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Kashmir: A problem of our own making

Dr BR Ambedkar, the first Law Minister under Nehru's government and chairman of the drafting committee of the Constitution of India, concluded in his book "Pakistan or the Partition of India" written in 1945 that Pakistan should be accepted with "complete exchange of population". Since Gandhi, Nehru and other Congress leaders completely disregarded Ambedkar's advice, rather castigated him as supporter of Pakistan, we are facing its repercussions till today.

As regards Kashmir problem, we need to lay the blame not at Pakistan's doorstep, but at our own. This problem has been forced upon India by Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru, firstly by ordering ceasefire when our forces were advancing fast against Pakistan immediately after 1947; removing Maharaja Hari Singh from his state and handing over power to Sheikh Abdullah and finally imposing Article 370 in Kashmir.

Islamic Pakistan has a Hindu majority district Tharparkar (in Sindh) which was freed by our forces in 1965 war but returned to Pakistan by our ideal Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri. Bangladesh occupies 97 per cent of Chakma Buddhist CHT (Chittagong Hill Tract), a very vast area, which was freed by our army in the 1971 war but given back by Indira Gandhi.

Unification of India and Pakistan is neither possible nor practicable (news report 'Reunification of India, Pakistan only solution to Kashmir: Katju' December 9). Even if we presume that it could be achieved, it would create innumerable problems. One of the biggest problems would be that Muslims from Bangladesh and Pakistan would flood India without any restriction, but not many Hindus, Sikhs, Jains and Buddhists would go to these countries.



Time has come for our government to accord their approval to RAW to take action for elimination of Pakistan's terrorist camps from their territory (Gurmeet Kanwal's article 'Terrorist outfits in Pakistan', December 8). Some of these camps are within our army guns' range and the Indian Air Force too would be more than willing. The US dug out Osama Bin Laden from the centre of Pakistan in a daring raid without even informing the Pakistan government. We too need to take similar action if we want any peace in Kashmir and the rest of our country.

Brig JOGINDAR SINGH (retd),  via e-mail

Social cementing

In the social arena, Mahatma Gandhi pioneered programmes for genuine social engineering. Originally, birth-based reservations for SCs/STs were programmed for a ten-year period. However, Congress polity discovered that the policy had opened up an Ali Baba's cave of votes for them. Fifty years have passed, two generations have grown up and progressed and have enriched society but quota for their upliftment stayed (editorial 'Stalemate on quota Bill', December 12).

A balanced perception reflects the need for correction. Some of those falling in the concerned categories feel that crutches are no longer needed. The policy is reflective of their intelligence which they don't lack. There are instances of inter-caste marriages, Dalits in government service at the higher and lower levels and Dalit leaders holding constitutional positions who are honoured members in the social network. Yet political parties are exploiting the Dalit tag for their own fortunes.

The benefits of reservation should end after one-time entry into service and should be availed within say a 20-year period time frame. A secular state should not indulge in widening the fissures, social cementing is needed. The path of vote bank politics should be given up and comprehensive progression of all categories coupled with a balanced approach should take place.

V I K SHARMA, Jalandhar

Woman as commodity

Providing social sanction to obscene pictures bordering on pornography in the name of "art", scantily-clad pictures and shots of women in print and visual media have badly affected the moral fabric of the society. Thanks to this crass commercialisation of women as "sex objects", the number of incidents of eve-teasing, molestation and rape have increased.

Unless the Censor Board and the relevant authorities act tough and terminate the shower of nakedness and obscenity in films, TV serials, reality shows, print media and billboards exploiting semi-naked feminine bodies to advertise even a shoe or a shaving cream, no power in the world can prevent moral corruption of society.



Justice is not delivered to rape victims because of misinterpretation of law, lack of evidence, poor investigative procedures, long delays at the trial stage and harsh and humiliating cross-examination of the victim, prevalent impunity of the accused and so on.

Existing laws to deal with rape must be reviewed and hard-nosed investigation must make it difficult for the accused to wriggle out of the legal punishment.



The hollow promises made by politicians and MPs in Parliament regarding strong legislations needed to bring rape victims to justice are just a load of useless platitudes. It is fashionable for politicians and ministers to pacify the anger of the masses.

It is doubtful whether politicians will stick to their demand for capital punishment for rapists when it has taken two years for them to clear FDI in retail in Parliament with obvious disagreements.


Not in the same boat

While law and justice stand to protect material and physical well-being, humanism represents the spiritual aspect of life (Justice Rajinder Sachar's article 'Abolish death penalty', December 13). We cannot afford to advocate the cause of the criminals who butcher the innocent.

An innocent infant is picked up, raped, killed and dumped in a gutter. Does it deserve both humanism and justice at the same time? Pragmatism pleads for death in the rarest of rare cases and it must not be abolished keeping in view the legitimate safeguard it offers to the weaker sections of society. Even Mahatma Gandhi wanted a mad dog killed, his ideal of non-violence notwithstanding.




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