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

Armed forces must operate jointly

This refers to the thought-provoking article, “Jointness in armed forces” (August 26), which clearly brings out the necessity, usefulness and importance of having a Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) in the armed forces. This institution provides a single window advice on all matters pertaining to the military in a quick, professional and cost-effective manner. Why else would more than 60 countries have a similar joint command?

Incidentally, India was among the first few countries in the world to realize the importance of jointness in the armed forces. We are also the first country to establish a tri-service training institution for officer cadets at the National Defence Academy, Khadakwasla.

Ironically, thereafter the matter on jointness of the armed forces remained swept under the carpet. Nonetheless, in view of the prevailing global environment and security scenario in South Asia, the inevitability of the CDS cannot be overemphasized. This aspect has been highlighted in the article. Therefore, as an emerging economy and a rising power in Asia, we need to urgently create the system of CDS for our armed forces. The capability of our armed forces will be significantly enhanced, when they are able to jointly operate under the CDS. It is time for our political leaders to seriously address the issue without any further delay.


Flouting norms

It is appalling to know that firecracker factories in the country do not follow safety norms due to which many innocent people die tragic deaths. More shocking is the news that inspectors are corrupt, as they allow these illegal factories to function in unsafe conditions (editorial, “Playing with lives”, August 26).

The editorial rightly says that those who allow these factories to run without valid documents and safety arrangements, they are as guilty as those who operate them. Surely, the guilty manufacturers of firecrackers and the dishonest inspectors should be punished. These persons must  now understand that there is already an anti-corruption wave going on in the country with people coming  out on the streets to protest against corruption.

 The families of the workers who lost their lives in the Karnal and Gurdaspur blasts need to be compensated. The authorities concerned should ensure that cracker factories follow all safety norms. Swift action should also be taken against the offenders and the corrupt officials.

R K KAPOOR, Chandigarh

Anna’s agitation

This refers to the editorial, “No room for theatrics” (August 22). Prima facie, the Lokpal Bill ensures that allegations against the Prime Minister, his Cabinet and public functionaries may be enquired into. But the votary of this movement, Anna Hazare, has added more to the agenda, viz. land reforms, farmers’ rights and improved education system. This proves that in the name of furtherance of common cause, i.e. eradication of corruption, the Gandhian is bent on bringing total utopian changes overnight. The contentious issue needs time to be redefined. The Standing Committee of Parliament has already invited suggestions on the Lokpal Bill. All organizations with annual income exceeding the prescribed limit should be brought within the purview of the bill. But what irks one is to see schoolchildren, employees and public functionaries involved in a theatrical situation.

RAVI DATTA, Jwalamukhi


It was totally unfair to arrest Anna and other members of civil society without any provocation to crush a peaceful agitation against corruption (editorial, “The escalating standoff”, August 17). This news spread like wildfire and people came out on the streets in support of Anna Hazare, and there was an “Anna wave” throughout the country. The government wisely realized its mistake and released them.

No doubt, it is the prerogative of Parliament to make changes, modify, add or delete laws. It is also true that a strong Lokpal Bill is required to deal with the demon of corruption.

To say that Anna’s fast is politically motivated is highly objectionable. Derogatory remarks by some spokespersons, even some ministers of the ruling party, have not gone down well with the people of India.



I fully endorse your view, “Opposition parties have jumped into the fray to draw political capital out of the whole contentious issue (No room for theatrics, August 22).”

In fact, threats, ultimatums and challenges have no room in the Gandhian way of life. Mahatma Gandhi and other saints resorted to fasting for penance and self-purification. But with Anna Hazare and his team, fasting has become a clever ploy to put pressure on the UPA government on the issue of the Lokpal Bill.

Eradication of corruption, in all its manifestations, is a Herculean task. Sincerity and commitment are required for a mass movement against corruption. All conflicts should be resolved amicably. In a strong, vibrant and dynamic democracy individuals do not matter, but institutions do. We must uphold the sanctity and sovereignty of our democratic institutions.


Useful tips

Sumangal Roy’s middle, “Teacher, teach thyself” (August 23), was interesting and timely. Inter alia, the piece pinpoints the need for teachers of the day to update their professional knowledge/skill to keep themselves afloat under the changed circumstances. A teacher, who fails to do so, faces the prospect of being dubbed as outdated, and thus thrown out of the job.

His students would grade him as their “worst teacher”. He must thank Sumangal Roy for giving him potentially useful tips on the subject to help him keep abreast of the times. He can ignore the hints at his peril!

TARA CHAND, Ambota (Una)



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