L E T T E R S    T O    T H E    E D I T O R

Reality check: Academic standard declining

It is shocking to know that the academic standard of children from class I to V has deteriorated (news report ‘Sharp dip in the learning abilities of HP pupils’, February 2).

Independent surveys have exposed the actual situation of the failing education system in the state, notwithstanding tall claims made by consecutive governments. As per reports, majority of the students of Class III are not able to read a textbook meant for Class I. Out of 13,777 students who appeared in the scholarship exam ‘Medhavi Chatrvriti Yojna’, more than 90 per cent students failed to get even passing marks (34 per cent). This has happened inspite of the fact that huge amount of funds have been spent on the creation of necessary infrastructure such as class rooms, toilets, drinking water facilities, etc under the Sarv Shiksha Abhiyan.

The Congress government should now take on its shoulders the responsibility of putting the state’s education system back on track. It should also act as an eye-opener for the other state governments to pull up their socks, as the state of education in other states is no better. Also, the decision to scrap the board exams for Class V and VIII needs to be reviewed.


Misguided education

BG Verghese in his article ‘Idea of India attacked’ (February 9) has highlighted the complexity of ‘hate’ which is roused mainly through textbooks. Sometimes, teachers become helpless. India is a land of ‘the most plural and diverse society’.

Swami Vivekananda said during the concluding session of the Chicago Parliament of World Religions in 1893 that we should have the code of “help and not fight; assimilation and not destruction, harmony and peace and not dissension”. This thought directly emanates from Indian culture.

In the larger interest of India’s unity and harmony, a National School Textbook Board should be established with authorisation to scrutinise all the textbooks as per the NCF 2005 framework. Worship helps us to look within ourselves and is an individual affair. ‘Fatherhood of God and brotherhood of man’ should be the maxim that needs to be practiced in schools and at home.  It would enrich us wit the virtues of compassion for others and understanding them.

Dr S KUMAR, Panchkula

BJP divided

There is factionalism within the BJP itself on Narendra Modi as PM candidate. Many of his own partymen want him away from the national scene. Modi’s clout in the RSS will surely give him an added advantage in this race. But as the BJP has shed its extremist approach in the recent years, Modi’s hardliner approach could become a hindrance as many of the BJP allies have already voiced their reservations about Modi.

Whether India needs a person equivalent to Modi’s iron man image, is still raging a debate.

But if the BJP, defying all odds, decides to go in the 2014 elections without any pre-poll alliance and fights elections on its own by projecting Modi as their PM candidate, then after a long time we will be able to see a single party closing in on majority. This decision would also give the BJP, an impetus which is needed more than anything else, in the present situation.



The BJP needs to learn a lesson from its past mistakes (editorial ‘Development or temple?’, February 8). To be in the reckoning for power at the Centre, instead of harping on emotive issues like construction of Ram temple in Ayodhya, it should adopt a constructive agenda to address the problems faced by the common man. The template of its policies should be development and not the temple.

HEMA, Langeri (Hoshiarpur)

Queen of flowers

The first rose appeared in the Garden of Eden. It was white in colour. Eve kissed it and it became red (Ram Varma’s middle ‘Roses all the way’, January 24). Sappho, poetess of Lesbos (7th century BC), described rose as the “Queen of Flowers”. Cupid bribed Harpocrates, the god of silence, with a rose not to reveal a fault of Venus, the goddess of love and beauty. The rose, thus, became an emblem of silence and secrecy.

Farhad’s beloved Shirin named her horse ‘Gulgoon’ (rose-coloured). Babur christened his daughters Gulbadan (having rosy body), Gulchehra (rose-cheeked) and Gulrang (Rose-hued). Cleopatra was an ardent lover of roses. Nur Jahan took bath in rose water. During his stay in Delhi, Persian invader Nadir Shah, suffered from an abdominal disorder. A hakeem gave him rose-preserve (gulqand) to get him back to good health. Giani Zail Singh and Jawaharlal Nehru displayed a red rose on the breast of their ‘achkans’.




HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Letters | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |