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

Govt, not husband, should pay up

Is there a yardstick to measure the housewife’s devotion, care and compassion for the family (news report “Housewives entitled to wages, says minister”, September 5)? She would love to get an extra penny for her labour, but would not be too happy squeezing it out from her husband’s pocket.

If the minister is so concerned, why shouldn’t the government pay the housewives? The best way would be to generate schemes to make them financially strong.

Can the minister tell us why the government has not implemented 33% reservation in the Parliament and in the state legislature? Why is the country most unsafe for women? The minister should not add more difficulties to the women folk who are already under domestic strain. Such wrong and foolish policies would encourage divorces, domestic violence and marital discord.

Why do our politicians try to emulate a foreign concept which does not suit our socio-economic conditions and needs?

If the Government of India tries to fix wages for the homemakers, it is bound to disturb the social equilibrium. Here, homemaker is the co-sharer of the family. In rural India, 60% of the population is below poverty line with big families. Will this concept be relevant?


Being too flexible

The film “Son of Sardar” is a piece of fiction. I watched its trailer on YouTube but did not find it offensive to Sikhs or anybody else. If some Sikhs, however, do find some scenes in the film objectionable, then they should do what any sensible person under the circumstances would do: don’t watch the film.

Ajay Devgn should not have given into the dictates of the SGPC (news report “Son of Sardar: Devgn to remove objectionable scenes”, September 4). The SGPC is a religious body elected by a small percentage of Punjab’s population. It has no jurisdiction to decide what constitutes “objectionable scenes”, that is the job of the Censor Board which has been specifically created for the purpose.

They seem to forget that India is a democratic, not a theocratic State and that its Constitution guarantees freedom of expression to all its citizens.


Closed mindset

The lone polio case in Mewat region is not just a “planning” failure but a take on the people’s half-hearted response to government schemes. The area under question comprises mostly of Muslim population who tend to live in their own world. Polio is not the only case, Sarva Shiksha Abhiyaan, Aadhaar and population control measures have failed in this area.

People here don’t want to be a part of the development process and the media blames the government for failure. The district administration has some boundaries and we can’t expect the volunteers to forcibly enter somebody’s premises to feed vaccines to infants.


Difficult task ahead

Though Virbhadra Singh has taken over the command of HP Congress, it is very clear that he would be facing frequent friction and factionalism among state Congress leaders who have their own group of faithful followers. It might dispirit the five-time Chief Minister to bring the Congress leaders under one umbrella. On the other hand, as the editorial “Back in Reckoning” (August 28) says that he has to fight the united BJP.

Some Congress MLAs (some of them did not visit their constituencies after they won the election last time) have earned the wrath of the voters. Virbhadra Singh is capable of putting the party in proper shape but he has to fight a fierce battle not against the united BJP but a divided Congress itself. On the other hand, Dhumal should also unload the unnecessary baggage of minions, who accompany him everywhere.


Polluted rivers

Although 86 per cent of water available is used for agriculture but the remaining 14 per cent used for domestic purpose (8 percent) and industry (6 percent) is polluting both surface and underground water resources (Sucha Singh Gill’s article “Water policies remain on paper”, August 29).

Though it is a state subject, the state machinery has failed to handle the problem. The state pollution control boards are almost defunct. Most of the raw effluents of factories and city sewerage are discharged into the rivers.

In Ludhiana, some factories have found a novel way of digging wells in the factory premises and discharging factory effluents in them. The black water flowing in the Sutlej can be distinctly seen up to 2 km downstream from Ludhiana. The same water is used for drinking in the Malwa belt of Punjab and Rajasthan. People need to be educated and made conscious of health hazards caused by the consumption of polluted water.


Frequent transfers

Dedicated government officials who believe in their personal and professional dignity are an asset to our society and democracy .The respective governments’ should allow these precious and rare gems to move about their jobs independently. A sensitive and strong civil society is the only hope for true democratisation of our society and the prevalence of the rule of law.

It is high time that we all rise to rein in our bureaucracy and political elites and ensure that they govern and deliver as per the Constitution and law and not rule by their whims. Media too must ensure that such issues may not go into oblivion after becoming a day’s headline.




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