Letters to the editor
Apropos of ‘3 die in B’luru firing after MLA’s house attacked over a post’ (August 13), the incident reeks of political conspiracy. The well-armed violent mobs indicate a planned riot that was done to create unrest in the city. But the situation right now should not be given a communal angle. This wrongful act was done by a group of people. Not only the miscreants, but also those who provoked them should be brought before the law and punished. In times like these, where we need everyone to stand strong and together, such incidents are disheartening.
Ayushi Bisht, Dehradun
Refer to ‘Boost for defence industry’, there was a long-standing need for boosting indigenous manufacturing and creating an extensive infrastructure base for producing military hardware, the import of which consumed a major part of the defence Budget. There is no doubt that local industry will lap up the opportunity to enhance their business, but the main impediment will be the non-availability of cutting-edge technology to meet the global standards. Arjuna tank took 35 years from the drawing board to production line, and it still has some glitches. The LCA took three decades, in which the indigenously produced Kaveri engine did not give the required performance, compelling us to import the engine from the US. The government should create a separate department for manufacturing intelligence to keep pace with the world.
Col Kuldip S Grewal (Retd), Patiala
Step up R&D
The decision to put an embargo on 101 defence items is a good piece of politics, besides its potential implications (editorial ‘Boost for defence industry’, Aug 11). The decision needs to be implemented in the light of the new dictum, ‘technology desired, technology achieved’. For focused R&D, a qualitatively different environment must be created, which is easier said than done. But whenever political leadership is positive and committed, desirable results have materialised sooner than later.
Jagvinder Singh Brar, Patiala
Apropos of the editorial ‘Equal rights for daughters’ (Aug 13), the SC acknowledging equal rights for daughters on a par with sons as equal inheritors is a verdict that is being praised all over the country. Our society has always been male dominated. The verdict is a bold step and will act as a catalyst to empower women and treat them equally. But a change in the mindset of the people on a personal level will make a huge impact rather than the amendments being made to the Constitution.
Utkarsh Kapoor, Chandigarh
Apropos of ‘Equal rights for daughters’ (Aug 13), a daughter is a daughter for life. We welcome the decision of the Supreme Court that upholds a daughter’s right to inherit parental property as absolute. This is a step towards promoting equality for women. Property rights are fundamental to a woman’s social, economic and legal security. A great day in the march for gender equality.
Mehak chaturvedi, Chandigarh
Way too negligent
We all are equally responsible for the surge in Covid cases. People can be seen without masks at public places and social distancing is given the least priority, even at places where it is easy to maintain. In some places, there is no facility to sanitise or wash hands, and the places where it is provided, people often don’t use them. Our conscience, rather than fines, should compel us to follow the guidelines for our as well as the safety of others.
Mandeep Kaur, Jalandhar
Population stabilisation fortnight is observed from July 11 to July 24 every year, with practically no impact on awareness among the public about population control. India is still expanding in population in quantity, adversely affecting the quality of population. All-round improvements can be brought in by stabilising or controlling the population, which is already long overdue. Unemployment among youth, increasing number of beggars on the roadside, rush and traffic overload, all are related directly or indirectly to population explosion. One or two-child policy is the need of the hour. What is needed is political and administrative will at the highest level.
Anil Garg, Raipur Rani
Refer to ‘Shimla MC to shame pet owners for not cleaning poop’ (Aug 12); it is a laudable decision. But this nuisance is not that easy to solve. Until the decision is converted into effective action, it will only remain a good intention. Cities across India are constantly experimenting with solutions. There is scientific evidence that dog waste is an environment pollutant and a human health hazard too. It may contain certain pathogens that can cause people to get sick.
K Kumar, Panchkula
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@tribunemail.com
Apropos of ‘Global N-order in a flux’ (Aug 12), nuclear use today is fraught with an unimaginable holocaust for all living creatures on the planet as the present nuclear arsenals are a thousand times more powerful. The world needs to build a strong movement against nuclear pile-up, and, therefore, the UN must be strengthened, impartially playing its part in freeing the world of nuclear danger. India, the land of the Buddha, Mahavira, Guru Nanak and Gandhi, who strived for peace, compassion and universal brotherhood, should take an out-of-the-box lead for peace.
Sudershan walia, Amritsar
Wasting nation’s time
Apropos of ‘A needless crisis’ (Aug 12), the decision on the impeachment of former US President Bill Clinton mentioned that though no charge was proved, the nation’s time, which could have been used for productive purposes, was lost. The same is the case here. Valuable time was lost which could have been better used during the Covid phase. But Indian politicians do not care about it due to their mindset. The Congress must have a full-time president, otherwise, similar incidents will happen in other parts of the country, too.
Yash Pal Ralhan, Jalandhar
Message from Rajasthan
The month-long stalemate in Rajasthan seems to have come to an amicable end. But it has conveyed an uninspiring message to the aam aadmi. Gehlot, despite being a seasoned politician, lost his cool and resorted to improper language. He was at his worst conduct during the crisis. The fear of losing the chair unnerved him. On the contrary, Pilot conducted himself with dignity and was composed throughout. We need such educated politicians (irrespective of party) who deserve a chance to run the government. The sinking ship of the Congress can be saved only by such leaders. It is hoped that the party high command realises this and has learnt a lesson.
Prem Kumar Sharma, Chandigarh
Kohinoor of Urdu poetry
The accursed coronavirus pandemic has taken the life of the Kohinoor of modern Urdu poetry. Tears welled up in my eyes on reading his obituary. Rahat Indori was my favourite poet. He was a poet of bearami and bechaini (restlessness). He wrote about burning issues. His daring couplet is quoted often: ‘Jo aaj sahibe-masnad hain, kal nahin honge; Kirayedar hain, zati makan thodi hai/Sabhi ka khoon hai shamil yahan ki mitti mein; Kisi ke baap ka Hindustan thodi hai!’ He would steal the show in mushairas and kavi sammelans, mesmerising audiences with his inimitable dramatic style of presentation of his poems and ghazals. He motivated the youth with couplets like: ‘Toofanon se aankh milao sailabon pe vaar karo, Malahon ka chakkar chhodo tair ke dariya paar karo!’ When at a book fair, I purchased all the books of Rahat Indori, the bookseller asked me if the poet was my relative. Replying in the affirmative, I told him, ‘Khoon ka nahin, rooh ka rishta hai.’
Jaswant Singh Gandam, Phagwara
Rahat bhai will be missed
Rahat bhai will live forever in the minds of those who value freedom of expression of voice, thoughts, and above all, alignment with a clear-cut concept of nationalism. A widely travelled personality, who was at home everywhere, Rahat Indori always mesmerised his audience with his unique style of rendering nazms and kept them spellbound. May his soul rest in peace. We will forever miss him.
Deepak Kumar, Panchkula
Fake research degrees
The large-scale proliferation of fake and fraudulent research degrees has engulfed colleges and universities of Haryana (‘500 PhD degrees under lens’; July 30). Such spurious research degrees are being issued by private universities in Himachal Pradesh and also in Rajasthan on monetary considerations. Persons holding such degrees are penetrating into private and aided colleges affiliated to Kurukshetra University. It is laudable that a probe has been ordered in all government colleges to verify the veracity of research degrees obtained from these private universities.
Manish Singh, Kurukshetra
In many states, the flood situation is grim. It happens every year. People have to pay a heavy price and it disrupts the economy. It costs loss of lives and properties. Building indiscriminately and illegal mining is only adding to the problem. The culprits should be punished. To make sure that the flood situation does not get out of hand, safety arrangements should be made before the onset of the rainy season to mitigate the loss of life and property.
Narender K Sharma, Joginder Nagar
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@tribunemail.com
Refer to the editorial ‘Boost for defence industry’ (Aug 11); manufacturing defence equipment will give India a unique identity, more so since India is one of the biggest defence importers. The Defence Ministry’s decision to set aside Rs 4 lakh crore for defence development within the next five to seven years will give employment to many Indians. Defence privacy would be easily maintained. India has huge manpower and low labour cost. It will surely boost the economy. LAC Tejas was manufactured by HAL, which has shown India’s ability to make defence goods with excellent quality.
Ashwani Kumar, Chandigarh
Making in India
The development regarding the manufacture of defence equipment in India is a matter of great satisfaction. Embargo in a phased manner will lead to major reforms to boost the domestic defence industry. Over the next five to seven years, orders worth several lakh crores would have been placed for defence procurement. A clear signal has been sent to the indigenous industry regarding commitment and the government’s intent. Indeed, a very good step has been taken.
Subhash C Taneja, Gurugram
In the right direction
Refer to ‘To empower small farmers, PM launches Rs 1L cr finance facility’ (Aug 10); the creation of a comprehensive post-harvest infrastructure can be a game-changer in agriculture. Most of the storage infrastructure is not owned by farmers. This also means that they are forced to sell their entire produce in one go after the harvest, and when the prices are low. Laudable as the scheme is, its benefits will only accrue in the medium to long terms. In this context, the government must not lose sight of the immediate economic challenge of boosting growth and incomes. The actual fiscal boost to the economy doesn’t match the scale of the government’s big-ticket announcement.
N Sadhasiva Reddy, Bengaluru
Back-to-back fire cases at Covid-19 facility centres are a wake-up call for the government. All such tragic events have proved that those bearing the responsibility of safety regulations have only paid lip service. Exemplary action is the need of the hour, or else such cases will continue to occur. It is appalling that only 30 per cent cities have a master plan in case of an emergency, and even those have become obsolete now.
Rahul Chouhan, by mail
A waste of effort!
Apropos of the news ‘Raj crisis ends, prodigal Pilot returns after meeting Rahul’ (Aug 11), what a denouement and what a cost! Pilot, who needed Rahul’s shoulder to cry on and wasted a lot of time and money to keep legislators tucked in five-star resorts by both parties, was a no-show in the end. Gehlot calling Pilot ‘nikamma and nakaara’ is now a thing of the past. Or it is a tactical retreat because the required numbers were not ‘arranged’, despite given enough time for horse-trading? Pilot should be prepared for an ignominious exit and shabby treatment at the hands of a seasoned Gehlot.
Ashok Goswami, by mail
Apropos of ‘SC tells Pb, Hry to list steps taken to curb stubble burning’ (Aug 11), the country is already battling a deadly respiratory disease. The burning of stubble will affect patients in the recovery stage. Moreover, as the air quality deteriorates, the lungs of not only adults but also young children can be affected as it will make them vulnerable to the virus. Be it providing machines or creating awareness among farmers, we need proper policies more than ever before. The governments of the respective states should come up with policies that could help farmers and stop them from burning stubble.
Ayushi Bisht, Dehradun
Need police reforms
Police reforms are the need of the hour. From strength to technical superiority, our police forces are in a pathetic state. People must understand that cursing the police blindly after a crime and worshipping them after an encounter will not bring any positive or real changes on the ground. We must gear up for strong reforms, otherwise, the police will remain ineffective in curbing crime.
Ginish Kumar, Bhiwani
Optical fibre inauguration
Reference to the inauguration of the submarine optical fibre during Covid; when everything has gone virtual, it is a commendable step by the government. This will boost the economy of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands as it will promote the tourism sector. Besides, it will help in defence and employment generation and give an impetus to the economy. It will raise the standard of living while facilitating the delivery of e-governance services such as telemedicine and tele-education.
Neetika Singh, 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: Letters@tribunemail.com
As China is involved in a bitter economic and power struggle with the US, it does not tolerate India’s burgeoning strategic relations with the latter, and wants to run down New Delhi’s national interest (editorial ‘Taking China head-on’, Aug 7). The recent intrusions in Ladakh are symbolic of China’s long-term strategy of capturing the DBO-Karakoram pass and help Pakistan capture the Siachen glacier for the successful operation of its flagship CPEC project. India has boldly refused to move back its forces. Knowing that a stubborn China will negotiate hard and long, India should be cautious. It should counter China diplomatically, economically and militarily. For that, we should revamp our intelligence and border infrastructure, enhance military potential and protect against any possible cyber attacks.
DS Kang, Hoshiarpur
Reference to ‘MoD trims import list, bans 101 items’ (Aug 10); this is a commendable step because the people of India will become fully self-reliant only when the government becomes self-sufficient. India will then move towards ‘atmanirbharta’. We used to depend on other countries for defence equipment and machines, but now we will manufacture it. It will help develop industrial skill, which will make India a source of defence equipment for other nations. It will also increase employment opportunities and save foreign exchange.
Basmati GI tag
Refer to ‘Rice exporters oppose MP basmati rice in GI tagging’ (Aug 8); the controversy on the legal status of the GI tag, granted to aromatic rice varieties grown in the sub-Himalayan region of India, Pakistan, Nepal etc is unwarranted. Basmati has been grown in the Indo-Gangetic plains since ages. India is the largest producer and exporter of rice in the world, with major exports to the Gulf countries accounting for over Rs 25,000 crore annually due to the international recognition of Indian basmati. India, as a member of the WTO, enacted the Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration & Protection) Act, 1999, which came into force in 2003. In order to function as a GI, a sign must identify a product as originating in a given place. In addition, the qualities, characteristics or reputation of the product should be essentially due to the place of origin. Since the qualities depend on the geographical place of production, there is a clear link between the product and its original place of production. The proposed inclusion of aromatic rice varieties grown in non-GI region (MP, etc) will legally weaken the basmati GI status of India, which won the GI tag case in 2001 against the US patent of Texmati aromatic rice obtained by RiceTec company at the international level.
Virender Singh Lather, Karnal
Murder charge apt
Apropos of ‘Slap murder charge on accused, says CM’ (Aug 6), many innocent lives were lost due to the consumption of illicit liquor in the state. This clearly points towards the mentality of the violators behind this serious crime. They have no fear of law and couldn’t care less about the repercussions on human lives for their own selfish motive. The CM has announced stringent steps, including booking the accused under Section 302 (murder charge) under the IPC. At least there is a ray of hope for the family of the victims who are waiting for justice.
Harpreet Sandhu, Ludhiana
Illicit liquor trade
‘Desi tharra’ is a household word in Punjab. Illicit liquor is available in every nook and corner of the state. And the recent tragic death of a hundred people reveals that the administration has been caught on the wrong foot (‘Punjab govt in the dock’, Aug 3). Drug trade and booze are the biggest money spinners in Punjab. The police and bigwigs in the administration provide protection, and, in turn, get a share in the booty. Nothing can happen without the power cover. That is why both products are readily available. The government is a little worried about the widows and orphans who are left to fend for themselves after such hooch tragedies. If our government is sincere and dedicated, there is no reason why the illicit liquor trade can’t be rooted out in Punjab.
KARNAIL SINGH, Kharar
Heritage Street an eyesore
Refer to the deplorable condition of the inundated Heritage Street of Amritsar. This is a routine affair after a rainfall of just half an hour. This Rs 250-crore project, instead of providing a soothing effect, has become an eyesore for the people. Under the smart city scheme, a free Wi-Fi project is in the pipeline in this area. What is the use of having free Wi-Fi in an area where people can’t even walk easily? The same IAS officer is occupying the post of the MC Commissioner and CEO of the smart city project.
Naresh Johar, Amritsar
The RBI decision to permit banks to restructure loans of firms that are being battered by the lockdown seems an unambiguous signal that India is in the midst of one of the worst economic performances since Independence. The RBI has forecast a recession that can undermine the long-term viability of even sound firms, thus affecting jobs and growth. Indian banking has an uninspiring record when it comes to special dispensations on recognising stressed loans. Given the nature of the economic challenges, public investment needs to lead the recovery. The recession will, in any case, render the Budget’s deficit targets meaningless. Another fiscal stimulus package is badly needed now.
MS KHOKHAR, by mail
Refer to ‘A-I plane skids off runway in Kerala, 17 dead, many hurt’ (Aug 8); the pilot cannot be held responsible for the accident. If the runway was slippery or it was not ready for planes to land, how could the airport authority permit the plane to land? What was the ground staff doing? The authorities should investigate the case as soon as possible and take strict action against those responsible.
In an unfortunate event, an Air India aircraft slipped off the runway while landing causing many deaths. The Karipur airport is in a hilly area and has a tabletop runway. This is a master of concern as there have been four major incidents of aircraft slipping on the runway between 2008 and 2017. The government must pay attention to such airports.
Sumit parmar, Hisar
Apropos of ‘Divided, we stand no chance’ (Aug 8), the campaign is a good initiative and all well-meaning Indians must participate in it. But generally, such campaigns are reduced to an ‘intellectual’ exercise by persons who claim to be left-liberal-secularist. Liberal means to be capable of appreciating a diverse point of view. Secularists view religion as a personal affair. For them, the propagators of communalism are Hindus and sufferers are mainly Muslims. Muslim votes are ‘secular’ votes whereas Hindu votes are ‘communal’. Such secularism is reverse communalism. If they term the Ram mandir foundation stone-laying ceremony by the PM as the death of secularism, how is hosting of Iftar parties secular? There are numerous examples of such hypocrisy. How the reversing of Shah Bano decision was secular, as was banning The Satanic Verses? How amendment to Hindu personal laws was secular but talking of a uniform civil code is communal? Communal frenzy is more a result of selective secularism. ‘India Against Hatred’ campaign will be effective if it is targeted against all types of communalism.
Rakesh Gupta, Patiala
What’s changed for J&K?
On August 5, 2019, Article 370 was removed from J&K, and again, on August 5 this year was the bhoomi pujan of the Ram temple. Two historical events were combined, representing a form of politics. How much development has taken place in J&K in this one year? The government had said that after the removal of Article 370, there would be large-scale development. Lakhs of Kashmiri students could not go to school till March, and soon after, schools were closed due to the pandemic. It is difficult to study online on a 2G Internet. Many senior leaders are still in detention and all business is at a standstill.
Win their confidence
The abrogation of Article 370 has removed a psychological barrier from the minds of citizens. It has not only brought relief to some sections, but has also come as a shock to corrupt elements. For the past 70 years, J&K had been receiving 10 per cent of Central funds, despite having a population of 1%, but there was no progress. There is a big question mark on how this money was used for the state and its people. This historic step aims to promote social amalgamation to reduce the threat of militancy. The government, along with the armed forces and prominent citizens, must focus on winning the confidence of the Kashmiris.
ANSHIKA SHARMA, Mohali
Incentives for e-vehicles
The new electric vehicle policy unveiled by Delhi CM Kejriwal was overdue. He came up with financial incentives for those who purchase e-vehicles for the next three years. The Delhi Government will give a benefit of up to Rs 30,000 for a two-wheeler, and for a four-wheeler, a benefit of up to Rs 1.5 lakh. The decision is already showing positive results. This will give a head start to the economy and help in combating pollution. For those keen to buy e-vehicles for commercial purposes, loans will be given at low-interest rates and registration fee and road tax will be waived. Other states also should come up with similar ideas.
Vihaan Gupta, by mail
Refer to the editorial ‘Taking China head-on’ (Aug 7); China seems to be hoping that with its immediate neighbours Pakistan and Nepal breathing down its neck, India will buckle under pressure and make a move to buy peace with China. India’s stand on not retracing from its territory is a sign of resolute and firm stand. China’s attempts to raise the Kashmir issue at the UN are not new, but India should not remain a passive defender all the time. It’s high time India ups the ante on Tibet, its claim on PoK and fortify its position in Bhutan. Let the app ban be followed with a trade ban as well. If China does not relent on Ladakh ‘transgressions’, India must close down the diplomatic mission of China to send a strong signal that such acts are not tolerable anymore.
Ashok Goswami, by mail
Despite several rounds of talks between India and China regarding de-escalation of tension along the LAC, no immediate solution appears in sight. In view of the Galwan incident, China cannot be relied upon as it had attacked Indian soldiers without any provocation. The attack was premeditated. Moreover, China’s expansionistic tendencies and greed for grabbing weaker landlocked territory through unfair means is a never-ending phenomenon. As regards India’s relationship with Russia, though India has had good relations with its long-standing military ally, at the same time, Russia’s rapport with China cannot be overlooked. It is doubtful if Russia will openly extend help to India in case of a conflict. At this stage, it is imperative that India must forge a military pact with the US to effectively check China’s assertiveness, aggressiveness and other nefarious activities.
SANTOKH SINGH, Jalandhar
Do we follow Ram’s ideals?
As expected, PM Modi conducted bhoomi pujan and laid the foundation stone for the construction of the Ram temple with great fanfare. But as the head of the government, he should have avoided performing these mythical rituals belonging to a particular community. There were hundreds of sadhus and sants who would have happily stood in for him in this task. Holy men like Lord Ram belong to the whole humanity, and we should not try to monopolise them for our ulterior motives. The ultimate truth is that had we internalised Lord Ram’s human values and way of life, India would not have been a society riven by strife.
Tarsem Singh, Mahilpur
Child bride saga
Apropos of the editorial ‘Sirmaur’s child brides’ (Aug 7); it was disturbing to read that girls still continue to be married at an early age in the 21st century. It is said a woman has to pass through three stages of birth in her lifetime — when she is born; when she marries, and when she herself becomes a mother. Not only is it legally banned but also morally wrong to marry a girl at an age when she is too immature to understand the meaning of marriage. As a result, she finds herself unable to cooperate with her husband and becomes unnaturally quiet as she accepts everything unquestioningly, considering it to be her fate. It is an ugly blot on our society which we collectively need to remove. A girl has an equal share in the story of human growth. She has always been in solidarity with her male counterparts to shoulder every responsibility. She should be given complete freedom to steer her own life.
Kapil Sharma, Kaithal
Long queues at Chitra
The middle ‘Ram Rajya at Chitra Talkies’ took me down memory lane. Chitra Talkies ranked first in Punjab for maximum seating capacity of any cinema hall in the state. It had two balconies, the second on a great height, hence, ticket for this was equivalent to the lower stall. The queue for tickets was rather long, but children used to get tickets without getting into the queue, a special privilege not available anywhere else!
Naresh Mohan Johar, Amritsar
Long way to go
Refer to the editorial ‘J&K, a year later’ (Aug 5); a year is too less to expect ground-breaking results for a problem as complex as the Kashmir imbroglio. From the security point of view, the Centre has done well in maintaining relative peace in the aftermath of the abrogation of Article 370, but a militaristic approach alone is not enough to eradicate terrorism. The government must find ways to resume Internet facility followed by starting of economic activities to generate employment and avenues of livelihood. Special focus must be given to youngsters who have just entered school age. Efforts must be made to prevent radicalisation and develop a bond of trust with India. The journey to normalcy has just started. It is a long way before complete peace is achieved in the Valley.
SK Sharma, Panipat
The ground-breaking ceremony of Ram mandir at Ayodhya after a long wait is a glorious and historic moment for the Hindu community, but organising such an event on a large scale and spending a huge amount of money for the bhoomi pujan ceremony is not a wise step when the economy of the country lies shattered. The event should have been organised in a simple way and the money spent on it used for the welfare of the needy.
Sukhdev Singh Minhas, Mohali
PM should have kept away
Refer to ‘PM lays stone, says Ram belongs to all’ (Aug 6); one question comes to mind. Was it appropriate, unavoidable and constitutionally correct for the PM to lay the foundation of the temple that has a long history of disputes attached to it. In a secular democracy, the PM is not expected to represent any particular religion or organisation. Religious affiliations of the head of a state should be confined within the four walls of his home.
SANJAY CHOPRA, Mohali
Extend gesture to masjid
The bhoomi pujan ceremony went off peacefully. But it would have been much better had the PM attended the ground-breaking ceremony for the proposed new Masjid also, having earlier persuaded the Muslim clergy to plan the unique event simultaneously. This gesture would certainly have assured the minorities that they too matter. He would have won the hearts of not only millions of Muslims, but also of secular-minded Hindus. It is still not too late. The actual digging for laying the foundation is likely to take time. The PM should give true meaning to the rhetoric of ‘sabka saath, sabka vikas’.
Amritlal Madan, Kaithal
New Pak map
The new map unveiled by Pakistan has created a lot of disturbance again. Along with Kashmir, Pakistan has incorporated Junagarh in the map which is ridiculous. The J&K border links both India and Pakistan, but Junagarh does not share its border with Pakistan. India should give a befitting answer to Pakistan. Kashmir, too, is an integral part of India.
Ramanjot Kaur, Jalandhar
It is shocking that so many lives have been lost because of spurious liquor (Aug 5). Every year, because of spurious liquor, many people die. In 2011 and 2015, altogether 182 people died in West Bengal because of spurious liquor. Also as per WHO report, alcohol kills 2.6 lakh Indians every year, either by causing liver cirrhosis, cancer or leading to road accidents because of drunk driving. All government departments should be invigorated so that deaths due to alcohol are scaled down. Particularly, the excise department should see that spurious alcohol is not prepared and sold.
Shankar Chatterjee, Hyderabad
Depriving others of seat
Refer to ‘PEC grad, doctor shine in Civil Services exam’ (Aug 5); irresponsible, newly qualified administrators have deprived deserving medical and engineering aspirants of a chance to enter their respective fields. If they were so inclined to join the services, why did they ruin the chances for others? Their seats could have gone to those truly keen to become engineers and doctors. The relevant qualification for the IAS is arts, more specifically political science and public administration. Such candidates harm the system and cannot be taken as ‘dedicated’ to any field of service.
MPS Chadha, Mohali
Help them contribute
The UPSC has declared the Civil Services exam results. Many successful candidates have shown their keen interest to develop and restructure the education system of India. But when it comes to ground reality, our young and talented officers either get diverted or refracted to some other zones of working. A cluster system should be implemented in these appointments, so that every officer can do a conclusive job with undivided attention.
Gagandeep singh, Jalandhar
Learning from animals
‘Who is to tell who is an animal!’ (Aug 6) conveys a precious message; humans have a lot to learn from animals. Only a few hours after going through the piece, I noticed many crows cawing and surrounding an injured crow in a park, a message of concern about fellow beings. Sadly, a morning before, nobody was aware of the death of an elderly woman in the neighbourhood. We can pick up more from animals than the Internet. I am a septuagenarian, and in these past seven decades, I have never read about a dog who is disloyal to its master, a trait reserved only for human beings. Siberian cranes migrate to India after flying thousands of miles, indeed a strong message of patience and optimism. Group hunting by hyenas, wild dogs, wolves and lions conveys a message of cooperation and collaboration.
VK Anand, Chandigarh
The absence of a couple of leading faces of a struggle for the past three decades notwithstanding, the bhoomi pujan ceremony for the construction of the Ram temple has, at last, been accomplished amid all religious, political and social rituals. Now, let us hope that the imaginative wish of Ram rajya comes true, where merit, truthfulness, justice for all, equality among all sections of society, irrespective of caste, class, creed, religion, gender etc, prevail.
KK Sood, Nangal
Soft touch must
Since the reorganisation of J&K and the abrogation of its special status, there have been conflicting claims about economic development, infrastructure, democracy, freedom, rights, job opportunities and eradication of corruption ( ‘J&K, a year later’ and ‘A case of hits and misses’, Aug 5). Undoubtedly, the overall security environment has improved with the scale of terrorist violence and civilian deaths declining drastically, but the government still faces the formidable challenge of emotional integration of the Kashmiri people. Restrictions on Internet services, suppression of dissenting voices and detention of political leaders are the main irritants. The government should immediately release all political prisoners, start the process of holding free and fair elections and restore statehood. A soft approach will win the confidence of the people as well as the international community.
DS Kang, Hoshiarpur
Many have lost their lives due to the consumption of spurious alcohol in Punjab. Alcohol is considered an integral part of Punjabi culture, and is also a major contributor to revenue. Addiction to anything is bad, and the same goes for alcohol, yet our songs — Punjabi as well as Bollywood — glorify its consumption as a habit and as an antidote to miseries. What we see and listen to, whether it is good or bad, always has an impact, more so on teenagers.
Mandeep Kaur, Jalandhar
Lone sane voice
Refer to former Himachal CM Shanta Kumar’s advice to his party to not deviate from value-based politics (Aug 4); he seems particularly concerned about the machinations in destabilising the Rajasthan government. His is a sane, but lone voice in the BJP in the state. Leaders of his ilk are not many. The BJP has shunned the principles that made it ‘a party with a difference’. That is the price it is paying for being the biggest party in the country.
Sanjiv Sharma, Pragpur
Don’t deserve relief
The SC had directed Airtel to pay additional cess, but unable to pay, it has approached the Centre, DoT and the SC to reconsider the same, and also seek permission to pay the cess in many instalments, otherwise, the company may be liquidated. This issue is applicable to various other companies that are facing financial hardships. If the government bails them out, it will put a burden on the exchequer. When these companies are in huge profits, they do not pay anything extra to the government. Why should the government consider any kind of relief for them? It is against public interest. Their management is fully responsible for their working. CEOs draw huge salaries. The government should not consider their appeal.
Deepak Saraf, Rampura Phul
The write-up ‘Travails of a staff officer’ (The Sunday Tribune, Aug 2) raises some significant questions. Given the specific requirements of staff/field postings, an intelligent officer adapts faster to new persons and situations to build confidence-inspiring relations and reputation. Whether one is lazy, intelligent or hard working to fit into the British period army classification gets reflected not only in one’s personal elevation, but also the actual quality of conditions of one’s area of operation, and the overall condition of the organisation if one heads it. Given the ever-increasing number of organisations and institutions regressing quality-wise, the review of the British period classification assumes significance. Punjab that has come to pass as a laggard state, needs to reorient its 3.15 lakh employees to restore its premier position in terms of pre-Independence classification. The police and paramilitary forces can also try it out.
Jagvinder Singh Brar, Patiala
Unfair to employees
Apropos of ‘Revenue dips, govt holds up staff salary’ (Aug 4), employees have to bear the brunt of inefficient planning of the state Finance Ministry. GST refund not released by the Centre and non-tax revenue falling because of lockdown is not the concern of employees. It is the duty of the government to plan for such exigencies. Employees should get their dues in time, just like MLAs and ministers get theirs without delay. The state FM’s statement that he has written to the Union FM will not suffice. It will not fill the bellies of the families of the employees.
Raj Kumar Kapoor, Ropar
Refer to the editorial ‘Politics and spirituality’ (Aug 4); politics and religion have remained connected to each other for decades. Any event, be it a foundation ceremony or riots, related to any religious place is used by politicians for their vested interests. Nobody is interested in the principles of religion. It is said religion is regarded by common people as true, by wise as false and by rulers as useful. What about social distancing, which is necessary as a preventive measure for the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, during these ceremonies?
Vikramjit Singh, Amritsar
Not much of an issue
Refer to the editorial ‘Politics and spirituality’; the timing of the ground-breaking ceremony has been blown out of proportion. A large chunk of population is indifferent to the anniversary of the abolition of Article 370 and even the construction of the temple, when they do not know what is in store for them the next morning in terms of physical, mental and economic wellbeing. For all practical purposes, this has given enough fodder to the news channels to dissect the issue, other than Covid. People ought to heave a sigh of relief that these two burning and contentious issues shall be history, and hopefully the government shall get down to serious business which shall bring development and prosperity to the country.
Deepak Singhal, Chennai
Mind Delhi, Mr Kejriwal
Punjab toll due to spurious liquor is painful and definitely the state police are accountable. Remarks of Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal that ‘so many people have died and all you are interested in is political meat from the incident’ is uncalled for (‘Capt lashes out at Kejriwal over CBI probe demand’, Aug 3). Kejriwal should mind his own business and look after Delhi instead of interfering in affairs of other states. He should not forget that many lapses have taken place in his state where the people have suffered badly. He should set his own house in order.
OP GARG, PATIALA
Get to bottom of it
Apropos of ‘Punjab govt in the dock’ (Aug 3), the hooch tragedy has unmasked the glaring inadequacies in the state apparatus. Passing the buck would tantamount to trivialising the tragedy. It is time to wake up to this grim reality. The ostensibly complicit political dispensation should come out of its slumber and order an independent inquiry by a sitting HC judge. Undoubtedly, the excise department has a fair share of the blame but a more pernicious aspect relates to the nexus between politicians and the police. The emergence of such a spectre in a small district like Tarn Taran reveals that the civil and police administration cannot be oblivious to this operation. Let’s hope that this tragedy serves as an eye-opener.
Education mattered then
Refer to ‘The heyday of govt schools’; those were the golden days when holistic development of students of government schools was cared for. Now, the attention has shifted to ‘opulent’ schools rather than teaching methodologies, resulting in the degradation of quality education and widening of the gap between private and government schools. Efforts made to cover this gap are hailed. Revival in the education system can be brought about by diminishing the divide as well as restoring dedication and quality.
Deepti garg, by mail
Colleges alone won’t help
Refer to ‘11 new colleges to be opened soon’ (Aug 4); instead of opening new colleges on political and extraneous considerations, the Haryana Government should try to streamline the administration of existing colleges, both government and non-government. They are violating the mandatory provisions of Haryana Affiliated Colleges (Security of Service) Act 1979 and rules of 2006 framed there under in the matter of the constitution of college governing body, method of recruitment and service conditions of teachers. The higher education department has failed to take action. BEd and engineering colleges are already on the verge of closure due to poor quality of education and teaching. Degree colleges shall also fall in line soon. It is no longer realistic to relate job opportunities to our devalued university degrees. No knowledgeable employer these days reckons a university degree at its face value.
Anil Bhatia, Hisar
An irrigation project was awarded to a company in 2014 under PMKSY at Nadaun in Hamirpur. Six years have elapsed, but even Phase 1 of the project is yet to see the light of day (‘Minister for time-bound completion of works’, Aug 3). This has resulted in cost escalation and has deprived the youth of job opportunities. Timely execution will ensure livelihood to the needy in the command area that envisages to cover about 3,000 hectares.
NK Pathania, Hamirpur
Apropos of the editorial ‘Criminal contempt of court’ (Aug 3), corruption is rampant in all departments in the country and those dealing with the public are more corrupt than others. Defence and judiciary are considered to be less corrupt because of internal checks. Judiciary has recommended that its functioning be kept out of the ambit of the RTI. According to the Transparency International, judicial corruption in India is attributable to factors like delays in the disposal of cases, shortage of judges and complex judicial procedures. Impeachment procedure of corrupt judges is very complex and time-consuming; whistleblowers fearing invocation of contempt of court is another factor. In a democracy, ‘we the people’ have the power to elect governing bodies of our choice, and should also have the right to transparency in functioning of the government, including the judiciary.
COL KULDIP S GREWAL (RETD), PATIALA
Apropos of the editorial ‘Criminal contempt of court’, the SC’s contempt of court against senior lawyer and activist Prashant Bhushan is based on the assumption that the courts can never be wrong. It has been recognised by jurists that each time the offence of ‘scandalising’ the court or lowering the court’s authority is invoked, some tend to believe that the court has something to hide. Contempt of court is more and more an anachronism in a democracy — it has been circumscribed and rejected in the US and the UK. It is time to usher in judicial accountability.
SS Paul, Nadia
The death of over a hundred persons due to spurious liquor in Punjab is a painful tragedy, especially for the near and dear ones of the victims. But the politics over the whole affair leaves a bad taste. Weren’t the panchayats and villagers, who are now demonstrating outside the police stations and hospitals, aware of the goings on? When the government is giving a compensation of Rs 50 lakh to the families of martyrs, an MLA has demanded Rs 1 crore for the families of hooch victims. What a cheap way to score political brownie points. Rather than politics, it is time for introspection for politicians, the police and the public to avoid such gruesome tragedies in future.
Lt Col Harbinder Singh (Retd), Patiala
Reference to spurious liquor killing over 100 people in Punjab; the news is shocking and calls for a serious debate on the prevailing law and order situation in Punjab. To lose a breadwinner is unfortunate. Only the wearer knows where the shoe pinches. Bootlegging has been going on in Punjab under the very nose of the powers that be. No serious efforts have ever been made to contain this malady. The government should devise ways to avoid the recurrence of such incidents.
Santosh Jamwal, Hamirpur
Can’t do away with exams
Refer to the NEP; I have observed that the major trouble with the reformists is that they hate exams. They cite exam pressure and the weight of books children carry as two major reasons to play with the education system. What they do not understand is that if you teach well and students take interest in studies, there is no such pressure. Exams are a very important component of education as it tests the ability and capability of a student. The crux of the problem is poor teaching and learning environment in classrooms, especially in government schools. No amount of structural changes will be able to improve learning unless we recognise the facts for what they are.
DS Hooda, Rohtak
Not the end of world
It is really shocking to learn that on an average, Ludhiana saw one suicide per day during the lockdown. It might be the story of other cities across the country. The bitter truth is that lockdown has snatched the ways and means of livelihood of a majority of the people, which is an immediate cause of depression during this phase. But we must realise that it is a temporary phase and it will abate soon. Birbal rightly said to Akbar, ‘Yeh waqt bhi guzar jayega.’ So, we must not lose hope and try to adopt a positive attitude. It is a precious gift by God. Spend time with your family and share your feelings with others.
Bir Devinder Singh Bedi, Sangrur
The middle ‘The twilight zone of reason’ is praiseworthy. Big claims by babas and illiterate people will go on unless people develop a scientific temper. These claims should be scrutinised before they are aired because a majority of the people, being illiterate, try to find quick and cheaper treatment. Most channels are showing such miraculous treatment of all diseases just for TRPs. The media should be more responsible.
RC Garg, KotKapura
No self-correction can be expected from the bureaucracy (‘Inscrutable Indian babu’; Nous Indica, Aug 1). Indian politics has become a fortune hunting ground for those having an insatiable greed for wealth and power. The Indian babu is a facilitator-cum-partner in the game. This nexus is responsible for all the ills of society and the country. As a result, the poor remain ignored, deprived and tormented. Certainly, there are many upright and honest bureaucrats but they are very few and far between. They remain marginalised and most of them choose to keep to themselves seeing the condition of others like them who are tortured by frequent transfers, implicated in false cases, and even liquidated. It will be too much to expect any remedial steps from them. To further lower, whatsoever remains of their morale, even our autonomous constitutional institutions, apart from investigating agencies, are also becoming facilitators of misrule. The only possibility is the awakening of the Indian, whom the writer sees as ‘easily excitable’. But that is a far cry.
HL Sharma, Amritsar
Gone too far
Refer to ‘Inscrutable Indian babu’ (Nous Indica, Aug 1); diplomats are one of the pillars of a country’s administration, and when this pillar gets wrecked, it poses a great threat to a country’s integrity and governance. It is shameful that gold was smuggled in bags that were passed through customs as diplomatic cargo. Introspection and credibility are indeed needed, without which the country is doomed.
Jashan Goyal, Bathinda
China can’t be trusted
Apropos of the editorial ‘Chinese checkers’ (Aug 1), China, as a nation, has a ‘psychological’ problem, it seems. In recent times, it has made unprecedented progress to become second in the world, militarily and economically. This has gone to its head. It now wants to be number one. India, in South Asia, is an obstacle, and therefore it wants to keep us on edge. The Chinese ambassador’s five points are reassuring, but after the 1962 back-stabbing, poet Bashir Badar wrote, ‘Yaron ki mohabbat ka yakeen kar liya maine, phoolon me chhupa hua khanjar nahin dekha’.
BM SINGH, AMRITSAR
It is painful to read about the deaths caused by the consumption of spurious liquor in Punjab. Spurious liquor has been in news for long in the state. It is further disheartening to read that the police are involved indirectly in all such scandals. Policemen have turned a blind eye. Corruption is at the roots. Will the authorities take these policemen to task for ignoring this business for two decades in the region, where these deaths have taken place?
Kuldip Dosanjh, Jalandhar
Beyond lip service
Refer to ‘Education in disarray’ (July 29); the pandemic has caused a double whammy to the education sector. All stakeholders are confused and concerned. Students are on the brink of losing a session, parents and schools are at loggerheads regarding the payment of fee and teachers are at the receiving end from school managements. Only a small section of student community is engaged in online learning. Many senior teachers have lost their jobs for failing to cope with the new system. Other sectors too are bearing the brunt of the pandemic. The government has not thought beyond distributing ration to poor sections of society. The states as well as the Centre must act beyond lip sympathy and do something concrete to assist these sectors.
VISHNU SHARMA, AMRITSAR
Apropos of ‘Jadhav case: Pak Bench to hear review petition’, years of clashes between India and Pakistan are not showing any results. Instead of settling conflicts, they are getting stretched due to some reason or the other. India is fervently fighting for freedom of Kulbhushan Jadhav since 2017. Keeping aside the ongoing quarrel, the apex court and laws of both nations should professionally and patiently look at facts which may lead us to something.
Tanishka Bahl, Dehradun
Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot was adamant on convening an Assembly session from July 31, but he had to blink first in his battle of attrition with the Governor by agreeing to hold the session from August 14. Though many constitutional functionaries were consulted to resolve the political crisis, it seems a satisfactory solution eluded them all. This is most unfortunate because of the long-term implications of such machinations for democracy. The ugly reality is that the Rajasthan-like situation is becoming quite common in Indian politics.
PL Singh, by mail
The NEP is out after a long wait. It heralds a new and better change but there are doubts about its implementation. There are many issues but three appear to be more important. A paragraph has been devoted to the creation of Indian Education Service (IES). This service, hopefully, will be more effective in implementing the NEP, which needs a more human and pedagogical approach. IES should be created on administrative and teaching sides to make them interchangeable. It will not suffice if it is restricted only to the posts of Registrar of universities. Secondly, the recommended foundational stage of five years seems to be a patchwork. If pre-school education is attached with every Kendriya Vidyalaya, why not with every government school in states? Organisational hurdles can be addressed adequately. Thirdly, learning language/medium of instruction is also a half-hearted approach. The provision follows many roadblocks in view of English getting an important position at home, in schools and many service matters.
S Kumar, PANCHKULA
Reference to the July 31 editorial ‘A new beginning’; before and after 1947, matriculation was the requirement for entrance to higher education in colleges. Then, 10+2 streams brought more changes, but NEP-2020 promises much-needed reforms. It offers a bright ray of hope, as it is ambitious and forward-looking. Though there are many challenges in its implementation, by delivering on greater flexibility and skills to students and much more autonomy to educational institutions, it could prove to be a game changer. Utmost care is needed that pushing the mother tongue or regional language does not translate into another assault on English-medium schools. In higher education segments, there couldn't be a better goal than increasing the Gross Enrollment Ratio by 2035. It is now very important for the HRD/Education Ministry to get state governments on board and also have a debate and discussion in Parliament.
LJS PANESAR, by mail
No country for researchers
NEP is coming along with a lot of hope, but the government should simultaneously work upon the quality of teaching and research along with funding. Researchers prefer to move abroad for pursuing PhD just because there are many more opportunities. Huge funding, fellowships and assistantships are attracting Indian students to widen their scope for quality of education and life as well. In India, a PhD scholar stands in the queue of 10+2 pass for jobs, but a researcher with strong financial support goes abroad for higher studies and handsome job offers and financial security. I wish India to be one of those countries where researchers crave to build their future.
Devina Badhwar, Rohtak
Sanskrit is considered as the oldest language and is also called the mother language, but the truth is there is no future use of the language. Communication in Sanskrit cannot be seen anywhere and it is the main reason that this language is losing its importance. It is a very good initiative to conserve this language, but the focus should also be on communication, otherwise there will be no use of this language in the modern era.
Akshara Gurbani, Chandigarh
Offering Sanskrit as a subject in schools and colleges is appreciable. For the coming generation, it will be beneficial if they learn this language. The NEP ensures that everyone at school and university level will learn Sanskrit. People will learn the value of Sanskrit rather than just giving importance to English and other foreign languages.
Rohan Kakkar, Faridabad
Treat with sensitivity
Apropos of the middle ‘Covid stigma, a new kind of racism’ (July 25), the writer shows the mirror to society. The news of ‘finding’ a victim of the pandemic is treated not less than finding an alien. People start circulating photographs and making videos of the patient. Patient’s family members are also treated poorly. We need to understand that it is the physical distancing which is required, not mental isolation.
KAMALPREET SINGH, BARNALA
Not like old times
It was heartening to read ‘Missing those days of Tiaan’. It was a mesmerising attempt; important in respect of revitalising young girls to recollect their cultural past. Is it not a sad state of affairs that today, our youth is forgetting our cultural traditions and are running after film songs and western dances? Ours is a rich culture, replete with religious tilts, all of which pertain to the traditions of our sacred land.
Inder Dev, Bathinda