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Rank-pay anomaly persists

This is with reference to the news-item “Antony seeks AG’s opinion on ‘rank pay’ issue” (June 15). Isn’t it rather strange and intriguing that the Supreme Court verdict on ‘rank pay’ anomaly for the armed forces should get stalled yet again due to differing interpretations between the armed forces and the Ministry of Defence? Is the verdict really flawed, confusing or outrightly unfeasible?

It’s baffling that the Ministry of Defence has sought opinion of the Attorney General (AG) on the apex court verdict. Obviously, they seem to be in no hurry to implement it. Major Dhanapalan went to the court for the same anomaly and after a protracted legal battle managed to get both justice and his dues. Strangely, exactly the same award is now being denied to other ex-servicemen.

Would this case have been stalled and swept under the carpet similarly, if it had pertained to our honourable legislators, members of the judiciary or other high-ranking bureaucrats? Even though the ex-servicemen are not starving - their pensions have considerably been enhanced recently; but it’s time the government paid them their legitimate dues promptly, as authorised by none other than the apex court.

We must not forget that ultimately it is the armed forces alone that are capable of protecting our vital interests like national sovereignty and integrity; against both internal as well as the external threats. No other institution in the country is capable of replacing them. Hence, they must never be denied their dues on any pretext, and certainly not on account of our endemic bureaucratic inertia!


Rethinking reforms

H.K. Manmohan Singh in his ‘Rethinking India’s reforms process’ (June 12, 2013) has deeply analysed the problems arising out of economic reforms process/ neo-liberalization initiated in the country in the early 90s.The author has very rightly pointed out that the necessasities of reform process and neo-liberalization has divorced the growth from equitable distribution and created a deep wedge between the poor and the rich, promoting heartless economic growth leading to flourishing five-star consumer culture and vanishing poor in the race for meeting both ends. The Nehuvain model of economic development based on the premise of evolution of classless society, economic growth with social justice, strengthening of institutions of growth and value based economic growth, undoubtedly laid a strong infrastructure base in the country, helped grow corruption and unemployment, tax evasion, control over land resources by the rich in nexus with evasive politicians and bureaucracy and pompous false living. At the same time the wealth and resources have been concentrating into a few hands.

Consequently, in the melee, the government has been abdicating its social obligations and old age security to its people. There is no dignity of labour. Machines which started competing with man have now replaced man. Employment opportunities both for skilled and unskilled jobs have not been growing in proportion to increasing demand. The government employment creation schemes have been failing.

Here lies the importance of the Gandhian model of ethical development and self reliance, which underlines the importance of dignity of labour and seeks to secure work for every hand. The cottage industries, which have been ignored, should be given equal importance with reserved items of production. Instead of purely depending on theory of demand and supply, there is need for administered control to provide minimum living standards to the poor, leading to inclusive growth and social justice.

DR PURAN SINGH, Chandigarh

Priceless beauty

This refers to the editorial “Paradise at a price” (June 13, 2013). It has been rightly mentioned in the editorial that Kashmir Valley known as the paradise on earth, today after a gap of two decades has once again become the favourite destination for tourists from around the globe. So what if tourists have to pay bit extra towards the sightseeing, hotel accommodation or travelling while visiting Kashmir. It’s expensive to visit Kashmir but there needs to be no price tag to enjoy the beautiful nature surrounded with snow clad  hills,  ever green Dal lake and  the lush green God gifted ambience all around the Valley and at least to have a glimpse of Kashmir – miniature of Swiss (Srinagar, Gulmarg, Pehalgam etc.)  is not as expensive compared to what Indian tourists have to spend visiting Swiss (Zurich, Laussane, Geneva etc.).


Where women are respected

This refers to the article, ‘Why the rise in horrendous rapes?’ (June 17) by SL Sharma. The writer has given valuable information on rapes and discussed various causes for the increase in rapes. However, his comments that in India “Cultural dimensions by means of which women are stripped of personhood and are reduced to an object of pleasure for men” are misplaced and show his lack of knowledge about Indian culture.

It is only Hindu culture, which talks of Brahmacharya or purity of life, and the first phase of life for 25 years is called Bramacharya Aashrama. No other culture has this concept.

Manu, the ancient law-giver, says, “Where women are respected, that society or family becomes the abode of gods” (Yatra Naryastu pujyante, remante tatra devata). And our literature also says that “one should look upon all other women as mothers, and other’s wealth as piece of clay” (matrivat paradareshu, paradravyeshu loshthavat). Since we have ignored our rich culture, and remained under foreign rule for centuries, and hence our moral downfall. Now our present secular rulers treat our culture as communal and are following western culture. This has led to the increase in crime, especially the incidents of rape and murder.




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