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

Victims, not militants, as real heroes

The editorial “Courting controversy” (June 8) rightly opined that interests of the Sikhs could only be served by prospering in an integrated nation, not by pandering to sectarian pulls.

The Punjab government’s evasion of responsibility on the issue of Operation Bluestar Memorial is not the solution. Deputy CM Sukhbir Singh Badal, should not forget that he is also the president of the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal.

Distancing himself from the construction of the memorial at Amritsar by telling mediapersons that the state government had nothing to do with the project is nothing but evading responsibility and is not expected from an educated politician like him. Perhaps, his denial shows his interest in sticking to the chair.  

The senior Badal showed double standards. On the one hand, he approved of setting up of the memorial and on the other hand, maintained silence on the issue while Sukhbir distanced himself from the issue.

Punjab still stands on the crossroads. Bestowing the title of ‘Zinda Shaheed’ on Balwant Singh Rajoana convicted for the assassination of former Chief Minister Beant Singh and raising pro-Khalistan slogans at the ceremony makes it clear that smoke is still billowing out of the fire burning in the hearts of many hardliners becoming active in the state. 



Defending the SGPC decision to build a memorial for hundreds of “innocent” people who were killed in army action in 1984, Sukhbir Badal rebuffed mediapersons by posing a counter question, “What is wrong if a memorial is built for them?” Obviously the argument cannot be faulted but it needs to be taken to the logical end. 

We all know that over 25,000 Punjabis lost their lives during militancy. I wonder if they were not “innocent”. If at all a memorial is to be built, it should be a common memorial for victims of militancy.


Casual approach

We recently saw Indian cricket captain Mohinder Singh Dhoni donning the OGs. He wore a Para Regt maroon beret cap with his hair jutting out of the cap. No one concerned with the planning and execution of this publicity gimmick bothered to ensure that Lt Col MS Dhoni be projected with a true image of a soldier and not as a maverick soldier seen in films. As a veteran from the Army, I protest the casual approach adopted by senior Army officers by projecting the image of the Indian army in a poor way. Also, there appears to be over enthusiasm in the armed forces in conferring honorary ranks to celebrities and sportspersons.

Lt-Col JIWAN SHAROTRI (retd), Kasauli

Jats not targeted

This is with reference to the news report “Aamir Khan’s show on honour killings draws flak’ (Haryana edition, June 7). I had participated in the show on behalf of Himmat Mahila Samooh, a Haryana-based women organisation. The views reported in the news item do not represent the factual situation about the show. The show concentrated on the theme of choice marriages across religion, caste and community in the country and not specifically on the Jat community of Haryana. Their reference came up in context of the much highlighted case of honour killing of Manoj and Babli of Karoda village which was one of the cases discussed in the show. So the allegation against the show of vilifying the Jat community as expressed in the news report is wrong and holds no ground.

Himmat Mahila Samooh, working in defence of democratic and human rights of women and others, holds the firm view that choice marriage is a fundamental right of every individual. This view should not be understood as a campaign against traditions of any community.



It is shocking that the Planning Commission of India has spent a whopping amount of Rs 35 lakh on renovating two toilets at Yojana Bhawan. Out of this amount, nearly 4 lakh was spent on installing control system for access to the toilets. The access control system means only those persons who have been provided smart cards can use these swanky toilets. The expenditure of lakhs for 60 persons is disgusting. This extravagance comes when the Planning Commission says that the poor can live on Rs 28 per day.  The Finance Minister preaching austerity should seriously look into the matter.


Becoming farmers

The news item “Farmers scout for labourers at railway station” reflects the state of poor work culture in Punjab. The youth are not ready to work in their own fields. If the farmers urge their sons to work with them in their fields, undoubtedly they will witness progress. There will be lesser dependency on migrant labour.

There is no harm in farmers’ desire to educate their children, but what if they do not find a job. The usual trend is that the youth refuse to work in the fields as they think they are too educated and well qualified to work in fields.  The farmers need to rethink their strategies. The govt is neither bothered about unemployment nor the farmer’s issues.


Strict execution

Despite clear instructions from the High Court, the Punjab government’s utter failure to check illegal sand mining at various places in the state effectively puts its tall claims of good governance to naught.

Every time media reports appear, the authorities concerned swing into action at once, arrest the persons involved and impound vehicles and other machinery used for excavating sand (News report “Admn cracks whip on sand mafia”, June 4). But after lying low for some time, these unscrupulous elements resume their criminal act on a larger scale than before. It is high time the government discards its lukewarm approach and tightens the noose around the necks of the guilty and breaks the alleged politico-bureaucratic-mafia nexus.

DS KANG, Hoshiarpur

Merit list loses meaning

Madan Gupta Spatu’s middle “King Bruce and our matric result” (June 2) has rightly highlighted the mind-boggling scores obtained by students these days. It seems unrealistic that a student can obtain 99 per cent marks in literature and other arts subjects.

The coaching centres are riding high on this wave. Their claim to quality education and guaranteed high percentage adorns the newspapers. One wonders whether this achievement is attributed to student’s calibre or the coaching centre’s “tuition mantra”. Earlier, the word “tuition” was considered a stigma attached with the academically weak students. The charm associated with a “merit list” has lost its meaning. Today education has become a lucrative business and students the display wares. Quantity has overshadowed quality.




HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Letters | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |