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

Sand as an essential commodity!

The auction for sand quarrying in Punjab has been done in a very shoddy and shady manner. The government should  look for alternatives, if it has the good of the aam aadmi in mind.

It is not always good to outsource government activity and more so when the natural resource like sand is fast becoming another essential commodity like dal, atta, rice, grocery, etc. This natural commodity which is to be used by every person needs to be controlled at all stages i.e. production, carriage and sale. This needs to be done in a manner that the new method makes this product available at a reasonable rate to a common user. The state which cries hoarse for its honest, good governance and fair approach should cancel the auction.

As rightly brought out in the editorial ‘People are the quarry’ (February 16), it will not be possible to control the prices of sand in the present system.  The best method will be to declare it as an essential commodity. Haryana is also going to look for sand supplies from Punjab till some court decisions. Second stage is to take over the control of this essential commodity. State government authorities cannot shy away from selling the commodity on its own.

The state government must step in and establish sale points, fix the rate, deliver it through different means of transport such as trailers, trucks, etc per kilometer and save the common man from the present sand-police-bureaucratic-politician mafia. By doing so, the loot of the common man will be stopped and at the same time, money from sale of sand will fill government coffers.

Lt-Col JASJIT SINGH GILL (retd), Ludhiana

Maoist battle

The government needs to reach the root of Maoist-sponsored insurgency and formulate welfare schemes in such a manner that they actually benefit the tribals (Air Marshal RS Bedi’s article ‘Maoists' interests in status quo’, February 19). The tribals might resist development initially, but with sustained, sincere and relentless efforts of the government through counsellors, mediators and other government machinery, education, health, infrastructure should be made to reach them. There might be certain losses which the government will have to bear initially, but it will have to be done sooner or later.

The Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) should act with purpose in sync with the local people and administration to further government's policies and eradicate insurgency. If the Maoists still give a war cry, then they should be handled through the legal procedure of the country.

SC VAID, Greater Noida

Unethical politics

While on one side the Punjab Congress is welcoming former Akali Dal MLAs like Gurdev Sing Gill and Mehtab Sing into the party, on the other side the Akali Dal is not lagging behind. It has given a ticket to former Congressman JP Jain for the Moga byelection. Jain is a businessman who joined Congress in 1992, crossed over to Akali Dal in 1997, left it in 2005, moved back to Congress and re-joined the panthic party.

There was a time when the Akali Dal called him an ‘international smuggler’ and is now using phrases like ‘choosing a diamond from coal’ for the same person. It is not good for democracy and is a financial burden on the Election Commission. It is giving license to politicians to commit a wrong in one party and then seek refuge in another to save their skins.


2-way flow

Rajesh Gill in his article ‘Knowledge does not flow from monologue’ (February 19) has rightly emphasised the importance of communication in a healthy education system. Communication is a one way channel in our scheme of education irrespective of the level of education.

Communication, as a skill, does not form a part of teaching in pre-service or in-service teacher education programmes. Poor communication between a student and a teacher becomes a roadblock in enhancing learning skills. Aristotle says, “It is not sufficient to know what we ought to say, but one must also know how to say it”.

The administration and teacher education institutes should acknowledge the discrepancies in one-way flow of information and make suitable amends to forge a healthy teacher-student relationship in all its aspects.

Dr S KUMAR, Panchkula


Education is the way out for all ills in society. Education gives knowledge, it makes us aware. With the support of education, every sort of dilemma can be tackled in a better way. Through education, it is easy to inculcate values in students and through them, in other people.

It is imperative that students build up realistic human values so that they can contribute to the society. The youth should be enriched with the different dimensions of life -- material, societal, psychological, aesthetic, ethical and spiritual. A melodious mix of all these values helps us to grow as human beings.


Happiness within

Happiness cannot be found merely by making resolutions (Bharat Hiteshi’s middle ‘Resolution going for a toss’, February 8). It consists of three main ingredients, namely action, pleasure and some leisure. If one is not happy in one way, he should try another way out.

It is rightly said that actually no person is so happy or so unhappy as he imagines. Happiness is to be free from anxieties, to do one’s duty and to enjoy the present without any serious dependence on the future resolutions.


Bluff masters

Most of the times, goldsmiths fleece innocent customers by way of fixing ‘making’ charges and charges for polish on gold ornaments. There is no government check and the customer has no choice but to pay up. The government has made ‘Hallmark’ mandatory but the government is sleeping over fixing making and polish charges.


Government’s role

To declare Kinnaur district in Himachal Pradesh as a natural calamity-affected area is a welcome gesture of the Himachal Government. Unexpected heavy snowfall rendered the entire area without electricity, water, transportation and communication for three weeks besides loss of humans, livestock, property, crops, etc.

The cumulative effort of the people of the area helped save many lives and bear climatic hardships. However, the role of the administration and other government departments during natural calamities is a matter to be looked into. Now, the government should work on a war footing to restore normalcy in the area.

R S NEGI, Tranda (Kinnaur)



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