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PRIs: Bridging gaps in governance

It is because of the Panchayati Raj institutions (PRIs) that villagers in Punjab (news report ‘77 Punjab villages want liquor vends to go’) were able to express their views against alcoholism. It is heartening to hear such voices from Punjab, which is infamous for free-flowing liquor and other social evils emanating from alcohol abuse.

The government must fulfill this public demand. The village panchayats coming forward against such social evils must be rewarded with some incentives.

Unfortunately, most of the politicians and functionaries in the government consider liquor vends as the most viable source to fill government coffers. They are, however, unable to comprehend the expenditure incurred on reducing its ill-effects in the health sector.

Liquor vends are located all along the national highways despite all the deterrent laws being in place. The mismatch between the views of public and government shows the ineffectiveness of our elected representatives who represent the populace of their respective constituencies. Panchayati Raj Institutions must be strengthened for democracy to grow and sustain. 

Dr N K RANA, Kurukshetra


A battle is brewing up against liquor sale, which is destroying many homes. Consumption of liquor is at its peak in Punjab. It is an appreciable move by the villages to get liquor vends stopped as many people waste their hard-earned money on liquor and ruin their own health and family life. In Punjab, most of the liquor addicts are those who earn very little. It’s the family which has to bear the brunt.


Discretionary quota

If the government is really serious in controlling corruption, one of its steps should be to do away with the discretionary powers of the chief ministers and other ministers to allot land from the discretionary quota. Things have changed over the years, when this law was framed. Nobody including religious institutions deserves to be given land at a concessional rate. This suggestion had also come from Congress President Sonia Gandhi, but nothing consequential happened.



Every government, whether state or at the Centre, lays down development projects in the fourth year of their term. The Election Commission of India should form some new guidelines to ensure that foundation stones are laid in the first year of governance and completed within the next four years.

Every district and state should be developed proportionately. Generally, it is seen that the constituency of a minister or chief minister or a political bigwig is more developed than the others.


Salary a right

The salaries of computer teachers, who were regularised in July, 2011 after serving the education department on contractual basis for more than a period of five years, have not been released. It has served as a death blow to the persons concerned. It has become difficult for them to run their family households. These are the very people who revolutionised computer education in Punjab. Salary is both, a requirement and their right.

Prof RAJAN KAPOOR, Nakodar

Few and far

The OPED article ‘Bravery Personified’ (February 11) besides touching the inner chord, speaks volumes of not the ‘do or die’ but the ‘do and die’ spirit of the Indian Army imbibed in every officer.

Such examples of courage, though few, are a grim reminder of the grit and valour displayed by the brave in the face of enemy. It could only be exemplified by those who have faced such situations themselves like Maj Gen Raj Mehta, who took pride in visiting the battlefield and reinforced faith in the words of Lord Macaulay, ‘What could be more nobler for a soldier to die fighting against all odds for the ashes of his father and temples of his gods'.

Col MAHESH CHADHA, Panchkula

Luxury impediment to learning

The middle ‘Trekking then and now’ (February 10) has rightly elucidated the difference in our attitude, then and now. Be it any age group, everyone has changed to a great extent. No one wants to come out of his comfort zone. Luxury is the ultimate target. Charlie Chaplin once said, “The saddest thing I can imagine is to get used to luxury". 

The attitude of the grudging parents only displays their foolishness and nothing else. It is we who are spoiling our children. For this very reason, children today are very sensitive and cannot take any kind of adversity. It is very common among urban children.

If we will not let our children struggle, how would they face the bigger challenges in their lives? It is only those who have struggled, who face hardships successfully.  Russian poet Yevgeny Yevtushenko said: Life is like a rainbow which also includes black.




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