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Dope-test ministers

This is in reference to the news item Now dope tests for government jobs (August 15). To prevent drug addicts from joining government jobs, the Punjab Cabinet has decided to make the dope test mandatory. Let charity begin at home. Badal should set an example by getting dope tests done of his Cabinet colleagues, chief parliamentary secretaries and MLAs and come out in public with their results. This test should also be mandatory for all candidates who wish to enter the election arena in future. All political parties should come forward in this regard. The government will definitely derive credibility from this decision.

SS DHILLON, California (USA)

Addiction needs cure

The Punjab Government’s proposal to provide treatment instead of prison term to drug addicts seems to be a positive step towards controlling the drug menace. Addiction is a disease and needs treatment rather than punishment. After identifying that a person is a drug-dependent and not a peddler, he should be given an opportunity to choose between treatment for addiction and prison. I am sure most of them will opt for treatment. The government should set up drug courts which can send the addicts for treatment and monitor their progress.

Dr Mehboob Singh, Bathinda

Horse has bolted

With reference to the news that the Punjab Government has made the dope test mandatory for aspirants of government jobs, it can be said that the government has decided to lock the door after the horse has bolted. The government has woken up to the problem of drugs after getting a jolt from the public in the recent parliamentary elections. The drug trade in Punjab is flourishing due to the politician-police nexus. Former IGP Shashikant has often said that politicians are patronising drug dealers. Only habitual drug addicts are being sent to prison. The big sharks are roaming free and doing their business of drugs as usual. The influx of drug addicts in jails has made the prisons overcrowded and unmanageable. Now the government is mulling providing immunity to drug addicts if they volunteer for de-addiction. Most of the de-addiction centres are being run by NGOs that allegedly manipulate records to show that they have helped de-addict a large number of addicts so that they can collect handsome grants from state and central governments. These privately run de-addiction centres also charge hefty amounts from the families of addicts. Will the government be bold enough to order a dope test of all MLAs?

Arun Hastir, (Babehali) Gurdaspur

Test all youths

The decision of the Punjab Government to make the dope test mandatory for all fresh recruitments is appreciable in view of the rampant drug addiction in the state (“Now, dope test must for govt jobs”, August 15). It would be more appropriate if this test is extended for admission in institutes after Class X. This will bring a sense of responsibility among the students going in for higher studies and help them shun this social evil which is ruining the lives of youths.


Test govt staff, too

It is good that the Punjab Government has made the dope test compulsory for all those entering government service. But what about those already in service and addicted to drugs? It is worse if they happen to be in the police as they would be lenient towards drug addicts and peddlers.

The dope test must be made compulsory for all government employees and ministers. The addicted ones should be weeded out of service. Only then can we hope for some relief.

Sher Singh, Patiala

Govt testing patience

Punjab has been enslaved by the drug mafia. Families have lost their sons to it. The incident of shoe-throwing at the CM in Khanna, though condemnable, must give food for thought to the CM, Deputy CM and his government about their functioning and ability to solve people's problems. People's patience seems to be getting exhausted. Ministers must observe austerity in spending public money. The bureaucracy and police are neck-deep in corruption. How come drugs are sold from jails? The Badals must concentrate on Punjab and its people instead of getting mired in gurdwara politics. Everything works in slow motion mode in Punjab Government offices. The Akali-BJP combine needs to to do heart-searching.

Brij Bhushan Goyal, Ludhiana

Why mum, Badal?

Punjab Chief Minister Badal is mum on some key issues. Being close to the BJP, he should ensure that those guilty of the 1984 anti-Sikh riots are duly punished. PM Narendra Modi is visiting many states, offering to build metros, dams, industry and other big projects. But it seems that he is not bothered about Punjab and its people. It is the right time for the state to get its long-pending demands. Otherwise, the people will lose trust in the Akalis.

Hardip S. Bhengura, via email

RIP, Pran Sahib

Apropos the news “Chacha Chaudhary creator Pran dies” (August 7), I am from the generation which grew up reading his enthrallingly brilliant creations. Pran Sahib was the father of the Indian comics industry. He chiseled characters like Chacha Chaudhary brandishing a lath and a red turban which was handy in catching criminals in the wink of an eye. His brain worked faster than a computer. Then there was Sabu, the native of Jupiter. And Chachi who is sick of making thousands of rotis for Sabu, Chacha Chaudhary's twin brother Chajja Chaudhary, Sabu's brother Daabu, dacoits like Dhamaka Singh and Gobar Singh and Oga Singh, the truck driver. Not forgetting Raka. They all still enthrall us.

The best tribute to Pran Sahib will be to carry forward his legacy of cartoons to the next generation.

Jaswinder Singh Negi, Doraha

Partial view

Kuldip Nayar, in his article Partition left only refugees (August 13), has been partial to Muslims by stating that Muslims have been the biggest losers because of the Partition. He does not have a drop of tear for the displaced Hindus and Sikhs. Muslims got two homelands in East and West Pakistan.

JS AURORA, Chandigarh

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: [email protected]



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