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

Where does road toll go?

Apropos the news item “Incomplete flyovers, toll plaza key election issues in Karnal” (March 17), people’s anger over the issues of charging toll for incomplete flyovers is understandable. What makes them angry is the mystery that shrouds the expenditure and collection of toll for a project. Is it not their right to know how much money had been spent and how much toll collected? After all, even the corporate houses are required to declare their earnings every three months where public money is collected by way of equity.

The government must declare the amount spent on a flyover and the toll collected at least once a year. These figures should be displayed at the toll plaza concerned.

Surendra Miglani, Kaithal

Childhood lost

Though employing children below the age of 14 is a cognisable offence, hundreds of children are working as labourers. It has rightly been observed in the editorial “Childhood lost in labour” (March 21) that lack of political will to rescue millions of children is evident from another fact that though 13,60,117 inspections had been called out under the child labour Act/law since 1986 and 49,092 prosecutions were launched, only 4774 employers were convicted, thus making a mockery of the law which stipulates one year imprisonment and maximum penalty of Rs 20000.

Children have the right to play and enjoy their childhood. The machinery concerned should be held accountable for the lapse.

Subhash C. Taneja, Gurgaon

Tackle TB

Being a retired TB specialist, I know that the disease can be cured permanently. But due to the callous attitude of the government, many hospitals are without adequate doctors and other staff and equipment.

For example, the post of the doctor at the TB Clinic in Abohar, which has an OPD of 50 patients daily, has been lying vacant for the past six months since I retired. There is no proper strategy or vision, only wastage of health funds. The programme to control TB should be taken up on a war footing, like that of polio.

Dr D P Dodara, Abohar

Can youth change game?

150 million! That, we’re told, is the number of first-time voters India will see in the 2014 General Election. Will this stupendous figure be a political gamechanger? Perhaps yes, if one goes by the number alone. However, what one is not sure about is whether the change would be for good or bad.

Since our literacy rate, even amongst the youth, is dismally low in comparison to the developed nations, and the employment scenario too is scary, one perhaps cannot perceive our youth as a thinking or revolutionary force. Thus, it appears that our feloniously shrewd political class would be able to turn their frustrating gullibility rather easily. For, our politicians, of all hues and shades, are well versed in selling false dreams, their chief trade that they have been into for the past more than six decades.

Undoubtedly, our city youth, in comparison to their rural brethren are more informed and practical in their approach to life.

During my stint of more than 36 years as a teacher of an elite college in Chandigarh, I have come across only a handful of students, including Satpal Jain, who financially supported their studies. Most of the self-financing students were from the foreign lands. A majority of our young voters are still fully dependent on their parents and it is hard to assume that they would independently be politically mature.

BALVINDER, Chandigarh

Reveal truth of Bluestar

Operation Bluestar is an emotional issue and hurt the Sikhs. An inquiry must be held into this gory operation which turned the Sikhs from patriots to ‘terrorists’ overnight.

On February 23, 2008, a book “When a Tree Shook Delhi” was released in Chandigarh. Its co-author Manoj Mitta’s remark on my copy: “Dear Ashok, hope the book shakes you” is etched on my inner self. I repeat here the question, asked then, because it is still relevant: what was the reason for this ‘operation’ on the Golden Temple and, that too, on the martyrdom day of Guru Arjan Devji? Responding to the findings of the judicial inquiry conducted by the Nanavati Commission, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had conceded in 2005 that “we still do not know the truth.”

If any political party is earnestly concerned about Sikhs, it should give a commitment to order an enquiry into the reasons, causes and circumstances leading to Bluestar with a special reference to the timing of Guru Arjan’s martyrdom day.

Bhai Ashok SBagrian, Chandigarh

Advantage ruling party

Being at an advantage, the ruling party violates the model code with impunity. In Punjab, liquor is distributed openly to seek votes. Are fair elections possible in such an atmosphere? It would be better if President’s rule is clamped three months before the elections.

Sher Singh, Ludhiana

Brilliant parrots

Parrots are not just fruit-eating birds with brilliant plumage, they are also remarkable for their ability to copy human speech and cry of any bird or animal (“Parrot solves Agra murder mystery”, February 27). Many years ago, I saw a parrot at a café which greeted visitors with the words “dhan bhaag” (good luck), “jee aaeyaa nu” (welcome) and “baitho” (be seated).

When Humayun captured Gujarat, the booty taken by him included the pet parrot of the defeated Sultan. Seeing its master’s perfidious artillery officer at the Mughal court, the parrot squawked: “Phit, paapi, namak-haraam Rumi Khan” (you, the execrable, sinner and treacherous Rumi Khan). A minister in Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s Cabinet had a parrot of foreign breed worth ~2 lakh. It informed the security guard of the house about the visitors and even told him to open the door when they were family members. Parrots cry aloud on seeing a burglar or a stranger or when anything untoward happens in the house.

Bhagwan Singh, Qadian

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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