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No crime if Modi sidelines octogenarians

In the article 'Modi factor in Indian politics' (June 28) T V Rajeswar has rightly described Modi a man with many admirers and adversaries inside and outside the party. He has certain sterling administrative qualities.

Development in India is the need of the hour and development without corruption has been the hallmark of Narendra Modi. He has no sons and sons-in-law in politics. Even minority communities are all praise for his passion for development activities. To retain the chief ministership of Gujarat for the third time is no mean achievement.

The irony of fate is that those who engineered riots against Sikhs in 1984 are termed as secular while he is held non-secular and responsible for the 2002 Gujarat pogrom. But the Supreme Court has not been able to prove his involvement in the riots. Moreover, if he sidelines some of the party's octogenarians whose physical and mental faculties have weakened, he does no crime.


Female literacy

In a democracy, equal rights, irrespective of caste, community or gender, are given to all. But, unfortunately, in Indian society women do not enjoy as much privileges as men do. As per the 2011 Census, only 65.46 per cent women were found to be literate as compared to men whose literacy percentage was 82.14 per cent.

You have aptly pointed out in the editorial 'Literacy among women' (June 25) that due to women's low literacy rate they suffer and fail to find well-paid jobs. It is a matter of great satisfaction that the Central government is taking concrete steps in this regard. It has implemented programmes like the National Literacy Mission and the Sarv Shiksha Abhiyan to overcome this problem.


Ragging menace

Though we know that every year incidents of torture in the name of ragging are perpetrated by senior students on new students, how many of such culprits are actually punished? This must be stopped because ragging can never be justified under any circumstances. The perpetrators must be punished with at least 10 years of imprisonment. Besides, a mass movement against it should be launched because strict laws alone cannot curb this menace unless people also take part in it. Last year, the Himachal Pradesh government compulsorily retired the Principal of a Medical College who was indicted by a court in the Aman Kachroo ragging and death case.


VC owes explanation

That students of Kashmir University refused to stand up for the national anthem is nothing new (The Tribune, June 18). It had happened in the past as well. The Vice-Chancellor of the university and the state Chief Minister owe an explanation to the public. The university had a fair share of Kashmiri Hindus on its teaching staff and the students till 1990. The university had a secular character and was devoted to academics. Kashmiri Pandit luminaries headed various departments and the university had a non-political upbringing and had academic excellence.

After 1990, the university developed an exclusive Muslim character, sending the Hindu staff and students out of the complex despite being fully financed by the Central government. There are two more universities, Central University and the other one in south Kashmir with an exclusive Islamic character. It seems that the Government of India is creating this mess and the VC owes an explanation.


Cement plants in HP

This refers to the news item 'More cement plants may play havoc with ecosystem' (July 10). The writer has depicted a true account of the existing cement plants in the state. The government's decision to go ahead with six new cement plants in the state are like fishing in the troubled waters as it will be an open invitation to disasters. The state has not learnt lessons from the Uttarakhand and Kinnaur disasters.

Permitting cement plants in the Chopal area of Shimla is bound to have many adverse effects. Thousands of trees will be axed and beautiful slopes will be turned barren. The existing narrow road will create traffic problems as heavy traffic will damage roads and create a lot of trouble for local people. Moreover, the apple crop within a radius of 10 km of these plants will be greatly affected. So, the proposal for more cement plants must be shelved in the larger interest of people.


Shakespeare's works

This refers to GS Aujla's letter 'Shakespeare not for graduates?' (July 9). I share the writer's view that Panjab University's decision to discontinue the teaching of William Shakespeare's plays up to the graduation level is hasty and unfortunate. As a student of English literature, I feel that Shakespeare's plays have been greatly liked and appreciated by most students.

No doubt, Panjab University has played a major role in popularising the works of different English poets, playwrights and novelists since Independence. His poetry in the form of the blank verse is the very soul of English literature. I request the Panjab University authorities to retain Shakespeare's works in the English syllabus as it will look quite poor and soulless in the absence of the greatest English poet's works.


BJP's Mandi rout

I read with interest and zest your timely editorial 'Message from Mandi: United they can win' (July 2), analysing the election result of the Mandi bypoll to the Lok Sabha. As the editorial points out, it is a clear vote in favour of the Chief Minister. In fact, Virbhadra Singh's "magic" still works in the state, thanks largely to his charismatic personality/long innings as the state's Chief Minister.

Pratibha Singh's landslide win, to my mind, sets the tone for the impending Lok Sabha elections going to be held in 2014. The BJP's nominee Jai Ram Thakur lost the game mainly because his party was sitting in the opposition and was a divided house. Maheshwar Singh's exit from the party, too, cost it dearly.

TARA CHAND, Ambota (Una)

‘Asli’ vs ‘naqli’

Apropos the news item ''Asli' Chandigarh now gets a 'naqli' one' (July 15), whenever a process of development for the benefit of an ever-increasing population is carried out by the Punjab government on the periphery of Chandigarh, a lot of hue and cry is raised by some residents of Chandigarh. On the other side, nothing concrete is being done by the UT Administration to fulfill the ever-increasing demand for housing in Chandigarh.

Sad to say, permissions are being given to change the land use for constructing various malls, technological parks and rehabilitating encroachers that are against the basic character and architecture of Chandigarh, which are putting a greater burden on the existing infrastructure of Chandigarh and also causing environmental and noise pollution. The efforts of the Punjab government to provide affordable housing should rather be appreciated.




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