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

Take steps to effectively curb ragging

The article, “Say ‘no’ to ragging” by T K Gill (August 30), underscores the need to take every possible measure to curb ragging in educational institutions. Ragging is an evil that continues unabated despite the Supreme Court directive to educational institutions to end it.

Despite the law and occasional steps taken by governments, ragging does exist in our institutions. Therefore, institutional authorities, the government and the public should take some serious decisions to stop this increasing menace. Only law cannot ensure this. Parents, teachers and public-spirited persons should come forward to end this menace.

All educational institutions should initiate anti-ragging movements. Undertakings should be taken from newcomers, seniors and their parents or guardians. Ragging-prone zones, such as hostels, canteens, playgrounds and secluded areas, should be identified and carefully guarded. Anti-ragging and vigilance committees should be formed and senior responsible students should be part of these organizations. Every college should have an anti-ragging committee consisting of all department heads as members under principal’s chairmanship. The committee should delegate to teachers the authority to monitor their students.

Ragging should be perceived as a failure to inculcate human values from the schooling stage. Our civil society and the media can play a major role to curb this menace.

Dean, Academic Affairs,
Amritsar College of Engineering and Technology,

Religious freedom

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg should be commended for taking a bold step in passing the Workplace Religious Freedom Bill as mentioned in the editorial, “Turban to the fore: Religious freedom should be accommodated” (September 2), which allows Sikhs to wear turban at the workplace. One problem, which needs to be addressed, is that some Americans mistake Sikhs to be Muslims or Arabs due to their turban, and start linking them to terrorism. Such doubts had affected many Sikhs, who became victims of hate-crimes. 

Sikhs are peace-loving and kind human beings, who actively participate in America’s charitable programmes and contribute to the development projects. They donate blood and money for good causes.  There should not be any discrimination against them. Other state governments in the US should also make similar laws allowing religious freedom.


Joint command

This refers to the article, “Jointness in armed forces” (August 26). There is no likelihood of the CDS coming up at least in the foreseeable future. First, there is no jointness; the three Services Chiefs hold divergent views. Secondly, there exists an unwarranted fear of army takeover in the mind of the politicians that is fuelled by vested interests in the bureaucracy. And thirdly, the all-powerful bureaucracy is afraid of losing its superiority.

The fear has even led to a systematic dilution of the status of the Services Chiefs. They have been brought down in precedence from their once exalted position. The million-strong Army has been virtually sidelined. It has lost its say even in the matters that directly concern it. And sadly, the Army has sheepishly allowed itself to be relegated to the inferior position. All this needs to be undone.

The government should get rid of its imaginary fear, the bureaucracy should shun its misplaced superiority complex, and the Army should assert its well-deserved importance. Give the Army its rightful due. This will be in the interest of national security.

Wg-Cdr CL SEHGAL (retd),

Teaching English

As a former teacher of English, I could not believe my eyes when I read the report, “Teaching English in Hindi medium, MDU style!” (August 19).

The opening paragraph states: “In a bizarre move, notes of English paper meant for BA-I students of the distance-learning programme run by MDU, Rohtak, now contain Hindi translations as well.”

I wonder if you can be proficient in a language unless you start thinking in it. Moreover, much of the meaning is lost when you translate something from one language into another.

I feel that teaching English through Hindi is like teaching a normal person to walk on crutches. The best way is to let the notes be in the simplest and easy-to-understand English. Of course, it is not easy to write such English. It requires both skill and labour.


A new district

Fazilka now gets the tag of a district, which is a welcome step. It was long overdue. During my stay at Government College, Fazilka, as the Principal in 2001, I remained in the town for about a year and observed many problems which the inhabitants of the town were facing.

Now, it is high time the authorities concerned took strong steps to solve the problems like excess fluoride content in water, and also develop greenery and flower gardens to make the district attractive.

Prof B M RAWLLEY, Nabha

Act of ingratitude

Mr Kaushik’s middle, “Compliments returned” (August 31), evokes utterly repulsive and disdainful feelings. It sends interminable shivers down one’s spine. What a nasty example of human ingratitude!

The then Chief Minister of Punjab, who rewarded the villain by making him the Chairman of the Education Board of Punjab, deserves unqualified denunciation—albeit posthumously.

It is heartening to note that the things have improved considerably ever since the ghastly episode was enacted.

TARA CHAND, Ambota (Una)



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