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

Make a law to protect whistleblowers

This refers to the news item, “Woman RTI activist shot dead in MP” (August 17). The act of killing Shehla Masood, a woman RTI activist, in front of her residence needs to be condemned by one and all.  No doubt, whistleblowers have to brave threats when they expose corruption. But it is difficult to understand why the bill for protection of whistleblowers has not been passed.  The RTI Act has brought efficiency in the system by compelling the authorities to take decisions judiciously and within the framework of existing rules and regulations.

However, such deaths will not deter RTI activists. But shouldn’t there be a law to protect activists like Shehla Masood? A foolproof mechanism needs to be envisaged to ensure that the identity of the complainant is not revealed.

HARISHDIDO, Chandigarh

Neglected city

Contrary to their tall claims that Punjab has progressed during their reign, I request Mr Parkash Singh Badal and Mr Sukhbir Singh Badal to visit Patiala and see for themselves the condition of roads and cleanliness in the city to ascertain how much development has taken place in the state. With the money and the time left with the Akali-BJP government, it is impossible to implement the projects being planned and sanctioned for the development of the state.

Further, may I ask Mr Amarinder Singh where was he for the last more than four years? Though he and his wife are elected representatives from Patiala, they have never bothered to take up the issue of Patiala’s development with the state government. Due to the utter neglect of the city, Patiala has become a city of garbage from a city of gardens.

SS RAHI, Patiala

Eradicate corruption

I want to make a suggestion to Anna Hazare and Baba Ramdev. They and their advisers should go to various cities and ask their admirers to resist the temptation of giving and taking bribes.

Baba Ramdev claims that he has more than one crore followers. He should tell his yogis to take a vow daily after their yoga session not to indulge in any type of corrupt practice. This movement may prove ‘infectious’, and crores of Indians may take part in it to eradicate corruption.


Land Acquisition Bill

This refers to the editorial, “Protecting land owners” (August 2). The UPA’s draft Land Acquisition Bill, released for public comment, is a good step for protecting the interests of farmers.

The incidents that happened at Singur, Greater Noida, Bhatta-Parsaul, Jaitipur, Mansa etc, should not be allowed to happen again. In India, everyone is equal and born free. For farmers land is a symbol of self-respect, and if somebody takes away land forcibly from a farmer, his self-respect is dented, which cannot be compensated in terms of money.


Armed forces

If we want to remain relevant in this century, we need to revamp our armed forces (“Military losing its shine” by Lt-Gen Harwant Singh (retd), August 15).

It is simply abominable that our youth today shun an exciting and rewarding career in the armed forces. This once attracted only the crème de la crème. It also reflects poorly on our national leadership that such an important issue has remained swept under the carpet. The disastrous results are there for all to see.

How else does one explain that despite global condemnation and our repeated pleas, a strife-torn Pakistan retains the capability to bleed us literally with a “thousand cuts”; freely allowing its soil to be used by terrorists for “cross border” attacks against us, with total impunity?

It is imperative that our political leaders and planners seriously address the issue of Chinese build-up, who are busy opening strategic rail and road communications, close to our borders.


Waning relationships

The middle, “Lost relations” (August 15) by Sarita Mohan, raises a pertinent social issue. It is true that we no longer cherish the memory of our interactions with our relatives. Sometimes circumstances compel us and we find it difficult to meet them. But there are times when there is hardly any desire to spend time with them.

Our children may not have the yearning to meet their uncles and aunts. This may be true if they have never met them for years. But the opposite can also be true.

I have seen some kids curious to meet their relatives. What happens after their meeting depends upon how they are received. If both sides show eagerness to meet, the desire for more such meetings will grow.

However, when a person like me, grows old, he tends to become more and more nostalgic. We wish, quite unjustly, as I sometimes do, that our children and other dear ones may come and stay with us. This is not possible, for we may have ample of time at our disposal, others may have so many compulsions. In any case, we must learn to accept the situation, and I believe in the concluding words of the middle, “Ajkal jo sath chale wahi rishtedar hai.”


The Chinese threat

This refers to the news item, “In Ladakh’s Demchok, China can build, India can’t (June 27). China has consolidated its position by building up its military infrastructure progressively on its side irrespective of any restraint, whereas the Indian Government has imposed ban on any kind of construction in Demchok.

A few years back, the Chinese Government protested the building of road by India for public utility in the area. As a result, the Indian Government stopped building of road. Even local shepherds are not allowed to take their cattle for grazing near the line of control within the Indian territory. The inhabitants of the area are annoyed over this attitude of the Indian Government and they feel that India is afraid of any dispute with China.

China has openly interfered in Kashmir declaring it a disputed territory. It also interferes in Arunachal Pradesh. Besides, the cordial relationship between China and Pakistan is not a good indication for India. Therefore, India should keep China’s activities near the Indian border under constant surveillance.




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