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Shunning arhtiyas a bold step

Apropos the editorial 'Direct payments' (April 27), the decision of the Panjab Government to shun arhtiyas (the middlemen) from the chain of distribution of agriculture produce is a bold and praiseworthy step which is sure to free farmers from the clutches of mighty financial powers. The point of these middlemen's usefulness and efficacy in the system has often been debated and they have been seen and found as superfluous in the chain of distribution.

Apart from providing financial assistance to farmers and that too at exorbitant interest rates, these middlemen have failed to assist farmers in other ancillary activities such as updating farmers with the new means and techniques, availability of high quality seeds and fertilisers, storage facilities, crop insurance, etc. Maybe the decision would not be liked by the arhtiyas lobby. But if the government strictly implements it, the new regime is going to be a boon for farmers.

The onus now shifts to the government that needs to gear itself up to provide farmers with extra facilities which were not being provided by the traditional arhtiyas. The government should give a serious thought to establishing independent agri-divisions in banks that would help farmers in not only marketing their produce, but also providing financial assistance and insurance too.


Moral values

The Delhi Police Commissioner has rightly said that his resignation will serve no purpose and reforms. As the cases of crime and rape are taking place in and outside our houses and the perpetrators are also in and outside our localities or neighbourhood, the most important thing is to change the mindsets of our youths through teaching them good moral values. It is the only way out to curb the rising incidents of such crimes, especially rape.


Corruption's spectre

Addressing a public meeting at Jwalamukhi the other day, Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh is reported to have stated that his government will adopt zero tolerance against corruption in the state.

Singh's statement on the subject is welcomed so far as it goes. However, the poser is: Would it help push out the evil from the hilly state? In fact, the post-Independence experience of the country shows that louder the noise against the evil, wider the tentacles it spreads, as if with a vengeance.

Looking at the money-oriented value system ruling the roost in the country, rooting out the "gilded evil" seems a well-nigh impossible task. The best course, under the circumstances, is to go in for its complete nationalisation. The success of the proposed venture may be taken for granted in view of the well-oiled infrastructure available for the purpose. The politician-businessman-contractor axis must, of course, be appointed commission agents on attractive terms to be doubly sure.

TARA CHAND, Ambota (Una)

Labour Day

May 1 is observed as Labour Day all over the world. The day has lost its significance for those who struggle hard in their day-to-day life but are not suitably rewarded. The government is neglecting this section of society which is doing a lot of work for the welfare of the country.

The reality is that most of the labour class workers are not able to make two ends meet. They are like bonded labourers who do not have any right to live even a simple life. Only people in government jobs can flourish without putting in any labour. So, Labour Day has failed to ameliorate their lot.

POOJA KEHAR, Jalandhar


100 years of Indian cinema

The opening lines of a popular Hindi film duet "Sau saal pehle mujhe tumse pyar tha, aaj bhee hai aur kal bhee rahega" aptly describe the love and craze of cinegoers for Indian cinema which completes 100 years on May 3. The first film was released on May 3, 1913, in Bombay.

Indian cinema registers around 700 films every year in 30 different languages and dialects. Since the release of the first film of the talkies era in 1931, Indian cinema has produced around 77,000 films till 2012, out of which 12,000 are Hindi films. The year 2012 saw the release of 105 films.

We salute Indian cinema for reaching this milestone as well as scaling peaks of glory and success. On the occasion, we request the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting to make a documentary film on 100 years' history of Indian cinema.

JS PURI, Chandigarh



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