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Faith and numbers

This refers to the editorial “Faith in numbers: Sikh demographics not independent of sustainability” (March 20). While the Akal Takht Jathedar has every right to order the community on any issue, I would like to seek justification on his call to the Sikhs to adopt a four-child policy as their population is declining. The Jathedar would do well to show concern on the drug abuse menace in the state due to which hundreds of ‘gabrus’ of Punjab are dying everyday. Drug abuse is rampant in Punjab and many big guns from politics, police, business and bureaucracy are allegedly involved in the drug racket. The Punjabi youth is being killed in an organised manner. The Sikh population, along with others, are decreasing in this manner by people who want to make illegal money.

Moreover, over 75 per cent of the modern day Sikh youth is discarding turbans and shaving heads and beards. The Jathedar should concentrate in these areas and ask the Sikh youth to adhere to the Sikh tenets. The lack of proper infrastructure for primary school education must be the prime concern of the temporal head of the community. If proper attention is paid to these ills in the community, there is no way the population of the Sikhs will decline.

R K KAPOOR, Chandigarh

Girls denied property

With reference to the news item “Haryana hinterland denies girls voting right” (March 24) , not only in matters of basic democratic rights, but also in other matters of women empowerment, laws are being made a mockery of.

For example, girls are being divested of their properties by their parental relatives. Most of the girls are relinquishing and gifting their shares to parents/brothers in the emotional environment created by parental homes.

The idea of empowering women economically is being thrown to the wind. Social conditioning is proving a hard nut to crack. The laws become impotent in the face of feudal customs, morality, traditions. Even highly educated people have been seen to be pandering to their greed at the cost of the rights of their daughters. Parents have to be honest if they want their daughters to be successful members of society.

Avi Sehrawat, via email

Let girls too vote

Elections are the time when people get their voice heard. Men are mostly aware of their right but not women. The report “Haryana hinterland denies girls voting right” says that out of 6.41 lakh women in Jind, only 3.83 lakh are enrolled as voters. The 2.58 lakh are discouraged in this matter as their families think it should be done only after marriage just because it would be difficult for them to cast their vote at native places after marriage. There may be many other places where girls are not allowed the right to vote.

Many activities are organised to make women aware of their right. The Tata Tea group recently launched a compaign ‘The Power of 49’. The idea is that women form 49% of the electoral base and they can swing the vote and influence the formation of the government. Why are the women still passive on the issue of voting right?

Daljit Kaur, Ludhiana

Debar loan defaulters

The Election Commission should take steps to debar wilful defaulters who owe public sector banks huge sums of money from contesting elections. Bad loans of banks had shot up to Rs 1.64-lakh crore by the end of fiscal 2012-13.

Over the past five years, banks have made a provision of Rs 1.40-lakh crore against bad loans and Rs 1.18-lakh crore loans have been written off. Amounts involved in wilful default of bank loans are increasing.

Some defaulters hold high positions. One of the borrower companies in which a central minister is directly connected is a defaulter of Rs 350 crore. Two top loan defaulters are Padma Shri awardees and they owed Rs 930 crore and Rs 580 crore, respectively. A Rajya Sabha member owes more than Rs 6,000 crore.

Hence, besides other disqualifications under the Representation of the People’s Act, 1951, a provision should be added to debar candidates and disqualify candidates from contesting elections if they or their companies are defaulters of bank loans.

SC Dhall, via email

Letters to the Editor, typed in double space, should not exceed the 200-word limit. These should be cogently written and can be sent by e-mail to: Letters@tribuneindia.com



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