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The ‘Indian’ tableau at Rajpath

A kind of a tableau depicting the stark Indian reality was on show at Rajpath on the weekend. All salutations were reserved for the young daughters and sons of the Indian republic for their patience and perseverance in the face of brutal police repression and provocation. They were not transported there by some political outfit for a mere show of strength and had no political ambitions of their own either.

They had gone to the corridors of power to ask whether security was only the right of politicians, bureaucrats and their families or also of common citizens, particularly women. All that was needed was an assurance from the ones who matter. During the entire day, none of our elected leaders showed the moral courage to come out and meet the protesters, comprising children, college-goers and women and pacify their genuine anger. Instead, water cannons, teargas and canes were used in a failed bid to disperse them.

The arrogance our politicians display while defending charges of corruption and pushing forward their divisive vote bank policies was exhibited yet again. But they cannot afford to ignore this wake-up call given by the aware and resurgent youth.

HL SHARMA, Amritsar


From every nook and corner of India, we are hearing one voice that is to punish the culprits of the Delhi gang-rape. But for how long will the protests last, in few days it will be calm again. In India, many such victims are sitting quietly because they could not prove their case or because of the sting of social taboo.

We are still depending on laws which were framed in the good old days when women were respected in society. Times have changed and so has the thought process of human beings. We need to update the laws and the system to deal with varied types of crime. Covert presence of policemen at public places and in the night can help in reducing crime. Delinquents will not start behaving overnight but yes, harsh punishments will change their mindset.

BELA KHANNA, Chandigarh


No words are enough to condone such heinous acts which no society in the world can accept. Our legislations are weak and out-dated and fast-track courts to deal with such situations are a necessity. Extraordinary crimes deserve extraordinary punishment.

As rape cases in India drag on and on without any logical conclusion, people have lost all faith in the system. Let the Supreme Court for the first time intervene considering it as a special case. It is our apathy, our silence, our nature and our cowardice which gives strength to these perverts to commit such crimes, while we helplessly watch or avoid getting involved.

TAPAN DAS, Hyderabad

Solution or problem?

The Punjab Government has taken a right decision in closing down primary schools where the student strength is less than 20 and as per reports, there are around 2,000 such schools. There seems to be no justification to continue the school and provide teachers and infrastructure where student strength is almost nil (editorial “Open and shut case”, December 17).

It is high time that the Punjab govt seriously considers giving quality education to children because private schools provide quality only at costs that are prohibitive for the poor.

The Right to Education Act will fail to meet the goals which were fixed to be achieved in three years. Introspection by the state as well as central governments is called for. Full staff and infrastructure will have to be provided if working condition in government primary school is to be improved.



The reasons for low attendance in schools must be analysed and measures adopted to attract maximum number of children to schools (editorial ‘Open-and-shut case’, December 17). Capacity of all exiting schools should be utilised to the full extent. Local panchayats, parents and teachers should also shoulder the responsibility to get all the children of villages to the school for imparting quality education. If qualified teachers and proper infrastructure are available, the number of students in government schools will increase substantially.

SC VAID, Greater Noida

Unfair Modi-bashing

Kuldip Nayyar’s article “Pluralism asserting itself” (December 14) wreaked of Modi-bashing. He is critical of the British envoy calling on Modi and is happy over the US opposition to his visa. This is unfair to say the least.

The writer unfairly paints Hindus in bad light vis-à-vis the minorities. This is what he has to say in some of his articles. “I have never seen so many Hindu temples coming up and so many people visiting them” or “As for Muslims in India, they have come round to accepting even unfair demands of Hindus” (October 6), “If the Hindu community gets worked up as it did in 1984 (while talking of anti-Sikh riots). . . . .” (November 15) and “Not only in Gujarat, but all over the country, the Muslim community feels insecure and unsafe” (December 14).

What have Hindus done to earn such uncharitable remarks? Hindus by far are a peace loving people. They are a majority community in India but bear no ill–will against the minorities. Such remarks, therefore, deserve to be dismissed as unfair and uncalled for.

Wg Cdr CL SEHGAL (retd) Jalandhar

Whom does the police help?

I lost my 20-year-old daughter in a road accident on December 19 on the Chandigarh-Ambala National Highway. An FIR No 389 was lodged the very same day and the tractor-trolley involved in the crime and also the driver of the vehicle were taken in custody immediately by the police.

No action was taken against the tractor owner, though the police was in constant touch with him. No medical examination of the culprit was done immediately. The police has not obtained documents of the vehicle/ driver so far.

The police told us on December 20 that the driver had secured bail, which it later denied. While first agreeing to show us the official documents of the driver and the tractor details, the chowki-incharge and SHO backtracked.

The police provided every opportunity to the culprits to manipulate the evidence. This is how the police function in normal circumstances. What help and justice can we expect from them?

NEELAM LATA, Panchkula



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