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Society needs to change its mindset

The increase in incidents of student suicides should be taken seriously by one and all. There are so many reasons responsible for forcing students to take such an extreme step (editorial,Rising suicides, September 27). We live in a society that recognizes only those who have gained monetarily. Money breeds power and status, which are also considered significant.

Parents want their children to be competitive and ‘successful’. For them success implies being able to consume the best of things in life. Our definition of success is to own big houses and luxurious cars. What we need to teach ourselves and our children is how to be contributors and not merely consumers. Our education system should encourage children to be creative not in a certain ‘fixed’ way, but in one’s unique way.

Therefore, the job of universities and institutions should be to develop contributory zeal in their students and not frustrate them to do what they may not be inclined to do. The worst thing today is that if I want to take up fine art because I have the aptitude for it, my parents want me to become a doctor.

In short, our society, which includes the system of education and employment, needs to overcome stereotypical mindset and encourage people with diverse interests to pursue their goals in life. Then students won’t feel the burden of certain ‘restrictive’ syllabi with a need to score certain numerical points to excel in life.


Spiritual quotient

The editorial, Family tree of corruption (September 27), is thought- provoking. To make people incorruptible, we need to train them in the science of soul where God is one. If we can teach this simple fact to one and all, we can reduce, if not eradicate corruption. Spiritual quotient is certainly superior to emotional quotient.

Let spirituality become a part of formal education in India to make the people duty conscious for coping with the menace of corruption. Let us understand that greed is the root cause of corruption. It can be removed by learning to confine ourselves to needs, for which God has given us sufficient resources so that we can evolve smoothly.

Prof MM GOEL, Dean, Faculty of Social Science, Kurukshetra University, Kurukshetra

Secular credentials

The article, Threat to secular ideals (September 26), leaves out the real definition of the word ‘secular.’ Advanced learners’ dictionary describes ‘secular’ as an adjective, meaning worldly or material, not religious or spiritual. Encyclopedias converge on its meaning as “indifference to religion” and not “in deference” to any religion. However, in practice, it is always in consideration of the demands dictated by the religion of either a minority or majority community (or more appropriately its vote bank) that political decisions are taken by ‘secular’ parties. Secular credentials are vehemently flaunted in their prolix speeches by those politicians who have little else to show as agenda for a social change. They, for sure, know of the magic this word can create for them on the day of reckoning.

Vinod Kumar Khanna, S A S Nagar

Economic solutions

This refers to the editorial, Greek debt crisis (September 27). Post US meltdown, economies worldwide, particularly the traditional European welfare states, are reeling under unprecedented fiscal stress. Nations are trying out massive stimuli to their economies, but rapidly losing direction, as existing economic theories are perhaps proving inadequate. 

While we can experiment with known tools to juggle with growth or inflation or both, and may even achieve sporadic success, the bane is in being too finicky on the issue of governance. Established economies will face policy mismatch and India is only having no more than its fair share.

We have stood up well, thus far. The concept of good governance, in modern times, ought to be measured in terms of economic parameters and less in political terms. Political parties everywhere seem too keen to leverage transient economic problems to push their own agenda, instead of putting their heads together to combat problems. Recessions and economic downturns have always found solutions in economics, rarely ever in politics. 

R NARAYANAN, Ghaziabad

Earthquake victims

Your editorial, Killer quake (September 21), instils into the mind a sympathetic attitude towards the victims of the earthquake that struck India, Nepal and Tibet recently. Earthquake can strike anywhere any moment, despite scientific advances. Compassionate participation of the people is the need in this hour of crisis. Relief efforts need voluntary participation of the people because destruction is widespread.

The people of Sikkim are the worst hit. Our buildings should conform to quake-resistant building norms. For this the government should intervene with a helping hand. Precautionary efforts must be taken while constructing buildings in quake-prone areas.


Seeking citizenship

This is with reference to the news that several Hindu and Sikh families from Pakistan and living in Amritsar have asked for Indian citizenship (Pak Sikhs seek citizenship, September 26). Many of these people have said that life in Pakistan, especially for women, is not safe. There are no prospects for education, virtually no future. If these people do not get asylum in India, where will they go? India is the ultimate home for any Hindu or Sikh, wherever he may be living.

They need to be granted Indian citizenship without any delay. Another news story that disturbed us was that of a Christian schoolgirl, who had wrongly spelt a certain word and was accused of blasphemy and expelled from a school at Havelian, near Abbottabad. This is outrageous. If minorities have to live under these circumstances in Pakistan, there is no reason why these Hindu and Sikh families should not seek Indian citizenship.


A child’s appreciation of life

The middle, The watch-bearing tree (September 27), highlights the innocence of childhood. It perhaps happens to all of us when we wish to grow things we cherish the most. The author decides to grow watches by sowing the one belonging to his father. He, as a child, did what seemed logical to him then. Even when we grow up and become aware of the fact that all that we wish for cannot be grown as a fruit-bearing tree, we retain that wish somewhere in our hearts. A child, being innocent, feels free to do what his imagination dictates him to do. This may seem a useless act of stupidity that only a child is capable of doing. But such acts allow the child’s creativity to grow and he learns to appreciate life with all its limitations.

DEVESH JUYAL, Chandigarh



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