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Rural inputs crucial to economy

Undoubtedly, the credit for laying down a strong infrastructural and strategic industrial base goes to the Nehruvian model of economic development (BS Ghuman’s “Reinventing Nehruvian model”, November 10). However, the famous ‘trickle down’ theory failed miserably leading to unemployment and widening of the gap between the haves and the have-nots. Resultantly, the late sixties witnessed the highest number of poor people in the country.

The Green Revolution and mechanisation of agriculture benefited the big farmers only, leaving the landless labour class reeling in poverty. In India, agriculture still provides livelihood support to about 59.2% of its population.

If India has to rise and survive as a self-reliant economic power with near full employment, the holistic model of sustained and inclusive development, a mix of Nehruvian and Gandhian model of economic development, will be helpful. It will lead to simultaneous promotion of cottage and small-scale industries.

The Indian rural market, which is now flooded with MNC products, should be full of indigenous products. This model will not only provide immunity to Indian economy from global impact but would also generate employment opportunities, increase additional income and purchasing power and check urban migration. Effective and honest implementation of infrastructure and employment programmes in rural areas is needed alongwith promotion of traditional crafts for foreign exchange earnings.

Dr PURAN SINGH, Chandigarh

Political will needed

Due to lack of objective policies, casual approach and lack of political will, many streets in Punjab towns are likely to get converted into ‘Maqboolpura of Amritsar’, infamously known as ‘locality of widows’. A large number of men and youths have perished in this place due to rampant abuse of drugs (editorial “State apathy”, November 22).

The biggest consignment of contraband heroine valued at Rs 425 crore entered Punjab at the behest of the drug mafia operating here with global links. Bordering Pakistan, Punjab is the most convenient state suited for dumping contraband drugs supplied by Afghanistan via Pakistan. The drug mafia operates fearlessly due to its links with the police.

Let us make the borders impervious to drugs and narcotics trade. The menace has spread to educational institutions and the majority of students are falling prey to it which is too disturbing. Nothing tangible is being done by school authorities or the administration to stop its spread.

To earn more revenue, liquor policies adopted by the government have virtually made liquor flow like water in every road, street corner and roundabout. ‘Thekas’ and ‘ahatas’ on every roundabout in City Beautiful gives it an ugly look. No wonder pubs in the tricity are teeming with youngsters gulping down glasses of liquor and beer, when they are supposed to concentrate on studies to secure their future. Girls hitting the bottle is too serious an issue to be ignored.



No help can be expected from the police in fighting the drugs war because most of the high and low rank police officials are proteges of politicians and most of them are on regular payrolls of drug peddlers. If any sincere officer dares to act against these crooks, he is sidelined and reprimanded. This problem can only be rectified with active participation of the three Ps — politicians, police and public.

The ruling political class seems to have no will to stem out this evil because persons at the helm of affairs are just concerned to consolidate their political gains. When the longest serving CM of the state has turned a blind eye to the mammoth problem, what more can be expected from the state administration.

A separate agency, Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), is already in place to deal with drug related issues. The working of NCB should be on the lines of FBI, rather than on CBI. A team of committed police officers with integrity and resolve should man the NCB with no political interference.

The seeds of the tree of drug abuse and alcohol lie in the shattered economy of the Majha area (Tarn Taran, Amritsar and Gurdaspur) and this will continue to destroy the social fabric of this part of Punjab. Fake rehabilitation centres have been doing more damage than control.



Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh account for more than 50 per cent drug abuse. I agree with the editorial “State apathy” (November 22) that there should be drug de-addiction centres in districts like Amritsar, Gurdaspur and Taran Taran districts where the menace of drug abuse is high.

The suggestion that “All SHO-level officers should be made accountable for keeping a tab on traffickers and addicts in their area” deserves to be implemented. It is not as difficult as fighting a war with an enemy country, but the fact of the matter is that officials are hand in glove with smugglers, unscrupulous politicians and other anti-social elements. Until and unless the government and law enforcing agencies are not true to their salt, the problem of drug abuse in Punjab will never end.

R K KAPOOR, Chandigarh

Chinese monopoly

For the past many years, Chinese toys and other daily-use products have captured the Indian market. On the occasion of a purely Indian festival like Diwali, China-made products like idols of Indian gods and goddesses, house decorations, lights, artificial flowers, paintings, etc, Chinese companies did thriving business.

Small entrepreneurs have been thrown out of business and in a few years the Chinese will enjoy a monopoly in Indian markets.

India is a sovereign country and once the economic dynamics shifts to foreign lands, sovereignty will be severely jeopardised.

Opening the market to FDI could be ominous as well, notwithstanding the assertion of the Prime Minister and his Cabinet colleagues that it would help the nation.

Dr SANJAY PATHAK, via e-mail



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