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

Govt has failed to control inflation

The Tribune echoes the sentiments of the majority of the ordinary people over the recent petrol price hike (editorial, "Spiralling petrol prices: A sense of drift on policy front", September 19). The editorial has very sensibly questioned the pro-rich economic policies of the government.

If the Opposition has charged the Centre of being insensitive and callous to the problems of the common people, they cannot be faulted. With inflation touching 9.78 per cent in August, life has become very hard for the low income groups. Now even the middle class families feel scared as they hear that the cost of a gas cylinder of LPG is going to be Rs 700 in future. The people will now get only 4 to 6 cylinders at the subsidized rates in a year, as one LPG cylinder reportedly lasts for 45 to 60 days as per the survey conducted by the Oil marketing companies.

The UPA-II has very badly failed to bring any relief to the common people who feel miserably squeezed by the ever-increasing prices of essential food items, vegetables, milk and ghee.  Speculators have been thriving at the cost of the common consumers for the last several years, and the Cabinet Ministers are mostly seen lamenting the "huge losses" suffered by the oil companies.

In such a dismal scenario, it looks ridiculous when the Centre claims to have a genuine concern for the common man. Such a dangerous "drift" on policy front can terribly disturb the health of our economy.


Modi’s fast

This refers to the news item, “Contrasting styles mark fasts of Modi, Vaghela” (September 19). Fast is basically a spiritual tool to purify both mind and body. It is also a great ‘weapon’ against those who in a fit of power ignore and crush the genuine demands of others. Gandhiji brilliantly used this ‘weapon’ against the mighty colonial powers and to promote communal harmony. But, what happened in Gujarat was nothing but competitive politics of two rival political parties in a bid to score brownie points and to woo the electorate.

Modi has been trying to refurbish his image, as the verdict in the Jafri case has emboldened him. He is also trying to reinvent himself to go pan-India, and to earn his acceptability as the next PM of India.

The Congress, on the other hand, is trying to gain the lost political ground.

Prof RAJAN KAPOOR, Nakodar

Poor funds use

The Union Rural Development Minister, Shri Jairam Ramesh, has rightly asked Members of Parliament to furnish details of projects/schemes executed out of MPLADS funds in their respective constituencies. This will remove the perception, real or imaginary, that these funds are not being utilized in a transparent manner.

The schemes under the MGNREGA should also be made more transparent and productive. These schemes should not be left at the mercy of local bodies, i.e. panchayats, to grant/generate employment for the rural populace. So far no initiatives have been taken either by the Government or by the MPs to place the records of the utilization of MPLADS funds in the public domain.

These schemes can bring a phenomenal change in the lives of millions of rural poor, and raise their standard of living. It will be appropriate to carry out periodic appraisal of correct and transparent utilization of MPLADS funds and MGNREGA schemes. The outcome of such an exercise should be made available in the public domain

SS PARMAR, Palampur (HP)

Press freedom

This refers to the article, "Defending Press freedom: It should never be curtailed" (September 19) by Kuldip Nayar. It gives me pleasure that the press enjoys real freedom in our country. It is an example for the international community to emulate.

I fully support the idea that the concept of freedom of the press should never be curtailed by the government at any cost. If the freedom enjoyed by the press is suppressed, the nation cannot progress in the right direction. Such repressive methods are only practised by dictators and autocrats. An independent judiciary and a free press are signs of a progressive democracy. Though there are a few areas where the word “freedom” is misinterpreted, like the concept 
of “paid news”.

R K KAPOOR, Chandigarh

Police excesses

This refers to the news item, “Study shows cops in poor light” (September 8). When we were students, our teachers used ‘stick’ to discipline those who were mischievous. At the same time, teachers had a soft corner for bright students who obeyed the rules and regulations of the school. The police should also have a similar attitude in dealing with the public.

Our daughter, who lives in the US, had once slipped while crossing the road just when a car overtook her. Immediately, two cops came to her and asked if she had slipped due to the car. They said, "If you feel even a little inconvenience, you may lodge a complaint against the driver; we 
shall catch him."

She did not lodge a complaint, as there was no fault of the car. But in our country, the police harass people in the name of investigation. Our traffic cops, instead of educating people, harass them to the point that people avoid them. Perhaps a hike in their salary and a sense of morality may help change the attitude of the police in India.

K K CHAWLA, Kurukshetra

Remembering a bard

The middle, "Alvida, Pita Ji!" (September 17) by Ashutosh Sharma, was very touching. It has given us an insight into the character of the great Dogri poet, Yash Sharma. Despite  Yashji's  immense  popularity  as  a  lyric  poet,  he  was  indifferent  to  the commercialization  of  the  literary  world.  No  doubt,  such  heart-touching  poetic  expressions,  like  "Gallan  hoyi  bitiyan" ( things  are  over),  could  have  only  come  from  the  heart  of  such a great  soul.  The way he had been enduring his pain for the last 10 years, verily testifies to his zeal for life.  Though  mortal,  he will remain  immortal in  millions  of  hearts  through  his  songs  and  poems.

RAKESH SHARMA, Trehal (Baijnath)



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