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

Kohinoor belongs to India

Article 3 of the Treaty of 1849 (Annexation of Punjab) treated the Kohinoor diamond as private property of Maharaja Dalip Singh (News report ‘Kohinoor is ours, won’t be returned: Cameron’, February 22).

Yet the then Governor General, Lord Dalhousie in a letter to the Lahore Resident Sir Henry Lawrence mentioned that it was intended that the Maharaja should surrender the Kohinoor diamond to the British Queen.

However, he himself took it from Dr John Login who was Maharaja’s tutor and also held the charge of Lahore Toshkhana. After her first meeting with Dalip Singh on July 1, 1954, the Queen mentioned inter alia in her journal: “He was beautifully dressed and covered with diamonds. The Kohinoor belonged to and was once worn by him”.

In a letter to Dr Login, the Maharaja expressed his desire to discuss with him about his private property in Punjab and the Kohinoor diamond.

However Col Phipps observed that the legal report obtained by Login may be perfectly correct, but such matters must be settled by the rules of common sense.

The British government has no justification to keep the diamond. It should return it as a gesture of good will.


Aimless teachers

The main burden of deciding an effective approach in teaching lies on the teacher himself (editorial ‘Our English’, March 4). To possess knowledge is one aspect of education and to have practical wisdom to use that knowledge effectively is another. An English language teacher has to depend on the principle of workability. Knowing the latest methods of language teaching is like taking a loan from a bank without knowing how, when and where to invest the loan to maximum advantage. What the language teacher needs is this art of 'investing' and not so much the 'capital'.

Most of the teaching and study of English in our schools and colleges is unrelated to any particular social context and purpose. It has no specific objective or carefully planned programme. English teaching has become an aimless, lifeless and superficial activity in most of our classrooms today.


Outdated syllabi

Most of our universities continue to follow the same syllabi for years together and seldom take bold initiatives to revise the syllabi or to restructure the courses in the real sense (Shelley Walia’s ‘Syllabi designing and the need for dialogue’, March 5). The syllabi revision has been reduced to a routine and mundane exercise with a little tinkering here and there.

It is hardly based on serious deliberations and brain storming sessions involving all stakeholders. Even the ‘innovative’ courses devised by our universities and approved by UGC experts are an amalgam of certain topics picked up from here and there and are innovative only in nomenclature.

As a result of this perfunctory approach, the universities are producing graduates and post-graduates moulded in the same case.

The committees entrusted with the task of designing the syllabi should take up this job as a challenge keeping in mind the pulse of the changing times. They must go into the social and academic aspect of the syllabi. The work done by the Centre for Historical Studies at the JNU deserves accolades and should be emulated.

NP MANOCHA, Chandigarh

‘Aam admi’ slogan

The old age mindset where only the low income groups were considered to be the real masses, is not right. The emerging middle class is the actual proletariat of today. All the growth which has taken place in the last 10-15 years is majorly due to the growing middle class.

As far as inflation is concerned, figures are just an eyewash; the government’s working and its economic policies in no way show that the government formulates its policies keeping the inflation figures in mind.

If this is not the case, then provisions should have been made in the budget to give more money to households to meet the rising expenses.

People are demanding a proper justification of how their taxes are being spent, because as far as facilities are concerned, they are being given peanuts.

The government has been failing in raising its revenue. There is no system in place to tap the tax evaders. Most of the tax payers are employees, whether government or private, and most of the tax evaders in the country are businessmen.

There is a huge gap between the perceived policy required and the real policy framed. Also, the accountability of the government is the most important part in governance.



The result of the political jamboree at the national and the state level is that India has taken a severe drubbing. The country’s face has been besmirched by all those who day in and day out swear in the name of the ‘aam admi’ unabashedly. This middle class citizen is worried because he is taxed heavily in the name of nation building.

His daily needs are sacrificed at the altar of inflation and rising prices. He is neither rich nor wretchedly poor, so he is left to fend for himself after government robs him of his hard-earned money. He pays the maximum taxes and receives the minimum doles from his welfare government.

Politicians of every hue have dented the image of this country. As a result, economy and moral standards have taken a step backward. The middle class citizenry, therefore, cannot expect anything good from them.


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— Editor-in-Chief




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