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

Address root cause of Naxalism

The editorial, “Winning hearts” (September 15), hits the nail on its head in as far as the so-called ‘Naxal problem’ is concerned.

In management, when we say there is a ‘labour problem’, we are, in fact, referring to a problem which should have been rightly called a ‘management problem’. This is because a labour problem cannot evolve if the management has been consistently excellent.

The analogy does not end here. Naxal problem has been the result of mismanagement on the part of those administrators, whose insouciance and hubris have never allowed them to find out the real reason behind the squalor in the villages and pallor on the faces of the scrawny inhabitants, who unfortunately, happen to be their subjects. Not that there were no alarms. Whenever the latter tried to highlight their problems, they and their issues were dealt with outright contempt and asperity by the former. The petulance of the Indian leaders and bureaucrats is too well known to be mentioned here once again.

The resulting frustration of tribal youths, borne out of their feeling of being unable to change the oppressive system, has presently formed a simmering volcano in some parts of the country.

Taking half-hearted measures aimed at symptomatic relief may not solve anything. The time demands a very quick diagnosis aimed at finding the root cause, so that the malady can be treated once and for all. Let the issue be debated in our prestigious management institutes and be the subject of doctoral research in our universities. Of course, as you rightly say in the end, priorities must change; else it may not be long before India becomes another Nepal!   


Press freedom

Kuldip Nayar’s article, “Defending Press freedom” (September 19) was rational. Surely, the media has the right to inform the public and bring to light all aberrations at national and international level to enable the government to deal with them effectively. Though Dr Singh’s government was hit by scams and Anna’s movement to have an anti-corruption Lokpal, it did not interfere in the functioning of either the judiciary or the media.

Whether we believe it or not, no government wants strong media or judiciary. Left to the government, nothing would appear except official handouts. It would be a blunder on the part of the government to curtail the freedom enjoyed by the press. In fact, the media is doing yeoman’s service to the nation by reporting, analysing, and suggesting ways and means to meet the challenges facing the nation.

Capt S K DATTA, Abohar

Political yatras

This refers to the article, “Undertaking political yatras” by T V Rajeswar (September 20).  There are still more than two years left for the 2014 general elections. I feel it is too early to focus on the next elections, by any party. This changes the focus of the political parties and the elected representatives. When one has an eye on elections, many steps tend to be taken from the point of winning votes, and hence, a planned programme is upset or imbalanced. I feel the preparation for elections by way of yatras, fasts, movements etc should be undertaken only during the last six months of the five-year term.

That will ensure continuity and genuineness in the implementation of the election agenda. We are good at rising like a bubble, and then we soon forget the cause. It is important that we do not forget Anna Hazare and his campaign for the Lokpal Bill. He has galvanized the entire nation against corruption. Let these yatras and fasts not divert our mind from the main goal of rooting out the deep-rooted menace from the country.  We must continue the pressure on the political parties and the elected representatives to give us a strong and effective Lokpal Bill as soon as possible.

Madhu R D SINGH, Ambala Cantt

Child labour

Childhood is the most innocent phase in human life when everyone is carefree and fun-loving. But, this is not the story of many children in this country. India accounts for the second highest number of child labourers in the world. The fact is, throughout the country, children are in a pathetic condition. It is considered that poverty, illiteracy and adult unemployment are responsible for child labour. But the entire nation is responsible for crimes committed against children. Today, children below the age of 14 have become an important part of various industries at the cost of their innocence, childhood, health, and for that matter, their lives.

Child labour can be brought under control, if each individual becomes responsible and reports the matter to the authorities concerned whenever he finds anyone employing a child below the age of 14 years. The government has a special cell to help children who are being exploited. It is time to join hands and raise a voice against this social evil.

Dr SHRUTI K CHAWLA, Chandigarh

Tackling earthquakes

This refers to the editorial, “Killer quake: Whole nation needs to back relief effort”(September 21). The Army has done a commendable job in reaching out to the quake-hit people of Sikkim. Several villages still remain inaccessible because of inclement weather and damaged roads. Thousands of houses have collapsed and so many people have lost their precious lives so far. Public and private property worth Rs one lakh crore stands destroyed. Life has become very hard for those who have been left with nothing to depend on because of Nature’s ruthless onslaught in the mountains.

Unlike in the plains, only a single road connects several villages with the major towns in hilly areas. Army jawans are busy repairing them, but the supply of electricity and water will remain disrupted for a few more weeks.

We are a big nation and we must think of ensuring safety of life for common people during such unexpected disasters with the help of modern technology. Our talented town planners and engineers can certainly work together to evolve new projects of housing distinctly suitable for the people residing in the mountainous areas.


Politicians in jail

The middle, “Five-star Tihar” by Raj Kanwar (September 20), was a satire on the VIP culture of Tihar jail, as more and more ministers and VIPs are making it their home. It is a pity that the VIPs demand all sorts of luxuries even in jails. Whether they are permitted to have such luxurious treatment even in jails is another matter. But the fact is that these VIP criminals do get such facilities in actual practice.

The middle depicts the truth about the prevailing conditions of any jail, as far as VIP prisoners are concerned. In fact, they should be treated like ordinary prisoners and allowed to mingle with them. A prisoner is a prisoner.

He/she should be treated as a prisoner, and not like a VIP, in jail. This culture should end, and all VIP treatments to politicians should be done away with. Law must be the same for all, not only in books but also in practice. Only then will they realise and repent for their misdeeds and follies.

R K KAPOOR, Chandigarh



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