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Diesel price deregulation to hit farmers

It appears as if the UPA II government considers itself more accountable to the corporate houses and oil companies than to the people of India who have voted it to power.

Decontrolling diesel prices is a cold and commercial decision which brazenly ignores the larger public interest and constantly harps on the huge losses to oil companies.

The union government must compensate and subsidise such losses in public interest and the people need not be troubled too often and squeezed mercilessly.

The UPA-II government seems to be determined to impose a maximum burden on the common man by implementing such disastrous economic policies and taking tough decisions which question the very concept of welfare state enshrined in the Indian Constitution (editorial "Tough to decontrol diesel”, April 26).

If diesel is decontrolled now, it will break the back of farmers who use diesel for running their pumping sets for irrigation and small transporters who carry vegetables and other commodities from villages to cities. 



It may be difficult for the government to decontrol diesel like petrol, but the step would be in the interest of the nation. Diesel, being more cheaper and more powerful than petrol, is widely used by the means of transports like railway engines, commercial trucks, buses, private cars, etc. People who can afford luxurious cars won't mind if the diesel prices are raised or decontrolled. The agriculture sector will be affected by diesel decontrol to some extent. We must live with the realities of life keeping in view that global prices of diesel are higher than in India.

R K KAPOOR, Chandigarh

Gone are the days!

About a decade ago, if anybody had a problem with the functioning of the government administration, he would just pick up a pen and paper and write to the authorities, whether it is the Deputy Commissioner or the Prime Minister. Within a week or so, a response would definitely come in the form of a letter. You felt so important that the problem was nearly forgotten.

Now you keep on writing to any government official, you get no response. Your problem only gets doubled, one because of your original trouble and secondly for the problem being left unattended.



Replace class quota

There is no denying the fact that factors like too much talk about caste, job reservation for dalits and the use of caste as vote bank tactics by politicians, are squarely responsible for firmly stamping the caste prejudices on civil society.

The article “Ignored cause of dalit uplift” (April 25) by Kuldip Nayar has rightly pleaded that no law or no government action can do away with untouchability unless the mindset of the caste- conscious people changes. The article has rightly pointed out that Dr Ambedkar was against reservations for dalits in government jobs. He was a visionary and he could foresee repercussions of the reservation system. After more than six decades, it is only the vested interests, especially the creamy layer, which has been availing the benefits of reservation at the cost of deserving dalits.

As damage control, the failed reservation policy should be given up and replaced with ‘reservations to the economically weaker sections of the society’. Do we really have the political will to do so?

RM RAMAUL, Paonta Sahib


Dr BR Ambedkar had to embrace Budhism to escape discrimination and the ill- treatment meted out to dalits in Indian society. Because of their caste and status, they are deprived of many professional positions like stewards, helpers, chefs, priests, preachers and helpers for child rearing. They are susceptible to discrimination especially in rural India where upper castes do not allow them to fetch water from common ponds and wells, to enter public places of worships, do not give access to schools and they are not allowed to perform rituals like playing of musical bands etc during marriages.

Through the provision of reservation they might have gained a marginal lift, as far as their economical condition is concerned, but the writer has rightly stated that their social status remains the same. Without a social revolution nothing will change. On the predicament of the dalits, Gyani Brahma Singh laments, “As a burnt end of the wick; drops unvalued, uncared, so in the assembly of the rich, the poor share unshared. Know Ye! All men of virtue, the haves and the have-not, are turned over the same wheel, And from the same earth’s clot.


Meaningless reform

After Zardari’s visit to India, leaders of the two countries felt that priority needs to be given to issues of people-to-people contact and that the liberalised visa agreement that had already been finalised should be signed (news report “Liberalised India, Pak visa pact soon: Krishna”, April 25).

Liberalised visa rules would mean increased access of terrorists to India from Pakistan. The people-to-people contact seems meaningless, as we had much more mutual contact before 1947 for centuries. What happened? Inspite of the contacts, mass slaughter of Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims took place in 1947.





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