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Govt must act to stop honour killings

D R Chaudhry in his article, “Centre’s retreat on ‘honour killing’ ” (July 29) has rightly bemoaned the stand taken by the Union Home Ministry before the Supreme Court in the case of ‘honour killings’ on the diktats of Khap panchayats. No doubt, maintenance of law and order in the states is a state subject, but to term khap diktats as personal laws of a community is beyond comprehension.

The writer has traced the historical background of the khap institution and has rightly observed after consulting the old records: “There is no evidence of ‘honour killings’, ostracizing a family, declaring a married couple as brother and sister, and such other decrees for which the khap has acquired notoriety in our times.” In fact, most of the decisions of the khaps are motivated by the greed to grab the property of a particular family or settle personal scores. Political parties do not criticise this inhuman act for fear of losing a sizeable vote-bank.

Instead of shirking its responsibility, the Centre should enact a stringent law to implement the Supreme Court judgment and the recommendations of the Law Commission. Those who perpetrate and glorify such killings violate the provisions of the Constitution, which guarantee equal rights to all citizens of India, and they should be awarded exemplary punishment to meet the ends of justice.


Induce investment

The Centre has done well to start schemes for education and training needs of the youth in Jammu and Kashmir (editorial, “Alienation in J and K”, July 29). This will allow them to get employment so that they cannot be allured by terror groups to join them.

But Central aid alone may not be enough to change the current situation in the state. Indian private companies have to show some courage and come forward to invest in the state. Of course, these companies will be reluctant, given the threat of terrorism that prevails in the state. But if both private and public companies join hands, something positive can be done in the state.

In our fight against terrorism, it is important not to forget that terrorists cannot succeed if there is absolutely no local support. This can happen if the corporate sector helps the government in establishing a favourable business environment. Such an environment will induce more people to invest in the state resulting in creation of jobs within the state. Once the people of the state begin to taste peace, they will work harder to ensure it remains.


Indian ethos

The World Health Organisation’s report says that India is the most depressed country, with the highest rate of depression (editorial, “Spirit of India”, July 29). This should not come to us as a surprise even if it turns out to be true. We, the people of India, are going through turbulent times. There is hardly any sphere of our activity, which has not been affected by chaos and corruption. But it goes to our credit that we are facing these challenges with courage and dignity.

There is, of course, other reasons for our depression. Social scientist Daniel Lerner says that the real problem of the modern society lies in the fact that it raises our hopes to an unrealistic height. Leaders make unrealistic promises, raising people’s hopes sky-high. Then, they crush those hopes under their feet leaving them disillusioned. But these are the challenges we have to face. What gives me some comfort is that our core values have withstood the test of time. Indian ethos continues to guide us in difficult moments of our lives. These values should not be lost at any cost.


Charismatic leader

The news item, “Pakistan casts Hina spell on India” (July 28), shows the mindset of the Indian media. Words like “charm offensive”, “unleashing photogenic and glamorous…” show that our media’s focus was more on Hina Rabbani Khar’s charisma than on what she said as the Foreign Minister of Pakistan. In fact, the Indian media has hardly criticised her for meeting the separatist leaders. Had there been any other Foreign Minister from Pakistan, I am sure the media would have created a lot of noise.

In any case, it is our speculation that Khar was appointed as Foreign Minister only to project the soft side of Pakistan. That may be the case, but they cannot make us see what we do not want to see! However, under the “spell” of a charismatic leader, we have forgotten to tell her, in no uncertain terms, that India cannot tolerate any more terror attacks.


Indian defence

By remembering Kargil martyrs, we express our gratitude to our brave soldiers for their great sacrifice made for our country. The best tribute would be to have a sound defence system for the country (editorial, “Remembering Kargil: Need for a sound defence management system”, July 27). Permanent deployment of troops in this hostile mountainous terrain sends a signal to our nation that it should always remain vigilant. Therefore, our country’s defence management still remains the most important issue.

Capt SK DATTA, Abohar

A clarification

The management of Manav Bharti University denies issuing any statement attributed to it in the report “Violation of land norms/ Private University shifts blame on Govt” published on page 3 of the Himachal edition of The Tribune. Nor did any member of the Management meet the correspondent. The University is only corresponding with the state government in response to some queries.

We were surprised to see the report, which has tried to create confrontation between the state government and the University by misrepresenting facts.

Roshan Lal, Registrar, Manav Bharti University, Solan

Our correspondent replies : The report was based on replies sent by the University to the state government. The report did not claim that the statement was issued by the University or any member of the management . The statement “ …the government must order an inquiry to fix responsibility and take action…,” was the reporter’s own.

A tribute to a dog

The middle, “People for the dogs” (July 21) by Lieut-Gen Baljit Singh (retd), was quite engaging and appealing. There has been a strong bond between man and dog since time immemorial. It has served man with selfless love, loyalty, attachment, and sincerity. These days, man is found devoid of these values. Undoubtedly, the middle signifies the fact that the relation between man and beast can be sublime.

William D Ellis, in his story, “A dog named Duke”, beautifully brings out the intelligence, affection, faithfulness, and a sense of responsibility of a Doberman Pinscher, that played a pivotal role in the recovery and rehabilitation of its paralysed master.Later, the dog died in a road accident leaving his master completely shattered. The master, when promoted, dedicated his promotion to his dog, which was more than a faithful animal— a companion, friend and saviour.




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