L E T T E R S    T O    T H E    E D I T O R

PM must attend CHOGM

This refers to the editorial, “CHOGM Dilemma” (November 5). It is disgusting to note that some MPs belonging to the South, especially Tamil Nadu, are opposing Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’ visit to Sri Lanka in connection with the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM). Agreed that the Tamils are hurt and angry with the Sri Lankan Government for ill-treatment of the members of their community, but that should not be a stumbling block in improving relations with our neighbours. It’s a shame that regional interests are being given preference over national interests. As members of the Cabinet, they ought to respect the national commitments. I support the view in the editorial that the Prime Minister should attend the CHOGM in Sri Lanka and voice India's concerns against the atrocities committed on Tamils in that country.

The Sri Lanka visit by an Indian Prime Minister after 26 years must be seen as a godsend opportunity to meet Tamil population in that country and hear their grievances. Instead of senselessly opposing the PM’s visit by threatening to resign, the MPs concerned should show maturity on account of their age and experience in politics. They should rethink on the issue and encourage Manmohan Singh to go to Sri Lanka with a free mind and assure the Sri Lankan Tamils of all help from India.

R K KAPOOR, Chandigarh

Dirt around Ganga

Recently, I went to Haridwar to immerse the ashes of my mother in the Ganga. I was shocked to see the condition of the world famous holy place. Heaps of garbage were strewn all over the city. There was no sign of civic sense anywhere. Beggars and sadhus were loitering around. No policeman was seen in the area. The traffic policemen on duty were found to be chatting around.

The Uttarakhand government should improve the infrastructure of the holy place. It hurts our feelings when we have to immerse the remains of our beloved ones in a holy river surrounded by heaps of garbage.


Mere Rs 200 pension!

India, with the second-largest population of the elderly in the world, has been ranked amongst the poorest of nations to grow old in a global survey. By 2050, one-fifth of India's population will comprise the elderly. Efforts to increase public spending have had only a marginal effect. There is a need to bring in a law for universal pension for all elderly persons who have no regular means of subsistence.

Ranging between Rs 200 and Rs 500, the pension given under the old-age pension scheme is too meagre and it varies from state to state. The government should give at least Rs 2,000 per month to the elderly under the National Social Assistance Programme. The Central government must contribute 75 per cent of this amount and the rest should be borne by the state government. This demand of the elderly needs to be considered sympathetically in order to save millions of senior citizens from sleeping on an empty stomach every night.

OP Gupta, Kathua (J&K)

MPs and decorum

With reference to a news item (October 22), Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar has rightly emphasised the need of a healthy democracy and healthy criticism in the House on issues related to the public. Who shall brunt the loss of 73.30 hours due to disruption of proceedings in just one session of House? There are questions on which public, taxpayers and honest people want straight answers to. The need of the hour is to put an end to such unwarranted disruption. Every member of the House is required to maintain a decorum and discipline. Matters of public importance and concern should be raised and discussed in the House.

Dr. K.D Lakhanpal, Bilaspur

Canada is better due to attitude

Apropos the middle, “Grass greener on other side” (November 6), the writer has made a comparison of the state of affairs in Canada and India on the basis of the density of the population. It is not so simple. He could have compared the life and style of Japan with that of India because Japan has more population per square kilometre than India. The Canadian education system is entirely different from that of India. I moved to Canada about 12 years ago after working for 25 years in the construction industry in India. When I entered the Canadian construction industry, I found that every profession was regulated by its association of professionals.

A plumber would not change the size of any pipe in your home without the permission of the authority of the city. I once asked a plumber if I could change it myself, his reply was: “Let me move out of your home”. He did not answer my question. Canadians know that we come from the chalta hai culture and that is why they do not value experience from Asia. Every engineer has to write a 16-hour examination after getting his degree to claim the designation of an engineer. The same is true for doctors who have to write three exams after the degree to get their licences. It is applicable for Canadians also.

The Canadian population is mostly concentrated along the US border. Many African countries are even more sparsely populated, but they have not been able to raise their standard of living. It is the attitude and not the geographical area that makes Canada a better place.

KS Dhami, Surrey, Canada



HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Letters | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |