake up to quell the simmering discontent.


Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor, neatly hand-written or typed in double space, should not exceed the 150-word limit. These can be sent by post to the Letters Editor, The Tribune, Sector 29, Chandigarh-160030. Letters can also be sent by e-mail to: Letters@tribuneindia.com

— Editor-in-Chief



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