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When a boon becomes a bane

The use of pesticides, weedicides, insecticides and chemical fertilisers, which earlier proved to be a boon for agriculture production, has become a bane (Sarbjit Dhaliwal’s article ‘Stay ahead, but with non-toxic grain’, November 28). The use of insecticides and pesticides has led to deterioration in the quality of vegetables and fruits.

The sub-soil and surface water is increasingly getting chemically contaminated with excessive use of chemicals. The level of toxicity is found increasing in milk and honey leading to serious side-effects. The micro organisms of the soil are destroyed.

The survival of living beings is getting threatened. Though there is no cosmetic solution to this problem and their use cannot be straight away done away with due to the ever-increasing demand of foodgrains, there is need to educate the farmer on discouraging the overuse of chemicals in agriculture.

Foodgrain production can be maintained by taking measures like devising alternate cost effective and easy-to-use technology to manage growth of weeds, developing insect-resistant crop varieties, popularising biological measures for control of insects and propagating organic agriculture practices. Most importantly, the farmer should be compensated for loss of production for not using chemicals.

Dr PURAN SINGH, Nilokheri


News report “PPCB catches sugar mill releasing untreated water into Beas drain” (December 3) should serve as an eye-opener for factory owners. Due to our irresponsible attitude towards the serious problem of pollution, rivers are getting contaminated. We must develop a culture of clean water. Untreated sewage or waste, fertilisers, pesticides, industrial or domestic garbage, solid wastes should not be directly discharged into drains flowing into rivers. The pollution control board authorities must ensure strict implementation of anti-pollution laws and strict action should be taken against defaulters. Rivers are considered sacred and their waters must be left clean for the coming generations.

SC VAID, Greater Noida

Original policy maker

Former Prime minister IK Gujral will always be remembered as a mild mannered and a soft spoken politician who not only took keen interest in protecting India’s external interests but was also the architect of the eponymous Gujral Doctrine.

During his three short stints, two as External Affairs Minister and one as Prime Minister, each lasting less than a year, he produced and cemented one of the very few original foreign policy thoughts in India since Nehru, the Gujral Doctrine. Both his successors, Vajpayee and Manmohan Singh, embraced the Gujral Doctrine and expanded it. His doctrine became the touchstone for the conduct of India’s relations with its immediate neighbours.

He was a suave and sober politician belonging to that genre of intellectuals who made a mark in the country’s foreign policy and a slice of luck catapulted him to the Prime Minister’s office.

DILBAG RAI, Chandigarh


I had met IK Gujral when he came to memorial meeting held in the memory of the mother of late Vice-President Krishan Kant, who passed away at the age of 104 years, ironically much after Krishan Kant had himself passed away. Gujral was not keeping well at that time and in response to my greetings, he commented –“Aapne Bhagat Singh ko dobara zinda kar diya!” (You have made Bhagat Singh live again!). This is the best compliment I have got till now on whatever little work I have done on Bhagat Singh. We remained in touch with each other through e-mail. The last mail I got from him was in response to my Diwali greetings. Gujral was admitted to hospital 4 days later. I pay my heart-felt tribute to the enlightened soul of Punjab, in whose legacy Punjab on both sides can take pride.



The final journey of former Prime minister IK Gujral was not telecast live by the so-called most watched TV news channels like NDTV, Aaj Tak, CNN-IBN, NDTV -24X7, except Doordarshan and other little known channels. Live telecast of last journeys of cine stars like Dara Singh and Rajesh Khanna and political stalwart like Bal Thackeray were telecast live.

This is the kind of respect we give to our national leaders, not to miss that he was a former prime minister. The only saving grace was presence of all important political personalities at the cremation ground.


Govt’s over-indulgence

It is good to know that the traditional game of kabaddi is being given back some of its lost glory through the third Kabaddi World Cup being held in Bathinda, but on the other hand the extravagance associated with it is condemnable.

According to media reports, Shahrukh Khan had charged Rs 1.25 crore for a nine-minute performance from the Punjab Government last year for performing at the same event. This year a 15-minute performance by actor Akshay Kumar and his team cost the Punjab government Rs 4 crore. Is it not whimsical? Why is the Punjab government throwing away money like this? State funds must not be misused. They must be spent where it is necessary, not on film stars.




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