Letters to the editor

Eternal homage Other

Jan 25, 2022

Refer to ‘The Indian soldier’s spirit remains eternal’, the government has rightly merged the Amar Jawan Jyoti at the adjoining NWM in recognition of the Fallen Soldier. Anybody visiting the memorial can spend two minutes in silent homage there. This acknowledgement of sacrifice and the laying down of lives by the soldiers in the defence of their country is beyond political considerations and controversies. The walls of the memorial would resonate with this immortal couplet: ‘Shaheedon ki chitayon par lagenge har baras mele, watan par marne walon ka yahi baki nishan hoga.’ We all salute them.

Gurpreet Singh, Mohali


Restore the flame

The Amar Jawan Jyoti is extinguished and the symbol of unknown soldiers — a helmet and an SLR rifle — will be removed from the canopy to make way for Netaji’s statue. This will be a national insult. Netaji’s statue can be installed at the NWM. The symbol of ‘unknown soldiers’ represents martyred soldiers, who are not less revered than Netaji. Who says that the Jyoti was never a national war memorial? If that be so, why were the PMs and Presidents going there and bowing their heads? The best solution is to extend the NWM to the India Gate War Memorial. Let the eternal flame be restored.

Capt Amar Jeet (retd), Kharar


Celebrating Constitution

This Republic Day, we must stand together to celebrate our Constitution and resolve to be active participants and adopt the significance of the Constitution. The Preamble, fundamental rights and directive principles provide identity to us. We must introspect whether the people, for whom the Constitution was written, are playing their part towards achieving its goals in the field of social, economic and political justice, liberty of thought, expression and belief. Strive towards peace, research, controlling price rise and generating employment, rather than unfurling the National Flag and giving vague hopes to the citizens during political address.

Harpreet Sandhu, Ludhiana


Why toll exemption?

The exemption of toll tax to a certain VIP class is irrelevant. With FASTag mandatory, it is advisable to treat everyone on a par with the common public. No exemption should be given to a VIP of any segment. It will lead to the reduction of toll tax for ordinary people, which is high. Revenue will increase and a positive message will go out to the general public.

Arun Kumar Jain, Ludhiana


Indira Gandhi’s role

Apropos of ‘Valuable collection on war that reshaped South Asia’, in a democratic system, the real power rests with political leaders elected by the people. Indira Gandhi was thought of as ‘goongi gudia’, but soon after, she proved her mettle, as the ‘only man in the Cabinet’ and ‘Goddess Durga’. The review does not mention, inadvertently perhaps, her significant role in the 1971 War. She was instrumental in dismembering our belligerent neighbour, Pakistan, and scripted new history and geography by creating Bangladesh. No doubt, the credit for victory goes to the supreme sacrifices by our armed forces, but all this could not have been possible if Indira did not stand like a rock, considering a threat from the US, which had moved its nuclear ship towards Indian waters.

BM SINGH, AMRITSAR


Beauty with brains

The nostalgic middle, ‘The picture-perfect girlfriend’ warmed the cockles of old-timers’ heart. The Bette Davis of India, Leela Chitnis, was a heart-throb. The ultimate combination of beauty and brains endowed her with a rare elegance. She essayed her roles with aplomb. Even in the era of theatrical acting and histrionics of Sohrab Modi and Prithviraj Kapoor, she acted naturally. When I met the legendary Urdu poet Ahmad Faraz in Kohat (NWFP), he ruefully told me, ‘Leela Chitnis se milne ki aas naaqis rah gayee’ (the wish to meet Leela Chitnis remained unfulfilled). When she shuffled off the mortal coil in 2003, an Urdu film critic wrote in a Pakistani daily, ‘Leela Chitnis ka namkeen jaadoo theatre se nikalne ke baad bhi taveel arse tak dilo-dimaagh pe taari rahta tha’ (The sultry mojo of Leela Chitnis stayed for a long time with cine-goers even after coming out of the theatre).

Sumit Paul, Pune


Golden era of cinema

‘The picture-perfect girlfriend' takes one to the lanes of Rawalpindi in the early 1940s, the then camaraderie in the British India army, and the threshold of the ushering in of the golden era of Indian cinema. Remembering such events as the love affair of the legendary Devika Rani and Russian painter Roerich, the first Indian Lux face of the almost-forgotten legend Leela Chitnis, describes appreciably the range of the flight of the imagination of the writer. The story has been woven in golden brocade and is as impressive as the stories of Chekhov and Tagore.

Surinderjit s sandhu, 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

Upholding Constitution Other

Jan 24, 2022

Refer to ‘Constitution a work in progress’; our Constitution is a great historical document which is a product of our social, political and cultural progress. It has provided great dynamism and diversity, and provides all citizens equal opportunities of development and growth. But it demands continual judicial activism and people’s participation in all pillars of democracy and the power structure. It is the duty of every citizen to participate in the process. Mere slogans, speeches and seminars cannot empower the Constitution. Our proactive role is vital. The Constitution is a mirror of our cultural pluralism.

Harish Saroha, Chandigarh


Time for a relook

Everything rusts and rots with time unless reviewed and reinforced periodically. Nothing can stay strong permanently. The Indian Constitution is no exception. Despite 105 amendments, a time has come for an overall relook, for which a Constituent Assembly-like body consisting of eminent jurists, politicians, educationists and patriots must be constituted.

BRIJ BHUSHAN MITTAl, CHANDIGARH


Show them the door

Varun Gandhi can sense a lot wrong within his own party and fails to endorse a single policy, but dare not leave it. Sanghmitra Maurya fails to defend the party she belongs to when attacked by her own father. Capt Amarinder’s wife is set to support him in an attempt to decimate the party she belongs to. Shatrughan Sinha campaigned for his wife against the official party candidate. The list is long. It is not a case of differing political ideologies of people within the family because the people in question seem to be standing against the ideologies of their own political outfits and they are sticking to their present parties just to keep intact the office of profit they are holding and are liable to lose it in the event of shifting loyalty. It’s however for the political parties to decide whether such nonsense should continue, and if not, show them the door at once.

SL Singhal, Noida


Selection of candidates

Political parties should consider a different way of fielding candidates for elections. Rather than begging the high command for a ticket and giving all authority and power to one person or a committee, each party at the constituency level should allow its members to elect their candidate by a secret ballot. This would be a bottoms-up approach, a true grassroots democracy. People will have more ownership of the candidate. They will be highly engaged in the process and the outcome. Such a process will resolve issues, such as nepotism and parachuting of candidates who are famous but ignorant of the local situation and issues.

Ranjit Nanner, Canada


The ‘homecoming’

Refer to ‘Harak Singh Rawat back in Congress after six years’; the expelled BJP minister’s journey back to the Congress is no ordinary development. He, along with 10 other party MLAs, had led the rebellion against his party’s government in Uttarakhand in 2016, triggering the imposition of President’s rule there. How come that not only he has been taken back into the fold, but also assured of the party ticket, along with his daughter-in-law, for the ensuing Assembly elections? Such a move could largely be aimed at creating a highly unsavoury situation for the BJP, as the state leadership may find it difficult to convince the voters about the real reasons for his recent expulsion from the party.

Kumar Gupt, New Delhi


Reservation on merit

Reservation was introduced to uplift the backward communities of India but our political leaders made it a weapon to influence people for their vote bank. Now, 27% reservation to OBCs has been decided in NEET. Giving reservation on the basis of caste is unfair. Financially weak people can be in any community, so give everyone a fair and equal chance on the basis of merit for studies or jobs. Providing reservation makes people less skilful because they think they can get jobs or admission to government colleges easily.

Dipankar Chawla, Yamunanagar


Early vs late risers

‘No, thank you, early risers’ is written with a pen soaked in the ink of sugary solution of witty words and smiles. There have been comparisons between early and late risers for decades. My research supervisor, riding his proud possession (a Jawa motorcycle), used to boast of early rising and claimed that early risers were way ahead of late risers. That made him arrogant too. Another friend who used to get up at 4 am would claim that their day is longer than that of the late risers as they could do more work before going to office. Tired of listening to this, I once retorted that what the early risers did before going to office was already finished by us late in the night! I believe early rising and normal (late) rising is controlled by the profession in which a person is employed.

Gurdev Singh, 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

Judicial activism Other

Jan 22, 2022

Reference to ‘Delay in Covid relief’; with citizens being more aware of their rights and duties, the governments seem to have turned a deaf ear to their genuine grievances. The judiciary is already overburdened in its domain, and comes to the rescue of the people most of the times. Judicial activism has a positive connotation, but excessive usage may lead to its overreach. The governments need to be responsible enough to deliver the services and promises so that the thin line between activism and overreach is not violated.

NAVDEEP KAUR, Zirakpur


Do away with reservation

To embrace change and bring meritorious students to the fore, we must eliminate walls. Discriminating and dividing people on the basis of castes and economy won’t allow India to flourish. The concept of casteism is swelling fast due to quotas and reservations (‘SC: Upholds OBC quota in NEET’). Taking undue advantage of this policy, some make fake certificates and snatch seats of talented and intelligent candidates. Merit needs a precise definition, proper understanding and thorough explanation. The members of the general category, too, need a space to grow.

Sunil Chopra, Ludhiana


Quota must stay

The policy of reservations has always evoked strong contentions from both proponents and opponents of the system. That reservations militates against merit, the oft-advanced argument by the opponents, has been turned down by the SC, saying that reservation is not at odds with merit since in a society infested with yawning socio-economic disparities, the concept of distributive justice needs to be given weightage. High score in competitive tests alone can’t be a determinant for distribution of scarce educational resources. When politicians support the reservation policy, their intent can be suspected to be influenced by political considerations — reservation being a sensitive political issue — but the verdict of the court can’t be viewed from that angle. Moreover, when seats in private medical colleges are ‘bought’, no hue and cry is raised that unmeritorious candidates are being accommodated, ignoring the claims of poor meritorious candidates. The decision of the court, upholding 27% quota for OBC in NEET in PG medical and dental state-run colleges should be seen as a right step to reduce deeply entrenched socio-economic disparities.

Roshan Lal Goel, Ladwa


All did their bit

The nation is celebrating ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’ on the occasion of 75 years of Independence. One has never heard our Prime Minister speaking about development and achievements made by the country during all these decades, and about the wisdom of his predecessors. Development of a nation is a continuing process and every government which comes to power tries its best. Successive governments should appreciate the work done by the previous governments and make policies that would further promote the welfare of citizens. In India, we started our journey from scratch when we earned our freedom in 1947.

Bhupinder Kochhar, Panchkula


Election duty

Apropos of ‘Officials approach DCs to avoid poll duty’, it is a sad state of affairs that maternity leave, attending to expectant wife, etc., and other medical issues are labelled as excuses of employees by authorities. This is totally authoritarian on the part of the administration to not consider genuine cases. The genuineness of such cases can be easily checked with related medical documents. Are the authorities going to take responsibility in case of any mishappening in serious cases? The administration should take a humanitarian approach in dealing with such cases, rather than taking strict action.

Preety Goyal, by mail


Big loss to theatre

Refer to ‘Ace of theatre thinking leaves a void’; the piece took me down memory lane when I was his student (1971-73 batch) and he taught us Shakespeare. A great disciplinarian, Prof Ahuja gave minute explanations of plays. Some of his critical insights were beyond our comprehension at that time. However, as I look back, I realise the hard work put in by our revered teacher to instil some knowledge in our minds. His passing away is a big loss to his students, a bigger loss to the world of letters, and a still greater loss to the world of theatre. To quote a line from Shakespeare’s ‘King Lear’, ‘Ripeness is all.’ Salute to a great teacher, and a great soul. May his soul rest in peace.

Satish Arya, 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

Only family matters Other

Jan 21, 2022

Winnability is all that matters to political parties. Tickets are being given to singers, actors, comedians etc, but not to intellectuals and subject experts, so that their talents can be used for the benefit of the state. Now, a Punjab minister wants that the AICC should withdraw its one-family-one-ticket policy, just to get a ticket for his son. Most are ministers because of their father, and not because of their own abilities. This is height of selfishness as they want to perpetuate the party’s dynastic rule. It depends on the workers now if they still want to attend rallies to show party strength and lift chairs and durries, because tickets are reserved for those who are already sitting in the Assembly. Politicians want sycophants around them, but their own family members should be in the House. Where is the need for elections and wastage of funds and time? No work is done in any office during elections.

Sukhwant Bhullar, Chandigarh


Fund misuse in polls

According to ‘To curb money misuse, EC declares...’, there is no denying that the misuse of muscle and money power holds the key in the polls held in our country. Elections are held under the nose of the Election Commission which acts as a lame duck amid the deafening din of the free flow of money. The EC has now declared 17 constituency segments as ‘expenditure sensitive’. The entire narrative appears to be nothing but a ploy to hoodwink the public. If the government is serious about solving the issue, it needs to identify and punish those involved, which may include debarring candidates from contesting the election. Putting patrolling teams, static video surveillance teams, flying squads on the job would serve no purpose until we have a working legal system to stop this practice. We need to have a permanent system where elections can be fought based on issues and achievements.

RAMESH K DHIMAN, Chandigarh


Aya Ram, Gaya Ram

Come elections, the Aya Ram, Gaya Ram of the Indian political system rears its head. Leaders from all political parties are changing sides citing vague excuses. The public can understand that nothing is in the interest of political ideology, nation, state or people. Most politicians are in the field to make themselves and their loved ones rich, bring them to power and then exploit power for their own benefits. They will stoop to any level to influence the public for votes, and after winning they are out of the reach of the common people.

SS Verma, Longowal


Women cadets

Apropos of ‘Limited intake’, women are leading and competing in almost every work field and segment. They deserve equal growth opportunities in the defence forces as well. Their intake in the forces should increase to a much higher number as they have equal capabilities and leadership skills as male officers.

KIRANDEEP SINGH, CHANDIGARH


An extra tear

I was a voracious reader of the analytical articles published in The Tribune on theatre performances by Chaman Ahuja. He was known for his critiques and rare scholarship, and was held in high esteem for his objectivity in evaluating a dramatic performance. The performers waited anxiously to read his comments as they were the authentic stamp on the standard and worthiness of the performance. I remember a meeting with him at his residence long ago. Replying to my question as to how he would explain melodrama, his answer, which I have cherished till date, was: ‘When a director wants to draw an extra tear from the eyes of the audience.’ What an answer!

Chaman Arora, Ferozepur City


Starvation deaths

It is not for the first time that a news report appeared claiming a starvation death in Tamil Nadu, as doctors did not find food in the body of a 5-year-old child during a post-mortem examination. Earlier, too, there have been reports about starvation deaths across the nation. As on April 20, 2020, India had a stock of 524.5 million tonnes of food grains. It is shameful that even with such a buffer stock, people are dying of starvation, and we are ranked 102 out of 119 countries on the Global Hunger Index.

SK Khosla, Chandigarh


Court language

It is no surprise that the Supreme Court was taken aback by the language used by the Himachal Pradesh High Court in its judgment (‘Court language’). The use of such language is also seen in many judgments and orders of the Punjab and Haryana High Court and lower courts of these two states, which are difficult to understand, not only for litigants, but also for lawyers. All judgments, decisions or orders of the courts should be very clear and the language should be simple. In all lower courts, the testimony of all kinds of cases should be written in languages with official status and the hearing should also be held in these languages.

Shakti Singh, Karnal


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

Keep it simple Other

Jan 20, 2022

Refer to ‘Court language’; most legal conflicts are contested on the basis of the script of the FIR or on a document written by the revenue official. The verbiage being used by both is age-old and beyond the understanding of the common people. It is indeed a pathetic situation that even decades after Independence, our courts are still using the Persian/Arabic and Urdu language. Besides redesigning the law school curriculum in a more lucid language, suitable provisions should be made for the training of lower-level officials in the police and revenue departments for scripting the basic legal document in an easy and convenient language.

Shubham Mahajan, Bilaspur


Illegal mining

Apropos of ‘Illegal mining hollows Punjab govt claims’, illegal mining is going on unabated in almost all states. It is causing huge loss to government revenue as well as the environment. Authorities are unable to rein in mine operators due to collusion between contractors and officials. Operators’ avarice has resulted in careless mining to such an extent that even the foundations of river bridges and river banks are not spared. If we can capture farm stubble fires through satellite images, we can do so with illegal mining sites too. After the bifurcation of Telangana from AP, mining revenue increased manifold, for Telangana regulated mining. Political will is missing in most states. Due to the irresponsible and rampant exploitation of resources, environmental damages may become irreversible.

Rajesh Goyal, by mail


Help apple growers

Refer to ‘Save apple industry’; the government should take appropriate steps to ensure the survival of people of apple-growing hill states, who are also forced to live a tough life due to rough terrain, specially the old and the ailing. The PM is repeatedly appealing to the people of India for ‘Vocal for local’, so it is the duty of the government to frame the regulations accordingly to save the livelihood of apple growers.

NK SINGHAL, PANCHKULA


Iranian apples better

Huge quantities of Iranian apples are flooding the domestic markets which is harming the interests of domestic farmers in Himachal and J&K (‘Save apple industry’). I bought a box of Iranian apples at almost the same price as Himachal apples. The imported apples look and taste much better than Indian apples. The farmers in India should adopt the latest technology to grow, pack and store the product rather than seeking government protection to avoid competition.

RAMESH GUPTA, NARWANA


Prefer local produce

Apropos of ‘Iran apple leaves HP, J&K orchardists with sour taste’, and ‘75% Haryana quota law kicks in’, PM Modi advocates the promotion of local products through the jumla ‘Vocal for local’. In Haryana, the Khattar government has decided to ask the industry to employ 75% local talent and expertise and at the same time the policy of the Central government to allow the Iranian apple in local markets has ruined the dreams of Indian apple growers. The government should not allow the import at the cost of local producers. Consumers should prefer to buy local fruits and vegetables.

Amarjit Singh Waraich, Patiala


Kathak guru

This refers to ‘He blended aestheticism into Kathak’, Birju Maharaj, through his devotion towards dance, became the Guru many students craved to learn from. The piece is an epitome of what a dance ideal should be. He showcased how dancing becomes devotion and is a meditation to get involved in completely. The legend, known for his sublime and down-to-earth persona, made several contributions to Indian classical dance and will be immensely missed.

Anushka Jaiswal, Ujjain


Enough restrictions

Refer to ‘Mindless counting of cases’, after a considerable time interval of about two years, people have learned to live with this virus. Today, it is essential for the bureaucrats to understand public’s emotions. Instead of implementing harsh restrictions, they should find a way to encourage them to live with it and fight it. The people are not following the restrictions in their daily lives anymore.

Kushagar Bansal, by mail


Be strict with absentees

Apropos of ‘Absent for years, 25 teachers shown the door in 2 months’, it was the laxity of the J&K Government that 25 teachers remained absent for so many years and no action was taken against them. They not only showed negligence in their duties but also hampered the studies of students. The government needs to keep a tab on teachers who don’t turn up for their duties and give justification for long absenteeism. Strict action must be taken as it adversely affects the career prospects of students.

Abhilasha Gupta, 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

Relax restrictions Other

Jan 19, 2022

Refer to ‘Mindless counting of cases’; the alarm created by the media in the public by announcing the rise in Omicron cases on a daily basis, along with restrictions on the free movement of the public by the administration is uncalled for, as it has been substantiated by medical records that the Omicron virus is mild. Very few cases need hospitalisation and fatalities are rare. Omicron should be treated like other viruses which cause flu-like symptoms, without any serious health issues. A majority of adults in the country have been vaccinated and have developed immunity. Economy, education, employment and other sectors have already suffered a huge blow during the second wave. It would be wise to remove restrictions and let people lead a normal life.

Yoginder Singhal, Ladwa


No reason to panic

‘Mindless counting of cases’ has conveyed a relevant message: do not just go by the number of active cases but also by the number of hospitalisation figures and death rate. The residual attacks of the virus may seem a part and parcel of life but that is no reason to let down the guard. This may help us in avoiding an economic slowdown as well as in keeping a check on unnecessary panic among public.

VK Anand, Chandigarh


Covid cells in schools

In a research study, the Director, World Bank Global Education, has found that there is no justification in the closure of schools due to Covid-19. The issue needs to be examined in India and if the study is found reliable, schools in India may be operational forthwith after taking full precautions. A separate cell may be established in each school to examine the day-to-day situation and take steps accordingly. Introduction of digitisation as a possible consequence of the pandemic cannot be a substitute for classroom teaching.

S KUMAR, PANCHKULA


Political turncoats

Punjab’s 2022 election is witnessing a spate of marriages of convenience. Some political turncoats have even changed multiple parties in less than a few days’ time. This stance of the politicians as well as parties is presenting Punjab in poor light. The Election Commission must look into this drama and take action to rule out the use of money power, if any. These politicians are letting down the people by pushing the state towards political uncertainty rather than resurrecting a robust model of stable democracy for its prosperity.

Brij B Goyal, Ludhiana


Unemployment data

Refer to ‘Unemployment in Haryana needs to be addressed’; there is a strong case for data on unemployment. The political leadership should have empathy with the youth who are more a victim of under-employment than unemployment, and are compelled to work on lower wages even in jobs for the highly educated. Education in tune with NEP 2020 is vital to encourage creativity, innovation and critical thinking along with human values and ethics.

MM Goel, Gurugram


Need more jobs

Educational hubs in Haryana are producing a number of educated youth who are likely to take up only odd jobs and sell their land for livelihood or settle abroad. Educated youth with a strong financial background look for ‘cash-for-job’ opportunities, and those who are hand-to-mouth are left in the lurch. Thousands of dreams get shattered.

Devina Badhwar, Rohtak


Grain basket

Refer to ‘Nation’s nutrition security hinges on Punjab’; Punjab had a crucial role in filling India’s grain basket in the past and it still continues to do so. The demand for organic cereals, pulses and vegetables is on the rise due to the rampant use of pesticides. Crop diversification along with MSP on diversified crops can be a solution. But the state is making out the cause that because of its depleted finances, it cannot share the cost incurred on crop diversification. All these are matters that need proper deliberations. Punjab has developed a great mandi system for procurement though which is not the case in many other parts of the country.

AMANDEEP ARORA, PATIALA


Djokovic will be missed

Djokovic’s absence will be felt at the Australian Open (‘Slammed out: Djokovic loses appeal, deported from Australia’). World No. 1 Djokovic had grabbed headlines ever since he landed in Melbourne to play the Australian Open. Knowing that he was unvaccinated and had tested positive recently, the authorities were right in not giving him an entry visa. The awkward drama could have ended there and then. Whether the decision on Djokovic sets a precedent in other sports remains to be seen. Irrespective of how this point has been reached, Djokovic is still a champion and fans will miss his absence.

Gregory Fernandes, Mumbai


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

Defacing public property Other

Jan 18, 2022

Assembly elections are round the corner in Punjab and it is disturbing to see the outrageous defacement of public property by candidates of almost all parties in the fray. The ‘smiling’ faces of the candidates on the posters plastered on flyovers, electricity poles, subways, etc., in the most abhorrent manner seem to be mocking the apathetic administration everywhere. The violation of the Punjab Prevention of Defacement of Property Act, 1997, is happening in broad daylight. The authorities must take action. Also, we should not get carried away by the smiling faces on the posters. Candidates and political parties who desire to win the elections by flouting rules can never do any good, even if they win.

Col VK Sharma (Retd), Jalandhar


Maze of UP elections

Uttar Pradesh is under the pangs of elections, which can be likened to a maze from where the victor must find his way. Political parties are behaving like parrots. When among Hindus, they talk of Hindu gods and deities and make sure that they visit temples and are seen posing with relevant ‘insignia’. When among Muslims, they make frivolous promises to appease them. Ideologies have been consigned to the bin. Then there is the great caste conundrum. There are myriad castes and sub-castes, each of which has leaders with unbound political ambitions. They also forage for their pound of political flesh. Each party is accusing the other of dividing society, though all are doing so. The media cares about TRP, and not social harmony. Sadly, no one talks of national integrity.

Kiran Sharma, SunderNagar


No to freebies

Apropos of ‘Want jobs, not freebies’, it is refreshing that the youth of Punjab are seeking job opportunities, transparent recruitment, better education facilities and start-up programmes. They are unimpressed with freebies. They want to be self-reliant. The young voters may not be swayed by pre-poll tempting and hollow promises. Rather, the message is loud and clear: ‘Nava Punjab, rozgar uplabadh karaan walian de naal’ (New Punjab, go with those creating job opportunities).

Krishan Kant Sood, Nangal


Safer outdoors

The EC’s announcement of allowing up to 300 people or 50% of the hall capacity for indoor political purposes and banning outdoor rallies or gathering of more than five people is astonishing. It exposes the lack of scientific considerations and ICMR guidelines. There is more risk of Covid spread in indoor conditions. It is contrary to the fact that in the past, both Central and state governments have been allowing more number of people outdoors as compared to indoors. The ICMR and Central government must take note of EC guidelines.

Vitull K Gupta, Bathinda


NCTE inspection team

Refer to the news ‘Extortion: Working of private BEd colleges under scanner’; it is shocking that three members of the inspection team of the NCTE were arrested for demanding money for ignoring shortcomings in private colleges in HP. It is evident that they were hand in glove with the culprits. The required number of teachers is not being recruited and payment of dues was being denied to faculty members, despite having collected the course fee for a year in advance up to June 2020. Instead of reprimanding the defaulting college authorities, the team members deemed it fit to seek money. They deserve severe punishment.

Vijaya Sharma, by mail


Toying with education

The charge of accepting bribe by the inspection team of the NCTE from private BEd colleges and awarding of degrees by MBU without adequate faculty in Himachal Pradesh is alarming, and perhaps the tip of the iceberg. The efforts of the state government to check this menace is praiseworthy, which other states must follow. Any compromise with education is sufficient to destroy a nation.

RS Kishtwaria, Palampur


Vote wisely

With the Punjab Assembly elections looming, every party is in the struggle to form its own government. Many promises are being made to the people, all parties are claiming to solve their problems. But what next? It is vital that people understand the importance of their vote. Every single vote is valuable. People should vote according to their understanding after assessing the work of party representatives. They should not follow blindly or vote in lieu of sops. Given the current situation in Punjab, it is imperative that a party be elected which is capable of taking the state forward.

Jasdeep kaur, Ludhiana


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

People want harmony Other

Jan 17, 2022

THE BJP capitalised on venomous hate-mongering and a divisive agenda against religious and social communities to garner votes in the 2017 UP elections (‘When Indians get angry’, Nous Indica). As the party is gearing up for its momentous electoral fight against the SP, it seems to be in a tight corner because political polarisation is not likely to gain traction. The spate of resignations and defections of senior leaders and their joining the SP might also cost it dear. Moreover, the SP is reviving its alliance with the RLD and is desperately wooing the Muslims, Dalits and backward classes. Courtesy the ruling dispensation’s poor track record of performance, people are venting their ire and anguish on rising unemployment, inflation and farmers’ insult during their year-long agitation against the Centre’s farm laws. What they want is change for the better, peace, social harmony and inclusive development.

Tajpreet S Kang, Hoshiarpur


Sheer politics

Refer to ‘When Indians get angry’ (Nous Indica); the elections in UP usually witness politics of appeasement and polarisation, involving caste, region, religion and nationalism. Our overindulgent parties have conveniently intertwined religion, nationalism and casteism to make them tools for ascendancy to power, leading to fanaticism. Recent hate speeches in Haridwar and Raipur were aimed at polarising the voters and creating a pretext for fuelling hatred, violence, prejudice and bigotry. Not only secularism, but also Hinduism is being lacerated by Hindutva outfits.

Abhimanyu Malik, Jind


Reviving economy

It is necessary to bring about policies to revive the economy (‘Possible to rejig economy through cash transfers’). Major slice of GDP has been eaten away by schemes like free food grains, free vaccines, free cooking gas, wage support and fertiliser subsidy. India has attained self-sufficiency in food grains and is able to give free ration to a large population, but have we ever tried to know whether the grains given free are sufficient for a month for the family of four or five? The reality is that giving free grains to the people has no real value, rather it affects the economy adversely. Instead it would have been better if there were cash transfers. Cash flow in the market is the only remedy to revive the economy. Businesses should be allowed a credit off-take path, there will be job creation.

Raj Kumar Kapoor, Ropar


PM of India, not BJP

The Election Commissioner should permanently ban the Prime Minister from making election speeches during parliamentary and Assembly elections. Since the PM is appointed by the Government of India under the Constitution and takes oath that he will work for all Indian citizens and with all parties. In the forthcoming elections in five states, the EC should take a decision to ban the PM from giving speeches since he is the PM of India, not of the BJP.

SC Dhall, Zirakpur


Bride’s jewellery

Reference to ‘Keeping bride’s jewellery for safety not cruelty: SC’, the jewellery is a bride’s asset, and her in-laws have no right to take it into their custody. If in any unavoidable circumstances or in sensitive times, they do need her jewellery, they can ask for it. The Supreme Court should not give such verdicts that go against women’s rights.

Abhilasha Gupta, Mohali


Toxic prejudice

There are certain vicissitudes in life that leave a lasting impact (‘Message from a table calendar’) I headed a panel for the selection of a post of sub-staff, and on merit, finalised a lone Muslim candidate among others from other religious denominations. My fair choice didn't find favour with other members. They remained silent, but resentment was writ large on their faces. Having failed to oppose me, they subtly approached a union leader, who, at lunch, cajoled me to change my decision. But I held my ground.

BAKHSHI GURPRIT SINGH, JALANDHAR


Traditional festivals

When we used to be kids, the festival of Makar Sakranti and Lohri were celebrated with peanuts, rabdis and the famous dal churma in Haryana. With the coming of modernisation and stress, we see these festivals as mere holidays. Remembering those days brings happy memories of Lohri bonfires in schpl playgrounds, while some students performed dramas and sang the lokgeet, ‘Sunder munderiya’. Later in my life I came to know about the meaning of this song, which made it even better.

Abhishek, Gurugram


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Demilitarisation of glacier Other

Jan 15, 2022

Pakistan's recent National Security Policy articulating that for the next 100 years it wouldn't be seeking hostility with India has been put to test by our Army Chief, who has offered demilitarisation of Siachen Glacier, provided Pakistan accepted the Actual Ground Position Line. Will Pakistan take do it? Continued deployment on the glacier makes no economic sense for both India and Pakistan as they spend billions of rupees to maintain troops on the highest battlefield of the world. Precious human lives are lost to avalanches and extremely cold weather every day. Even strategically, there is no logic for Pakistan to continue to deploy there as it holds lower heights. If the economy is at the core of Pakistan's NSP, it must seize the offer at once. Any meaningful trade between the two nations can take place only if there are no conflicts on the borders. We must upgrade the offer of demilitarisation to the highest political level. The only way forward for peace between two neighbours is to have clearly demarcated borders. It is true of both India and Pakistan and India and China.

Lt Col GS Bedi (Retd), Mohali


Perennial hostility

‘Pakistan’s new security policy seeks peace with India: Report’ has to be taken with a pinch of salt. Pakistan’s media says that the prospects of rapprochement with India’s current government were remote. It implies that Pakistan’s new peace policy flashed in the media has a hidden agenda of hostility. It wants to destabilise and covertly malign the present government of India. Has Pakistan ever been friendly to any government of India since 1947?

LR Sharma, Sundernagar


Make amends

Refers to ‘Punjab Government tripped, and how’; intentions of the state authorities are reflected from their acts of commission and omission. Nobody stopped the protesters from blocking the route of the Prime Minister at a flyover which created a very serious security threat. Various roads leading to the rally site were blocked so that people could not reach their destination. After the return of the PM, many irresponsible statements like ‘How’s the josh’ and ‘it is a drama’ were made by some politicians occupying key positions. This has affected the credibility of leaders in power. In a damage control effort, CM Channi has expressed regret to the PM for what happened on January 5, though it is inexcusable. He may now personally request the Prime Minister to pay homage to martyrs at Hussainiwala assuring that all protocols shall be observed.

Subhash Vaid, New Delhi


Virtual campaigns

In view of the widespread outbreak of the third wave of coronavirus, there is a demand that political rallies be banned and the parties should campaign through media or social media. It is an opportunity that should be seized. It will save election expenditure and remove the influence of money power on voters. The burden on election officials will also be less. The politicians would not be able to raise too much mud against each other, and they will be forced to focus only on their own achievements and promises.

Ravinder Mittal, by mail


Farmers and elections

During the prolonged farmers’ protest, all kisan unions were working together. There was no dispute among them. However, after the protest was over, some of them started a blame game against each other due to the elections in Punjab. This shows the worst state of politics in the state.

Lakshay anand, Mohali


Snow blocks roads

Refer to ‘Mild snow in Shimla; 450 roads blocked’; winter snow blocks roads and halts life in Himachal Pradesh, but not in Canada, the US, China or Russia. Evaluate economic loss to the state, people, tourists and border security by road blocks simply due to snow. Abroad roads are kept clean by timely scraping snow in cities and highways. Why can't this be made available here? It costs little when snow is scrapped timely instead afterwards when it hardens. To match China at the borders, it is necessary to keep road lifelines working in all weather conditions.

Ashok Kumar Goel, Panchkula


What is govt for?

The SC has issued a notice on the plea seeking action against hate speeches at a religious event held in Hardwar last month. The disturbing point here is that if the SC has to intervene in each and every issue, what for do we elect a government? There has not been a word of condemnation from our lawmakers during this time. Why is our young generation being fed poison by such hate speeches distorting past incidents? We have to save our culture and society from such hatred.

Bhupinder Kochhar, Panchkula


Letters to the Editor, typed in double space, should not exceed the 200-word limit. These should be cogently written and can be sent by e-mail to: Letters@tribunemail.com

Easy for pvt players Other

Jan 14, 2022

Reference to ‘Vodafone Idea equity’; what is really inexplicable, and which raises concerns, is that the government has acquired 35.8% stake in the heavily financially stressed and loss-making company, whereas BSNL, where it holds 100% stake, is being allowed to sink. It has no 4G spectrum, it is not allowed to purchase equipment from foreign vendors in the name of indigenisation. It should provide financial cushioning to BSNL which has met social obligations in an unparalleled and exemplary manner, unlike private operators. What is incomprehensible is that the so-called telecom reforms envisage that if private operators are unable to pay their debts, they can convert them into equity, which in essence means that at the very outset, they need not pay their debts.

Arvind Pal Dahiya, Rohtak


SC order justified

Refer to ‘Maharashtra mess’; the state police had earlier told the SC that Param Bir Singh could not be considered a whistleblower under the law, as he chose to speak out against alleged corruption involving former home minister Anil Deshmukh only after his transfer. Prior to this, the Bombay HC had dismissed Singh’s petition seeking to quash inquiries against him by the Maharashtra government. He also claimed that Deshmukh had asked Mumbai police officer Sachin Waze, who was arrested and suspended from the police force for his role in the Ambani case, to collect money from business establishments. In this situation, the SC’s order is justified.

SS Paul, Nadia


Keep Army out of politics

In the article ‘Armed forces should resist politicisation’, the writer has warned of the dangers of the Army having political favourites. Gen VK Singh (retd) is guilty of having started this unhealthy trend of the Army top brass getting too close to the civilian power and then becoming a part of the government with almost no cooling period. The political class would want to use the reputation of the Army to further their own narrow interests. It would be better if the services kept out of this political wrangling as the politicisation of the Army is the last thing the nation wants!

ANTHONY HENRIQUES, MUMBAI


End reservation

In India there is huge competition to qualify NEET-UG for an MBBS seat. In NEET-UG 2021, 15.44 lakh candidates registered for test conducted on September 12, 2021. There are 497 medical colleges in the country, with 80,000 MBBS seats under NEET-UG. Fees go up to Rs 30 lakh a year for a seat, but it multiplies for PG seats. An MBBS doctor completes a degree in 5.5 years, further three years for PG and three more years for DM — a total of 11-12 years. The government has failed to cap the fee structure of private medical colleges. It must stop reservation in medical colleges, as in military, and introduce a common fee structure for private and government medical colleges. It should subsidise the fee of private colleges for their smooth running.

Kamaljeet Malwa, Patiala


Yogi in a spot

The exodus of BJP MLAs and ministers belonging to the OBC and SC category in UP at this critical juncture does not augur well for the party’s electoral fortunes. It is not easy for the Yogi government to ward off the anti-incumbency factor, in view of the growing alienation among a huge chunk of farming community and Muslims because of its blatantly anti-minorities policy to consolidate Hindu votes. Yogi has nothing significant to brag about in his report card of achievements, except invoking UAPA and the Sedition Act against protesters. Quite a few MLA s were in a rebellious mood a few months ago, thanks to Yogi’s supercilious attitude. As of now, the odds seem to be stacked against him.

Roshan Lal Goel, Ladwa


Khorana’s contributions

Refer to ‘Khorana & Indian science’; I find my sense of credulity stretched to believe that Dr Khorana did not get a job in our country after he returned from England. We must recall his seminal contributions by holding seminars in colleges and universities on the life and works of Khorana, to inculcate the deep passion for research and teaching in natural sciences among our scholars and promising teachers.

RAJ BAHADUR YADAV, Fatehabad


Drugs still a problem

The state election commission has directed the Punjab government to have drug-free polls, but recently there has been a spike in drug seizures. The government has failed to curb the menace of drugs in the state. Youth of Punjab is grappling with drug addiction and the contraband across the border is beyond the government’s control. The government should make a strategic plan to eradicate drugs across the state, so the youth can enjoy a drug-free life.

Abhilasha Gupta, 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

Marital rape Other

Jan 13, 2022

Reference to ‘Criminalising domestic rape’; the judiciary always finds it difficult to decide the matter of domestic rape in the absence of solid evidence because the crime is committed where only the couple are present. The main purpose of marriage is procreation, and sometimes divorce is sought on the ground of non-consummation of marriage. Before giving a final verdict, the judiciary must balance the rights and duties of both partners.

RL Bansal, Kurukshetra


Get tough with defections

The provision of anti-defection laws must be brought into the Municipal Corporation elections of Chandigarh. The recent show of councillors in the mayoral polls of Chandigarh shows lack of ethics in politics. If anti-defection is brought into the elections of the civic body, only then can there be a level playing field in mayoral polls.

Ritish Pandit, Sunhet


Online canvassing

The ECI asking the political parties to canvass through digital mode was the need of the hour. Online canvassing will ensure strict implementation of the model code of conduct in the states. It will also help in curtailing the malicious use of liquor, drugs and money to purchase votes. Although the education, digital and economic divides are enormous in our country, the candidates and parties can overcome it by connecting with the people using print, television, social media or door-to-door campaigning.

Varinder Pal Singh, by mail


Let politicians learn too

Punjab politicians need to understand that change is the law of nature. With the third Covid wave striking, the ECI has rightly banned physical campaigning for elections. But the majority of politicians are finding it difficult to cope with this new change, saying ‘it’s not so easy’. They must understand that when everything is going online these days, it is but natural that campaigning should also undergo a change. With the onset of Covid-19 in India in 2020, the teaching fraternity learnt the ropes of online teaching without any grumbling, though there were many direct and indirect obstacles. Many were not tech-savvy before the pandemic, but adjusted smoothly with the new change. If teachers can do it, why not politicians?

Bir Devinder Singh Bedi, Sangrur


Virtual rallies

Refer to ‘Akalis oppose virtual rallies’; parties have been directed by the ECI not to organise public rallies and nukkad meetings but some parties have opposed ‘virtual rallies’, arguing that it is impossible to reach out to the masses digitally. Agreed that technical glitches may occur, but the ECI is duty bound to maintain a balance between public health and holding elections. Both people and parties must understand that abiding by the ECI’s guidelines is in everybody’s interest.

NK Gosain, BATHINDA


Prepare for lockdown

The sudden surge of cases in Punjab may be followed by another unwanted lockdown. Under such circumstances, the authorities should plan and prepare in time. Special arrangements for the labour class and daily wagers are necessary to avoid their emergency displacement. The network of essential items like medicines and ration must be made with online delivery partners with a proper sanitation kit provision on minimal charges. Day-wise distribution for the opening of different kinds of stores must be ensured. With the election season going on, even the public and the higher authorities are not taking this matter seriously. The rising cases must be controlled before things get out of control.

Harsimranvir Singh, Patiala


Projects for Punjab

There are conflicting versions why the PM’s visit was cancelled. The visit would have come with big-ticket announcements and inauguration of projects for the benefit of the people of Punjab. Now that the tour has been abandoned, it should not amount to scrapping of planned projects and other investments. Nothing stops the BJP from promising the people of Punjab that whatever has been planned will be given to the state and that is not contingent on the party being voted to power in Punjab.

Balvinder Singh, Mohali


Breach of oath

Apropos of ‘Why brief Priyanka on security lapse, BJP asks Pb CM Channi’, it does not behove a CM to share official secrets with unauthorised persons. This is in direct contrast with the oath taken by him while being sworn in as Chief Minister. Channi should have approached the Punjab Governor instead of Sonia Gandhi to constitute a committee to probe the lapse in the security of PM Modi. Later, he could have briefed the Governor on the development instead of Priyanka Gandhi. Personal loyalty should not supersede obligations related to the post.

Vijaya Sharma, 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

Free to choose religion Other

Jan 12, 2022

Christian institutions like schools and hospitals have been functioning in India for the past over two centuries. People of different creeds and castes have received benefits in the form of education and wellness, and not on the condition that they adopt Christianity. If people coming from any strata of society feel allured to convert — constitutionally they enjoy that right — it should be left to the individual to decide which religion he wants to follow. Any effort to stifle this right is sure to be thwarted, as in the case of refusing permission to Missionaries of Charity to receive foreign funding and then lifting the ban by issuing a new certificate. In this age of globalisation, international relationships and facilities rendered by technology, exchange of ideologies, even of religions, it is unavoidable to remain unaffected by one another.

Chaman Arora, Ferozepur


Veer Bal Diwas

It is time for Punjab to wake up for the development of the state. The PM did repeal the farm laws in favour of Punjab’s farmers. He was coming to Punjab to announce some big projects. He has done well to declare December 26 as Veer Bal Diwas in memory of the sons of Guru Gobind Singh. It was meant to be a good gesture. Punjab’s development has received one setback after another because most of the time, it has been an Opposition-ruled state.

KS SODHI, Amritsar


Pushing them abroad

Refer to NEET-PG counselling, the report says that the decision will benefit 1,500 OBC aspirants in the MBBS and 2,500 OBC aspirants in PG courses, besides others. In my opinion, it should be this — 2.000 meritorious aspirants in MBBS and 4,000 meritorious aspirants in PG courses will lose seats. The policy of senseless reservation is pushing hundreds of intelligent doctors to the West, causing a great loss to our country. After this extra dose of reservation, more and more doctors will opt for offshore destinations.

Rajesh Kumar Sharma, Fazilka


Propaganda of hate

Those caught in Bulli Bai and Sulli deal cybercrime are of a young age. It does not surprise us anymore if such an age-group is involved in this hate crime. The past decade has been a decade of rising radicalisation throughout the globe. These people would have grown up in an environment that marginalised minorities. Such an environment is being created daily by hate news, derogatory social media posts against communities and hate speeches made by politicians and religious leaders. The upcoming generation needs to be aware of the propaganda set by social warfare and think reasonably for the betterment of society.

Ishan Hastir, Gurdaspur


Picture not real

The outcome of the survey on selective age-group does not reflect the true picture about the tobacco menace (‘HP kids shun tobacco’). The trend of tobacco consumption in the state has changed to smoking it. Gullible youngsters are an easy prey. There is a need to refresh our endeavours to educate them about the health hazards of the consumption of tobacco and crackdown on the drug trade.

Sunil Kumar Mahajan, Ghumarwin


Tobacco addiction

With reference to ‘HP kids shun tobacco’; the survey is heartening. Tobacco consumption among adolescents has come down to 1 per cent in Himachal, but the state has seen new intoxicants, in which chitta (heroin) is prominent. If Himachal has to improve its rank, it will have to save the youth and adolescents from drugs. Society is being pushed towards an abyss. Teenagers are hardly into tobacco addiction, but still, the state deserves congratulations.

Sikandar Bansal, Shimla


Municipal circus

The way the Mayor and others were elected in the recently-concluded elections in Chandigarh was indeed ridiculous. The conduct of the elected members was unbecoming. The voters have shown maturity, but the elected members vying for the top chair behaved immaturely. One can only guess as to how Chandigarh will be administered. The working of the Municipal Corporation is suffering in all aspects, and sadly, the downslide will continue.

Amit Kumar, Mohali


Mediocre war movies

Most of our war movies are of poor quality, some showing unreal scenes. In a recent film showing IAF operations during the 1971 war, the hero, who is playing the role of the base commander, is seen wearing the wing of a navigator, whereas the then base commander was a pilot. An AN-12 is shown landing on a moving truck on the runway to make up for its dysfunctional under-carriage. The filmmakers should consult the IAF. They must do their homework before venturing into an unknown realm.

WG CDR CL SEHGAL (RETD), JALANDHAR


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Blocking foreign funds Other

Jan 11, 2022

Reference to ‘Restoring confidence’; any major decision concerning public interest must be taken with due care and deliberations, with people’s participation, and finalised through consensus. This is more true and obligatory in the case of minorities, as has been stated by Albert Camus: ‘Democracy is not the law of the majority but the protection of the minority.’ The hasty decision of blocking FCRA on apolitical social services and activities could boomerang worldwide to the discomfiture of the government and the nation. Bringing thousands of organisations serving humanity to a screeching halt overnight is thoughtless. The Prime Minister must come out with a regret statement, condemning the act.

BM SINGH, AMRITSAR


Check cybercrimes

Apropos of ‘Mobile app use in need of stringent checks’, the perpetrators of cybercrimes against women, including the ‘Bulli Bai’ and ‘Sulli Deals’ app describing women as ‘deals of the day’, cannot be spared. We need zero tolerance against such cybercrimes in which doctored pictures of women are uploaded on social media. Our legal framework is not sufficient to meet the challenges posed by information technology with artificial intelligence in the app ecosystem. We need to introduce effective laws to deal with these new and emerging forms of crime.

MM Goel, Gurugram


Force of farmers

Refer to ‘Poll time, farmers assess might, plight’, the movement might prove a cradle for political careers of many, worse being their merging with political heavyweights who will now hold their reins and direct them according to their own vested political interests. But the majority of farmers being represented by these few would still be dying under debts in an altogether different reality, the day being still far when good times land for them. MSP, crop insurances, job securities for children, financial assistance are still not being discussed anywhere in the scenario.

Navreet Kaur, by mail


Rallies won’t help

Let all politicians and parties understand that election rallies, declaring lofty projects, using abusive language, derogatory catchwords and phrases have become outdated and blunt weapons. People have understood the real worth of these greedy and power-hungry politicians. Big rallies and offensive propaganda by the PM and the BJP could not win them the Bengal elections. People, not rallies, hold the key.

Capt Amar Jeet (retd), Kharar


Aid to Sri Lanka

Apropos of ‘Sri Lankan Prez raises debt crisis with China’, the economy of Sri Lanka presents a bleak scenario. Despite giving its Hambantota Port on a 99-year lease, Sri Lanka is once again looking for help from China. The Sri Lankan President has asked China to restructure its debt to overcome the forex crisis. The aid will further increase Chinese influence on Sri Lanka. To strengthen its position in the Indian Ocean Region, India should grab this opportunity and help Sri Lanka tide over the crisis.

Jaskirat Singh Batra, Muktsar


Har Gobind inspires

The publication of a special issue on Har Gobind Khorana’s life and scientific achievements by the Indian Academy of Sciences on his 100th birth anniversary is a noble gesture (‘Scientist who taught us to be modest, except in our aim’). Despite a humble family background, it was the sheer quality of his character, incredible tenacity of purpose and hard work that earned him the coveted Nobel Prize. His research helped crack the famous genetic code and its function in protein synthesis that would help find the cause of deadly diseases like cancer. Noble and kindred spirits like him are an asset for any nation. Hopefully, our brilliant young minds will draw inspiration and inculcate a love for science and serve the suffering humanity.

Tajpreet S Kang, Hoshiarpur


Will we ever learn?

We enter a third wave, unprepared, brushing aside its existence. Post two waves, we have not yet learnt the vulnerability of our healthcare system. Despite restrictions, people are flouting Covid norms. If we have to earn respect in the world, we must start by being responsible in such a crisis. India, with its huge population, is a breeding ground for another ‘variant of concern’. It is high time that we start taking responsibility as citizens or allow the government to take action. Either way, it is imperative that we act now.

SIDDHITA MADAN, PATIALA


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 a political issue Other

Jan 10, 2022

Refer to ‘BKU: Protesters meant no harm to PM Modi’; it is good that there was no intention to harm the PM. But the real question is the failure of law enforcement agencies to provide smooth passage to the PM’s convoy. Nobody is questioning the protesting farmers, but the breach in security in VVIP movement of the head of a country is serious — anti-social elements could take advantage of the situation by mixing among the protesters to embarrass the country, when the IB had warned of possible trouble to the state government in advance. The blunder needs to be probed and accountability must be fixed to avoid any unfortunate happening in future. Taking political mileage from this incident by politicians, both in power and the Opposition, should be avoided.

Ashok Kumar, by mail


Fix accountability

Reference to the PM’s security breach; the matter should be above party politics. The PM’s security breach in Punjab needs to be urgently probed and accountability fixed. That it has happened in spite of the elaborate and multi-layered protocols involving Central agencies, the SPG and state police underlines the gravity of the situation. It is disturbing that BJP leaders, from Home Minister Amit Shah to party spokespersons, have sought to paint the lapse as a conspiracy by the state government. This speaks of the terrible breakdown of trust between the Centre and the state, between the BJP and the Congress, which is wrong in a multi-party democracy. It is in BJP’s own interest that it reins in the rhetoric. But the Channi government must also ensure that accountability is visibly fixed for the lapse. It must act against those who failed to secure the PM’s route.

LAL SINGH, Amritsar


Sops for votes

Apropos of ‘Economy of freebie politics’; with a rapidly increasing population, it is difficult for the government to frame a firm policy to provide employment to all needy. Even agriculture, education, health, industrial sectors are not managed properly. Since decent livelihood opportunities are not created, especially for the poor due to weak policies, the course of freebies and subsidies is resorted to. In a democracy, all parties plan to compensate the poor by way of providing freebies to draw votes. Thus a large chunk of revenue goes in the unproductive expenditure and hinders progress. The emphasis should be on education, imparting skills, developing entrepreneurship and creating appropriate mechanisms for the youth to earn a living in a dignified manner. Undesirable financial support to corporate houses should be stopped.

Subhash Vaid, New Delhi


NEET counselling

After wasting precious three months of thousands of NEET-PG aspirants, the Centre will start counselling soon with existing criteria (‘NEET-PG: Nod to counselling, SC upholds quota’). The result was declared at the end of September 2021. Strikes by resident doctors across the country made the authorities realise the urgent need of starting the PG admission process. It is not any individual’s loss but an irreparable loss to the nation.

Sunil Chopra, Ludhiana


Judicial bias

‘A glimpse of what lies beneath judicial decisions’ highlights a jurisprudential insight that a judicial decision is largely influenced by attitudinal or behavioural moorings of a judge. Eminent jurist OW Holmes calls it the ‘inarticulate major premise’, revealing predilections or non-legal factors that influence judges’ decisions in their adjudication of disputes. The recent spate of public interest litigations demonstrates judicial activism reflecting the sensitisation of judiciary to social malaise, acts of omission of the executive, transcending of functions by the legislature. In this regard, its degree would again depend upon the predilections of the judges hearing such issues. The spectrum of political ideology and attitudes categorises judges as liberal, activist, conservative or between them. Accordingly, a decision rendered by a judge cannot be totally objective, per se, as non-legal factors are likely to affect it.

Gurpreet Singh, Mohali


Uttarakhand acts wisely

Refer to ‘Poll-bound Uttarakhand bans political rallies till Jan 16’, it was nice to learn that the Uttarakhand Chief Secretary has issued fresh guidelines banning all political rallies, dharnas, demonstrations and public events, like cultural gatherings, effective from Sunday, amid the huge rise in Covid cases. Significantly, all such activities would remain suspended in the state till January 16. All other poll-bound state governments should follow suit, as a stitch in time saves nine.

Kumar Gupt, Panchkula


Letters to the Editor, typed in double space, should not exceed the 200-word limit. These should be cogently written and can be sent by e-mail to: Letters@tribunemail.com

Emulate Odisha CM Other

Jan 08, 2022

Kudos to the writer for penning down a bold piece in these times (‘Take over from the nuns’). The Odisha Chief Minister has done a good turn by donating a sizeable amount to the Missionaries of Charity for carrying out the good work that it has been doing for decades. The Centre’s unfortunate decision to cut off foreign funding is ill-advised and autocratic. There certainly is no hope that saffron-clad volunteers will soil their hands and accoutrements by serving the poor, the terminally ill and those abandoned by society. One can only hope that CMs of non-BJP states have the good sense and courage to emulate the Chief Minister of Odisha.

MK BAJAJ, Zirakpur


‘Bulli Bai’ case

The timely arrest of four suspected people in the infamous ‘Bulli Bai’ case by the Maharashtra and Delhi cyber police is welcome (‘Sullying young minds’), but the involvement of brilliant young students aspiring for lucrative careers is disconcerting, whatever the lure. Together with the disruption of studies and shrinking job prospects in the wake of Covid-19 pandemic, the present vitiated political discourse of hate and toxicity being carried on to engineer polarisation for electoral gains is propelling the distressed youth towards abusive behaviour. It is imperative to avert this chaotic religious dystopia that will disturb the social fabric of Indian society. The accused should be adequately punished. Politicians should stop promoting venomous religious philosophy. Efficient cyber policing, regulating social media platforms, creating ample employment opportunities and awareness about cyber safety norms will check such crimes.

DS Kang, Hoshiarpur


A non-issue

Unnecessary hue and cry is being raised over the PM’s cancelled rally in Ferozepur. The PM knows that he and other BJP leaders are not welcome in Punjab. There was no security threat to him. Also, there was poor attendance at the rally, so even if he had reached there, it would have caused him embarrassment.

IPS Anand, Chandigarh


Farmers ruling state

The stoppage of the PM’s cavalcade is an unacceptable act and must be condemned by all. It is also the failure of the state government’s law and order machinery. It seems that it is not the government, but the farmers who are ruling the state. They block roads, railways, malls and government offices every day, causing a lot of inconvenience to the public. They force government agencies to buy their over-pesticised, over-fertilised and blow specifications crops at MSP. They have polluted both the air and water and challenge the government to take action for stubble burning, metering tubewells and recovery of loans. They gherao officials who dare visit them. All political parties are pleasing them by offering loan waivers, compensations, jobs and cash incentives. They should be allowed to protest at designated place only.

BL Gohal, Nabha


Tarnishes image

The stopping of the PM’s convoy in the Punjab area adjacent to the Pakistan border was not right. The breach in PM’s security arrangement tarnishes the image of the country in the world. The lapse is unforgivable. Constitutional dignity should not be sacrificed at the altar of politics.

Shakti Singh, Karnal


Major security lapse

The fact that the PM’s convoy was stuck for 15-20 minutes en route to Ferozepur, where the PM was going to pay homage to martyrs at Hussainiwala, and was later scheduled to address a rally, is a shocking security lapse. The statement by the CM that they could do nothing if the route was changed all of a sudden puts a blot on the working of the state government. This sensitive matter must be investigated to find out whether it was a blind error, lapse, breach or a deliberate attempt.

Krishan Kant Sood, Nangal


Set up agro industries

Political announcements are being made daily to give free electricity and waive arrears etc. In Punjab, the capital outlay was the lowest, and subsidy burden the highest among similar states. Leaders hardly announce that they will establish some sort of industry. There is a great potential for setting up agro-based industries in Punjab to boost employment. States promising sops will end up hurting citizens down the line.

SK Khosla, Chandigarh


Child custody

Refer to ‘Consider minor’s preference in child custody cases: HC’, the court has rightly advised that preference of a minor must be considered. Father or mother of a minor are often inclined to get remarried after the demise of a spouse and the child has to bear the brunt of this decision. The child’s welfare is supreme in the minds of grandparents. The court must strike a judicious balance between the parties.

Upendra Sharma, Ludhiana


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

Security lapse Other

Jan 07, 2022

Apropos of the security lapse during the PM’s visit to Punjab, the Punjab Police have failed in their duty to provide a secure corridor to the PM on the road between Moga and Ferozepur. What happened was foreseeable and avoidable. The road is marked by intermittent habitations and link roads. Tractors and trucks could easily be moved up through these to block the main road. Given the anger simmering among rural folks against the PM, such spontaneous road blocks by people were highly likely, even as the organised protests by farmer organisations were dispersed by the Punjab Government well in time. If the CM had ordered the use of force, he would have invited the wrath of the people, affecting his electoral prospects adversely. Now, he would be blamed for the security lapse. The PM is PM, in whatever avatar he may visit the state. While it was certainly a security lapse, which must be condemned, the PM is politicising it by exaggerating that ‘zinda laut raha hun’. The police must plug the security loopholes by fine-tuning their SOPs.

Lt Col GS Bedi (Retd), Mohali


Lost opportunity

Refer to the cancellation of the PM’s visit; Punjab missed some financial help which Modi might have announced. Can the visits of the PM, anywhere in the country, become free of the show of the ruling party to which the PM belongs? There must be a conspicuous line of difference between the PM’s official and political visit to avoid a repeat of such episodes. Let politicians of Punjab, too, exhibit responsible politics in the interest of the state.

Brij B Goyal, Ludhiana


Shun freebies

A slew of freebies are being announced by political parties in Punjab. The AAP has promised to transfer Rs 1,000 per month in the account of every woman, if voted to power. PCC chief Navjot Sidhu first criticised this move, but later himself announced Rs 2,000 per month for women, along with free supply of eight LPG cylinders per annum to every household. The SAD announced Rs 2,000 per month to every woman with a blue card. The gullible public should not get carried away by these unrealistic promises. Instead, it should support a political party which promises to provide good civic amenities, education, employment opportunities and medical facilities and maintains communal harmony.

Rajesh Goyal, by mail


Ramp up vaccination

With Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Manipur and Goa going to the polls soon, the comment by UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath that Omicron is a common viral fever and Covid is nearing its end can only be termed as irresponsible. The CM’s own state witnessed dead bodies floating in the Ganga during the second Covid wave. There is a likelihood of political rallies being held in these states without participants taking precautionary measures and turnouts higher than expected. These poll-bound states should ramp up vaccination rather than display a reckless attitude.

Sargun Randhawa, Chandigarh


Two-faced China

Apropos of ‘China at it again’, the difference between India’s two inimical neighbours is that while Pakistan does not conceal its pathological hatred, China is adept at doing so. With its duplicity, it lulled the then Indian leadership with ‘Hindi-Chini bhai-bhai’ slogan in the period leading up to the 1962 War, with the Indian Army paying a heavy price. Xi Jinping’s 2019 visit to India was followed by the border standoff and the Galwan Valley clash. China has always acted against Indian interests. Now comes its move to rename places in Arunachal Pradesh. Hopefully, India has learnt its lessons and will no longer be lax in protecting its sovereignty and territorial integrity against a neighbour who has border disputes with all its neighbours. In the 21st century, it is not nonviolence, ahimsa and slogans, but balance of power and battle readiness that are an insurance against war between nations.

V Jayaraman, Chennai


Economic toll

Surge in Covid cases may extract a heavy economic toll (‘Covid shadow on growth’). Whenever there is a surge in Covid caseload, the governments show great alacrity in enforcing curbs on economic activities, as if these are not a dire necessity. The insincere attitude of the government becomes clear when political rallies, with mammoth gatherings, in poll-bound states are allowed to be held, oblivious to the fact that such rallies proved superspreader events during the second wave. The same scenario is likely to be replicated this time also. Economic disruptions through curbs must be bare minimum, in line with the least political disruptions.

Roshan Lal Goel, Ladwa


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

Sweet nothings Other

Jan 06, 2022

Refer to ‘China at it again’; exchange of sweets could be a good start, but we have already burnt our fingers after the ‘Hindi-Chini bhai-bhai’ slogan and the subsequent 1962 war. This exchange of sweets is nothing but hypocrisy. Poet Bashir Badr wrote, ‘Yaaro ki mohabbat ka yakeen kar liya maine. Phoolon mein chhupaaya hua khanjar nahi dekha.’ After the 1962 debacle, Nehru must have felt something similar. Today, China is far more aggressive. We have to evolve an effective and professional strategy to contain China, and for this, the best services of experts must be acquired. Israel’s Mossad-type high-tech intelligence agency should be raised and put in operation to take on China.

Sudershan Walia, Amritsar


Dealing with China

Conviviality between China and India that showed up briefly on New Year vanished within a few hours, with the former reiterating its claim on Indian territory. Expansionism is Chinese national policy. Since 1962, China predominantly followed a simple rule to conduct excursions deep into our territory and withdraw a few miles following international pressures. On the last few occasions, India has shown visible resistance against Chinese ‘adventures’, but it is not enough to decisively check their advances. During this phase of economic slowdown worldwide, the Chinese will not go in for a full-fledged war, and this is the right time to deal with them firmly.

Col Kuldip S Grewal (Retd), Patiala


Lead from front

Refer to ‘Over 5,000 security personnel to guard Modi in F’pur today’; Covid cases in India are up six times in the past nine days. Should it not ring alarm bells for our rulers/power-seekers? Even before the Election Commission intervenes, if at all, Modi should lead from the front by refusing to attend any more crowd-gathering and Covid-spreading election rallies and set an example for other parties/leaders. More so since a rally by the PM requires large-scale bandobast by the administration and involves the SPG, intelligence agencies, paramilitary forces, etc., besides deployment of huge police force for days in advance. One wonders how so many projects come up for inauguration in poll-bound states and that too right before the elections.

HL Sharma, Amritsar


Different rules

A sum of Rs 84,500 was collected as fine from 169 mask violators on Tuesday by the Panchkula police. On the other hand, election rallies by all political parties in election-bound states are going on in large numbers. The Prime Minister and Home Minister themselves are holding huge rallies almost every other day which shows the double standards of our politicians! In the morning, they address rallies, and in the evening they conduct corona review meetings and issue guidelines for the general public.

Bhupinder Kochhar, Panchkula


Political rallies

Apropos of ‘Jabs for adolescents’, the Centre and state governments are sparing no efforts to increase testing and vaccination for different age groups, update hospital facilities and introduce a raft of precautionary restrictions to deal with the impending threat of the fast-transmitting Omicron variant. Unfortunately, the government asks people to adopt Covid-appropriate behaviour, but fails to check politicians from reckless politicking. Parties are organising rallies and door-to-door canvassing in violation of the mandatory health protocol in the election-bound states. Is contesting elections more important than the safety and security of citizens? Have we not learnt from the West Bengal election experience that led to a spurt in the cases of the deadly virus? The EC should keep a check on political gatherings and ask parties to canvass on TV and other media platforms.

Harmohit Singh, Hoshiarpur


Durga Puja

Reference to ‘Urbanisation of rituals’; Durga Puja will now attract tourists of different hues, not just from the country but also from the world over. Ten days of religious fervour and festivities are marked by cultural performances and large-scale installations and pavilions. It will help various artisans, crafts people, etc. UNESCO recognition will further boost the economic, social and cultural rejuvenation that West Bengal needs.

Vijay Singh Adhikari, Uttarakhand


Illegal mining

It is shocking and tragic that five workers lost their lives because of a landslide at a mining site (‘Illegal, unscientific mining’). Their families ought to be generously compensated and an investigation should be carried out to book those whose negligence caused the mishap. An inspection committee had inspected the site and reported that it was illegal and mining was being done in an unscientific manner.

Raj Bahadur, 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

Women on 'sale' Other

Jan 05, 2022

Refer to ‘Brazen misogyny’; the online ‘sale’ of 100-odd Muslim women on an app is shocking and outrageous. Simply taking down the app, without imposing costs on such criminal behaviour, is only an encouragement of impunity. From doctoring women’s photographs to lewd comments and communal dog-whistling, they cross over into criminality and sexual harassment in ways that call for cyber-crime cells to take urgent attention. The Centre has often weaponised the IPC to go after dissenters and activists. This time, it must push online platforms to assist with the investigation and identify the offenders.

SS Paul, Nadia


Covid curbs

In reference to the Covid restrictions imposed in Punjab till January 15, the Election Commission and the government must impose strict restrictions on political rallies, mass gatherings and marches. Virtual meets and online address to the public should be encouraged. Political activities can be the most dangerous for spreading the contagion. Arvind Kejriwal being detected Covid-positive after the Patiala rally has put so many people at risk. Being VIPs, politicians are monitored under a high-level supervision, but the common man is not that privileged. It was evident in the second wave. The only way is to sternly put political gatherings on hold.

Harsimranvir Singh, Patiala


We have been careless

Omicron and the re-emergence of coronavirus cases have again created a worrying situation. Night curfew and lockdown situations have arisen again in view of the increasing cases in different parts of the country. Like other states, Punjab too has imposed night curfew and closure of educational institutions has been ordered. This is nothing but the result of our carelessness. If the increasing cases are not controlled, there is no doubt that it will not take long for the situation to worsen again. Therefore, the public should not be careless and the orders issued by the government should be followed strictly.

Lavneet Vashisht, Morinda


Put rallies on hold

The Punjab Government has announced night curfew and closure of some institutions like schools, colleges and gyms in view of the rising Covid cases in the state and fear of the Omicron variant. But why no restrictions have been placed on political rallies and the maximum limit of persons who can attend a rally? Are we going to repeat the same mistake which led to the second wave? There is an urgent need for the government to realise that political activities are of least importance. If economic activities can be stopped, why not political ones? Purposeless gathering of hundreds of people in the state will definitely lead to a spike in cases. Political agenda can be put on hold, like other activities, to stop the spread of Covid and to keep the cases under control.

Navjot Singh, Amritsar


Mum on hate speeches

It is disturbing that our elected leaders are completely silent on the issue of hate-speech conclave which took place recently in Uttar Pradesh. Various speeches by religious leaders at the conclave advocated a large-scale genocide of certain communities. Inaction and the silence of our leaders imply acceptance of a narrow and myopic view of Hindutva ideology. We cannot, and must not, let such people who spew communal venom get away with it. The government must set an example for others by taking strict action and booking them for sedition under Section 124A of the IPC. This will strengthen secularism, as enshrined in the Constitution.

Madhvi Sharma, Ludhiana


China’s designs

Apropos of ‘Name of the game’, inch by inch and process by process, China has been grabbing our territory since Independence. It is now renaming and setting up border villages along the LAC. China’s designs are alarming. It has always kept its forces near the border and far away from cities, and hence, has expanded. Our forces have remained city-centric and borders almost empty, neglected and without proper infrastructure.

Ashok Kumar Goel, Panchkula


Back in service

Apropos of ‘Life positive amid Covid gloom’, the middle assumes significance in view of the Covid threat still looming large. The first-hand account of the experience following affliction with Covid, despite taking all precautions, has a lesson for everyone. My hats off to all doctors, nurses and frontline workers who have served people onerously during the deadly first and second Covid waves. Despite the past experience, this is not the time for complacency with the possibility of another surge in infections. Doctors and other frontline workers may again face the same hazard that they did earlier.

RAVI SHARMA, DHARIWAL


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

Stampede at shrine Other

Jan 04, 2022

Reference to ‘Vaishno Devi tragedy’; the stampede brings to the fore the importance of having a better and well-planned crowd management system and regulation in place, besides a ready standard operating procedure in case of such accidents. Also, temple managements should not discriminate among devotees on the basis of economic status, as prevailing in many historical shrines and temples in India with a price tag. The government must restrict the number of devotees who can daily visit the shrine. Covid protocol should be in place as we are seeing a rapid rise in the daily caseload.

Ramesh G Jethwani, Bengaluru


Fix accountability

Refer to ‘Vaishno Devi tragedy’, while the yatra has seen lives being lost due to natural disasters like landslides in the past, Saturday’s stampede is the first of its kind. The shrine is accustomed to crowds growing big on special occasions like Navratras and summer holidays. The shrine board has put the blame on scuffle between two groups of pilgrims, and has refuted the charge of overcrowding, claiming that against the cap of 50,000 people per day, only 35,000 were allowed to proceed as Covid precaution. But visuals and witness accounts tell a different tale. Forget social distancing, queues entering and exiting the shrine were out of control and the shrine was filled beyond the brim. The government has set up a probe and the board resumed the yatra within a few hours. This is a common scene after such tragedies at different temples and ghats. Accountability must be fixed. It must be pinpointed how the management failed to ensure the smooth flow of crowds and why the bottlenecks were not cleared.

VANDANA, CHANDIGARH


Fake degrees

Apropos of ‘HP varsity sold 50K degrees: Probe’, in the recent past, education in our country has been totally commercialised, vulgarised and vandalised. Both private and state-run universities are responsible for this mess. The UGC has failed to check the mushrooming of C-grade universities opened in the most unplanned and improvident fashion. Consequently, education has lost its employable, economic and social value. Teachers are not interested in teaching and students in studying. Private coaching centres have further aggravated the situation. The only beneficiaries are the education managers minting money in the name of English-medium public schools and higher education. In today’s competitive world, awareness is the most potent weapon. Students must come forward to rescue the system from rotting.

Anil Bhatia, Hisar


Degrees on sale

‘Dev Bhoomi’ Himachal Pradesh has wreaked havoc on the education system, not only of the state, but the entire country. How could all this go on under the nose of the state government? Some government officials may have been hand in glove with the culprits, otherwise such big scams are impossible. We cannot even imagine the condition of the students whose future has been shattered due to all this. In addition to the monetary loss, they must be under depression. Stringent and quick action against the guilty is the need of the hour, otherwise people will lose faith in private institutions. Already, the education system of our country is in the doldrums. Such scams are a blot on our education system.

Bir Devinder Singh Bedi, Sangrur


Misuse of fund

Ever since the change of guard in Punjab, with the Channi government at the helm of affairs, there has been a glut of full-page advertisements in print media as well as hoardings dotting highways, depicting a slew of social security schemes and free electricity etc. The state is already facing a financial crunch. Such wasteful expenditure at the cost of the taxpayer must be stopped. The Election Commission of India should take cognisance of the brazen misuse of the state treasury and restrain the DPR from issuing full-page advertisements as it not only affects the level playing field for other stakeholders to fight elections, but also inflates the state’s burgeoning debt burden.

Anil vinayak, Amritsar


Self before party

Refer to ‘Grip over party remains Gandhis’ priority’; the present leadership must realise the actual ground situation and initiate measures to prevent the downslide of the party. Its glorious past must be retrieved in national interest. There is no dearth of talent but it needs to be encouraged, as per the choice of common workers. The party’s constitution should be complied with else the present leadership will be responsible for sinking the Congress ship. It requires many sacrifices, including urgently placing competent personalities at the top.

SUBHASH VAID, NEW DELHI


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

Clarion call Other

Jan 03, 2022

‘The thriving hate industry’ (Nous Indica) is a clarion call to all sane voices to speak fearlessly against the hate-mongers. The brazen abuse targeting Mahatma Gandhi hints at the tacit approval of the divisive forces at the helm. The accusation that Gandhi was responsible for the Partition seems absurd as he was dead against it. It’s time for the leadership of all hues to check the onslaught of hatred on harmony and unity.

Amritlal Madan, Kaithal


When hatred is religion

Apropos of ‘The thriving hate industry’, Kalicharan Maharaj has rightly been remanded in judicial custody for making derogatory remarks against Gandhi. The so-called Maharaj, wearing saffron robes, has been spewing venom. Such demagogues are wolves in sheep’s clothing who try to win the support of their political bosses by spreading hatred. Religious harmony and tolerance are essential for the unity and integrity of the country. No one, howsoever powerful, should be allowed to stoke communalism in the name of religion.

Tarsem S Bumrah, Batala


Won’t do any good

It is unfortunate that the country is confronted with a communally charged political atmosphere that promotes a culture of hatred, prejudice and violence (‘The thriving hate industry’). The rational, liberal people deem it a conspiracy to insult Gandhian principles enshrined in the Constitution, but it may win the BJP dispensation some brownie points in the elections. In the long run, it will undermine India’s freedom struggle; belittle the inclusive and majestic idea of Vedanta; and even harm the interests of the saffron party.

DS Kang, Hoshiarpur


Gross negligence

Apropos of ‘Stampede at Vaishno Devi, 12 dead’, the loss of lives at the J&K shrine on January 1 is heart-wrenching and tragic. It speaks volumes of the utter failure of the administration in handling the situation arising from the heavy rush of devotees. Given the limited capacity at the shrine, why were people not stopped at Katra? As per reports, the Covid restrictions were not enforced and there was hardly anyone there to handle the crowd. Precious lives have been lost due to the negligence of the authorities.

NK Gosain, Bathinda


No crowd control

With reference to the stampede at the Vaishno Devi temple, the shrine management is trying to wash its hands of the responsibility of controlling the crowd. Its failure to discharge its duty was writ large, especially when the number of devotees was allegedly above the permissible limit, in flagrant violation of the Covid protocols. In view of the fast-surging Omicron variant, temple visits should be prohibited for the time being. These visits should be substituted by online darshan to prevent loss of lives in future.

Maheshwer Sharma, by mail


Losing credibility

In reference to ‘Media’s credibility at stake’, true journalism is the backbone of democracy. Misinformation is more dangerous than no information. When the trust in local, regional or national media begins to erode, it may encourage social platforms like Facebook and Twitter, and foreign media. This may create chaos and instability through the dissemination of false information. All monitoring authorities, police personnel, judiciary, executive and departments concerned should be empowered to act against wrong-doers, irrespective of their status or designation, to preserve the values of the Fourth Estate.

DILWAR ALI MEERAK, FATEHABAD


Media code of conduct

The media has the responsibility of educating the masses of India about various issues of the country. The Press Council of India should be given the status of a statutory body with quasi-judicial powers. A proper code of conduct should be established for the Press. Editors should be made accountable for news content on TV channels. Facts are being twisted and distorted. Amassing money should not be the motto of people engaged in sting operations and in the business of disseminating unbiased news. The demarcation between genuine and fake news is being obliterated. In a system where good is not appreciated and bad is not punished, society can’t grow or flourish.

Muskan popli, Hisar


Fact and fiction

Reference to ‘Media’s credibility at stake’; the line between factual and fake news gets blurred and the resultant grey area is usurped by social media. The mingling of fact and fiction mars credibility. Governments are cultivating ‘friendly’ media to dish out propaganda.

R Narayanan, Navi Mumbai


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

Media's reputation Other

Jan 01, 2022

Apropos of ‘Media's credibility at stake’, while the print media still has some credibility, the electronic media has almost become a cheerleader for the government with every decision of the PM being hailed as a masterstroke. Since the media is now owned by big business houses, it is inevitable for them to be on the right side. Its reputation as an independent institution taking the government to task for its failures has been tarnished, so much that the CJI had to remind them of their primary duty — reporting the truth without fear or favour.

Anthony Henriques, Mumbai


Don’t cross the line

Everyone will endorse CJI’s caution to the media to not mix news with views, which not only damages its own credibility, but also disturbs peace in society. While journalism cannot always guarantee truth, reporting facts right is its cardinal duty. It is here that a number of media houses are found wanting. Under the garb of ‘holding a mirror up to society’, it often reports opinions as facts, with a touch of sensationalism, with the ulterior motive of improving its TRPs. Perhaps, the first time Indian journalism lost its credibility was during the Emergency. True, it is for the Fourth Estate to introspect and perform its hallowed role, without crossing the ‘Lakshman Rekha’.

V Jayaraman, Chennai


Education is the key

Along with violence against members of the minority community, increasing incidents of religious bigotry, communal hatred and disharmony have raised serious concerns over the years. The article ‘A tale of good tidings’ stresses the need for solidarity with these vulnerable and suppressed people, who are denied equality, justice and dignity. Since our national progress depends on the quality and skills of citizens, education is the key, which will help them realise their full potential and promote their social inclusion. The governments at all levels should encourage NGOs doing pioneering work.

Harmohit Singh, Hoshiarpur


The show must go on

The CEC declared that Assembly elections in five states would be held as per schedule while ensuring Covid protocols. The ECI has issued such statement after the Allahabad High Court suggested to postpone the elections due to rise in cases of Omicron variant. Earlier, various courts had even rebuked the ECI for conducting polls without following proper protocol. The observations of the court may be based on the mismanagement reported in respect of oxygen supply, shortage of beds in hospitals as well as medicines and the disposal of bodies. Omicron may be spreading fast, but the death rate is less. So, to defer elections due to this reason does not hold good. Hence, the show must go on.

Yash Pal Ralhan, Jalandhar


Heavens won’t fall

No political party came forward with the suggestion of postponing the elections in view of the third Covid wave, which is spreading fast. The ECI has taken the decision only after consulting parties whose main aim is to win the elections and grab power at the earliest. They are least bothered about the health of the people, who have been invited by our leaders to attend rallies in great numbers. The ECI should have taken the bold decision of postponing the elections in the interest of people. Heavens won’t fall if the polls are put off.

DK Wig, by mail


Respect for the chair

Apropos of ‘When New Year was the calling card’, yes, it’s a universal truth that while in power, people respect the chair and not the individual occupying it. All officers have to face this harsh reality after superannuation. Barring some isolated aberrations, every officer becomes a victim of humiliation on the part of juniors much before one relinquishes the chair. In many cases, strategic preparations to humiliate the officer start well in advance. Though the trait of ‘kursi ko salaam’ lies embedded in our genes, this indeed is a blot on our society.

VK Anand, Chandigarh


Don’t let the guard down

In reference to ‘Tourists in Manali for New Year revelry’, if full-page advertisements run by hotel owners and others are any indication, we don't seem to have learnt any lessons from the first and second waves of the pandemic. Ironically, state governments on the one hand are going hammers and tongs against lowering the guard against the new variant, on the other they are turning a blind eye to blatant violation of essential protocols. Rallies, public functions and other festivities are going on with impunity. The PM himself addressed a massive rally at Mandi in Himachal, where a majority of people were sporting no mask and throwing social-distancing norms to the winds. It is shocking that the government is not taking any cognisance. It would’ve been better had the authorities imposed a blanket ban on the New Year celebrations, as it may endanger peoples’ lives.

Ramesh K Dhiman, 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