Economic status census

REFER to the article ‘Caste census can change social equations’; dividing the nation over votes has become the sole purpose of political parties to remain in power. On the one hand, we are set to celebrate 75 glorious years of Independence, but on the other, we still want to empower the caste system. The government must work to uplift the poor and needy to reach at the level of self subsistence rather than dividing them on the age-old caste system to remain in power. Give free and qualitative education and health facilities to all to make them capable of equality in status. It looks like successive governments actually want to keep the poor as poor and remain shackled in the caste system. This helps them to garner votes on the name of religion, caste and society. Make the next census free from caste and include economic status of people for their uplift.

Wg Cdr Jasbir s Minhas (retd), Mohali

NDA for women

Apropos of the SC verdict to allow women to appear for the NDA exam, the Air Force and Navy have acted in a more liberal way. However, the Army never gave permanent commission till the verdict of the Supreme Court. Women empowerment is the need of the hour and the judgment of the SC will encourage more women to join the NDA.

Rukma Sharma, Jalandhar

Biden’s betrayal speech

Apropos of ‘Biden’s blame game’, the US withdrawal will go down in history as a lesson in how a superpower does business with the world. Biden's definition of the objective of the war in Afghanistan as not nation-building but preventing a ‘terrorist attack on America’ contradicted years of US policy and involvement in Afghanistan. But Biden’s speech was most egregious when he described Afghans as a people who don't have the will to fight their own war. Apparently, Afghan soldiers who were killed fighting alongside the US and NATO troops count for nothing. In Biden’s speech, there was no acknowledgement, even for form’s sake, of the uncertain future the Afghan people and the entire region now face. For India this is a new challenge, as on the back of US presence, it had built on its age-old ties with Afghanistan. Pakistan, which has finally achieved its objectives of its Afghanistan policy with the Taliban victory, will want to clip India’s wings. India has a tough task ahead in rebalancing equations in the region and beyond, even as it shores up security. It will be a test of India’s foreign policy.

EL SINGH, by mail

Statue vandalism

Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s statue was vandalised in Lahore for the third time. This shows how unaware and misinformed people are, especially youth. Ranjit Singh was a secular leader who stood up for all religions and gave equal rights to all. He safeguarded the interests of all against the British. Strict action should be taken against such extremist leaders who influence young minds against the integrity of society so that such things don’t get repeated. Top leaders of Pakistan must speak up and the government should embrace the image of secular leaders like Ranjit Singh by creating awareness about his good will and actions through social media documentaries, news presentations and providing educational introductions at school and university levels. Efforts need to be made to maintain harmony in society.

Harsimranvir Singh, Patiala

Water samples

In reference to ‘79% water samples fail portability test in Muktsar’; the samples should also be tested for nitrogen content (urea) and residues of highly toxic granulated insecticides like ‘padan’ (Cartap hydrochloride) and Ferrtera which are being used by farmers in far excess amounts in standing water in rice fields throughout Punjab. Thousands of tons of such insecticides are being pumped into the soil every year by the farmers to satisfy their quest for getting higher yields of paddy in spite of the fact that the PAU does not recommend their use. These insecticides and chemical fertilisers have polluted the whole water aquifer in Punjab.

Satinderpal Singh, Muktsar

Fiscal propriety

Apropos of ‘CM announces BDO office at Darlaghat’, in the run-up to the byelections, the CM is giving fiscal propriety a miss. The new age heralded by improvements in IT and road networks should require lesser physical interaction with government offices. After announcing SDM offices at Jubbal, Kotkhai and Balichowki a few days ago, the new BDO office comes as no surprise. No wonder Himachal has the second highest debt/GDP ratio among states and this penchant for profligacy will further burden the strained exchequer. The focus should be on macro development issues, besides health and tourism sectors.

Gurjyot Singh, Shimla

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