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

Declining values of life

The article “Conflicting interests bane of polity” by Kanwar Sandhu (May 9) is a commendable exhibition of promotion of personal/family interests rather than public responsibilities by powerful civil servants. It is disgusting and surprising the way rules and codes of conduct are flouted to promote personal/family business interests by the political authorities.

How personal motives and greed thinned the line dividing private business deals and government responsibilities. How with the 27 of the 50-odd ministerial portfolios held by the family, companies owned by Badals-Kairons-Majithias exercised influence to enlarge personal business deals. It is a classic example of the declining of values and misuse of power.

We know India has progressed in the fields of technology, transport, education, military etc, but its human resources have not yet developed to the desired level. Criminality, greed, self-interest, nepotism, discrimination and appetite to acquire more and more wealth have prevailed upon the people.

Morality, honesty, dedication to work, spirit of nationalism and respect of law have vanished from society. It is time to frame a property ceiling law.

Sub-Maj Karnail Singh Sekhon (retd), Patiala

SC intervention needed

Kanwar Sandhu’s article “Conflicting interests bane of polity” (May 9) is thought-provoking and timely. It brings out the brazen misuse of ministerial authority in promoting personal ventures at public expense. The problem is not confined to Punjab, though it exists there in an acute form. The author’s suggestion to effect a Constitutional amendment to contain this evil is desirable. But it seems unlikely that any prime minister would suo motu like to curb his discretion in the allotment of portfolios to ministers. It can be achieved only by a Supreme Court direction given after considering a petition filed in public interest.

It is a sad commentary on our style of parliamentary governance that we require a Constitutional safeguard for something which in Western democracies is taken care of by the sheer force of convention.

Ram Varma, Panchkula

Bhagat Singh’s truth

This refers to the news published regarding the plea in a Pakistan court to prove Bhagat Singh’s innocence (April 30). Let us salute the spirit of petitioner Imtiaz Rashid Qureshi, Chairman of the Bhagat Singh Memorial Foundation, who has filed a petition seeking attested copies of the FIR registered against Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Raj Guru for allegedly killing the SSP John Saunders.

I have seen the pain of the Partition and would like to highlight how the then SSP John Saunders was killed instead of J A Scott. The provocation came when Scott, who on October 20, 1928 beat up Lala Lajpat Rai personally when he (Lala Lajpat) was protesting against the visit of the Simon Commission to Lahore. Lala Lajpat Rai died on November17, 1928 of grave injuries received in the brutal lathi charge and merciless beating for more than half an hour by SSP Scott, Deputy SP Syed Ahmed Shah, Deputy SP Niaz Ahmed and Sub-Inspector Aizaz Hussain. The Indian revolutionaries decided to take revenge and teach Scott a lesson. But due to a big mistake on the part of Jai Gopal (later government approver along with Hans Raj Vohra) that Raj Guru fired at 1924 batch IP officer Saunders. Later, Bhagat Singh pumped five or six bullets into him, killing him instantly before he could be taken to Mayo Hospital, Lahore. The freedom fighters soon realised their mistake.

Scott was the DIG Lahore range at the time of Independence in 1947. I am proud of being a regular reader of The Tribune since 1945 and I have a record of the events published in The Tribune that played a great role in highlighting the trial of the freedom fighters.

Multan Singh Parihar, Hamirpur

Combat air pollution

Air pollution is the fifth largest killer in India. Some of its cities have the dirtiest air, as per the World Health Organisation.

The major cause of air pollution is human activities such as industries, vehicles etc. Their presence, when exceeding certain limits, pollutes the air and starts harming us.

The government has imposed pollution tests on vehicles, mainly to assess the level of carbon monoxide, which is called rogue gas. It’s a deadly gas as its reactivity with haemoglobin is 250 times more than oxygen. The body cells are deprived of oxygen with this.

The pollution test should be strictly implemented and we should cooperate in this direction. The public health crisis arising due to the worsening air quality must be addressed.

Air pollution can be controlled by introducing such friendly practices as cycling, rationing, sharing of vehicles and taming the traffic.

Dr Ramesh Dogra, Panchkula

Hockey legends

Hockey India (HI) has decided to honour the 1975 Olympic hockey team on May 14. It is a great honour for the nation to remember the heroes of the game. The HI is at last fulfilling their long-cherished dream. That was the time when the schedule planned by the team coach was supreme and it was result-oriented also. The Tribune should publish the profiles of the hockey legends so that younger generations can take inspiration from them. It is time to salute hockey wizard Major Dhyan Chand also.

Dr Jasvinder Singh Humsafar, Maloudh (Ludhiana)

Long wait for plots

A draw of lots was held on February 19 in the Estate Office II, HUDA, Gurgaon, under the supervision of the Administrator, HUDA, Gurgaon, to allot alternative plots to those plot holders whose originally allotted plots had come under dispute. Even after more than two and a half months, sanction in this regard has not been received by the local Estate Office.

The draw was held after around five years of waiting by the plot holders who had not been given possession though they had paid the tentative price of their plots, ranging from ~10 lakh to ~20 lakh. The plot holders are feeling harassed due to the stress of having to wait for the allotment of plots. The authorities concerned must convey their approval to the local HUDA authorities at the earliest.

U N Bountra, Gurgaon

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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