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

National interest should be prime concern

The country expects its leaders to be visionary (Editorial “Petty politics at play”, September 20). It is high time political parties stopped playing petty politics and worked in unison to promote national interests and tackle immediate problems at hand. A few steps taken earnestly in the right direction will definitely show the desired results. First, the regional parties should rise above state interests and stop blackmailing the government at the Centre as it may weaken the federal structure that preserves the integrity and plurality of the country. Second, the mainstream party in Opposition, the Bharatiya Janata Party and its allies in the National Democratic Alliance, should discard their single-minded goal of toppling the government at the helm. Third, the Congress should shun its complacent, cynical and casual approach and should always strive to create a consensus across the political spectrum before taking important decisions, however market and people-friendly they may be.

DS KANG, Hoshiarpur


Finance Minister P Chidambaram must learn to propose fiscal reforms which are in conformity with the prevailing ground realities. More than bringing in reforms, there is need to improve governance and convince the people and the Opposition parties about their proposed policy decisions which shall boost economy. How can the UPA government go for major decisions affecting the nation without taking into confidence its allies, people and the opposition parties? The aspirations of the people and their confidence in the government are crucial to make any reform a success. Neither Dr Manmohan Singh nor P Chidambaram can prescribe an economic recipe against the wishes of a large number of people.


Positive steps

The process of confidence building measures (CBMs) is a well thought genuine bilateral attempt to build bridges between India and Pakistan. However, hardly had we covered a short distance when President Asif Ali Zardari wrecked the effort with his unwarranted reference to Kashmir in the UN General Assembly, inspite of the fact that almost all the members feel it is a bilateral issue and the distant UN resolutions are no  longer relevant.

India’s Foreign Minister SM Krishna in his reply has shown greater maturity. He said, our dialogue with Pakistan would continue and the roadmap has been drawn.

Fortunately, a day after sparring over Kashmir, India and Pakistan jointly celebrated Gandhi Jyanti at the Untied Nations. The renaming of a roundabout at Lahore in the memory of Shaheed-e-Azam Bhagat Singh is yet another landmark step in this direction. Sometimes, directions predict destination.



More than any other profession in civilised society, the teacher’s profession is one that can be developed and improved only through a process of self-regulation (news report “New criteria soon for teachers’ promotions” , September 9). No one has so far designed a reliable instrument for the assessment of a teachers’ work. Till now, there has been no agreed assessment on Socrates, one of the world’s great teachers. To Greek dramatist Aristophanes, he was no more than a swaggering fraud. There are atleast three ways that can lead to a fairly reliable appraisal. One is self-assessment. A teacher can briefly assess what he has succeeded in doing, what he tried to and failed to accomplish, what were the impediments to good work, and what change in the system he would suggest.

The second route of assessment is judgement by peers and the third way is assessment by one’s own students, which is now a practice in many American colleges and universities. An assessment by alumni who have just left the college or university would perhaps be even better.


No reprieve

With the spate of rapes continuing in different parts of the country, especially in Haryana (news report “Gangraped, Jind teen sets herself on fire”, October 7), there seems to be no reprieve in sight.

The police assurance that “a massive manhunt has been launched and culprits will be arrested soon’’ does not hold water. How do perpetrators of such a heinous crime go scot-free under the very nose of the administration is a matter of concern? How such victims lead a life of stigma and isolation in the society and are traumatised to the extent of ending their lives is beyond comprehension.

It is time for the right minded people to come out in the streets, force the government to amend laws dealing with such dreadful crimes by ensuring speedy court trials, with award nothing less than capital punishment to the culprits.


Change the auto policy

Due to the faulty automotive policy which resulted in liberalising licence to foreign automobile industry, India has now become the hub of personal vehicles. Because of this, we are frittering away our hard-earned foreign exchange in oil import. We account for only 20 per cent of our own oil production and import 80 per cent for our consumption.

There should be immediate rationing of petrol and diesel for personal vehicles for a minimum five-year period, public transport should be made better, production and import of vehicles for personal use should be restrained and no further licences should be provided to car manufacturers as it makes us over-indulgent. Such measures have already been implemented in Brazil, Malaysia and Japan in the past.

IP GUPTA, Ambala



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 |