Letters to the editor

Justice Lokur’s views Other

Dec 31, 2020

The statement by former Supreme Court judge Madan B Lokur that the ‘judiciary is getting executivised’ is a very strong statement about the functioning of the judiciary. It amounts to saying that the judiciary seems to be endorsing the legislations and decisions of the executive and the legislature without putting them under the required and prompt judicial scanner to determine their constitutional validity and tenability. The judiciary may have been charged with activism or overreach, but that brought in plaudits for it as the watchful sentinel of public interests. Now, things have come to such a pass that the ruling dispensations in some states are framing policies contrary to judicial verdicts with the seeming nonchalance of the judiciary towards the development.

Roshan Lal Goel, Ladwa

Role for Antony

The event of the 136th foundation day of the Indian National Congress was anchored by former Defence Minister AK Antony in the absence of Sonia and Rahul. It is a symbolic gesture of the need to fill the post of the Congress president at the national level in a unanimous way. As a former Chief Minister of Kerala, Antony had proved to be a person of principles and integrity. Along with Antony, a leader like K Sudhakaran is needed to lead the party in Kerala too. And he is more interested in the State than the Centre. The two leaders can play a major role in Congress politics and prove their mettle at the Centre and in the state.

TV Jayprakash, via mail

Standout performance

Reference to ‘Sweet Melbourne win’, after suffering humiliation in the first Test, India’s cricket team has been able to turn a corner in the second Test. The Indian team, with a stand-in captain’s standout performance, has achieved great results. It is amazing how this team has moved from one extreme to another, but the Melbourne victory was really a triumph of tactics. There is now a hope that a new leaf will be turned over in the New Year.

LJ Singh, via mail

Question paper glitch

Reference to the news report, ‘Handwritten question papers as per old pattern, students confused’, the students are already a confused lot due to Covid-19. Such a grave error only adds to their problems. The Punjabi University authorities admit that some papers seem to have been framed before the new guidelines were issued. The university keeps a record of all paper setters and the date of receipt of question papers. Had the university been vigilant, there would not have been such a problem.

Faqir Singh, Dasuya

Strategic interests

Reference to ‘South Korea needs India against North Korea’, India is in the phase of golden defence cooperation and aspires to position itself as a strong power against China. India must, therefore, ensure that its predominance increases in the region. It must make sure that its cooperation is limited not just to defence but is diversified in other sectors. This is essential to secure its long-term goals and attain strategic national objectives.

Mahak Arora, Chandigarh

Onion exports

The Central Government removed the restrictions on the export of onions from January 1, 2021. The varieties, including Krishnapuram onions and Bangalore rose onions, have been allowed for export. According to the notification released by the Directorate General of Foreign Trade, the export has been made free with the effect from January 1. The government had earlier imposed a ban on the export of onions on September 14, 2020, owing to a hike in prices which raised a concern regarding supply crunch in the local markets.

Vihaan Gupta, Ujjain

Track upgrade

Refer to the Railways proposing to introduce new engines for the rail track on the 120-km Pathankot-Joginder Nagar route. The need to improve rail service on this route is long overdue. There is no denying that this railway line is of great importance for tourism in the region. Renovation and better upkeep of the track shall minimise the time of journey on this route.

Santosh Jamwal, Hamirpur

China’s action

Apropos of ‘China jails woman for Wuhan virus reporting’, sending a journalist to jail is highly condemnable. Violation of human rights by China has been reported even in the past. Even in the case of the pandemic, not much information is available about its origin. The UN has censured the action but world opinion must be strengthened so as to check such conduct.

Gurnam Singh Seetal, via mail

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

Amartya’s views Other

Dec 30, 2020

Reference to the news, ‘Strong case to review farm laws: Amartya’, the views expressed by the Nobel laureate should not be dismissed as baseless allegations. That space for dissent is shrinking is the general perception gaining ground across the country. But his advice is not likely to induce introspection by the government; rather, his suggestions are likely to be trivialised and he might face the charge of being driven by some ulterior motive not in sync with national interest. A government which is not open to be convinced by arguments and remains unmoved by the plight of protesters can’t escape the charge of undermining democracy.

Roshan Lal Goel, Ladwa

Telecom towers

The disruption of the telecom network in Punjab under the garb of farm agitation is not the right way to undertake democratic protests. Even after appeals and warning by the Chief Minister, damaging towers and snapping power supply to networks has been on the rise. It has impacted the lives of common citizen for no fault of theirs. The government should take proactive measures to rein in elements resorting to such tactics. It might pose a risk to national security in a border state.

Anita Wahi, Kapurthala

Rahul’s absence

Refer to the news report ‘Sonia, Rahul skip key Cong event,’ a frequent absentee, Rahul Gandhi has now skipped an important party function. In the past, he has attended Parliament sittings erratically and missed important meetings of parliamentary committees. His attitude, as described by former US President Barack Obama in his recent book, of being ‘a student who was eager to impress his teacher but lacked the aptitude or the passion to master the subject’, is a pointer to the bleak future of the grand old party.

Ashok Kumar, Jalandhar

Govt bungalows

Apropos of the editorial ‘Misuse of govt property’, former ministers, lawmakers and VVIPs not evicting the official accommodation is commonplace. To check this, the process of allotment and eviction ought to be transparent and in public domain as after all, it is the money of the taxpayers that is involved. The Election Commission should take an affidavit during the filing of nominations that any elected representative, in case of failure to vacate government accommodation, shall be debarred from contesting elections. Some deterrence needs to be introduced in the system so that it is not taken for granted.

Deepak Singhal, Noida

Cricket win

A resilient Indian cricket team has won the second Test in an emphatic manner, outplaying Australia in all fields. The win has shown that the team has learnt its lessons from the failures that resulted in a debacle in the first Test at Adelaide. The win will definitely boost their morale so that they begin the New Year on a winning note and in a confident manner.

M Pradyu, Kannur

Coronavirus strain

The new coronavirus strain has upset plans for festive season. India and many other countries have suspended air links with the UK. The fear of transmission has had a cascading effect even in India. Maharashtra has imposed night curfew and Tamil Nadu has banned New Year celebrations in hotels and pubs. For sure, governments have to be extra vigilant now to ensure gains made so far are not lost.

LJS Panesar, via email

Light pollution

A global light pollution map developed by a group of researchers has ranked New Delhi, Bengaluru and Kolkata as three cities with the highest light pollution in India. It should serve to alert us to the looming problem about which we are unaware of. Light pollution refers to the harmful impact of artificial outdoor lighting. A 2017 global study revealed that the ‘loss of night’ due to excessive artificial light is increasing three times faster in India than the global average. It is time India woke up to the problem before it overwhelms us.

Shovanlal Chakraborty, Kolkata

Problems in Balochistan

Rights activist Karima Baloch, who was found dead in Canada, is the second Baloch to have died under mysterious circumstances. Earlier, Sajid Hussain Baloch, a journalist, was found dead in Sweden weeks after he went missing. These are suspected to be targeted killings. The Baloch nationalist movement has long been a thorn in the side of the Pakistani military-ISI combine which has cracked down on them for seeking their rights. Against this backdrop of oppression, it is hypocritical of Pakistan to talk about human rights violations in J&K.

Lal Singh, Amritsar

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

Board exams Other

Dec 29, 2020

The marks scored in Board exams in Class XII cannot be a barometer of one’s knowledge of subjects, language skills and general awareness acquired during the entire years of schooling. Also, it cannot be an index of one’s intelligence. Cramming is the order of the day in our school education system. Admissions in colleges and universities should be based on entrance exams which should test different aspects so that crammers are kept at bay. Entrance-based admission in educational institutions will help improve the teaching-learning environment and put a check on tuition culture which is eating into the vitals of the education system.

Ravi Bhushan, Kurukshetra

Responsible tourism

Apropos of the editorial ‘Reckless tourists’, the Covid-19 crisis is testing safety measures to the hilt. While flocking to the hills for merrymaking, tourists must observe the pandemic protocol as a precautionary measure. Exercising restraint and minimising social gatherings are the key to avoidance. Moreover, we have no right to endanger other people’s lives. Prevention remains the best option.

Vimal Sethi, Atlanta

Wheels of justice

Reference to ‘A Christmas gift’, it took 28 years for the CBI to establish that Abhaya, a 21-year-old nun, found dead in a convent in Kerala in 1992, was murdered. This also highlights that some time, the wheels of justice turn too slowly, more so when the accused are helped and sided by the powerful. It hardly calls for celebrations but it does evoke a sense of trust in the due process of law. The Abhaya verdict should be a moment for renewal and reflection at both levels, individual and institutional.

LJ Singh, via mail

UK-EU deal

The tariff-free trade agreement in goods that the UK and the EU inked last week, days before the post-Brexit transition expires, should mitigate somewhat the consequences of Britain’s narrow decision in 2016 to leave one of the largest trading blocs. The eleventh hour decision averts a catastrophic ‘no deal’ scenario. Moreover, given the UK’s reliance on the EU for food product imports, the significance of zero-duty trade for consumers and the retail economy cannot be exaggerated. Brexit’s biggest trade-off for the ordinary citizen is perhaps the restrictions on the right to free movement and work. A major challenge now would be to keep border checks and red-tape to the minimum, besides ensuring that supply chains are not unduly disrupted.

Sanjay Chopra, Mohali

Sustaining agriculture

Reference to ‘Oppn misusing stir, claims Modi; give laws a year, Rajnath appeals to farmers’; after a long stir, the government should have given MSP guarantee for all the crops. Though the government has transferred funds to the farmers’ account, it will not solve their long-term problems. The government should engage with the farmers’ representatives and try to reach a mutually amicable settlement. Rajnath Singh’s proposal to try out the new farm laws for a year to test their benefits is absurd.

Yugal Kishore Sharma, Faridabad

WHO advisory

Reference to ‘Need to invest more in public health: WHO’, although the advisory has not come a day too soon, it must be taken seriously by the developing countries. The pandemic caught us unawares. In India too, the government was not prepared to deal with such a global calamity. As it may not be the last pandemic, India should pay attention to its healthcare budget and boost facilities in government-run hospitals by providing adequate manpower and equipment.

Sunil Chopra, Ludhiana

Urdu poet

In the demise of Shamsur Rahman Faruqi, the curtain has come down on an era of Urdu poetry. He was a respected Urdu poet and literary critic. A recipient of many awards, his contribution to literature in that language was unmatched. His death leaves a void in the field of literature.

Ramesh G Jethwani, Bengaluru

Tumultuous year

The year 2020 is about to end. It will be remembered for the study in contrast that it was. While the coronavirus pandemic and the devastation it wrought disrupted life, it was also notable for some far-reaching decisions taken to deal with the situation. As the New Year unfolds, attempts should be made by the government to determine the reasons that have led to unrest among the people and resolve them. Here is hoping that the dawn of a new decade will open the door to a happier future.

Kavya Shah, Ujjain

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

Crime and punishment Other

Dec 28, 2020

Apropos of ‘Death penalty no magic bullet to curb rape cases’; we can debate the argument that what deters crime is not the severity of punishment but the certainty of punishment itself. We can also cite study after study to substantiate our positions but that is beside the point. The death penalty is a punishment reserved for the most heinous crime and it should not be viewed as an instrument of deterrence. If you wish to view it as an instrument of deterrence, then where exactly do you draw the line? What crimes shall sanction such punishment? Shouldn't all crimes be deterred? There is a lot of subjectivity once you get involved in these questions. What we need is investment in state machinery to augment its capacity to enforce law. Low incarceration rates and insufficient police officers are amongst the many factors that need to be accounted for.

Nissim Aggarwal, Chandigarh

The other side

Reference to the news report ‘Norms given go-by as tourists throng Shimla’, there is no point being selective in reporting violations of Covid norms by the political parties, farm protesters and the general public. The danger of pandemic among the protesters who are in clusters and groups for the last one month in thousands flouting Covid norms in full public view, endangering not only their own lives but that of the public at large should also be reported.

Ashok Kumar, Jalandhar

Job exam fee

The decision by the Haryana government to charge one-time fee for job exams should be lauded. It will greatly reduce financial burden on the aspirants. On the other hand, Punjab government charges exorbitant amount for job exams. Plus, government posts advertised are very few. The PCS exam in Punjab was promised every year but it has been advertised just for the second time in the last four years. Such situations create distress for the youth. Migration to foreign countries takes place because of factors like these. We hope the problem is taken note of and the government delivers on its promises.

Simran Dhaliwal, via mail

Religious congregation

The verdict of a metropolitan magistrate in Delhi acquitting 36 foreigners of the charge of violating health protocols by participating in a religious congregation held by the Tablighi Jamaat in March again exposes the unsavoury side of criminal investigation system in the country, especially when it is prompted by politics. The 36 foreigners have now been found not only to be innocent but also grievously wronged as they were implicated maliciously and deliberately in cooked up cases.

Shovanlal Chakraborty, Kolkata

Work at courts

Reference to ‘HC Bar to observe fast’, though the pandemic still prevails, most offices are working smoothly, though in restricted manner, except the courts of law in India. Normal physical work has not resumed in courts, thus delaying the already delayed justice. Advocates are willing and pressing to resume normal work in the courts. The courts must start normal functioning, of course with all safeguards.

KS Munder, Hoshiarpur

Contract farming

On paper, contract farming might look a step necessary to augment the income of the farmers. Studies have found that it favours the large conglomerates whose primary objective is to maximise profits. The most vulnerable section that includes the small and marginal farmers who may lose the bargaining power. There is no denying the fact that ease of doing business is required to boost the food processing business. But it should not come by exploiting rural economy.

Dhawal Joshi, Churu

Britain and Brexit

Just a week before the end of the Brexit transition period, Britain and the European Union struck a historic free trade deal on Christmas Eve to avert economic chaos after years of turmoil. The deal contains provisions on subjects ranging from civil nuclear cooperation and energy interconnections to fishing and aviation. It comes as a boost for British PM Boris Johnson, who was one of Brexit’s original champions that saw him rise to his current position. The deal is also welcome because of fears over the new coronavirus strain in Britain that has seen cases surge and has led many countries to close its borders to it. This is also important news from an Indian perspective. The UK is looking for a trade deal with India which could be worth up to £100 billion, which if it becomes a reality, would become one of the biggest post-Brexit trade deals.

Gundu K Mani, Thane

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

Justice ensured Other

Dec 26, 2020

The editorial ‘A Christmas gift’ aptly castigates those standing by their co-believers convicted of a heinous crime. It is saddening when institutions blindly support such individuals. Any killing is antithetical to religion. Due justice has been ensured in the case despite pressures to scuttle the prosecution. Being on a high social pedestal is one thing but succumbing to baser instincts is quite another. The onus for exposing criminals hiding behind hallowed cloaks lies on society as those standing by them do disservice to God too.

Lalit Bharadwaj, Panchkula

Gender data hub

Recently, the government of Kerala and the UN decided to collaborate to establish the country’s first gender data hub. An MoU has been signed for this. Officials of the UN Women also held a meeting with Kerala’s Minister for Health and Social Justice, KK Shailaja, in Delhi to discuss the broad framework of the co-operation. The gender hub is built on the goals that were established through an international conference on gender equality held in 2015. The goals were to collect, analyse and use more nuanced data and to inform policy formulation in the manner that will highlight women’s rights. This can indeed prove to be a new beginning for women.

Vihaan Gupta, Ujjain

Jaitley’s statue

Reference to ‘Bedi quits over Jaitley statue’, while Bedi and Jaitley had their issues, the former India captain has a point when he says that sports stadiums should highlight the sportspersons and not the administrators. Bedi has rightly protested against the Delhi and District Cricket Association’s decision to install a statue of the former Union minister at the Ferozeshah Kotla stadium. In fact, it is quite bizarre that Jaitley, a former DDCA president, should get a statue at the Kotla. World over, sports stadiums are adorned by statuettes and photographs of athletes; the practice holds true for cricket as well. Administrators should not overshadow the sportspersons.

PS Kaur, via email

Political turmoil in Nepal

Apropos of ‘Power feud fuels unrest’, though Nepal’s President has acceded to the recommendation of Prime Minister KP Oli for dissolving the lower House of Parliament and holding fresh elections, the legality of the development is to be contested and the last word hasn’t been said. Regardless, turmoil in Nepal will lead to instability as Oli’s decision comes on the heels of the irreconcilable differences within the Nepal Communist Party. Nepal has been hit hard by the pandemic as tourism and remittances play an important role in its economy. Oli, who has been in office for nearly three years, has shown a pronounced tilt towards China. Regardless of how the situation plays out, it is in the interest of both India and Nepal to find ways to resolve differences.

PS Hanspaul, via email

Room for dissent

Reference to ‘Govt sends fresh invite, farmers reject’; the issue seems to have reached a dead end as both sides are unprepared to yield. While farmers have displayed an exemplary conduct and successfully warded off attempts to undermine their principled position, the government’s apathy is evident to the public at large. The highest court itself has abstained from judging the legality of the Acts and has only suggested a temporary freeze. Our democracy has of late been leaving no space for dissent. In the given situation, farmers are left with no option but to make the fight political.

Pankaj, Kalka

Positivity at its best

The protests by the farmer unions to repeal the farm laws may bear fruit or not, but something positive comes out of these protests. The starting of a community school at Singhu border is one such point. The surprising thing is that the volunteers are not only teaching the kids who are a part of the protests, but also of the migrant workers. The request by the unions to the youth to shun liquor is another positive side of the protests. maintaining a constructive attitude in the face of adversity is laudable. Positivity has been at its best during these farmers’ protests.

Bir Devinder Singh Bedi, Sangrur

Scholarship for SCs

Apropos of ‘In new SC scholarship norms, Centre’s funding rises to 60%’, some changes made by the cabinet will help a large number of students from the SC category get education in the next five years by scholarships. It is expected to act as a support system for those wishing to go pursue education. But funding should be done only after proper evaluation, so that it can be used for the purpose of education rather than being used incorrectly.

Jasmine Kaur, 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

DDC results Other

Dec 25, 2020

Reference to ‘DDC polls in J&K’; the election results suggest that the polls, the first since the nullification of Article 370 that revoked J&K’s special status and downgraded it into two Union Territories, were successful. Even though this was a local bodies’ election, both the BJP and the PAGD, whose constituents include the NC, PDP plus the CPI(M), among others, turned it into a referendum on those decisions. Naturally, the PAGD with maximum seats has projected its victory as a resounding rejection of all that the Centre has done in J&K over the last year-and-a-half, and as support for its own demand that special status and statehood be restored. This is a turning point in J&K which calls for political accommodation.

SK Singh, via email

Message from Kashmir

The DDC poll outcome has taken the wind out of the BJP’s sails. The abrogation of Article 370 has brought disparate sections together which the BJP never aspired to. This is a precursor to the assembly elections and an explicit message and time for reflection for the BJP to be accommodative and shun partisan politics at least in the interests of the nation and democracy. The tall leaders of Kashmir valley cannot become history in one fell swoop. Let it realise its follies and restore the dignity of the people by restoring statehood.

Deepak Singhal, Noida


Apropos of ‘Keep nation first before ideology: PM,’ there is no doubt that it is a welcome gesture, but what about the narratives that seem to have been in currency for some years. As far as the concept of nation first is concerned, it is not new. Irrespective of ideologies, the people of this country have sacrificed their lives to free the nation from the British. Nation-building requires all to put in efforts without any room for divisiveness.

Roop Singh Negi, Solan

Cong down, not out

Counting on the dislike for it among the three contenders in West Bengal, the BJP hopes to benefit from the resultant split of Opposition votes. After all, if the Left had suffered excesses under the Congress rule, the TMC had similar travails under the Left rule. But politics has always attracted strange bedfellows. Not long ago, the Left was an enduring architect of the Third Front and to boot, both the TMC and the Left have been in Congress governments. Despite the BJP manoeuvres to keep these three at loggerheads, their survival instinct may well position the Congress as a glue and BJP could yet trip up in hubris, as it is green to the soil and ethos of ‘Biplabi Bangal’ .

R Narayanan, Navi Mumbai

BJP’s Bengal foray

After 10 years in power, Mamata Banerjee seems to be slipping on issues like corruption, syndicate raj and the abiding perception that Bengal is a tough territory to do business. The absence of an acceptable local face can give Mamata a slight edge. She herself is to blame for losing TMC leaders. The TMC crises is not unique, it stems from a structural flaw, common to a lot of regional parties that revolve around one leader or a family.

Lal Singh, Amritsar

Bedi’s stand

Apropos of ‘Bedi quits DDCA over Jaitley statue,’ it hasn’t come as a surprise because the former India skipper has always been known for his forthrightness, on the field or off it. While Jaitley’s legal eminence and interest in the game may have been there, the fact that many office-bearers with links with the ruling party are at the helm in sports bodies, gives rise to misgivings.

SPS Narang, New Delhi

Tribunal ruling

Reference to ‘India told to pay Rs 10.5K cr to UK firm,’ why have the tax laws about foreign companies failed to acknowledge the basic principles of fair trade and reciprocity of benefits as the World Trade Organisation has laid down in its charter? If all recourse and appeals against the penalty by the international court fails, $222 million of interest plus arbitration cost is whose burden anyway? It is time for ethical review of intents and measures relating to tax laws.

Rakesh Sudan, Kurukshetra

Drone tactics

Pakistan, having failed in Jammu & Kashmir due to our internal and external security mechanisms, is now trying to supply arms and other equipment for creating disturbances using drones. Intelligence network needs to be strengthened to identify elements within and outside the country that are bent on carrying out nefarious activities by receiving aid from our hostile neighbours.

Ravi Bhushan, Kurukshetra

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

Agrarian impasse Other

Dec 24, 2020

Reference to ‘Finding a way out of the agrarian impasse’; the proposal is a step forward. However, just the provision to levy fee, taxes and cess in private mandis on par with the APMC mandis will not ensure a level playing field because the big business houses will outmanoeuvre the arhtiyas of the APMC mandis by offering higher prices for a year or two and render them unviable, unless the law prohibits procurement below the MSP. The intention of the government is to privatise the procurement of the surplus produce beyond their requirement for PDS and the buffer stock. Hence, the assurance being given regarding the continuation of MSP is not convincing unless this is incorporated in the new law. Secondly, in the present system of APMC mandis, the arhtiyas are a readily available source of loans without hassles to small and marginal farmers, but this facility will not be available from the big business houses. There is no harm in the government relenting and repealing the farm laws.

Brig WS Choudhary (retd), Panchkula

Covid cases

Covid cases have been declining, which is good news, but what is worrying is the new strain of coronavirus and passengers from the UK who tested positive in India and are in quarantine now. We need to keep in mind that the pandemic is not yet over. We still need to take all precautions as more lockdowns and curfews are not needed. It is time for Christmas and the New Year and social gatherings are bound to take place. It is better to practise social distancing, wash hands, wear masks and hope for a better 2021!

Khushpreet Kaur, Patiala

Private universities

Reference to the news report about the ineligible VCs of six private universities in HP, a thorough scrutiny of the eligibility of VCs, faculty and students in such universities may bring out more alarming facts. Turning educational institutions into commercial enterprises will have adverse consequences. The standard of education should not be allowed to be lowered.

RS Kishtwaria, Palampur

Delay in board exams

The year 2020 has brought about a big change in routine. Students have also undergone a big loss. Their studies have been affected. Most students do not know how to prepare for the board exams after the online classes started. An offline exam is a right decision by the government through which the students will get to know how to prepare and sit in the exam. The fact is that nobody is at fault. The decision to delay the exams needs to be welcomed. Now, it is hoped that the date sheet will also be prepared with sufficient gap for preparation between the papers.

Ravinder Kwatra, Shahabad Markanda

Disabled retirees

Apropos of ‘Public servants must serve, not rule: HC’, such type of a decision was also delivered by the J&K High Court recently. Any representation meant for the cause of people affected due to any anomaly is not being attended to by them. I quote an example to show the insensitive attitude towards the differently abled. In the banking pension Act, there is an anomaly in Section 30 where an incapacitated person is denied pensionary benefit of five years if he takes premature retirement after 28 years of service. The anomaly exists since the past 24 years when the first disability Act was passed. Several representations failed to yield any result.

Yash Pal Ralhan, Jalandhar

Theatre command

Maritime Theatre Command (MTC) is an idea whose time has not yet come for India. It is being thrust on the armed forces against their wishes. Availability of adequate resources is a pre-requisite to the introduction of theatre commands. Successive Air Chiefs have cried hoarse in highlighting the acute shortage of fighter squadrons. The primary role of the air force is ‘counter air operations’ to build a ‘favourable air situation’ for the air, ground and naval forces to operate freely on the battlefield. For this, an Air Chief needs a preponderance of his resources at one place. Centralised command is another important principle of war. Further, the CDS is simply the head of a department of military affairs coordinating procurement. The MTC will lead to disintegration rather than integration.

Lt Col GS Bedi (retd), Mohali

Kohli’s return to India

Virat Kohli returning to India midway from the tour when he is required in Australia to salvage the team’s prestige is an unfortunate decision. The country has to come first. It is a wrong step by the BCCI to allow him to come back. In the armed forces, we always put duty before our family affairs. Why can’t sportspersons do the same?

Col KJ Singh (retd), by mail

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

Raids on arhtiyas Other

Dec 23, 2020

Reference to the editorial ‘Pressure tactics’; intentions may be noble, but the timing of raids on arhtiyas was wrong. In the midst of the farmers’ agitation, conducting I-T raids on the participants of agitation has been done to coerce them to back off. The government must not use institutions like the ED and the CBI for politically-driven agenda. It may lose its inherent value and standing. I-T raids must not be conducted as the first thing to nab the defaulters, but should be a follow-up action if the respondents do not submit the required information. By conducting such extempore raids, the government has sent wrong signals to the agitators and it may not bode well for the outcome of the talks. It’s a bad policy to slap with one hand and extend the other for friendship.

Ashok Goswami, New York

Misuse of govt machinery

There has been a tendency to use the CBI, ED and the I-T department against political opponents. In Himachal Pradesh, a CBI raid took place when the marriage of Virbhadra Singh’s daughter was being solemnised. These are unethical practices. The income tax raids on arhtiyas have taken place when the agitation against the farm laws is happening. If the new legislations come into force, the arhtiyas would be eclipsed by big business houses.

BM Singh, Amritsar

UK flights

The temporary suspension of all flights connecting the UK and our country in the wake of a rapidly spreading new strain of Covid-19 in Britain, is timely. It will go a long way in checking the entry of the mutated virus into our country. The new variant, which has been named by the UK scientists as VUI-202012/01, may contribute to increased transmission. Covid-19 has already wreaked havoc in India. Therefore, not only the government has to remain alert, we also should be taking all necessary precautions. Complacency can prove costly.

Sunil Chopra, Ludhiana

Decongestion plan

The 8-km ring road project in Zirakpur is back on track. The 200-foot-wide, six-lane road will decongest Zirakpur by providing an alternative route to the Shimla-bound traffic from Ambala. The NHAI is likely to start the work in a month on 100 acres of land acquired and completed soon. Chandigarh International Airport, Ambala and the Delhi-bound traffic from Shimla can avoid Zirakpur. The project will also help prevent around 1.5 lakh vehicles from Punjab and Haryana from entering Chandigarh daily, something that has also been proposed in the city’s master plan for better traffic management. This will greatly reduce traffic pressure at Tribune Chowk. With these developments, the need to have a flyover there should be assessed. Also, instead of normal traffic lights, smart lights that sense traffic on the higher side and allow vehicles to move for a certain period, then switch to the next side, should be provided at the roundabout.

Sateesh Dadwal, Chandigarh

Role of Opposition

It is being alleged that the Opposition parties are misleading the farmers. I am at a loss to understand why can’t the Opposition articulate views on a particular policy matter of the government and espouse the cause of those who feel wronged by the laws passed. If the government had been favourably disposed to their interests, the need for protest would not have arisen. Those who are protesting should welcome the support of everyone, including that of political representatives, who keep a check on the government. The charge is untenable and off the mark.

Roshan Lal Goel, Ladwa

Chinese misdemeanour

Reference to the news report about Chinese espionage network in Afghanistan working to destabilise the present government, one may wonder what kind of trick the permanent member of the UNSC is up to. The Dragon has violated every international law, obstructed a number of legitimate motions relating to India and still sits proudly in the permanent seat of the UN Security Council. The United Nations must look for amendment in its Constitution and find a way out for vacating the seat owing to the diplomatic misdemeanours of Beijing.

Rakesh Sudan, via email

Hathras case probe

The CBI chargesheet in the Hathras case is a stinging indictment of the UP government’s handling of the case which has responded by claiming that it had ordered the CBI probe in the first place. Insulating the investigation and prosecution from any political influence is the only way to ensure justice for the young Dalit woman.

EL Singh, via email

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

Accept govt’s offer Other

Dec 22, 2020

Talks with the government regarding the farm laws have yielded little. Though the government is ready to amend the laws, as demanded, it is reluctant to repeal them. In view of a deadlock, farmers should think of finding a middle ground. The government has been making conciliatory gestures, but it is stopping short of scrapping the law. Efforts should be made in right earnest to resolve the problem at the earliest.

Jaswant Singh, Chandigarh

Fight for MSP

Two points are to be made regarding the demand for MSP: wages are protected under the Minimum Wages Act in India since 1948. Why can’t there be a legal protection for MSP for farm produce? Secondly, companies don’t even pass on the benefits of reduction in corporate tax or GST to the consumers, as directed by the government. How can we expect them to pay a fair price to the farmers in the absence of a law protecting the MSP?

Rakesh Rai, by mail

Taking Dhaka for granted

At a virtual meeting with Sheikh Hasina, PM Modi emphasised that Bangladesh was a major pillar of India’s Neighbourhood First policy. India-Bangladesh bonds have steadily grown stronger. This is exemplified by increasing connectivity, investment and sub-regional cooperation under the BBIN initiative. Taking this momentum further, the virtual meeting saw the two sides ink seven agreements and revive the cross-border rail link that was snapped during the 1965 war with Pakistan. However, China is also trying to increase its footprint in Bangladesh with investment plans. Bangladesh has joined China’s BRI. Pakistan has also been looking to revive its ties with Bangladesh. Given this, India shouldn’t take its ties with Bangladesh for granted. Issues such as the CAA and NRC have created a negative impression. Harping on them for domestic political purposes can jeopardise mutual ties. India must not let political rhetoric derail diplomatic gains.

SK Singh, by mail

Strive for peace

Reference to ‘Capturing entire gamut of India’s wars’; after every war, recommendations are tabulated about weak points and how to avoid the chinks in future. That results in an enormous drain on the economy for security issues which are actually non-productive. Growth and development of the nation is adversely affected due to wars. We may start with our region so that people live in prosperity, and later expand the sphere of such endeavours to rule out hostility.

Subhash Vaid, New Delhi

Truth is out

Refer to ‘On track to justice’; isn’t it shocking and shameful that all this is happening in the state headed by CM Yogi Adityanath? What message is the state government giving where a 19-year-old Hathras girl succumbed to gangrape and was cremated in the dead of night against her family’s wishes? It smacks of burying the truth rather than bringing the guilty to book.

Prem Singh, by mail

Ensuring law and order

The confirmation by the CBI that the 19-year-old Hathras victim was gangraped unmasks the complicity of the UP police in burying the truth and shielding the perpetrators. When the protests erupted, the theory of conspiracy was floated. Attempts were made to stigmatise the victim’s family and their sympathisers. The state government should ensure justice for the victim's family by acting firmly against those out to create lawlessness.

Roshan Lal Goel, Ladwa

Some fight left

The Left in Kerala must be envied for the strength and cohesion of its cadre that helped it tackle the visitations of nature and win handsomely in the recent local bodies’ elections. The Indian Left, evolving as part of the Congress around 1920, veered and lost ground in 1928, to move back towards the Centre. Swinging towards Marxism in 1942, it lost lustre and re-allied with the Congress in the 1960s. Then its rigidity over the nuclear deal with the US led to its isolation and the loss of Bengal and Tripura. At a crucial juncture of a near-existential crisis, the pragmatic Kerala Left, in turning progressive, could yet reanimate the Left movement.

R Narayanan, Navi Mumbai

Saving fish

Apropos of ‘Golden Mahseer saved from extinction in HP’, it is a good initiative. Because of human greed, many fish species are on the verge of extinction. In Peru, a huge reservoir was created and some varieties of fish that were facing extinction were nurtured. Such measures can be taken in our country too.

Shankar Chatterjee, Hyderabad

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

Plight of small farmer Other

Dec 21, 2020

Reference to ‘Dilemma of the Indian farmer’ (Nous Indica), our policy-makers need to devise separate strategies for the big farmers and the small or marginal ones as their know-how, resources and bargaining power vary. Unlike the former, the latter buys everything in retail but has to sell — rather throw away at times — in bulk. His marketing limitations and inability to absorb the demand-supply surge are responsible for his plight. Even in the ongoing agitation, the small farmer is being used in the chilly Delhi nights at the ‘front’ by the big landlords. The government can bind the corporate investors to equitably share their profit with the producers (farmers) and that they must come forward to procure the produce in glut, through cooperatives that can organise their logistics.

Lalit Bharadwaj, Panchkula

MSP regime

Apropos of Nous Indica, farmers of Punjab, Haryana and Western Uttar Pradesh have benefited immensely from the MSP regime because of the mandi system. In Central and Eastern UP, the dairy farmers are doing well, but they depend on local traders for the sale of rice and wheat. The MSP regime is helping the poor and small farmers also in areas which are in close proximity to cities and towns. If MSP becomes a legal right, poor farmers will gain in various states. The government must urgently reach out to the protesting farmers.

Raj Bahadur Yadav, Fatehabad

Court order vague

Refer to ‘Farmers have the right to protest peacefully: SC,’ in the Shaheen Bagh case, the Supreme Court had said that the protesters cannot block a road indefinitely. What does ‘indefinitely’ mean? One month, three months or one year? Does that mean that we can allow roads to be blocked for a short period? Rail or roadblock even for a single day should be unacceptable. The order seemed to be vague. The present SC order on farmers’ stir is no different. It too is vague. It says that the farmers have the right to protest, but it should not go on for ‘years’ and adds that it should not deprive others of their rights. It should have clearly held that the protestors cannot block roads, causing inconvenience to the public. It should have come heavily on those blocking roads. Court orders should be curt and clear.

Wg Cdr CL Sehgal (retd), Jalandhar

Innovative ideas

Farmers are leaving no stone unturned to give a momentum to their struggle movement against the three farm laws. The recent launch of ‘Trolley Times’ is an example of the same. Who can ever even imagine it in dream that the protestors can come up with an innovative idea of printing their own newspaper to tackle wrong media hype regarding their struggle. It is obvious that it became an instant hit among the farmers. These protests have given birth to many new ideas out of which a way forward can be found.

Bir Devinder Singh Bedi, Sangrur

Rising obesity

According to a survey, obesity has risen in 20 states in children below five years of age during the pandemic. Why has it happened? Mostly because, children have been confined to homes and lack of physical activity. This is a matter of concern. If the virus rages on for long, the problem will only increase. In schools, the children remain busy, eat well in time and indulge in physical activity as well. Parents have to be upfront about this. A healthy generation means a healthy nation.

Rohan Kumar, Mohali

Indo-Bangla ties

Apropos of the editorial ‘Delhi-Dhaka amity,’ I fully endorse the concluding suggestion for India to ensure that our eastern neighbour remains firmly on our side as an all-weather friend. For this, India must allay the neighbour’s concerns about the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). Otherwise, all the sacrifices made by our jawans for Bangladesh’s liberation will go in vain. These valiant sacrifices inspired me to pen a book, Mukti Gaatha. The over-enthusiasm to implement CAA should not affect our ties with Bangladesh.

Amritlal Madan, Kaithal

Climate change

Reference to ‘Combating climate change,’ the impact is being seen across many sectors, affecting health, education and livelihood where a clear link is emerging between the weather changes and social instability caused by climate-induced migration. In India, climate migration is leading to growing nativism and competition for resources, also greater migration and mobility. These two developments can lead to a crisis unless handled with care.

MS Khokhar, via mail

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Show flexibility Other

Dec 19, 2020

Refer to ‘Pay heed to apex court’; the court’s suggestion to put on hold the implementation of farm laws may not cut ice with the protesters because of their position of all or nothing. The government would never repeal the laws, thereby setting a precedent which would make governance and bringing in new laws untenable. Farmer unions need to be flexible in their approach. Contentious clauses need to be resolved with checks and balances. With the possibility of protests getting infiltrated by vested interests, their act of inconveniencing the public by blocking vehicular movement might take away sympathy from their cause. The more they prolong the negotiations, the more the chances of their strength getting whittled down.

Ashok Goswami, New York

Middle path

Reference to the turbulent developments in the farmers’ stir over the past few weeks, it is clear that the need to adopt a middle path. The Centre must think wisely about the welfare of the section that forms the backbone of society. Braving the winter chill may affect the health of the farmers, many of whom are elderly. The farmers should also cooperate. The Centre must work towards proposing rational and quick amendments.

Anmol Kaur Mongia, Mohali

Undermining Parliament

With the recent decision of the Central government not to convene the winter session of Parliament, it seems the government is unwilling to listen to both the public and their representatives. It is ironical that in the world's largest democracy, this representative system of governance itself is coming under pressure. All over the world, parliaments are functioning, whether it is the UK or Canada. But when public rallies are allowed, elections are allowed, every public system is working, not allowing Parliament to function is a sad moment in parliamentary democracy.

Jatinder Masoun, Ludhiana

Is democracy dying?

Owing to Covid-19, the session of Parliament ended in March. The monsoon session was cut short with some legislation passed hurriedly and the Question Hour being done away with. Now, there will be no winter session. Undoubtedly, the pandemic is still here and precautions are paramount. But there are many important issues such as Covid-19, security scenario, farmers’ agitation and the slowdown of economy which need to be discussed. Covid cannot be the pretext to not hold the session, as every activity where the BJP’s interest is involved is being held even without observing the SOPs. Undermining the legitimacy of institutions and norms across the board to confuse the public is a tactical move to undermine democracy.

SK Khosla, Chandigarh

Strong message

Refer to ‘Two judges forced to retire, HC wields the stick’; the action against judicial officers has sent a strong message regarding zero tolerance against indiscipline, decency and other factors in the subordinate judiciary. People consider courts to be the temple of justice. They come to the courts in the hope that they will get justice. This decision has strengthened the trust of the people in the judicial system.

Shakti Singh, Karnal

Women’s safety

It has been eight years since the heinous Nirbhaya crime took place. The public came out to protest against rape and other crimes against women. There were amendments to laws and committees were formed to ensure the safety of women. Even after taking such strict action, there is no change in society. According to a report by the NCRB, the police registered 33,977 rape cases in 2018, and in 2019, there were 87 rapes in a day! The total cases registered in 2019 of crime against women were 4,05,861. I don't think we are bringing a change with regard to the safety of women. There is not even a single place where they are safe.

Narsingh Chauhan, Chandigarh

Loan fraud

The news of Rs 525-crore fraud against a consortium of banks by two firms from Gujarat points to the time-honoured adage that if you get cheated again by the same agent, it is your fault! Several cases of frauds against banks come to fore time and again. Cases of doubtful collaterals, falsified books kept by borrowers and misutilisation of loans point to the fact that the banking system has neither learned neither from its mistakes nor from that of others. Ironical too is the observation that public sector banks are more vulnerable to frauds. The RBI should devise ways to insulate the banking system from loan scams and frauds.

Rakesh Sudan, Kurukshetra

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Parallel talks Other

Dec 18, 2020

Reference to ‘Stop parallel talks, farmers forum tells Centre’, the farmer unions have done the right thing by asking the Centre to stop holding parallel talks with other farmer bodies over the contentious legislation as the government wants to divide them. The government should not allow the ongoing protests being held at several Delhi border points against the three black farm laws to be defamed. The unions have rejected the recent government proposal of amendments in the new laws and made their stand clear that they want all the three Acts withdrawn. The Centre should not resort to such tricks to hide its failure.

Bhagwan Thadani, Mumbai

Farmers’ party

The Congress party was strengthened with the entry of Mahatma Gandhi. Similarly, the entry of Jayaprakash Narayan played a role in the unity of the Janata Party. The same is true of the Aam Aadmi Party, which was formed by the success of the Anna Hazare movement. Hopefully, a party dominated by the farmers may come up after the present Kisan Andolan on the lines of the Unionist Party of pre-Independence days. Sir Chhotu Ram was one of the founder-member of this party which won the 1937 Punjab assembly election in its first attempt, that too when the Congress and the Muslim League were also in the fray.

Naresh Mohan Johar, Amritsar

Preacher’s suicide

Reference to ‘Preacher shoots self at Singhu protest site’, it’s an unfortunate incident. Suicide is no solution in the quest for justice and it must not be politicised. The adage goes that ‘Ex nihilo nihil fit (out of nothing, nothing comes). So, the angle of instigation or incitement must be thoroughly investigated.

Lalit Bharadwaj, Panchkula

National security

In a country devoid of strategic national security culture, the role and importance of a Parliament Standing Committee on Defence cannot be overemphasised. It is the only forum available in the country where political parties can put across their relevant and constructive insights and ideas on the emerging national security scenario to the government. The mandate of the committee is to discuss the operational preparedness of armed forces and ask the government to make up the shortages if any in that regard. It is specifically debarred from discussing the day-to-day administrative matters of the armed forces. It is a travesty of its role that it took up to discuss the issue of ‘uniform and badges of armed forces’ when the nation is seized of the most crucial stand-off with China. All this happening in the presence of the CDS indicates that the objective of sensitising the top political leadership on the emergent national security and armed forces’ concerns has not been achieved.

Lt Col GS Bedi (retd), Mohali

JEE Mains

The decision to conduct JEE Mains four times (in February, March, April and May) every year just to give multiple opportunities to students who miss this prestigious examination due to clash with other exam dates is nothing but to hide the present state of engineering education in the country. The purpose of conducting the JEE Mains four times in a year only seems to be money-making because the same students will appear again and again. It is known that about 25% engineering seats are going vacant every year even in prestigious engineering institutions of the country like IITs, NITs and CFTIs. It is better to give entry on 10+2 merit basis and make efforts to improve the quality of engineering education.

SS Verma, Longowal

Train service

Apropos of ‘State did not respond to letter on train services: Rlys to HC’, it is astonishing that such state of affairs exists under the nose of a disciplined CM known for keeping the bureaucrats under control. The gravity of the situation can be gauged from the fact that a handful of dissident members of the Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee have created this problem by laying siege to the rail tracks at Jandiala Guru on the Delhi-Amritsar route. The state government should abide by the verdict of the Supreme Court to get the rail track cleared.

Upendra Sharma, via mail

Internet suspension in J-K

In the era of 5G, high-speed Internet service remains suspended in the UTs of Jammu and Kashmir. After the pandemic, educational institutions have remained mostly closed and online classes are being held. But because of lack of high-speed Internet connectivity, students face inconvenience. High-speed Internet service should be restored in J&K to help students.

Hilal Zargar, via mail

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Winter session Other

Dec 17, 2020

Apropos of the editorial ‘No winter session,’ more than the Covid scare, trust deficit between the ruling party and the Opposition is the reason behind skipping it. Given the game of one-upmanship, the acrimony is unlikely to end. In an electoral democracy, people don’t decide issues, they decide who will decide the issues. Once decided at the hustings, let the majority lead but it is incumbent on it to take along the others also. To bridge the trust deficit, some model code of conduct to maintain decency and decorum in public discourse needs to be devised for nation-building and public welfare, besides making good the loss of the winter session of Parliament. Let Modi make it mumkin!

Lalit Bharadwaj, Panchkula

Remembering 1971 war

Apropos of ‘A victory to remember,’ we can never forget the supreme sacrifice of our brave soldiers in the 1971 Indo-Pak war. But the points raised are relevant even today. Very few are aware of the heroes of this war because its memories have been overtaken by Kargil, Balakot, Doklam and Galwan. It seems the sacrifices of our armed forces have gone in vain as very little has been done to remember them. Only a few wreath-laying ceremonies take place on December 16. The year 2021 is going to mark the golden jubilee of the war and there should be year-long celebrations to commemorate the victory.

Harkawal Jeet Kaur, Mohali

Settle farmers’ issues

There are APMCs in Punjab and Haryana and procurement is done at the MSP. As per the new farm laws, private mandis shall be established which will eventually result in the closure of APMCs and fall of procurement rates below the MSP, though the same may exist on paper as the government claims that the MSP shall continue. This will result in the impoverishment of farmers. They will abandon farming, resulting in large-scale unemployment, and also threaten food security of the nation. Scarcity coupled with hoarding will result in increased prices of food commodities. Considering the nationwide implications, the Centre should shun political obduracy and consider repealing the farm laws, as desired by the farmers.

Harjit Singh, Mohali

Malnutrition among kids

I was shocked to read the news ‘Malnutrition in children rises in 5 years’. The FCI godowns are full and still our children are malnourished. Surprisingly, Bihar leads the tally in the stunted growth of children at 42.9%, followed by, of all states, Gujarat (39%) and Karnataka (35.4%). Vibrant Gujarat was the slogan in 2014, and Modi came to power after showcasing the success of the Gujarat model. Nitish Kumar adopted farm reforms almost 15 years ago, and still he is unable to curb malnutrition among the children. What is the use of democracy if our children remain hungry?

Arun Hastir, Gurdaspur

Stir hits industry

Industrialists are facing problems due to the farmers’ agitation as goods supply chain has been disrupted. They have to cancel orders. Hundreds of factories have been closed in Haryana and Delhi. If this agitation continues for long, it will come as a shock for our economy. Farmers should understand this problem and not block the highways. The movement has deviated from its right path due to the entry of dubious elements.

Narender Kumar, Joginder Nagar

Pranab’s memoirs

The news ‘Pranab’s family spars over his memoirs’ does not come as a surprise. However, it does leave a bad taste as to why he waited till the end, leaving instructions for his daughter to publish the memoirs which contained unsavoury comments about Sonia Gandhi and Manmohan Singh, one of our finest PMs. Pranab’s comments indicate lack of moral courage on his part. In any case, their veracity will remain suspect. It is now followed by yet another aberration through its publication by his daughter. Understandably, the go-ahead for publication comes across as an act that is motivated.

SPS Narang, New Delhi

Row over GMSH-16

Though it has been denied for now, it is painful to note that the UT Administration wants to hand over GMSH-16 to private players. Rather, they should place it under the PGI. The PGI has to purchase land in far-flung areas for expansion. The private sector is normally beyond the reach of the common man. A majority of our population consists of the poor and the common man. Such a prime site cannot be given to the private sector. The PGI serves the common man.

VS Ahluwalia, by mail

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Time to end the stir Other

Dec 16, 2020

Refer to ‘Stop the name-calling’; to brand the agitating farmers is highly objectionable, more so by persons holding responsible positions in the ruling dispensation. It is clear that the agitation has assumed the shape of a mass movement and there seems no end to it, at least in the near future. Both sides are sticking to their guns. In a democratic set-up, the public is supreme and cannot be taken for granted. This must be borne in mind by those at the helm of affairs. Continuation of agitation is not in the interests of the country and if remedial measures are not taken, it shall have far-reaching consequences for national security and the sagging economy.

Santosh Jamwal, Hamirpur

Amend, don’t repeal

Apropos of ‘Insistence on repeal of farm laws is futile’, the reason for the stand-off is that while farmers’ earnings, in absolute terms, have risen for some crops, the increase in input and labour costs has meant lower returns, and profitability has shrunk. Reforms do deliver growth and opportunities, as done in 1991. The government should set MSP, as without that market prices can crash. In recent years, paddy, groundnut, sunflower seed, rapeseed and mustard have sold below MSP, while maize, jowar, cotton, wheat and barley have sold above MSP. Even farmers, who do not get the benefit of MSP, get better remunerative prices by bypassing the commission agents.

Rajiv Boolchand Jain, Zirakpur

Expose ‘anti-nationals’

Apropos of the statement by Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad that stern action will be taken against the ‘tukde-tukde gang’ trying to take advantage of the farmers’ agitation, the farmers are protesting against the three farm laws on their own. They will not withdraw their movement unless these laws are withdrawn. The police have filed a charge-sheet against thousands of farmers and they are unable to get bail from the court. This is nothing but new tactics to divert attention as the government has failed to end the farmers’ agitation. It is time the minister’s statement is converted into action, as the people of India have a right to know the details of those taking ‘advantage’ of the stir.

Bhagwan Thadani, Mumbai

Relief fund misuse

Apropos of ‘Misuse of CM relief fund in Sulaha comes to light’, how did undeserving persons manage to get money meant for the poor, and victims of calamities? First, we saw the misuse of BPL scheme, then PM Kisan scheme, and now, the CM Relief Fund by the ineligible in Himachal Pradesh. It’s unfortunate that those who needed money from the fund weren’t able to get it. Why does the government never speak on these matters? Why were rules not followed during the disbursement of money? The state must hand over the matter to an independent investigation agency.

Ritish Pandit, Dehra Gopipur

Vaccination schedule

The Centre has issued detailed guidelines to the states for the Covid-19 vaccination drive. The Covid Vaccine Intelligence Network system will be used to record the beneficiaries. Although health is a state subject, states must follow the guidelines that the vaccine be offered first to healthcare workers, frontline workers and those above 50. States must also ensure that no bypassing of the queue is allowed with vaccination being administered to the so-called VIP categories, including ministers, MLAs, MPs and bureaucrats, as doing so will deprive the needy.

Sanjay Chopra, Mohali

Farm research

Scientists of various agricultural universities and institutions have contributed significantly and farmers have applied research results on the ground, which helped in the Green Revolution. In spite of all this, the economic status of the farming community has not changed. Government agencies must come to the rescue of small farmers and educate them about the latest research and its applications, depending upon individual needs. Farmers should diversify, as it will reduce water consumption. They are not adopting diversification in the absence of assured marketing. In spite of the MSP for maize, there is hardly any buyer. Research and the latest technology will only be useful with an assured MSP for all items and foolproof procurement system.

Darshan Singh Bhathal, Nangal

Fate of GMSH-16

Reference to the news that UT may give Government Multi-Specialty Hospital (GMSH) to a private player for a medical college, there was first a row over Panjab University. Now, the UT Administration is offering GMSH, located in Sector 16, Chandigarh, on a platter to the Centre. Where will the masses go? Government hospitals are already out of reach of the ordinary people.

Opinder Kaur Sekhon, Chandigarh

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Govt’s motive Other

Dec 15, 2020

The obdurate attitude of the Central Government towards the concerns of the farmers is a clear indication of some ulterior motive. Despite the provocations, the protesting farmers have been peaceful. The way they are managing the gathering is incredible with all activities of daily routine taken into consideration. In fact, it is proving to be a paradigm shift in public protest. Now, it is to be seen how the present dispensation responds to a mass movement that calls upon its conscience in a democratic and peaceful way to pay heed to their concerns.

DV Sharma, Mukerian

SC stance on stirs

The Supreme Court website lists the plea seeking the removal of protesting farmers, for hearing on December 16. An earlier Supreme Court verdict, adjudicating in the matter of conflict of the rights of protesters and others in Shaheen Bagh, that had impacted lives and livelihoods by blocking rail tracks and roads, had something amiss as it lacked a mechanism on answerability for any non-compliance in letter and spirit. Let the SC verdict be tangible on the ground or heads must roll for public woes.

Lalit Bharadwaj, Panchkula

Race for vaccine

This refers to the editorial ‘Race to get vaccine first’, reports that the elite section of the population is competing to get preferential treatment for inoculation against Covid is preposterous when the efficacy of the vaccine is yet to be proven. Any negative fallout shall derail the scheme of things. However, it is prudent that the VIPs be accorded top most priority as it shall embolden the common man to come forward as otherwise they are invariably rendered guinea pigs. Furthermore, vaccines shall not be a magic wand which shall make world disease-free.

Deepak Singhal, Noida

Autonomy for IIMs

The proposal by the Ministry of Education to empower itself to initiate an inquiry against the Board of Governors of any of the IIMs, if it is found to violate the IIM Act, is encroaching upon the autonomy guaranteed to these premium institutions by the very same Act. The recent standoff between the government and the IIMs involves its programme of one-year course. The IIMs call it an MBA degree, as is the global norm, but the UGC rulebook says only two-year programmes deserve that term. This shows the kind of tussle over trivialities that a bureaucratic system expends energies on. This tug-of war has played out before, in 2015 ministry under Smriti Irani when she was involved in a tussle with the PMO on the government’s role. The PMO had pushed back against the ministry’s plans underlining the need for autonomy on various fronts, and the PMO’s views prevailed. The current move threatens to undo that detente and slide back into central micromanagement for goals that remain extremely unclear. Now also, the PMO must step in and convince the ministry of education to trust the IIMs and back off from a pointless wrangle.

EL Singh, via mail

Digital push

The Government of India is strongly pushing for making the country completely digital. The Central Government has already made the Aadhaar and PAN card available to the people in digital medium and has also linked them together. There should then be no problem in making the voter ID card available digitally to the people of the country. The problem in the current process is that it takes a lot of time to prepare the voter card and reach the voter. The Election Commission should take effective measures for its resolution and reform.

Shakti Singh, Karnal

Nadda incident

The incident involving BJP chief JP Nadda in West Bengal was an assault since it was carried out with weapons. The Home Ministry over-reacted by summoning the West Bengal officers to Delhi when the aggrieved BJP leaders ought to have sought legal recourse. The Home Minister is for the whole of India, and not just the BJP.

Brig Hardip Ghuman (retd), via mail

Facts about sugar

Refer to ‘Bitter facts about sugar in packaged food’, sugar has been aptly defined as a product which is superfluous in diet, a luxury when expensive and a menace when cheap, the bane of today’s epidemic of obesity, diabetes, heart disease and a host of other health issues. With India emerging as the diabetes capital of the world, sugar should be taxed. Many epidemiologists are of the view that sugar is the new tobacco and needs to be similarly regulated. Our body does not require any carbohydrate from added sugar for energy. The bottom line is that sugar has no nutritional value beyond calories.

HN Ramakrishna, Bengaluru

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

Preserving democracy Other

Dec 14, 2020

In a speech to mark the foundation stone ceremony of the new Parliament building, PM Modi noted how India has proved those naysayers wrong who had doubted whether democracy would be successful here. Parliament — where the nation’s elected representatives sit, deliberate, debate and pass laws — embodies this central attribute of democracy. As the new parliament building rises, subject to litigation in SC, the government should also take steps to make democracy more meaningful. The passage of far-reaching instruments without adequate scrutiny bypasses necessary public debate. Most recently, we have seen how promulgating farm reforms as ordinances and then rushing them through Parliament has proved to be a recipe for unrest. The failure to convene Parliament’s winter session is a missed opportunity to take MPs into confidence on the pandemic and economic crisis trajectories, vaccine delivery plans and economic revival packages.

Sanjay Chopra, Mohali

Be sympathetic

Our Central leadership must understand the basic difference between democracy and authoritarian rule. Democracy gives a healing touch to hurt feelings whereas authoritarianism simply toughens the attitude. In the past, a provision in the Indian Constitution for making Hindi the national language was changed keeping in view the feelings of the people. Likewise, the Central Government should lend a sympathetic ear to farmers’ grievances and try to solve them.

Naresh Mohan Johar, Amritsar

All-party meeting

It is unfortunate that due to the delaying tactics of the Centre, the agitation by the farmers is getting prolonged. In view of their long-pending demands, it would be pertinent for the government to call an urgent all-party meeting and come out with remedial measures. The PM should personally intervene to resolve the situation. It would be proper if the government reconsiders the laws in question by calling a session of the parliament to tide over the problem. Being obdurate is not going to help in such a situation.

Raj Kumar Kapoor, Ropar

Mamata’s stance

Apropos of ‘Mamata govt defies MHA summons over Nadda attack’, the recent action of the West Bengal CM proves that she is a past master at such tactics. We remember the role of the police commissioner of Kolkata, in stopping senior officers of the CBI, from carrying out their legitimate duties and facing flak. She has now refused to send the Chief Secretary and the DGP to Delhi in compliance with the MHA summons, in the wake of a mob attack on BJP chief JP Nadda. Mamata should realise that she has some duties to perform, being the CM.

Upendra Sharma, via email

Kasauli’s problems

The notification for Kasauli subdivision means adding more congestion and pollution to this historic place with limited area and resources, whereas there was a drive to decongest it by removing encroachments. It is surprising as why there is a need for creating an additional subdivision in this era of advanced technology and communication while public money can be utilised for better priorities.

RS Kishtwaria, Palampur

Electricity inspection

This refers to the news item that the UT Administration has decided to dispense away with electrical inspection of up to 250 kWp solar power plants. This is in clear violation of the Indian Electricity Act 2003 and the Central Electricity Authority Regulations 2010 (erstwhile Indian Electricity Rules 1956). Inspections by the Chief Electrical Inspector (CEI) of the state/UT are mandatory to ensure that any installation is safe for human beings, property and for the equipment itself. It becomes all the more important if the power plant is grid-connected for the safety of entire system of the town. Chandigarh has a very small electricity network and it takes hardly 15 minutes to carry out any inspection. It would be prudent not to do away with statutory provisions which otherwise the administration is not empowered to do.

Adarsh Jain, former CEI and Electricity Ombudsman, Haryana

Dearth of doctors

Apropos of ‘Non-Covid patients hit’, the problem would not have occurred had the government utilised institutionally qualified ISM ayurvedic doctors, taught and trained in modern medicine in OPDs and other abandoned healthcare services — chronic and non-emergency diseases. There are an equal number of ISM doctors to MBBS doctors in the country. As per CCIM syllabus and curriculum, they are taught modern pharmacological agents and methods. Their services should have been availed at least as de facto primary healthcare service providers. They are under-utilised.

Naresh Dalal, via email

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

SC order on CCTVs Other

Dec 12, 2020

The SC order to the Centre, states and UTs to compulsorily install CCTV cameras with night vision at all police stations and offices of the central investigation agencies is a welcome step to prevent custodial torture. The apex court has further directed that no part of any police station or areas where interrogations are carried out should be left uncovered. The SC has also ordered the setting up of human rights courts in each district under the Protection of Human Rights Act to enable custodial torture complaints to be made. Both these orders are extremely important and will serve as a deterrent against abuse of power by the police and other law enforcement authorities. Far too often, custodial torture isn’t taken seriously. But implementing the SC order will be a challenge, as the funding for the police is already constrained in most states, which can be cited as an excuse not to install the requisite number of CCTVs. There is likely to be resistance from the police itself that are used to their current methods of operating which are not tenable as per law. This is why there needs to be proper monitoring of the implementation of the SC’s order.

LJS Panesar, via email

Dushyant’s stand

Reference to the news report ‘Farmers threaten to block rail tracks again’, the stand taken by Dushyant Chautala, Deputy Chief Minister of Haryana, on the protest after a written assurance from the Centre is difficult to understand. The assurance on MSP is no more a relevant demand of the farmers. The farmer leaders have rejected amendments to the three farm Acts but are firm that nothing less than repealing them would do. Dushyant Chautala’s position is also a far cry from that of Chaudhary Devi Lal, who sacrificed even the Deputy PM’s post for the cause of farmers.

Capt Amar Jeet Kumar, Mohali

Attack on Nadda

Apropos of ‘Nadda’s convoy attacked in Bengal’, violence has no place in democratic institutions. Paribortan needs to happen in the best interests of the residents of the state. This change has to come not only from the TMC, but also from the BJP, which seems to be polarising the voters on CAA and NRC, rather than questioning the TMC on governance, corruption and unemployment, where anti-incumbency is clearly visible.

Rajiv Boolchand Jain, Zirakpur

Show of unity

Reference to the news, ‘Centre’s attempt at backdoor talks fails as unions stay together’, it is a matter of regret that the Centre is trying to divide the farmer unions to end the impasse. But the unity of farmers has stood like a rock against such attempts. Farmers these days are educated and aware. The Central leadership has not been able to shake their faith by initiating talks with a select group of farmers.

Faqir Singh, Dasuya

Returning awards

To oppose, to protest or to agitate in a peaceful manner is the democratic right of every citizen. While the expression of solidarity and taking a stand on issues is welcome, the awards are bestowed for excellence in various fields. Returning them should be resorted to only as an extreme step to make the government heed the voice of reason. The government too should pay attention to the anguish of the people.

KK Sood, Nangal

Garbage management

Apropos of ‘Lahaul admn for sustainable development plan to save valley’, it is a welcome step which speaks of foresight on the part of administrator and planners as it is going to become an ultimate tourist destination and the gateway to Spiti, Chamba and Leh valleys. The first priority should be garbage management. There should be a provision for its efficient collection and scientific disposal. Garbage collection points with signboards en route at public utility places can be established with strict law enforcement. Involvement of local NGOs would prove to be meaningful for this purpose.

RS Kishtwaria, Palampur

Engineering colleges

It came as no surprise to read about the current state of affairs in four government engineering colleges of Punjab. The situation is similar in engineering colleges all over the country. Forced scholarship schemes without support on a regular basis as well as tremendous decline in the strength of students are the problems highlighted. Poor planning and weak basics in the engineering education system are also equally responsible for the present condition. Diversification is the need of the hour with skill development courses getting priority along with other options for the students like courses in arts, sciences, pharmacy and management.

SS Verma, Longowal

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

Ending the impasse Other

Dec 11, 2020

Reference to the editorial ‘Climbdown on farm laws,’ if the Centre agreeing to give a written assurance on MSP and APMC mandis had been included in the farm laws, there might have been no protests by the farmers. Now, it has become more of a prestige issue, both for the government and the farmer union leaders. When the farmers were blocking roads and railway tracks in Punjab, the Centre didn’t bother to address their grievances. Only when the protesters reached Delhi’s doorstep was some seriousness shown by the government. Though the protests have been peaceful, the disruption has been causing inconvenience to the common people. The Centre has clarified that there can be some amendments but the farm reforms won’t be rolled back. Farm union leaders have adopted a position of maximalism, their all-or-nothing approach reflects in the demand for an outright repeal of laws and unwillingness to settle for anything less, which is not a mature way for political negotiations. The key to a solution lies in an attitude of give and take at this stage.

Lajwant Singh, via email

Defects in farm laws

Too many anomalies in the farm laws have been pointed out by the farmers which if implemented in its present form, will not only add to a rise in the prices of essential commodities, but also render small traders jobless. Local cottage industry employing semi-skilled youth will fade away resulting in staggering price rise in items of daily need like flour, rice and cereals. Even today, despite the MSP, branded wheat flour and rice sell at a higher price in retail. The government should refrain from enacting laws that adversely affect the people.

Col Kuldip S Grewal (retd), Patiala

Peaceful protest

The protest by the farmers has been remarkable because of the unity witnessed among them. They have refrained from siding with the politicians and pressed ahead with the issue which affects all segments of society and the population. They have shown remarkable solidarity, shunning violence even while remaining adamant on their demands. A hardworking community, their stir should make the government look into their grievances. Opinder Kaur Sekhon, Chandigarh

Rescue apple growers

Apropos of ‘Arhtiyas owe crores to apple growers’, it is a fact that a farmer is cheated more by the persons whom he approaches for money in case of an emergency. This includes the arhtiyas and a section of the bank employees as well. The farmers are protesting against the agricultural laws meant to ease open the sale of agrarian products. While their plight has evoked support, no political leader has come forward to rescue the hapless ‘apple growers’. We urge the Himachal CM to initiate strict action against the arhtiyas to help the growers in distress.

Upendra Sharma, via email

Olympic sport

Apropos of ‘Breakdancing at Olympics,’ the focus on profit reflects the sole aim of the present- day materialistic world. Egalitarianism, altruism — such expressions were the currency of a bygone era of humanitarianism. Even the ongoing farmers’ agitation is an outcry of the victims of greed, who are not ready to give the farmers even their legitimate dues. Games, sports and education are now driven by profit. The sole hope to counter this lies in inculcating moral values in the new generation.

DV Sharma, Mukerian

Online exams

Apropos of ‘Students in Pangi, Bharmour take online exams atop hills,’ it’s sad to know that students have to climb hills and sit in the open to get better signal on their mobile phones to appear in online examinations. The state government must take the initiative to bring about a change in the situation. These students are the future of this nation. If we don’t provide them with sufficient resources, it’s ultimately going to affect us only.

Ritish Pandit, Dehra Gopipur

Russian lament

Reference to ‘Lavrov: Quad a new game…’, Chinese aggression on the LAC and lack of strong Russian support left India with no choice but to conclude the strategic pact with the US, leading to India joining the Quad, a formal anti-China alliance, as well as signing of the BECA. Russia, which has major defence orders from China, did nothing to rein in that country forcing India to fend for itself. Russian diplomacy in recent years has stopped taking any principled position, but focuses merely on interests and arms contracts. They are now wooing even Pakistan with arms supplies and joint exercises. India cherishes its friendship with Russia, but the latter needs to introspect as well.

Pankaj, Kalka

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

Not ready for reforms Other

Dec 10, 2020

Apropos of ‘Scrap laws, Badal writes to Centre’, the advice of the nonagenarian leader from Punjab is not only well-meaning, but also timely. Undue obstinacy may only lead to further alienation of the agitating farming community, and hence needs to be avoided in the larger national interest. The farm legislations only triggered a spontaneous outburst of the frustrations of the farming community facing an unjust system for quite some time now, leading to their chronic indebtedness and pecuniary ruin. Diversionary tactics aimed at polarisation, dividing the people and painting the mass movement as anti-national, will only prove counterproductive. The government is in a tearing hurry to tick its wish list without taking the intended beneficiary into confidence. It is now clear that the farming community is not yet ready and must be given more time to make it a willing partner in the reforms process.

Gp Capt JS Boparai, Una

Let MSP stay

Prime Minister Modi says reforms are very much required. With a similar argument, he introduced GST in place of the outdated VAT, but gave exemption to petroleum products on the demand of the state governments. Similarly, in the new farms laws, MSP should remain in force wherever the state governments demand.

Naresh Johar, Amritsar

Shun arrogance

The basic concept of democracy seems to have been violated by passing the farm laws that are not in favour of a majority of the farmers. The government must consider their demands and not be adamant. Corporates have benefited earlier also and these laws point in the same direction. Let good sense prevail.

MS Tandan, Ambala Cantt

Bandh affects economy

Most of our farmers have no knowledge of the farm laws. Some representatives of the kisan unions are leading the movement. Many parties have supported the bandh. Farmers have already declared that they would not politicise their movement. The government should call for an all-party meeting to resolve the issue. Farmers should also make up their mind to negotiate. The general public should not suffer as bandhs hurt the economy.

Rohan Kumar, Mohali

Assuage fears

Apropos of ‘Glaring flaws in farm laws’, the reason for the current stand-off is that while the earnings of farmers, in absolute terms, have risen for some crops, the increase in input and labour costs has meant lower returns, and profitability has shrunk. The government should set the MSP, as without that, market prices can crash. In recent years, paddy, groundnut, sunflower seed and rapeseed/mustard have sold below MSP, while maize, jowar, cotton, wheat and barley have sold above MSP. Farmers, who do not get the benefit of MSP, still get better remunerative prices, only by bypassing the commission agents. Agricultural GDP today is 16%, but it involves 50% of the country's population. Hence, the government needs to pacify the farmers.

Rajiv Boolchand Jain, Zirakpur

For the sake of justice

Refer to the article ‘Of sippers and straws’; in a large democratic country like ours, free, fair and an impartial judiciary is the only hope for millions. Unscrupulous politicians have an eye only on their vote bank. A corrupt bureaucracy has lost its credibility as it listens only to the diktats of its political masters for fringe benefits. It is the judicial obligation of the courts to undo a wrong in the course of administration of justice or to prevent the continuation of undue judicial process. The whole idea is to do real, complete and substantial justice for which they exist. Failure of the judicial system means collapse of society.

Anil Bhatia, Hisar

Govt interference

Reference to 'IIM autonomy'; devaluing institutions by taking away their autonomy is completely wrong if we wish to attain global standards in education. Institutes won’t be able to practise independently in the wake of political interference. The government needs to rethink before acting against its own rules and visions.

Shivani Bansal, Rampura Phul

Central Vista

Apropos of the editorial, ‘Central Vista project’, while the world is focused on the pandemic and has put on hold all non-essential projects, the Centre presses ahead with the controversial project. Though the Supreme Court expressed displeasure, importantly, it refused to stay the foundation stone-laying of the new parliament building. The government must use the money intended for the project on those whose lives need to be stabilised.

SS Paul, Nadia

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Bandh not a good idea Other

Dec 09, 2020

Apropos of ‘Ahead of Bharat bandh, PM says reforms must, outdated laws a burden’, in the time of the Covid-induced lockdown, we faced a lot of difficulties when Bharat was not properly ‘bandh’. We are now inviting trouble by taking the decision of a nationwide shutdown. Wearing a protest T-shirt is the easiest form of protest. The farmers’ protest has taken a political shape. Farmers and all members of the Opposition stand against the decision on farm laws. John Thibault rightly said, ‘Issues transcend boundaries, but voters do not.’


In favour of growers

The farm laws promulgated by the Centre are benevolent in intent and intelligible in content. The objective of these laws is simple, to provide farmers with more freedom. The farmers have misunderstood the legislation as seeking to abolish the APMC system and the MSP regime. Both these positions are half-baked. The reality is that farmers still retain the right to sell within mandis established by the APMCs. The laws only provide them with the choice to sell their produce outside the precincts of those mandis to firms for higher prices. Regarding MSP, the government has assured that the policy would not be scrapped. Despite this assurance, the deadlock does not seem to end. The only solution seems to be for the government to pursue communicating with the farmers to address their concerns.

Nissim Aggarwal, Chandigarh

Punjab rises again

The ongoing agitation against agrarian laws has shifted the focus in Punjab from a plethora of ills like drugs, suicides and exodus of youth to foreign shores. Once again, Punjab has played a pivotal role and inspired the whole country. Big or small in size, Punjab is a phenomenon almost like the Ganga, described by Nehru — ‘A narrow, slow and graceful stream in winter, and a vast roaring thing during the monsoon, broad-bosomed almost as the sea, and with something of the sea’s power to destroy, the Ganga has been to me a symbol and a memory of the past of India, running into the present, and flowing on to the great ocean of the future.’

Basant Singh Brar, Bathinda

Not fair to farmers

Refer to ‘Thought for the Day’; the Dalai Lama is right that peace can last only where rights are respected. Rights are being violated and the result is there for all to see. There is chaos, violence, agitation, allegations etc. India is among the most resourceful countries, with plenty of minerals, forests, natural gas, diamonds, solar energy etc. Every year, our farmers grow unlimited grains and cash crops. Tonnes of grains rot due to inadequate storage facilities. Sometimes, they are forced to dump their produce on roads because they don’t get returns for their hard work. What a mockery! Farmers are not indulging in politics because no one can force them to face water cannons in biting cold, and lathis. Nobody shuns the warmth of their home just to pass time in the name of politics.


End stalemate

Apropos of ‘Now, politicians make beeline’, and the surrender of honours and awards, the ongoing farmers’ struggle is unique in many ways. It reminds us of the chapters of freedom struggle when moderate and revolutionary leaders, the young and the old, women and children, fought a ‘do or die’ battle to get freedom by means of peaceful Satyagraha, surrender of honours and titles, boycott of foreign-made goods, and through revolutionary activities. The farmers’ agitation is also getting huge moral and financial support from individuals and organisations from all walks of life. Politicians have started rushing to Delhi to cash in on the movement. No party can afford to lag behind at this crucial juncture. A majority of the politicians have no sympathy with anyone. In the garb of their so-called concern for the annadata, they are indulging in vote-bank politics. So far, the farmers have kept them at bay, which indicates their lack of faith in parties. It will be in the interest of the ruling regime to end the stalemate as early as possible, not only in the interest of the annadata, but also in the interest of the nation as a whole.

VK Syal, Sangrur

Modifying weather

Refer to ‘China weather modification’; the state council has announced its plan to expand the system which would enable it to control weather conditions. It would not just affect India, it would impact the ecology of the world. In India, we plant trees for our future to maintain rainfall. In China, they do cloud modification. Weather modification is a new threat and unacceptable. Experimenting with Mother Nature would be a disaster.


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

Two faces of reforms Other

Dec 08, 2020

There are always two sides of a coin. Farm reforms too have conservative and progressive aspects. Farmers’ reaction through agitation shows they are more interested in assured purchase at assured price rather than high price through free trading outside regulated markets. The government is pressing upon the point that the Acts would bring about broadbased farming strategies through contract farming and abolition of unjust cess and brokerage. But what needs to bridge the gap is good faith between the two sides. No law can survive long if it is unpopular and adverse to public interest at large.

Rakesh Sudan, Kurukshetra

Warning to BJP

The BJP, by design or default, has become synonymous with election strategy and planning. At the outset in 2014, its campaign slogan of development was so earnest to follow it through, with the PM at the vanguard, demonetisation and then the GST rollout. Assuaged, it pursued the Hindutva agenda and took the lead for the genesis of the CAA, centred on ‘alien’ theme. Self-assured in its campaign for the Hyderabad municipal elections of 2020, it confidently landed back on its majoritarian track, given the regional inequation reference to the strength of minority voters in the city. This too has paid dividends. But then, the MLC elections in Maharashtra have in many ways underscored its shortcomings in managing the national economy, regional leadership and consultative politics. The loss of the two MLC seats in Varanasi must also be as discomfiting. Should the farmers’ crisis turn out adversely, the lesson in political hubris could prove bitter.

R Narayanan, Navi Mumbai

Find a solution

Apropos of ‘Need a solution’, farmers are up against the Centre which did not take the annadatas into confidence before passing the controversial Bills in a hush-hush manner. The farmers feed us cheaply and plentifully. They ought to be treated with respect and heard patiently. Their agitation is getting overwhelming support from all sections of society. The prolonged agitation does not augur well for the country. The Centre must remove the lacuna in the Acts which go against the interests of the farmers. The meetings between the two have yielded no results so far. The government must end the impasse and redress their genuine grievances. Mere lip service expressing sympathy for farmers will not suffice.

Tarsem S Bumrah, Batala

Peaceful agitation

Hats off to the protesting farmers who are observing a peaceful agitation. Neither have they created any ruckus anywhere nor have they destroyed any government machinery or building. Their dogged determination in favour of genuine demands deserves appreciation. The government’s steadfast attitude is working as a catalyst in fuelling the agitation. The government should be flexible and avoid lingering on by fixing meetings. Farmer unions are well aware of its tactics and cannot be fooled.

Rajkumar Kapoor, by mail

Not Biden’s priority

Apropos of ‘India low on Biden’s watch list’, the Trump-Biden standoff needs to end soon, as it has implications across the world on security and strategic matters. India has been trying to prepare a wish list for Biden, but it might not hold much. Moreover, Kamala Harris will follow an American story rather than an Indian one. Her statements on Muslims, immigration and Kashmir illustrate that South Block is unnecessarily being enthusiastic. With Biden taking over, India will need to work overtime to get Washington’s attention, as Biden’s priorities are European and South Asian allies. India is on the low side, and his soft approach towards China can be seen on the horizon, as economic trade with the Asian giant affects Americans directly, more than the security issues. India needs to tread carefully with Biden making structural changes in the US foreign policy.

Rajiv Boolchand Jain, Zirakpur

Revive spirit of Parliament

The posture of representing 130 crore Indians and the unrelenting acrimony towards the Congress and the rest of the Opposition parties cannot go on forever. If the government gives respect to voices other than its own, a lot of wastage of human energy and time could have been saved. The same is true of the CAA, NRC and the farm laws. The lack of a deliberative Parliament, and getting boxed into unenviable straits only corrode the foundations of democracy. Hubris cannot evade nemesis for long. The sooner this realisation rings in, the better it shall be for both the people and the government.

Lalit Mohan Sharma, Dharamsala

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

Volatile situation Other

Dec 07, 2020

Apropos of ‘The root of the problem’ (Nous Indica), the Centre and its agencies have failed to read and understand the psyche of the farmers. Now, the farmers’ grievances have found nationwide support because their concerns have nationwide repercussions. The writing is on the wall: once Anna Hazare shook the conscience of the nation, now it is the annadata who has given a jolt to the insensitive and self-styled ‘well-wishers’ of the farming community. Have they cared to ask the most affected party, for whose concern all this exercise in futility has been undertaken? All sections of society are taking part in the farmers’ movement. Therefore, it is in the interests of the agencies involved to realise the gravity of the volatile situation and take remedial steps.

DV Sharma, Mukerian

Corporate quid pro quo

We are entrenched in multi-layered corruption and exploitation, and, unfortunately, the vessel is leaking from the top (‘The root of the problem’; Nous Indica). The Ludhiana gold trader’s example is an eye-opener about how exploitation can easily go uncontrolled. What is worrying the simple farmers is how unscrupulous business tycoons can/shall enter the field of procurement, storage, and ultimately selling the produce at a much higher price, by throwing crumbs to desperate farmers. Politicians and top industrialists are believed to be in a quid pro quo mode.


At the receiving end

Refer to the ‘Thought for the Day’; indeed, ‘the farmer buys everything at retail, sells everything at wholesale, and pays the freight both ways’. The farmers’ agitation is getting support from other quarters, too, due to the genuineness of their demands. Such an agitation is taking place after a gap of 33 years, when farmers had laid siege to New Delhi in 1987. It is only a farmer who does not know what income he will get after selling his produce. The fate of the agitation is uncertain but it is clear that farmers are victims of moneylenders. The government should remove the flaws in the laws which are against the interests of the farmers, as at present, only the agriculture sector is showing positive signs in the GDP data.

Yash Pal Ralhan, Jalandhar

Repeal contentious laws

The agriculture laws were passed by the government in great haste, which did not feel the necessity of any discussion or consultation regarding the reforms. After feeling ignored and unheard for two months, farmers took to the streets, although the government claimed that the laws were beneficial to the farmers. Now being face to face with the farmers pitching their tents on Delhi borders, the government must repeal the contentious laws for the time being. However, the process should continue to introduce reforms as per democratic procedure while keeping the farmer in mind as the ‘sole beneficiary’. The role of corporates or transporting the produce from one state to the other for reaping higher benefits will automatically be restricted if the MSP is legalised with punitive action.


This teacher inspires

There is no dearth of intellect in India, but it lacks due recognition here. Ranjitsinh Disale, a teacher at a district council primary school in Maharashtra, has made the country proud by winning the prestigious Global Teacher Award worth Rs 7 crore, and deciding to share it with other teachers. He is a source of inspiration for fellow teachers.

Shadi Lal, by mail

Great gesture

Refer to ‘Ranjitsinh Disale’; the Maharashtra Government school teacher has shown magnanimity by deciding in a never-before-seen instance to share his prize money. In tough times of the pandemic, teachers like Disale are giving their best to make sure every student has access to good education.

SS Paul, Nadia

Poor Covid planning

Apropos of ‘All’s not well in HP Covid wards’, it is surprising to note the lack of preparedness in the very state which imposed the harshest of all lockdowns. Himachal was made an impregnable fortress for a good six months. The leadership and the bureaucratic top brass, however, failed to rise to the occasion and did not use the time given and resources effectively. This total lack of strategy is being reflected on all fronts. HP has the dubious distinction of having most districts in the worst-affected category, not to mention the collateral damage caused. The hapless populace is left to bear the consequences of the government’s inability to plan, allocate and deliver. They are truly at God’s mercy.

Gurjyot Singh, Shimla

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Trudeau’s remarks Other

Dec 05, 2020

Apropos of ‘Unwarranted remarks: Canadian PM tests limits of diplomatic protocol’, Trudeau said nothing about India’s farm laws. His stance at the WTO on India’s agricultural trade practices is irrelevant in this case. What he did raise a concern about, as expected from any believer of democracy, is the Indian Government’s refusal to let the farmers enter Delhi for protesting peacefully. One can fully support farmers’ right to peaceful protest without agreeing with their agenda. Conversely, not allowing peaceful protests is fascism, a path the current government seems to have gladly chosen.


Stalemate continues

The latest round of negotiations between the representatives of farmers’ unions and the government could not break the impasse. Farmers have hardened their stance. It remains to be seen what strategy is worked out by the government to resolve this intractable tangle. The protraction of the agitation will damage the growth of the economy substantially, apart from inflicting inconveniences upon the masses. It is incumbent upon the government to devise some acceptable solution to this disturbing and chaotic situation.

Roshan Lal Goel, Ladwa

Hidden agenda

The ongoing strike of farmers is growing stronger and stronger with each passing day, with more and more farmers joining the stir. The Centre was apparently not prepared for this. The farm laws were passed without taking the farmer unions into confidence. The farmers had not made any demand for such laws. What prompted the government to go for such laws so hurriedly, and that too when the country was in the severe grip of Covid-19? It smacks of some hidden vested forces behind the move to legislate these laws. Tensions are high on our borders. The stir of the farmers should not linger on. It is for the government to show flexibility and shed arrogance.

Santosh Jamwal, Hamirpur

Modi’s pride

Suppose the government enacted farm laws with good intention and for the benefit of farmers, but they don’t see anything good in these laws and are protesting. So, why the demands of farmers even in a democracy are not being considered? Either the theory of farmers is precise or it is Modi’s pride that's hindering the revocation of the farm laws. It has been Modi’s pride, when the CAA was enacted, special status of J&K was revoked, GST was implemented and demonetisation was announced. The force behind the execution of these decisions was simply the PM’s pride.

Rashpinder Singh, Mansa

Message of brotherhood

The protests by farmers have turned to be a blessing in disguise as these protests have brought people from all walks of life together for a common cause. The ones who are protesting in New Delhi are doing a daring job, but those supporting them being in their own houses also deserve accolades. People from different villages of Punjab are sending eatables to their brethren in Delhi. The dishes include sarson da saag and makki di roti and pinnis. Even some cooks from Malerkotla, a Muslim-dominated town, are sending different dishes to these farmers. This is enough evidence to prove that the people of Punjab are one during the time of crisis. The message of universal brotherhood is rightly being delivered to the rest of the world.

Bir Devinder Singh Bedi, Sangrur

Memories of KU

‘Prof Datta’s bond with Kurukshetra’ made me nostalgic about my days in Kurukshetra (1964-66), where I did my postgraduate studies in physics. I entered the KU drenched by torrential rains to seek admission to MSc. I was not only late for the interview, but also had no money to pay the fee. But everything was sorted out by the magnanimous committee when it noticed my performance in BSc. With just four annas in my pocket on that day, I came back home in 1966 with a gold medal and some money saved from the scholarships. It was the university authorities (Lala Suraj Bhan, Dr HS Hans, Dr Vikas Mishra) and my legendary teachers who saw me through those difficult times. Pray we still have such people around. Forever indebted to my alma mater!

Surindra Lal, Patiala

Life of values

‘Commitment to freedom and justice’ stands for values that are rare today. The writer’s father was the epitome of a model teacher, worth emulating by the present generation of teachers. He stood for open thoughts with freedom to the students to dissent from what is heard or read. His pedagogy is the need of the hour when values like freedom and justice have become rare in public life. Indeed, it is the teacher who can instil these values. This calls for a need to impart training in leadership skills to teachers in schools and HEIs.


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

Canadian PM’s comments Other

Dec 04, 2020

The Canadian PM professing solidarity with Punjab farmers smacks of political opportunism. PM Trudeau said that Canada would always defend the right to peaceful protest. It is extremely odd that Trudeau should have chosen a religious event to wade into a domestic matter such as India’s farm reform laws. The reason Trudeau feels compelled to comment on the farmers’ agitation is most likely the sizeable Punjabi community in Canada, many of whose members still have agricultural land back in Punjab and are sympathetic to the farmers’ protests. Trudeau evidently places a higher premium on currying favour with this domestic constituency than on relations with India. India has rightly responded by calling Trudeau’s comments as ‘ill-informed’. But this isn’t the first time that the Canadian PM Justin Trudeau has ruffled India’s feathers. His 2018 visit had turned into a fiasco over the Canadian government’s invitation to a Khalistani militant. Justin Trudeau should shun his penchant for letting domestic messaging prevail over key partnerships.

PL Singh, Amritsar

Trivialising foreign policy

If the Canadian PM’s remarks on the farmers’agitation are unwarranted, so was India’s open support to Trump during PM Modi’s visit to the US by coining slogans like “Ab ki baar, Trump sarkar.” Governments should refrain from trivialising their foreign policy while trying to guard their strategic interests.

BPS Kanwal, via mail

Farmers’ protest

Apropos of the news report ‘Talks inconclusive, next round tomorrow.’ The farmers have rejected the Centre’s offer to set up an expert panel as they are adamant on the farm laws being rolled back. The problem is of trust deficit. The PM claimed that the farmers have been misled. But the government should remember that if the farm laws had been good for the farmers, they would have welcomed it. Even the Bhartiya Kisan Sangh, owing allegiance to the RSS, was not consulted. The movement is now becoming stronger with leading personalities deciding to return their awards. This government must understand that trust and faith are like a small lamp in the dark forest, which may not light everything, but can assure that the next step is safe.

Capt Amar Jeet Kumar, Mohali

Time to begin a dialogue

Apropos of the editorial ‘Time for fruitful talks;’ farmers protesting against the farm laws in Delhi should not be treated as unwanted guests. Instead of trying to begin a dialogue with the farmers in order to address their worries, many in the ruling party at the Centre and in Haryana have sought to suggest that the agitated farmers are being instigated by the Congress, while the others are even alleging that they are in league with anti-national elements. This is unbecoming of a ruling party when faced with popular dissent. The BJP should realise that Punjab won peace and stability the hard way after a decade lost to turbulence.

EL Singh, via mail

Support for farmers

On the demand for MSP by the agitating farmers, I wish to quote Adam Smith who said, “Businessmen seldom meet to gather, even for merriment, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices.” This has been rightly quoted by Montek Singh Ahluwalia in his book Backstage. Keeping in view the above fact, the government enacted laws for maximum retail price for factory products and minimum wages for workers. As of now, this class is entering the agriculture market, so the government must ensure minimum support price for all farm products.

Naresh Mohan Johar, Amritsar

Gender bias

Apropos of ‘Gender blindness during Covid’; it is true that women have been equally affected, but the media focus has mostly been on men. It was noticed during the lockdown when women suffered a lot, but it was not taken very seriously. The condition of the migrants who walked back to their villages was tragic but their predicament on the way was completely ignored. It was a tough time for the women who had to brave the ordeal while moving on the road in the scorching heat. The media should change its perspective and highlight the condition of all sections of society.

Subhash Taneja, via mail

Plane crash

Apropos of the news item ‘Six days after MiG-29K crash, pilot still missing’; we recently lost a MiG-29K in the Arabian Sea. Earlier, a Jaguar had crashed at Ambala in June 2018. How long will such tragedies continue? The Rafales cannot carry the entire load of the IAF. HAL engineers need to be given exhaustive training in maintenance and refurbishing foreign-made fighter aircraft.

Rajiv Boolchand Jain, Zirakpur

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

Allay their fears Other

Dec 03, 2020

The worry lines on the faces of my elders are an indication that the government has failed to provide them, and a thousand others, with enough assurance about the new farm laws. The fear of the unknown looms over them. The new Acts have missed a few steps and moved to the end. With the average farmer needing money every crop cycle, he doesn’t have the holding power to influence market prices, and can’t compete with big corporations. The farmers are linking the new laws with the previous experiences they have had with private players with crops like sugarcane, where a fair rate isn’t provided and payments are delayed by months. They are looking for a written assurance in the form of mandatory MSP. With talks progressing this week, the farmers expect the government to understand their side of the debate.

Inayat Kaur Brar, Muktsar

Agrarian movement

Refer to ‘Talks inconclusive, next round tomorrow’; the government has granted the freedom to farmers to sell produce from one state to another, but has not given the legal guarantee for MSP. The Centre should agree to make amendments in order to provide MSP security, and the farmers should shun the illegal and anti-social path of closing Delhi’s borders. The movement should not deviate from its original objectives.

Yugal Kishore Sharma, Faridabad

Laws not people-friendly

Refer to ‘Talks inconclusive, next round tomorrow’; why is the BJP not implementing any rule that satisfies the farmers? Why is every new law against the citizens? The earlier decision to privatise the Railways cost many employees their jobs. All these laws are in favour of rich businessmen, and not the majority of India.

Simran Ahuja, Yamunanagar

Party bulletins

Politics being both an art and a craft, some leaders/ministers at times air controversial views — with or without tacit support of the top brass — and many a time as damage control, authorised spokespersons dissociate the party/government from it, terming the utterances to be a personal view. This leads to confusion and social tranquillity is vitiated by unsavoury rhetoric. The Election Commission should mandate all political parties to publish regular bulletins, stating the party’s stand on various issues. The publication may be priced for subscription by anyone.

Lalit Bharadwaj, Panchkula

EC reforms

Refer to ‘Election Commission in need of reforms’; I support the writer’s views. Howsoever eminent, an IAS officer can’t match an SC judge insofar as the interpretation of judicial and constitutional readings are concerned. In the recent Bihar elections, about 40 per cent candidates had a criminal history. What have the parties or governments done in these cases? Normally, the election commissioners are handpicked by the government.

Mohan Lal Gupta, Rampur

Rise in crime

Every day we read news of snatchings, burglaries, looting of banks, murders and rapes. The main reasons for spurt in crime are: economic slump due to lockdown for months; steep increase in unemployment; government’s ineffective Ghar Ghar Rozgar scheme, as so many could not even get a Class IV job. The government should give a serious thought to these aspects and make efforts to effectively fight this demon of unemployment. Unless this is remedied, there will be no let-up in crime.

Santokh Singh, Jalandhar

Pension cut

Implementation of the recommendations of the Sixth CPC and revision of pension for pre-2006 pensioners/family pensioners surprised Central civilian officers in regard to government manipulation on grade pay recommended by the pay commission, circulated under circular No 57, by reducing the pension/family pension to 50 per cent of the minimum of pay scale plus grade pay (where applicable) that reduces their pension to Rs 4,650 and Rs 2,790, respectively, against the recommendations of the commission to pay grade pay in addition to pension. The government has cheated senior citizens, many of whom died waiting for their dues. The CPC recommended a grade pay on a par with that of college teachers and service officers who were drawing academic pay and rank pay earlier.

NS Sahota, Jalandhar

Change curfew timings

Night curfew is an eyewash in Punjab. The state government’s decision to impose curfew from 10 pm to 5 am is an exercise in futility. Most places get crowded in the evening, from 5 pm to 9 pm, heightening the risk of spread of Covid-19 infection.


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

Farm laws to stay Other

Dec 02, 2020

Refer to ‘Time for fruitful talks’; there is a significant trust deficit between the Centre and farmers’ representatives. It is time for wiser counsel to prevail. But the government shouldn’t back down from the farm legislation as it promises to boost agriculture. Agricultural markets needed to be liberalised. Most states have headed in that direction over the past few years through legislative changes. Therefore, there can be no going back. The Centre should hold talks with farmers and come out with some concrete proposals to mitigate their anxieties. Also, the farmers need to understand that rhetoric and action alone wouldn’t suffice. The government must recognise the depth of the sentiment of farmers, reach out sensitively and find a mechanism to assure farmers that their incomes will be protected.

N Sadhasiva Reddy, Bengaluru

Can’t stop farmers

Reference to ‘Talks fine but no precondition, say farmers’; the ball is now in the Centre’s court. Right from the beginning, the government has mishandled the farmers’ agitation. Even the promulgation of the farm ordinance during the pandemic was not appropriate. An ordinance is meant for most urgent matters when Parliament is not in session. What was the urgency? How can the government stop the agitation of farmers, when all political parties in the country are born out of movements? The government is ready for talks, but with preconditions. It should remember, ‘Never hit a man on the head when you have your fingers between his teeth.’

Naresh Mohan Johar, Amritsar

Don’t malign protest

It is mischievous on the part of BJP leaders to brand the farmers’ agitation as Congress-inspired or Khalistani-backed, or identify it with any other group. It is true that the agitators include all shades of people, but they are there as farmers or their sympathisers. They should not be defamed. without evidence. Rather, it is the adamant attitude of the Centre that is giving politicians opposed to the BJP an opportunity to use the agitation for their narrow political ends. It goes to the credit of the farmer leaders that they are keeping political leaders of all parties at an arm’s length. The government should immediately concede the demands of the farmers. Does an intended beneficiary ever resist any measure sincerely meant for his good?

Sadhu S Panag, Fatehgarh Sahib

PM not true ‘sewak’

Apropos of ‘Guru Nanak’s influence worldwide’, quoted by PM Modi, I would like to request him to introspect whether he is serving like a ‘sewak’ or pretending to be one. India lives in villages and not in palaces or malls of corporate houses. His government’s stand is self-contradictory. On the one hand, it has been issuing advisories of social distancing, and on the other, it is compelling the poor farmers’ community to camp around Delhi in lakhs, causing them to suffer not only from cold and hunger, but the imminent threat of community spread of Covid. One fails to understand why the Centre is adopting such a tough stand in favour of agriculture laws, purportedly meant to double the income of farmers, who themselves don’t want such change.

VK Syal, Sangrur

Working hours

Refer to ‘Proposal to increase working hours for labourers from 10 hours to 12’; workers need to work hard for money; however, the authorities also need to take care of the mental and physical health of the workers and their overall safety. The government can consider the option of recruiting staff in greater numbers, thereby creating more opportunities for the youth and paying them appropriate wages rather than merely increasing their working hours.


Will to learn

I read ‘A Brigadier’s love for Urdu’ with interest. To earn a Master’s degree in Urdu is a Herculean task. I salute him for his efforts and success. I am no match for Brigadier saheb, but I also made efforts to learn. I was posted as a physical education teacher at a school in Patiala district. A teacher mocked my little knowledge of English. I vowed to learn the English language, and graduated in English from PU. Age is no impediment in the way of knowledge. A man is a learner till his last breath.

Bansi Ram Rahul, Hoshiarpur

Play with determination

With the omission of opener Rohit Sharma from the Australia tour, it was clear that the Indian team would not be so formidable, yet it was unthinkable that the results would be so startling (‘Just two good!’). India’s bowling has become a matter of concern since Australia set up a gigantic score. The Australian team must be looking for a clean sweep after wrapping up the ODI series. The Men in Blue ought to play with absolute determination to secure their pride.

Tushar Anand, Patna

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

PM’s assurance not enough Other

Dec 01, 2020

Apropos of ‘New agri laws have given farmers new opportunities: PM’, Modi in Mann ki Baat was expected to remove all the confusion but the outcome was unsatisfactory. Beating around the bush when the annadata’s life is at stake is uncalled for. The indifference towards the farmers’ concerns prove that we have failed as a so-called democratic country. The question of keeping the MSP intact remains unresolved. Deciphering the issue might save us from chaos in the prevalent bedlam of the pandemic.

Agam Garg, by mail

Reach out to farmers

Refer to ‘Adamant farmers break barricades in Hry’; it is important to remove misconceptions regarding MSP, which is the primary task before various governments and the Centre. Outreach at the highest level could be a game changer, but before that, it is also needed that tempers are cooled following clashes between the police and farmers. The Centre’s reforms package may be a sincere attempt to improve private participation in the farm trade, but this has to be well explained to the farmers. Ironically, paddy procurement in Punjab has topped last year’s numbers by nearly 20%. This should allay the fears of immediate MSP rollback to some extent. A phased, orderly transition through farm reforms and income support, offers a win-win situation for the farmers and traders. The government must handhold farmers through this big shift, which can prove as momentous and fruitful as the Green Revolution.

LAL SINGH, Amritsar

Agitating farmers

The recent march of farmers to Delhi highlights their grievances against the farm laws. There is so much going on during the pandemic that this crisis will surely add to the country’s problems. While the Centre says that the Opposition is misleading the farmers, the Opposition blames the Centre. There should be a conclusion on which farmers must agree to avoid the worsening of the situation. There should be education regarding the laws that are being misinterpreted and concerns related to the MSP must be addressed.

Palak Bathla, Kaithal

BJP’s big lie

Refer to ‘Farmers’ march’; and considering the plight of the farmers these days, the slogan of the BJP government that their income would double by 2022 is proving to be the biggest lie of the year. Only 15 months are left for the due date to arrive. The only way to double the income is if the government doubles the MSP of rice, wheat, maize and sugarcane. This much rise is next to impossible.

RN Malik, Gurugram

UP law not anti-Muslim

Refer to ‘Of an unsuitable girl and other inanities taking firm hold’; the UP law is to prevent forcible inter-faith marriages and conversion from one faith to the other. Referring to it as ‘love jihad law’ is mischievous. The premise that it is meant to target Muslims is misplaced. Nikita, a Hindu woman, was killed by a Muslim man who wanted to forcibly marry her and convert her to Islam. The law is to prevent such sad incidents. Do not label it as anti-Muslim. It will equally apply if a Hindu forces a Muslim to marry him and convert to Hinduism. The writer quotes a HC ruling that says that two grown-up individuals, irrespective of caste, creed or religion are free to choose a partner as they wish. The courts can err. No freedom is unfettered, especially if it concerns inter-faith matters. The writer’s disdain for the UP CM is so obvious that he ends his article with a strong note. This does not behove a ‘veteran journalist’.


Humorous sithnis

The humorous write-up ‘Wedding limericks that broke the ice’ prompts me to quote sithni from Baba Nanak’s wedding with Mata Sulakhni on the occasion of Gurpurb celebrations. Two such, in part are ‘Assan ta suniya ehde naag bhi yaar ne, karde ne shawan enhu phan khilar ve, yadoogaran ton ghat nahi, yadoogaran ton ghat nahi be larhya, saanu na yaado kar dayee’ (we learnt that serpents are his friends who give him shade after spreading fangs and he is not less than magicians. Being not less than magicians, oh, the groom, do not cast your spell upon us); and ‘Chaj da janjhi tenu labha na larya, laike Mardana ayan bhukhan da marya, ajj raza ehnu layen’ (Oh groom, you did not get a suitable companion and got hunger-afflicted Mardana; get him fed fully today). Alas! With the changed wedding scenario, the old hearty humour has vanished.

Gurmit Singh Saini, Mohali

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