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Give Pak a befitting reply

The brutal killing of the two Indian soldiers by the Pakistan Army is highly condemnable. India should take up this issue at the international level and pressure Pakistan to punish the Pakistani soldiers who committed this heinous act. It was in gross violation of the Geneva Convention of which both India and Pakistan are signatories. The stand taken by the Pakistan Government in this regard was expected and should be dismissed. Several innocent Indian soldiers have died in such incidents. India should give Pakistan a befitting reply. Engaging in the peace process at the cost of our soldiers’ lives is not a viable alternative.


Water a state subject?

Your editorial Rift over water policy: Centre hopes to satisfy studies (31st December, 2012) has rightly pointed out that “water is a sensitive subject and a source of many inter-state disputes”. States are more concerned about protecting their water rights than checking its waste and pollution.

We hope to protect and utilise this scarce source in a sustainable mode once the National Water Policy 2012 is finalised.

But the central government’s task is cut out as Punjab CM opposes almost all the clauses in the policy. According to Badal, imposing a water tariff; fixing a criteria for canal water supplied; granting statutory powers to water user associations; establishing a water regulations authority, will be difficult to adopt in Punjab.

Convincing Badal sounds like an impossible feat. We hope for the best.

Dr GS DHILLON, Chandigarh

Check drug menace

It is rightly said in the editorialDrug menance”, (January 2) that drug smugglers enjoy political protection and have been expanding their business in the state at an alarming rate. It is now making inroads into many colleges and schools where the youth are exposed to drugs. Many families have been ruined by this menace. A locality Makhdoompura in Amritsar is called the colony of widows. If this menace goes unchecked, very few youths will remain fit enough to be recruited by the Army and the police. Allama Iqbal had rightly said: “Nasha pila key giraana to sab ko aata hai, maza to jab hai ke girton ko thaam ley saaqi.” (It is easy to get anyone drunk but it is ever more difficult to lend a helping hand to those who stumble.)


No poetic justice

The article What lesson will you teach? by RS Dalal (December 31) has rightly pointed out that police can only arrest the criminals and not punish them. Some antisocial elements exploit the loopholes in our legal system and continue to roam scot-free. To make matters worse for the common man, politicians and police work in tandem to exploit the system.

Ironically, if an odd policeman decides to do his job honestly, he is marginalised and soon gets transferred. Recently, a reputed Station House Officer was posted in the small town of Ladwa near Kurukshetra and soon became the talk of the town.

The number of crime incidents, such as chain snatching, burglary and rape, drastically decreased. Women felt safe going out in the evening. He went to schools and colleges to teach girls how to defend themselves. But not surprisingly, within months he was transferred.

VIPIN SEHGAL, Kurukshetra

Excellence in education

In the letter “Intellectual rape”, the author Prakash Wadhwa (January 2) quoted Rabinder Nath Tagore and emphasised on the need for a teacher to learn constantly. However, in India, this is not encouraged as students only wish to be taught what is in the text book and thereby the teacher cannot explore new techniques and make cross references to other subjects. The students are result-oriented and are not curious about learning in itself. They prefer the lecture to be simple and linear, lacking complexity.

Wadhwa stresses on the need to have excellent teaching staff. This feat is nearly impossible in today’s world when the teacher is constantly asked by the authorities to prepare easy question papers and teach English in vernacular.

AKHILESH, Hoshiarpur

Noble Maharaja

On the hundredth birth anniversary of the late Maharaja Yadavindra Singh of Patiala, The Tribune published a special feature on him. Yadavindra’s son Raja Malvinder Singh said his father was a good human being. I fully endorse his views.

In 1961, my friend Sain Das from Batala was driving down to Patiala to meet me. While on his way from New Delhi, he met with an accident near Ghanaur and fell unconscious. When he regained his consciousness, he found his money and belongings missing. Maharaja Yadavindra Singh was incidentally travelling from Patiala to New Delhi when he came across my friend. He immediately stopped his car and took my friend to the hospital and got an FIR registered in the police station. The Maharaja even gave my friend some money.

My friend reached Patiala safely and narrated the story to me. The Late Maharaja was indeed a noble man.


What is merit?

Much has been said and written about the government’s reservation policy vis-à-vis government jobs. It has been argued that recruitment for government jobs should be based on merit.

No doubt, merit-based selection for government jobs seems an attractive and reasonable proposition. But what is merit? Is it indicated by the marks obtained by an individual in certain tests and examinations?

It is high time that we looked deeper into the issue. This so-called merit depends on many factors, including the economic and social status of the student. With the odds heavily stacked against a child from a poor family, one can hardly expect him to compete with those belonging to the upper strata of society.

Under the circumstances, selection based on merit would further widen the gap between the rich and the poor.




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