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Food for poor, what about middle class?

The Government of India recently issued the food security ordinance which promises to provide foodgrains at highly subsidised rates to those living below the poverty line. The law is supposed to cost a whopping amount of money to the exchequer. Critics are all set to target this venture and have named it a trump card for the 2014 elections.

Maybe the Congress will earn votes, but what is the common man going to get out of this? The biggest contribution to the income tax is made by the middle class, especially those working in the private sector. Sadly, they are denied benefits like interest-free loans which are given to nationalised bank employees and free travel like railway employees. Why should the common man bear this unnecessary burden? The money given in the name of income tax is supposed to be used for development works. I agree that the development of the country cannot be achieved if its people remain starved, but the need of the hour is to create jobs.

This law will not change anything and it must be reviewed by the authorities. If the government is going to offer foodgrains at such a low price, either the state treasury would go bankrupt or the farmer would be offered low prices for his farm produce. There are already tax benefits for the rich; and food security, free vaccination and education and assured employment opportunities for the poor, but what has the government given to the middle class?


Monument to conjugal fidelity

Owing to its artistic dignity and magnificence, the Taj Mahal is regarded as the masterpiece of Mughal architecture (news report 'Taj third among top landmarks', July 2). Shah Jahan and Mumtaz enjoyed married bliss for about 19 years. After the queen's death, the emperor built this matchless monument of conjugal fidelity in her memory.

Shakeel Badauni said: Ik shahinshah ney banva key haseen Taj Mahal/ Saari duniya ko mohabbat kee nishaani dey dee. However, in view of an ocean of money spent to make it most sumptuous, Sahir Ludhianvi felt that Ik shahinshah ney daulat ka sahara ley kar/ Hum ghareebon ke mohabbat ka udaaya hai mazaaq.

Not many people know that Shah Jahan began to build for himself a tomb - an exact replica of the Taj Mahal - on the opposite side of the Yamuna in black marble. Both the edifices were to be connected by a bridge. But his son, Aurangzeb, usurped the throne and put him in prison. The project was abandoned. The notion that the hands of the masons and craftsmen were cut off after the completion of the monument and that the project of black Taj Mahal was a bad omen and brought ill-luck to Shah Jahan have no historical basis.


Milkha’s statue

I saw the photograph of the statue of the legendary Milkha Singh (in Jalandhar Tribune, July 1) installed near the Sapper's Park on the Mall Road in Jalandhar Cantt. I could not recognise Milkha Singh to whom it was dedicated as it looked like that of an old sadhu. Then I went to have a look at the statue. And it was nowhere near the real athlete as far as his looks were concerned. If the inscription plate were not there, I could not have recognised Milkha Singh. Moreover, there was no handkerchief on his bun. I request the authorities concerned to look into the matter.


Cleft lip is curable

Cleft lip/palate, though a non-communicable disease, is still one of the most prominent diseases among infants in India as well as around the globe. More than 40,000 infants are born with this problem every year in India. A majority of people, especially illiterate and those living in rural India, are unaware of the fact that this defect can be treated with surgery. Also, there are poor people who are unable to bear its treatment expenses. So, the government should bear all treatment expenses so that affected children could be treated.


Ignoring Punjabi

Delhi University has made an attempt to sideline the Punjabi language at the academic level. It is an injustice to the language which is a window on the rich culture and heritage of Punjab. It was a prominent language of the capital a few years ago with more than 70 per cent people conversing in this language. The policy to corner this language will harm the larger interests of students or learners of various languages. All Punjabi-loving people should unite to to save the language because to ignore it will amount to ignoring the value-oriented culture, tradition and civilisation of Punjab and Punjabis.


Well done, pilots

The commendable job done in the Uttarakhand rescue operations by soldiers and ITBP men deserves nationwide appreciation. Defying the difficult topography of the hill state and bad weather, helicopter pilots evacuated 80 pilgrims in 72 landings. The political leaders must learn something from them. India is really proud of its apolitical armed forces. Besides being professional to the core, they undertook humanitarian work with complete dedication. Now it is our turn to contribute our bit in rebuilding and rehabilitation works.




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