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Politicians don’t retire ‘useful’ bureaucrats

The latest trend of granting extension or accommodating retired senior bureaucrats and police officers on plum postings in blatant violation of the service rules is totally unethical and unjustified ( news reports 'Retired 'blue-eyed' babus call shots', 'Chief Secy given 6-month extension' and 'Govt staff up in arms against post-retirement rehabilitation', The Tribune, June 29). Whatsoever their work profiles may be, these officials are primarily rewarded for their previous acts of omission and commission to please their political masters.

This unholy politico-bureaucratic nexus not only breeds sycophancy and corruption, but also impacts the government's functioning. Sadly, official integrity, probity and conscientiousness to duty are at stake as many bright, honest and hard working cadre officials who are superseded and denied promotional avenues feel humiliated and demoralised.

Moreover, it puts an extra burden on the state government, which is already faced with a severe financial crunch. It is high time this unhealthy practice was done away with.

DS KANG, Hoshiarpur

Beware of the bully

This refers to the editorial 'Setting the stage' (June 28). Definitely, John Kerry's visit to India has been useful in understanding the mutual perspectives and building bridges between the two countries.

However, India needs to be careful while dealing with the US to avoid becoming a victim of its self-centred policy and double standards. The US is known to behave like a bully and impose its will on other nations. But it has failed miserably wherever it tried, from Vietnam to Iraq to Afghanistan.

So, India must be careful while implementing the Indo-US nuclear deal so that later we do not have to feel cheated. Our relations with the US must be cordial and friendly without compromising our foreign policy and national interests.

COL RD SINGH (RETD), Ambala Cantt

Why tax pension?

A person retires after serving an institution for three to four decades. After retirement, pension is the only source of income for most of those retired from state/Central government departments and ex-servicemen. But it is sad that pension is also taxable. As most of defence personnel retire between 45 and 50 years of age, their major responsibilities like education and marriage of wards, which entail a big amount of money, become unaffordable for them with a meagre pension amount. So, the government should charge only a nominal tax on pension.


Educating girls

Kudos to the hill states like Mizoram, Himachal Pradesh, Leh and Ladakh for showing an incredible improvement in the female literacy rate in spite of fragile infrastructure and a tricky topography. The government of J & K must take a cue from these states to educate its girls as its literacy rate is distressingly low. Though the Central government has taken some appreciable initiatives such as the National Literacy Mission and the Sarv Shiksha Abhiyan, it is only a flash in the pan. Some concrete action is the need of the hour.

RAJESH BAJAJ, Chandigarh

BPL families

Apropos the letter 'Plug loopholes in BPL programme' (June 25), it is sad that owing to the selection of non-deserving families, most of genuine and eligible ones are deprived of the benefits being given under the BPL programme. This is happening because the minutes are not being recorded in the gram sabhas in the rural areas to select the only deserving for this facility. Each and every component making the family should be duly supported with documents and other authentic evidence and then the lists of families be drawn. The deliberation should be supervised by a responsible officer of the district administration.


The unkindest ‘cut’ 

Apropos the news report 'No Shakespeare for…' (July 2), the lopsided decision of Panjab University to do away with Shakespeare's works in undergraduate classes of the colleges affiliated with it has come as a sledgehammer stroke on countless students of English literature. The study of English literature sans Shakespeare is incomplete and inconclusive, to say the least. Studying Shakespeare at the graduation level is more like a boon in disguise to understand well the author, prose-writer, playwright before pursuing Master's in English literature.

It also offers an opportunity to leapfrog the initial hiccups and enjoy the beauty and bounty of his lyrical poetry, prose and plays that he so assiduously produced for posterity. Shakespeare's works, which held quite a sway over the students' sensibilities, constituted an integral part of the legacy of English literature, of which he was an integral part.

The plausible reason being cited by a former chairman of the Board of Directors of the English Department at the university, for the discontinuation of Shakespeare's works, is that a majority of aspiring students of English literature from Punjab could hardly pronounce Shakespeare's name correctly and that studying of English literature was a nightmare for them. The observation is a mere figment of his imagination. The authorities concerned must review the decision and reintroduce Shakespeare's works, thereby restoring the grace of our literary heritage.




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