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Letters to the editor

Preference for boys

Apr 29, 2023

Refer to ‘Fewer girls born’; government campaigns like ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’ will be futile if there is no change in the social mindset. Girls who wish to study and make a career are compelled to get married at an early age; after marriage, they are expected to give birth to a boy. This vicious cycle continues. This problem can be surmounted only by bringing about a change in the social psyche, along with stringent implementation of government policies. Girls have the same rights as boys. They are not merely a child-delivering machine. Women from Haryana have achieved accolades in sports, but unfortunately, the social mindset remains the same.

Sammy Cheema, by mail


Not a liability

Refer to ‘Fewer girls born’; we have never read a report indicating that female births have outnumbered male births. This can be a possibility if female foeticide becomes non-existent. Despite the fact that girls are outshining boys, even in hitherto male bastions, the birth of a girl is not celebrated with the kind of jubilation seen at the arrival of a male child. Slogans like ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’ may have had some peripheral impact, but the overall ground reality is unchanged. If we want to bring about gender parity in the real sense, and tap the potential of the female population in the development of the country, a drastic change is needed in our patriarchal mindset. We must stop treating girls as a liability and a drain on family resources. We must invest proportionately in educating them. It is a fact that women are more concerned about the well-being of their ageing parents than men. The skewed gender ratio has dire societal consequences.

roshan Lal Goel, by mail


Badal’s advice was ignored

The article ‘His contribution to the nation is indelible’ is basically an invitation to Sukhbir Badal to join the BJP. Modi gives many instances when he sought and got valuable advice from Badal during his long political career. But Modi does not tell how he ignored the senior Badal’s advice to roll back the farm laws that led to the parting of ways between the two parties.

RN Malik, Gurugram


Differed on farm laws

Apropos of ‘His contribution to the nation is indelible’; Modi had a deep personal understanding with Badal. The farmers’ agitation against the farm laws enacted by the Central government headed by Modi was spearheaded by the farmers of Punjab. Did Modi consult Badal on the farm laws? Modi has not written anything about Badal’s views on the farm laws and why they were opposed by his party, the Akali Dal.

Ashok bahl, kangra


Government funds

Ideally, when a political leader is in power, as a minister or in some other capacity, his functions should be limited to his official activities (‘Taxpayer picks up the tab’). Those who have graduated in politics know by instinct how to design a welfare scheme to gain political mileage. The article is well intentioned and puts forward some good suggestions to save government coffers from being used to fund political rallies, but it is doubtful whether crafty politicians would put them into action.

Beant Singh Bedi, Mohali


Some cess fine

Reference to ‘Anurag: Imposition of water cess against state’s interests’; imposition of the cess is justified to earn some income as water and electricity resources are being used by other states even as people of the hill state suffer from the impact of hydel projects. A part of this money can be utilised to mitigate the woes of affected people. The perception that power producers and investors might be discouraged seems to be illogical. As far as employees’ deposits under the NPS are concerned, the money belongs to employees and the government should keep this money in the names of respective employees in lieu of GPF contribution.

ROOP SINGH NEGI, Solan


Teachers’ selection

The progress of any country depends on its education system. If teachers are appointed on a temporary basis, a country can never move forward. Selection of teachers should be done through an integrated commission or the State Public Selection Commission. In every state, the Education Service Selection Commission should be given the form of an autonomous corporate body. Teachers should be appointed through a test and an interview. The Himachal Government will have to be careful about teacher recruitments. It should not play with the future of the educated unemployed youth.

Sikandar Bansal, Shimla


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

SAD’s challenges

Apr 28, 2023

Refer to ‘SAD after Badal’; the chronic issues plaguing Punjab, notwithstanding the tireless efforts of living politicians and those who have departed, have left the people of the state disappointed. A viable way out is to practise the ethos of a responsible democracy, with appropriate policies that are in sync with the changed situation in the state. The Akali Dal’s political challenges need a thorough reflection by the party and its leadership before making further political moves.

Jagvinder Singh Brar, Patiala


Leader with foresight

Parkash Singh Badal was no run-of-the-mill politician. To get elected five times as Chief Minister of a volatile border state like Punjab is no ordinary achievement. He once said development was his nasha and he lived up to it throughout his political career. The Guru Nanak Thermal Plant in Bathinda came up during his first stint as Punjab Chief Minister. In the first decade of this century, there was an acute power shortage, but Badal built five thermal plants in various parts of the state to ease the situation. The comfortable power supply today is due to his foresight and efforts. The state may never again see the likes of him. He was, indeed, a political stalwart.

MK Bajaj, Zirakpur


Not the peace we want

Refer to the article ‘The Kashmir imbroglio’; the government’s claim that all was well in Kashmir after Article 370 was abolished has been belied. It is wrong for the government to clamp down on all democratic protests and then claim that there was peace in the region. Do we want the peace of the graveyard? Protests by Kashmiri Pandits on being forced to return to the Valley have been played down in the media. In spite of its own internal turmoil, Pakistan has not stopped supporting terror activities in Kashmir. All the hard talk about Kashmir becoming peaceful again due to strong-arm tactics may resonate with the people outside of Kashmir, but at ground zero, it is a different story. Unless the hearts of the people are won, Kashmir will continue to fester.

ANTHONY HENRIQUES, MUMBAI


Karnataka elections

Apropos of ‘Karnataka poll narrative’; the state had not given a clear mandate to the BJP in a previous election. Yet, it formed a government in 2008 with the support of Independents, and in 2018 it seized power, toppling the Congress-JD(S) alliance government through defection. This time, the saffron party is banking on its meticulously unleashed divisive campaign to eclipse the strong anti-incumbent sentiment. It attempted to paint Tipu Sultan, the Muslim ruler of Mysore who died fighting a combined force of East India Company troops, the Marathas and the Nizam of Hyderabad, a villain, and Savarkar, an atheist who is credited with the propagation of the Hindutva ideology, a hero. We would soon know whether the campaigns had an impact on voters. What has hit the current ruling party hard is the deluge of corruption cases; the ‘PayCM’ and ‘40% Sarkara’ campaigns seem to have struck a chord with the voters. The elections to the state Assembly in 2023 will be a watershed moment as the results will reflect the efficacy of religious polarisation in the South.

Haridasan Rajan, Kerala


Secularism is key

Reference to the article ‘How Prayagraj became a mobster’s citadel’; from the 1980s, unequal progress gave rise to the formation of caste-based parties and Atiq Ahmed was considered fit for party leadership. It is for this reason that the founding father of our Constitution, Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar, rooted faith in secularism so that there was no room for caste-based politics. Over the decades, people have been left behind in the race for development. People who suffered deprivation found it easy to follow a leader who, with his might, made a place for himself in politics. Perhaps he became a mafioso, and allegedly a murderer, because he felt that it was the only way to do justice with his brethren. One lesson that can be learnt is that secularism should be protected at every cost.

Rakesh Kumar, by mail


Another ruse

Refer to ‘Need preliminary probe...’; the Centre’s plea for a preliminary probe before the registration of an FIR is a fig leaf to conceal its failure to take action against the BJP MP. It has been three months, but the government has not taken any action, even though it reassured the aggrieved party that it would. Was it just a trick to call off the protest? It seems that there are different rules and laws for different people in our country. An ordinary person in this situation would have been in jail without bail. We should stop saying that the law of the land is equal for all. It clearly is not.

PS Bhatti, Chandigarh


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

Karnataka poll plank

Apr 27, 2023

Reference to the article ‘Karnataka poll narrative’; the BJP has failed to further its Hindutva agenda in states where development expectations are high. The party has done well in states where general development is slow, like Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Uttarakhand. In these states, voters are content with the Hindutva card. In South, the BJP will have to deliver on development. But since the past five years have been lost in corruption issues, it is trying to rake up caste identity politics.

Rakesh Kumar, by mail


Cooperative federalism

Apropos of ‘States to boost India’s growth: PM in Kerala’; the concept of ‘cooperative federalism’ advocated by the PM reflects the true spirit of federalism that is innate in the country’s vibrant democratic traditions. A chain is as strong as the links constituting it and the state of Kerala is the best example of Centre-state relations. Furthermore, keeping in mind the comfort, convenience, safety, punctuality, reliability and environment friendliness, introduction of public transport system such as Metros (landways or waterways) and Vande Bharat trains will be in consonance with the avowed aim of the welfare state propounded in our Constitution.

DV Sharma, Mukerian


Death for spying

The news report ‘8 ex-Navy men face death for spying in Qatar’ is shocking and sad for India. Instead of leading a comfortable retired life, these men chose to go for another stint in a highly risky job. Laws are extremely harsh in Qatar and granting of clemency is extremely rare in such cases. The Indian government’s decision to extend consular and legal assistance may offer them

some solace.

Ravinder Singh, Jalandhar


WFI chief must resign

This out-of-arena wrestling is not pleasing to the eyes of sports lovers in general and the wrestling enthusiasts in particular. This is one sport in which India has earned a formidable reputation with the joint efforts of wrestlers and the wrestling federation. But this dharna by prominent wrestlers is not doing any good to their reputation as well as that of the administration. The Wrestling Federation of India chief should gracefully resign and allow a thorough probe into the matter so that the facts of the case are dug out. The allegations are serious in nature and the dharna by sportspersons reflects poorly on every stakeholder. Let the truth prevail.

Deepak Taak, Panchkula


End of an era

Shiromani Akali Dal patriarch Parkash Singh Badal has left behind an unmatched historic political legacy. Though strong-headed, the senior-most politician of the country will always be remembered for his humility and simplicity. With a political career lasting about seven decades, Badal’s name became synonymous with Punjab politics. The SAD has lost its draughtsman and Punjab its political grand master. His self-effacing demeanour and grace, and a warm smile disarmed the staunchest of critics and opponents. Indeed, he was a towering figure and a political stalwart.

Arshnoor, Mohali


Holiday confusion

Parkash Singh Badal’s demise is a huge loss not only to the Akali Dal, but also entire Punjab. Confusion prevailed over the announcement of a public holiday to mark his death. Some newspapers reported that April 26 would be a holiday in Punjab. However, later in the day, the state government announced a holiday on April 27. The entire day was wasted. Learning a lesson from this fiasco, the government should issue clear orders that in future the employees would observe a holiday only after the issuance of an office order by the competent authority. The government should also try to issue necessary orders as early as possible to avoid any confusion in future.

NK Gosain, Bathinda


Good initiative

Reference to ‘Ambala DEEO inspects midday meal quality’; the DEEO made schoolchildren aware of the ill-effects of smoking and the need to protect our environment. It may seem like an ordinary affair, but the DEEO’s efforts are significant in view of the interest taken by the officer to advise the students. In fact, whenever a talk is delivered from the heart, it becomes effective. The question is, how many education officers perform their duty in the spirit it deserves?

S Kumar, Panchkula 

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

PM must speak up

Apr 26, 2023

Of late, there have been many issues or incidents of national importance on which PM Modi has chosen to remain silent, be it the Hindenburg-Adani row, the renaming of places in Arunachal Pradesh by China, the terror attack on an Army truck in Poonch that claimed the lives of five soldiers, the dharna by wrestlers, or the death of 13 people due to a heatstroke in Maharashtra during an event presided over by Amit Shah. The PM must express his views on matters involving strong public sentiment. It is not possible for the PM to address every issue, but he can always delegate a minister to convey the government’s official stand on such matters. Speaking only during election rallies or blaming the Opposition for past situations is not a dignified way to operate for the person holding the Prime Minister’s office.

YASH KHETARPAL, PANCHKULA


Why Assam jail?

Apropos of ‘Amritpal in the dock’; arresting him proved to be a litmus test for the Punjab Police as it took them nearly five weeks, the period during which he extensively used various tactics to avoid the police dragnet. But better late than never. However, as a layman, one fails to comprehend the rationale behind all pro-Khalistan activists, including Amritpal Singh, arrested under the NSA, being taken to Assam’s Dibrugarh jail. Why put them all in one jail?

Kumar Gupt, by mail


Wasted youth

Today, the country’s youth has become aimless and indisciplined. ‘My life, my rules’ seems to be the motto of their life. Most of them are not serious about their careers. The policy-makers should take note of it. Earlier, the youth, especially of rural areas, used to choose a career either in the Army or the state police. But since various posts have been reduced, they have nowhere to go. They are frustrated and try to take refuge in smoking, drinking and taking drugs. Due to all this, crime is on the rise, too. If the policy-makers don’t pay heed to the problem, the day is not far when there will be chaos and anarchy in the country.

Kishan Chahar, Jhajjar


Work on storage

Refer to ‘Checking grain loss’; we are an agrarian country and the world’s most populous nation. Also, there is abject poverty. We can’t afford to waste foodgrains and incur huge losses due to poor storage capacity. Creating enough storage facilities with suitable silos and other effective means is a question of simple planning, execution and government foresight. We have had enough ‘mandir-masjid’ politics. India can ill afford to ignore the vital subject of saving our wealth earned through the hard labour of farmers. Before the Partition, India had an edge over China in every walk of life, but now China is five times ahead of us — in economy, defence, production, etc. Why so?

BM SINGH, AMRITSAR


Grain stocks

Refer to editorial ‘Checking grain loss’; the loss of grain stock every year due to unscientific storage conditions puts a huge load on government revenue. The Green Revolution increased the wheat productivity manifold, but poor storage facilities result in the wastage of stock piles. There is a need to construct scientific and temperature-controlled storage facilities. The facilities can also be made underground, below the mandis, to save space and transportation requirements. Shifting of grains immediately after procurement to other states, based on previous consumption, may help in reducing the wastage and losses. Preservation of grains through trained food safety personnel can increase their storage life.

Wg Cdr (DR) JS Minhas (retd), Mohali


Plan for future

Apropos of ‘Crunching the numbers’; India has the advantage of a young educated population, but the government must provide work opportunities. Besides employment generation, improvement in health facilities, shift from simple education to skill-based education and conservation of environment are much needed and women’s labour participation rates must be improved. Handholding the technology, agriculture and services sectors will ignite the required change.

Mukhtiar Singh, by mail


Substandard drugs

Reference to ‘12 made-in-HP drugs declared substandard’; it is not for the first time that drugs manufactured in HP have been found substandard. Drug manufacturers are playing with the lives of people sans exemplary action against them. It is rarely heard that the government has taken a drastic action against any manufacturer, including the cancellation of the licence. Drugs should be allowed to be marketed only after they are tested. The government should increase the number of labs so that drugs can be tested more frequently. The strength of drug controlling staff should also be enhanced for effective control.

ROOP SINGH NEGI, Solan


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

letters to the editor

Apr 25, 2023

Magic figure of 99.9%

According to the Bar Council of India, 99.9% of the people in India do not favour the idea of same-sex marriage, and, therefore, the court should allow Parliament, which represents the people of the country, to legislate on it. The question is: from where did the council get the magic figure of 99.9%? Does Parliament really reflect the views of ‘all’ the people of India? No social reform would ever have happened if the majority opinion was considered! Even the 0.1 per cent that the council considers not worthy of opinion deserve to be heard. The court should bring the decriminalisation judgment to its natural conclusion by legalising same-sex marriage.

Kusum Chadda, Zirakpur


For SC to decide

This refers to the Bar Council passing a resolution opposing same-sex marriage. The matter has been on the court’s agenda for a while now and must be left for the Supreme Court to decide. The court has spent its precious time on the matter and these hours should not be discarded. The concept of marriage may be a matter of individual ideology and does not affect the common man in a negative way as this is a matter of choice. Freedom is the foundation of democracy and India must carry on with the spirit of inclusivity. Interference by multiple entities will only hinder the decision process further. Let the court decide.

Shaurya Lall, Zirakpur


PM’s silence

The report ‘Wrestlers back on dharna to demand justice’ is shocking as petty politics is coming in way of justice to women wrestlers who brought glory to the nation in spite of heavy odds. Why justice is being denied to them for the sake of saving the skin of a single main accused is baffling! Formation of a committee without making its report public is a farce on a serious issue like sexual harassment. The silence of the PM on the issue is intriguing as he is always generous in calling women players to congratulate them on winning laurels for the country. His intervention will go a long way in ensuring that women players are not exploited.

JAGDISH CHANDER, JALANDHAR


Amritpal’s arrest

The statewide search for pro-Khalistan activist Amritpal Singh was a costly affair for Punjab, with 80,000 police personnel being deployed for the purpose. Internet services were suspended, which was a major hindrance to the public. Even though he has been arrested, speculation over the functioning of the state machinery remains. The common people look to the police for maintenance of law and order. The police were given the slip multiple times. They made numerous arrests, but only of mere pawns. This must not be the precedent Punjab sets for itself. The long chase has ended with a peaceful arrest and legal action must follow.

Cheshta, Ambala


Hazardous job

In reference to ‘Industrial tank deaths’; just for some meagre amount of money, these workers are compelled to risk their lives. In some cases, they are the sole breadwinners of their families. More job opportunities or programmes should be introduced where they could get paid enough, so that they do not have to resort to such hazardous jobs.

Yamini Verma, Chandigarh


Ignoring safety

Refer to ‘Industrial tank deaths’; such workers are illiterate and don’t understand their rights while working in hazardous conditions. It is a matter of shame that employers hire cheap labour for selfish interests. The hard work of these labourers is not valued and they are deprived of safety and security. A strict law must be implemented for the welfare of the labourers. Penalty should be imposed on defaulting employers.

SUBER SINGH PARIHAR, by mail


Farm insurance

Apropos of ‘Equipping farmers to cope with crop losses’; agriculture insurance is one of the most complex types of insurance in existence as it combines finance, science, legislation, administration and climate change. A farmer-friendly policy is fundamental to any insurance plan. It must be simple to apply and easy to understand. Crop insurance policy should be tailored to meet farmers’ needs and priorities, and also be transparent and free from manipulation. PMFBY has failed to enthuse farmers due to its all-India character and other complexities in arriving at the losses suffered. Crop insurance must be state or area-specific with low premium. All vegetables and fruits, besides rabi and kharif crops, should be covered. Losses due to climate variations must be assessed taking the farmer as a unit and not a revenue village. Further, it should be optional to all, including the loanee farmers. A comprehensive insurance plan is the need of the hour and not a plan that favours corporates.

GS MANN, 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: [email protected]

Political expediency

Apr 24, 2023

Refer to ‘BJP’s strategic shift’ (Nous Indica); it would be naive to believe that the BJP is departing from its politics of polarisation and moving towards inclusivity. Now, even the RSS is more worried about consolidating its hold over the levers of power than being seen as the sole spearhead of the majority community. Political expediency has always driven the BJP to wear a mask as per the ground reality. The BJP condones the actions of corrupt leaders if they join the party. Allegiance towards Hindus is part of its strategy to occupy the seat of power by condemning the Opposition for the politics of appeasement. Its anti-minority policy will surface when the elections draw closer. The dent in Modi’s popularity due to the party’s policy of political vendetta might have constrained the BJP to explore new avenues to keep its votebank intact. These superficial gestures to woo Christians could be part of political machinations.

Roshan Lal Goel, by mail


Modi’s strategy

Apropos of ‘BJP’s strategic shift’ (Nous Indica); since it is PM Modi who decides everything for the party, this attempt to win over minorities signifies Modi’s strategic shift. Since he is very sensitive to what is reported by the foreign media, his negative image, as presented by it, has probably led him to adopt a softer approach. He is also aware of the shifting sands under his feet. Hence, the Prime Minister feels the need for support from wherever he can get it. The only danger is that those who voted for him because of his attitude towards the minorities would feel cheated and not vote for him with the earlier conviction and intensity.

ANTHONY HENRIQUES, MUMBAI


Hold polls in J&K

Refer to ‘Poonch terror attack’; this is the deadliest strike on a security convoy in J&K since the Pulwama attack in 2019, which left 40 CRPF men dead. Ironically, as always, the attack coincided with Pakistan’s announcement of participation at the SCO meeting in Goa. While India’s efforts to normalise life in Kashmir are welcome, the biggest challenge will be to hold elections in the Valley. The purpose of the abrogation of Article 370 will not be fulfilled unless the Kashmiris feel that they are the stakeholders in their own development. Controversies are part and parcel of politics, but the EC must decide to hold the elections at the earliest.

SANJAY CHOPRA, MOHALI


Incentivise small families

The rise in population may have certain positive economic implications, but its adverse impact on India’s growth story is undeniable (‘Most populous nation’). The huge unemployment, strain on resources, the lack of progress in the crucial areas of education and health, poor nutrition and the general living conditions of average citizens call for urgent population control measures. We cannot be as strict as China in introducing population control measures, but we should incentivise smaller families and educate people about family planning.

Hari Krishan Chaudhary, by mail


Population boom

Refer to the editorial ‘Most populous nation’; we may take pride in having the most young population as human resource and exploring ways to utilise it for the development and economy of the country, but at the same time, we must accept that if we continue to grow at the same rate, all development measures will get negated. Also, there will be scarcity of resources due to increased demand, which will affect the economy. The existing problems of poverty, illiteracy and unemployment will worsen. All sections of society must come forward to support the one or two-child policy per family, irrespective of caste, creed and religion; otherwise, our future generations will bear the brunt of the demographic disaster.

KK Chawla, Karnal


Criminals in politics

Apropos of ‘The making of criminal politicians’; the safest and best business in India, undoubtedly, is politics. Criminals adopt the short route to enter politics. Once elected from any party, the position works as a money spinner, and if one joins the ruling party, it also means no fear of raids by investigating agencies. The government is aware of the facts. Why no stern action is initiated against these hardcore financial criminals? Criminals hold much influence and money power. Politicians are attracted to them like moths to a flame.

RAMESH GUPTA, NARWANA


Deserve no mercy

Refer to ‘SC gives bail to 8 convicts in Godhra case, refuses to four’; perpetrators of the heinous crime of burning to death 59 kar sevaks on a train, which led to communal riots in Gujarat in 2002, do not deserve any mercy. Instead, they should be speedily tried as their appeals have been pending in the Supreme Court since 2018.

Ashok Kumar, 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: [email protected]

Too little for too many

Apr 22, 2023

Apropos of ‘Most populous nation’; the rapidly growing population raises concerns as it predicts the grim scenario of too many people chasing too few resources. Demand for more food, resources, amenities, infrastructure and employment will further stress the existing capabilities, and also the environment. The challenge is to convert the growing population into an asset rather than a liability. The population dividend is to be appropriated by quality education and skill upgrade. Synchronising job imperatives of industry and tailoring the training of the working population accordingly is critical for enhancing employability and minimising socio-economic deprivation. Cynicism must give way to optimism, supported by a well-thought-out policy.

GP CAPT JS BOPARAI (RETD), by mail


Some milestone!

Well done, my fellow Indians! As per earlier estimates, we were supposed to reach this milestone by 2030, but due to the poor performance of the incumbent No. 1 China, we have managed to beat it much earlier than expected (‘Most populous nation’). For the worried lot, please take heart that in terms of sheer numbers, we might be touching the top spot, but in terms of population density, we are much behind many countries like Indonesia and Bangladesh. We still have much more space available on per person basis. We can still move around freely — if not in cities, then in the countryside.

Deepak Taak, Panchkula


Surpassing China

Reference to ‘Most populous nation’; India is all set to make a record, but surpassing China and being No. 1 in terms of population is not something to be proud of. The government should come up with measures to curb population growth. People must be made aware of the consequences of topping such a list, so that there can be some possible control over the growing numbers.

AKASH BHAKRI, PHILLAUR


Strive for talent pool

Being the most populous nation in the comity of nations may be a milestone, but as a country, it can prove to be a millstone around the neck if potential momentum is not converted into ‘a skill upgrade on a mass scale’ for economic betterment. Talent dividend will prove to be a blessing in disguise for the world at large. India can provide a skilled talent pool for easing the economic sufferings of the masses. Key to this is ensuring reliable employability and cutting-edge skill development.

DV Sharma, Mukerian


Time to act

Refer to ‘Army truck ambushed, 5 soldiers dead’; India can no longer allow the repeat of such gruesome incidents as it may demoralise our forces. China’s proximity to Pakistan should not hinder our offensive against Pakistan. The source of militancy has to be targeted. Mere action against local militants is unlikely to serve any purpose. Any further delay in action would embolden the militants. India should cancel the invitation to the Pakistan foreign minister for participation in the SCO Summit.

Ravinder Singh, Jalandhar


No to Rahul’s plea

The rejection of Rahul Gandhi’s plea by a Surat court reflects the slow and unproductive system of our judiciary. It seems that the British Raj system is still being implemented. It is clear that the ‘accused’ is going to get relief only from a higher court, then what is the purpose of wasting the time and resources of lower courts? These courts are already overburdened. The Indian judicial system needs an urgent overhaul to streamline the working of courts.

Gagandeep Singh, Jalandhar


Litigation bills

Refer to ‘will recover Rs 55L spent on Ansari: Mann’; the refusal of the CM to accord post-facto approval of Rs 55 lakh paid to engage lawyers to ‘delay’ the transfer of a UP don, despite 48 warrants for his production in UP courts, may be good party politics, but would not stand judicial scrutiny vis-a-vis recovery from the then Congress ministers. The government is the biggest litigant and politicians in power abuse state resources and machinery to settle political scores or promote personal or party interests. Parliament must devise a foolproof mechanism to sift genuine public interest from vested interest, especially while footing litigation bills. Till then, the onus is on the intelligentsia and the media to check this trend.

Lalit Bharadwaj, Panchkula


‘Wild West’ of India

Refer to ‘Killings that raise questions’; it is strange that Atiq and his brother were being taken to hospital at night. Their medical examination could have been conducted during the day. No retaliation by the police points to a deep-rooted conspiracy. This style of doing away with criminals by the ruling dispensation in UP is fraught with risk and may turn the state into India’s ‘Wild West’ in the times to come. That would be a national tragedy.

MK BAJAJ, Zirakpur


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

Admit it was a mistake

Apr 21, 2023

Reference to the editorial ‘Remission in Bano case’; the Supreme Court reviewing the remission of the 11 convicts in the case gives hope that justice may, after all, be served to the victims of the horrendous crime. The Gujarat government is unable to furnish the reasons for the premature release of the convicts. Was the decision taken according to someone’s whims? Rather than defending its decision and wasting the precious time of the court, it will be prudent for the state government to gracefully admit to its folly and send the convicts back to jail. This will at least be a face-saving exercise. Otherwise, in the end, it may have to eat humble pie.

Deepak Singhal, Noida


Grave issue

Apropos of ‘Remission in Bano case’; the apex court has made a pertinent observation. A massacre cannot be equated with a single murder. Trials and convictions, etc., of important cases are in the public domain, and also with judicial officers. But they can only act when the matter is brought to their notice. In this case, the Supreme Court has taken suo motu action as the matter is sensitive. Some convicts were granted a very long parole, which is unjustifiable. The convicts were treated as war heroes, which is a horrendous and shameful act on the part of society. With the present CJI occupying the highest seat of law and justice, there is a feeling of reassurance among the public regarding justice, which in recent times, seems to have lost credibility.

BM SINGH, AMRITSAR


Stick to visa norms

Refer to ‘Oz varsities cautious’; it is always better to observe visa norms to pursue studies in a foreign land. Illegally procured papers may land one in a dark alley and dash the dreams of a progressive life. Parents must remain alert and not fall prey to unscrupulous agents and end up losing their hard-earned money. The right course should always be preferred and adopted if one is serious about making a career abroad in a hassle-free way. Improper procedure may result in deportation.

Subhash Vaid, New Delhi


Craze for foreign land

Apropos of ‘Oz varsities cautious’; it is shameful and distressing that Indians have been pulled up for flouting norms. Nowadays, there is a craze among Indian students to go abroad. As soon as students pass Class XII examinations, parents rush to immigration agents and ask them to send their children to any foreign university! They are ready to shell out any amount for it. However, many of them fall prey to false promises made by travel agents. If somehow students do fly overseas, they have a tendency to manipulate visa or university rules, diminishing India’s image. The government should come out with a sound policy in this regard.

Swati Bansal, by mail


Create new jobs

Reference to ‘At 142.86 cr, India to be most populous by June-end, will surpass China by 29L’; though a rise in population promotes economic advancement, it also presents serious social and economic problems, like poverty, unemployment and inequality. India should make investments in not just education, but also in fields pertaining to health, nutrition and skills for employability. The authorities must encourage equitable growth and deal with the underlying issues that lead to high fertility rates if they want to ensure that population growth in the country is both sustainable and advantageous for all citizens. Besides, it is vital to create new job opportunities.

Lavisha, Mandi


Control population

India is projected to overtake China as the world’s most populous nation. As the population increases, the demand for food, water and energy will rise. India is already facing challenges in meeting the basic needs of its citizens. Another big problem will be unemployment. India already has a high rate of unemployment. The rise in population will also put a strain on environment, leading to issues such as air pollution, water pollution and deforestation. It is the government’s responsibility to take steps to control population by undertaking a campaign to educate people about the benefits of small families. This way, we will be able to control the birth rate and turn population growth to our advantage.

Navjot, Kangra


Advantage India

Reference to the news report ‘At 142.86 cr, India to be most populous by June-end, will surpass China by 29L’; India now has the advantage of a young population that China had to rise economically 30 years ago. India’s large working population can take our economy to new heights. No one can stop India from becoming a superpower.

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: [email protected]

Definition of marriage

Apr 20, 2023

One is amused to go through the discussion on same-sex marriage going on in the Supreme Court. Marriage is possibly the most important institution that has ever existed in human society. Though the advocates of the contesting parties and the presiding judges (in their casual remarks) are trying to forward different constructions on the term ‘marriage’ to include in it same-sex marriages, yet it cannot be denied that down the ages, society has understood the union between a natural male and a natural female as marriage, the main purpose of the union being procreation to ensure the continuance of the human race. Let humans enjoy the natural gift of marriage as ordained by nature, rather than obfuscating its very concept. Marriages are made in heaven, though sometimes defaced or distorted in courts.

Beant Singh Bedi, Mohali


Unnatural bond

Reference to ‘Same-sex marriage: won’t get into personal laws, says SC’; same-sex marriage is against the principles of srishti’s creation, unnatural, absurd and anti-social. Religious books do not mention it. Same-sex marriage does not help in procreation. It is surprising why the government as well as the Supreme Court are entertaining this issue and linking it to fundamental rights, personal laws and the Special Marriage Act, etc. Same-sex marriages are abnormal and need psychological treatment.

O PRASADA RAO, HYDERABAD


Jail corrupt officers

It is for the first time that such a senior police officer has been dismissed from service (‘AIG Raj Jit sacked over drug mafia links’). The credit goes to the ruling party and the DGP for taking strict action in the case. Such corrupt officers with a criminal mindset do not deserve any leniency and if found guilty, they should be awarded the strictest punishment for ruining so many families. It has been established that the police and politicians are behind the drug menace in Punjab. The Punjab government must weed out all elements responsible for heinous crimes and set an example by putting them behind bars.

Col GS Bhullar (retd), Jalandhar


Reform NMC

Reference to the news report ‘Varsity inspection takes lid off made-up records at Chintpurni Medical College’; the working of the National Medical Commission (NMC) has been in question for a few years now. I have been seeking an inquiry from the Centre, NMC, Punjab Medical Council and the Punjab government into illegal and unethical practices being adopted by a private medical college for the past five years, but unfortunately, no action has been initiated by any agency in spite of written complaints. Baba Farid University of Health Sciences must be complimented for coming out with this courageous report, contradicting the NMC’s favourable report. The authorities concerned should take notice of the report and reform the NMC to save the careers of thousands of medical students studying in such substandard colleges.

Vitull K Gupta, by mail


Golden Temple row

Apropos of ‘Row as woman denied entry into Golden Temple’; undoubtedly, the sewadar’s behaviour could have been better. The SGPC must give necessary training to the sewadars to be more polite and courteous to visitors, particularly those who are not from Punjab and may not be aware of the norms of the holy place. Painting the Tricolour or having any other tattoo on the face is okay while visiting the Wagah border or watching a match. However, we can’t paint our faces and go to workplaces or schools where there is a specified dress code. It is also expected from the visitors to maintain the required decorum while visiting not only the Golden Temple, but any religious place.

Balbir Singh Kakkar, Jalandhar


India must mediate

Apropos of the article ‘Press the play button’; despite being in a commanding position in the world, India has been a mute spectator to the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war rather than being a proactive player in resolving the crisis. PM Modi’s pontification to Russia that ‘this is not an era of war’ doesn’t contain the persuasive force to induce Russia to cease the war. India needs to demonstrate the kind of statesmanship it demonstrated in resolving the Korean War, earning plaudits from the international community. As the G20 President, it is all the more important for India to take the initiative to bring the two warring nations to the negotiating table. The war must be brought to an end under the stewardship of India.

Roshan Lal Goel, 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: [email protected]

Criminals in politics

Apr 19, 2023

Refer to ‘Anarchy in UP’; it is true that laxity on the part of the escorting police made it easy for three men to gun down the gangster brothers, but at the same time, it shows that gangster MPs are a part of Indian politics. Both victims belonged to the world of crime and were facing murder charges in a number of cases. It is a sad commentary on our polity. Despite the Supreme Court’s strict direction that no candidate with criminal antecedents should be allotted tickets, political parties are allowing criminals to contest. The Election Commission must strictly implement the direction of the court in letter and spirit, lest lawbreakers become lawmakers in the corridors of power.

Maheshwer Sharma, by mail


Many questions

Apropos of ‘Anarchy in UP’; Atiq Ahmad was a dreaded don and more than 10 judges recused themselves from hearing his case in the past, but that does not mean that he should be ‘allowed’ to be killed in front of cameras, with the police standing by. The killings have put a question mark on the UP Government. First his son was killed in an encounter, and after two days, he was killed along with his brother. If the police cannot verify killers in the guise of media personnel and protect criminals in their custody, they have more than a few questions to answer. The case must be probed thoroughly to find out whether some mastermind was involved and what was the real motive.

Bal Govind, Noida


Shooting at will

Criminals in UP are so emboldened that they can shoot people in police custody! It is surprising that such killings are hailed by media and the public. When law ceases to operate, it becomes a free-for-all. It is strange that no policeman was hurt when the killers were pumping bullets into the victims. Killing anybody on the pretext of an encounter is wrong.

RAMESH GUPTA, NARWANA


Seemed stage-managed

A lot has been written, shown and said in the media about the scene of the fatal shooting of Atiq and his brother. The video clip shows the shooters lying with their hands stretched in front, and, very casually, policemen appear to face the cameras. As per protocol, the shooters should have been pinned to the ground with their head down and their arms crossed at the back. The whole scenario, even to a lay man, appeared to be a stage-managed photo session for a magazine rather than a crime scene.

VK Anand, Chandigarh


Govt must clarify

Reference to ‘Congress seeks answer on former Governor’s claim on Pulwama attack’; former J&K Governor Satya Pal Malik’s claims that PM Modi had instructed him to remain silent after he brought to light the security lapses that led to the Pulwama attack is disturbing. These allegations levelled by a Governor who was appointed by the BJP government itself are very serious. There has been no statement from the government to confirm or deny the allegations. The government must clarify the issue involving the safety of our security forces.

Balbir Singh Kakkar, Jalandhar


Merit is required

Refer to ‘The cult of meritocracy’; the writer seems to blame contemporary education for becoming mechanical and drab and causing mental pressure among students. But the reality is that no matter which system of education a society adopts, some method of ranking and merit will have to be evolved. After all, no society can possess unlimited resources and institutions to provide training and learning avenues to all aspirants. The economic dictum that there is competition between ‘limited means and unlimited wants’ forces you to choose the best from the limited means for optimal results. So, competition to select the meritorious students is imminent, and stress and anxiety a natural corollary. But certainly, socio-psychological experts must devise best practices to assuage the anxieties caused due to such struggles for excellence.

Vikram Chadha, Amritsar


Why quota at all?

Whatever the writer has written is correct in its own way, but who will speak about the stress of a so-called forward caste student whose father is a clerk and he cannot get into a good college, leave aside an IIT, but the son of an IAS officer from a ‘backward’ caste gets admission (‘The cult of meritocracy’)? What is the justification of caste-based reservation in today’s India, where children of the rich and powerful corner most of the reserved seats? Let merit be the only criterion for higher education. The government may provide free coaching to the deserving poor students from all castes.

Ashwani bansal, 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: [email protected]

Corrupt cops

Apr 18, 2023

Apropos of ‘Punjab’s tainted cops’; external aggression is not as much a threat than a civil war, an internal conflict. If an organisation, whose duty is to protect and serve the people, itself starts getting its hands dirty, who should the public turn to with its grievances? This is why the Indian Penal Code has provided harsher punishments for public servants who commit even small crimes, and that is how it should be. The menace of corruption should be eradicated. An ‘anti-termite’ treatment should be conducted in Punjab to weed out the Inderjits.

Rewant sharma, by mail


Killing of gangster

Refer to ‘Gangster Atiq, brother shot dead in police custody, 3 held’; killing of the accused while in custody has tarnished the reputation of the UP Police. Just days earlier, Atiq’s son and one other person were killed by the police in an encounter. The Supreme Court, too, has taken a dim view of such extrajudicial encounters. There is a dire need to fix accountability. Atiq’s political background speaks of a nexus between criminals and opposition party politicians in UP. India, especially UP, has a dark history when it comes to police and extrajudicial encounters. Credible investigation into these killings is essential and in the interest of the state.

MS KHOKHAR, by mail


Macron soft on China

Refer to ‘Macron undercuts US efforts to rein in China’; it is interesting and embarrassing to watch the changing geopolitical equations of the new world order. For high-end countries, changing relations is easier, but for poor and traditional ones, it is like changing partners. India’s biggest challenge is how to retain old ties with Russia in the new context, where Russia is in a deep bonhomie with China. Despite this complex international situation, the initiative of France to embrace China not only shackles India but also the whole West. It will have a cascading effect on Europe very soon. Germany, Britain and several other erstwhile communist countries are waiting for the same bonhomie with China, which imperils NATO.

Jeevan VK, Pathankot


Not a mishit

Reference to 'Missile mishit'; the missile did hit the target. Had it been an enemy aircraft, as presumed, the missile squadron would have won a commendation. The feat of the missile, which achieved an accurate hit, has gone unsung because of the tragedy. The incident was very unfortunate, but had the officer concerned not given the ‘shoot’ order and the aircraft had turned out to be hostile, the officer would have earned disdain, dismissal and much more. Why the ill-fated helicopter was allowed to fly without switching on the IFF is a mystery. And what it was doing in the midst of air battles between the IAF and Pakistani fighter jets is also a mystery. The accidental firing of a BrahMos missile that landed in Pakistan was due to gross negligence and cannot be compared with the incident of shooting down of the chopper which was heading towards the Srinagar airbase. Not responding to IFF signals had left no option for the ground crew but to declare it hostile and order it to be shot down.

WG CDR CL SEHGAL (RETD), JALANDHAR


Higher wheat yield

Apropos of ‘24 quintal/acre, wheat yield up this year, belies govt claims’; various factors can impact crop yield, such as weather conditions, soil quality, pest and disease management and agricultural practices. These factors could have contributed to the disparity between the actual yield and the government’s claims. Farmers and the authorities concerned should assess and address these factors to improve future yields and meet agricultural targets.

Aryaman Mutneja, Jalalabad


Art on display

Reference to ‘Kangra art to be showcased along roads during G20 meet’; this move will give recognition to the artisan history of Himachal and artists at the global level. Many cottage industries and small artists of the state are underrated. This opportunity to showcase their work will be a catalyst to a positive change and future for the artists.

Aaditya Thakur, Mandi


A strong India

Refer to ‘Can meet Pak, China security threats: EAM’ and ‘Shah in Arunachal: No one dare cast evil eye on our land’; be it Uri, Pulwama, Galwan or Tawang, seeing the apt and forceful reply and reaction of the Indian forces against the misadventures of Pakistan and China at the borders, the statements of the ministers are reassuring. India is being led under the strong leadership of PM Modi, along with our equally strong defence forces that are ever prepared to retaliate when the situation demands.

Krishan Kant Sood, Nangal


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

Why did it take 5 years?

Apr 17, 2023

The entire saga is shocking and a sad reflection on the working of the Punjab Police (‘When policemen go rogue’; Nous Indica). It is obvious that cross-border mischief is patronised by corrupt cops, with implicit support of ‘super cops’ entrenched at the helm and strong political benefactors. What about the analogous ‘shocking rot’ within the judiciary, where it took five years to open a sealed report sought by the court itself! The very idea of constituting an SIT stands defeated if the judiciary takes disproportionate time to take cognisance of the matter, in stark contrast to the rapidity with which the SIT is set up. Even the SIT report is seemingly flawed and inconclusive as it fails to expose the PPS and IPS officers — other than Raj Jit Singh — who protected dismissed inspector Inderjit Singh.

Bir Devinder Singh, Patiala


Doesn’t add up

Reference to ‘When policemen go rogue’; how can an intruder(s) enter a highly protected cantonment, acquire an INSAS rifle, kill four soldiers and escape without being noticed? It seems to be the work of an insider who knew the loopholes. Regarding corrupt policemen, the government can anytime check, verify and investigate the assets of police officers occupying plum posts. It is not possible even for a top bureaucrat to buy bungalows, farmhouses, agricultural land, foreign properties and gain membership of expensive clubs with his/her salary. Gangsters, drug lords, money launderers, fraud NGOs and anti-social elements cannot flourish without the patronage of highly placed officials and politicians. There is a need to verify the movable and immovable properties of IAS, IPS and other officers at regular intervals to find out the sources of their income. The present system of seeking property details every year is not helpful. Why can’t top defence officers — getting a similar pay — afford even a house in cities such as Delhi and Mumbai, but babus can have multiple houses and farmhouses?

Wg Cdr (Dr) JS Minhas (Retd), Mohali


Fence eating crop

Apropos of ‘When policemen go rogue’ (Nous Indica); it is a case of fence eating the crop. The Ajnala incident and the drug and sand mafia operating unchecked show that there is a very strong nexus between the police, the mafia and cross-border operators. The police are groping in the dark even five days after the Bathinda firing. Amritpal Singh has not been arrested. It is likely that he has strong links in the police and must be getting information about police movement, which is helping him evade arrest. The police can’t do this without political patronage. Huge money is generated from drugs and sand, which is shared by these agencies. This malady is not being addressed. Generally, police officials involved in heinous crimes get clean chits because investigation is undertaken by the police themselves. Posts of SHO at certain places are ‘auctioned’. Corruption is so deep-rooted in our system that we hardly find an honest politician, bureaucrat or police officer.

Capt Amar Jeet (Retd), Kharar


Not all are ‘Khalistanis’

Apropos of ‘Master Tara Singh opposed Punjab’s division’; the narrative regarding Khalistan is built by some wily politicians time and again to regain the lost ground in politics. It is a well-established fact that the Sikhs in general, and Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale in particular, never raised a demand for Khalistan. However, certain genuine demands of the Sikhs and those related to Punjab were invariably not taken care of by the Centre in the 1980s, resulting in alienation, which was exploited by the disgruntled elements in the community by asking for a separate state. Sikh entrepreneurs instinctively explore the unexplored and would never like to be confined to a separate tiny nation. Barring a few elements, like fugitive Amritpal and a handful of diaspora, none among the community seems to be a secessionist. It is offensive to dub the entire community as ‘Khalistanis’.

BEANT SINGH, by mail


AAP’s political vendetta

Reference to the news report ‘Channi questioned for 7 hours, summoned again on April 21’; ahead of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s questioning by the CBI, former Punjab CM Channi was questioned by the Punjab Vigilance Bureau on Baisakhi, a pious day for Punjabis. The charge of ‘vendetta politics’ levelled by Kejriwal against PM Modi is now being levelled by the former CM and his Congress party against CM Bhagwant Mann. This proves that the AAP is also not fair to its political opponents by way of words or deeds.

Ashok Kumar, 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: [email protected]

Railway infrastructure

Apr 15, 2023

Apropos of ‘Vande Bharat Express’; successive governments have increased the number of trains, but route length and number of platforms on major stations have not kept pace with it. This mismatch will result in operational problems, safety issues and late running of trains, besides causing inconvenience to passengers. Any increase in the number of trains without a corresponding expansion of the track length will be counterproductive. It is necessary to add adequate infrastructure while running more trains for efficient and safe operations of the Railways.

O PRASADA RAO, HYDERABAD


Treatment of effluents

Even after many fines and appeals, there is no improvement in the working of STPs (‘Messy state of affairs’). This could cause public health issues in Punjab. It is also resulting in polluted irrigation facilities in agriculture. If this kind of produce is consumed by people, it could result in serious ailments. This polluted water further reaches the Sutlej, which also provides irrigation facilities to Haryana and Rajasthan. Action must be taken. Effluents should be removed properly. The continuous development in STPs must be acknowledged and improvements should be made.

Jayani Mattu, Patiala


Stop self-glorification

The increase in the Punjab Government’s revenue collection is heartening. The enhanced collection of excise revenue and GST will hopefully enable the AAP government to fulfil its pre-poll promises. Nevertheless, like previous governments, this government is under heavy debt. In such a precarious financial position, how can the government afford to give full-page advertisements in leading dailies? Crores have already been spent on highlighting the government’s achievements through such advertisements. It is clear that this exercise is aimed at self-glorification at the cost of taxpayers’ money. The government must make efforts to increase its revenue collection, but refrain from personal glorification.

NK Gosain, Bathinda


Immense pressure

The firing incident at Bathinda Cantt is worrisome because this military station is very close to the Pakistan border. These days, Punjab is struggling with the situation created by Khalistani elements. Even if this is a case of fratricide, terrorists operating from Pakistan can plan similar attacks by taking advantage of such soldiers. CAPF personnel work under very tough conditions in high-risk areas. The government should work on the identified key factors due to which, on an average, 2,000 paramilitary personnel resign every year and several take the extreme step. Hundred-day leave in a year should be implemented in letter and spirit.

Joginder Pal Meelu, by mail


Not guilty as charged

Refer to ‘Sacked Punjab Police Inspector got drugs from Pakistan, framed youths: SIT probe’; it is a sad reminder of how easy it is for the police and other investigative agencies to make innocent persons seem guilty of crimes they never committed. People and courts also tend to believe the police version. Many youths have spent years in prison for no fault of theirs. Now that the SIT report has indicted certain policemen, it remains to be seen how the guilty cops are punished, and how the state intends to compensate those who were unjustly jailed.

ANTHONY HENRIQUES, MUMBAI


Hold elections in J&K

Refer to ‘Shah reviews preparations for G20 meet’; the imperativeness to showcase to the world the new dawn in J&K, post abrogation of its special status, needs to be tangibly demonstrated by holding the Assembly elections without delay. While meeting head-on the challenge of opening up of infiltration routes with the melting of snow in mountain passes, it is pertinent that only the next two-three summer months are conducive for conducting the elections. People are losing patience over the denial to elect their government. Regardless of who wins, an election should be a time for optimism and fresh approaches. A formal go-ahead from the Union Home Secretary should set the ball rolling to make the ECI announce the poll schedule immediately.

Lalit Bharadwaj, Panchkula


Dummy admissions

Apropos of ‘Quota lure: Pupils in Haryana seek out Delhi schools’; dummy admissions are an open secret. The question is not how these admissions are openly going on, but why do students opt for ‘non-attending schools’? Whatever a student needs to study to clear competitive exams, is not taught in schools, whereas coaching institutes lay stress upon exam-related questions. There is nothing wrong in Haryana pupils going to Delhi schools. They are just taking advantage of the loopholes in rules. If the government really wants to check dummy admissions, it will have to make sure that the school syllabus is in line with competitive exams.

Bir Devinder Singh Bedi, Sangrur


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

Mental health of jawans

Apr 14, 2023

Apropos of ‘Bathinda horror’; the death of jawans in Bathinda is a disturbing incident. The Army is a self-sustaining unit in itself. It has all the services and branches to cater to its needs. But the mental health of the men serving for long durations away from their families and without leave does suffer. Moreover, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a major issue among defence personnel. Administration of regular and proper psychological counselling should be made mandatory for every soldier. Timely identification and redressal of internal disputes should be a priority, because if the force has to defend our nation with vast and unpredictable borders, it must be as solid as a rock from the inside.

Rewant sharma, by mail


Jallianwala compensation

The writer chooses to focus on the sins of the colonial rulers, while ignoring their good deeds, especially of those who, despite being subjected to all sorts of provocations, kept the flag of fair play and justice flying (‘Many faces of Jallianwala Bagh’). It is rarely mentioned that the British government of the day not only admitted to its liability for the Jallianwala Bagh massacre, but also paid liberal compensation to the families of those who were killed; and that 218 out of 376 such families did apply and received compensation. It is not difficult to see why these facts, which came to the public domain during the digitisation of Punjab archives in 2017, have been kept secret by the ruling Indian elite all these years. What better way to make the British Raj an object of permanent hatred and demonisation than to pull the moral rug of compassion and fair play from under its feet?

RANDHIR SINGH BAINS, by mail


Not so united

Several Opposition parties have come under one umbrella without chemistry and trust in one another. Such an alliance took place during the 2019 General Election also, but failed to get the desired results. Politics of vested interest can never be successful. The interests of these leaders collide with one another.

RK Arora, Mohali


Oppn unity a mirage

So far, Opposition unity is a mirage and the 2024 General Election has become a one-horse race. Except Modi-bashing, the opposition parties disagree on almost all issues. The Congress is embroiled in infighting. Under the given circumstances, expecting the Opposition to take on the Modi juggernaut is as good as chasing rainbows. The AAP, which was vocal on ploughing a lonely furrow, has mellowed down as it has been cornered by the BJP. Arvind Kejriwal’s two aides have been jailed. The moment they are released, he may start singing a different tune. At best, the only strategy that seems workable is to let regional leaders take on the BJP head-on in their respective states. The elections should be fought on issues that concern the common man.

Deepak Singhal, Noida


Boycotting elections

The report that residents of Adampur have decided to boycott the Lok Sabha elections due to the inordinate delay of seven years in the completion of a flyover shows the level of their frustration with all successive governments. Unfortunately, this decision won’t affect the electoral prospects of any political party. People had to resort to such an extreme step as even the AAP government has failed to rise to their expectations.

JAGDISH CHANDER, JALANDHAR


No facilities in mandis

It is a delight to see that wheat has started coming in mandis across Punjab. There is some relief to farmers. However, the sobering factor is that the mandis lack necessary facilities such as proper shelters for the produce, availability of adequate labourers, gunny bags, drinking water supply, tarpaulin to cover wheat in case there is any kind of change in climate. Farmers have not yet come out of the shock of crop damage due to untimely rains. The danger of weather changes is still looming. The government should arrange all necessary amenities in the mandis on priority so that the procurement process is completed in time.

Raj Kumar Kapoor, Ropar


Electric buses

Chandigarh electric buses have saved 10.3 lakh litres of diesel, amounting to over Rs 8 crore, besides preventing 2,600 tonnes of CO2 emission. The rising environmental concerns and alarming levels of pollution have necessitated a switch to cleaner mobility. With India setting COP26 target of achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2070, the electric mobility segment has a crucial role to play. Electric buses should become operational in as many Indian states as possible.

Rohan Chandra, Zirakpur


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

IMD warning

Apr 13, 2023

The recent forecast on monsoon by the IMD holds warnings that could affect the agriculture sector and the economy as a whole. While a normal monsoon is expected to boost agricultural production and alleviate the distress of farmers, there are concerns about a skew in its spread that could impact the timing and distribution of rainfall. It is crucial to acknowledge that there is a need for a more holistic approach to agricultural planning that takes into account not just the monsoon but other factors such as soil health, crop diversity and water management. It is essential to recognise that a ‘normal’ monsoon may no longer be sufficient to ensure food security and economic stability. We must embrace innovation and collaboration to adapt to the new realities of climate change.

Khushi, Chandigarh


History curriculum

Apropos of ‘Curricula changes’; history is written as dictated by those in power during their period of governance. So we are never sure whether it tells us facts or only the victors’ version. Earlier, the Mughals were victors and then came the British. We had to learn about Mughal emperors and English kings and queens. There was little about our own Indian leaders. Then, we had Congress-dominated governments at the Centre and in states, when changes were also made in our history curriculum. Now that the BJP is in power, more deletions or changes are not surprising. When textbook revisions take place suggesting ‘new facts’ with every change of party in power, it can be bad for students. Interpretations change with time and with different social movements and political dispensations, not only in India, but also in other countries. But simply deleting facts relating to knowledge about history creates fractures.

MONA SINGH, by mail


Get tough with farmers

Apropos of the news report that school lands will not be given on lease to those farmers who had indulged in straw burning; it is no doubt an appreciable step. However, the government needs to go further. It should ensure that the land is used to grow crops other than wheat-rice, and preferably, millets or oil-seeds. Orchards or social forestry should also be considered. Not just school lands, it should also be applicable to all lands owned by the government or panchayats. To ensure that the farmers stay away from straw burning, there should be a provision that no incentive would be paid to such farmers.

Ravinder Mittal, Ludhiana


Time for reforms

Criticising the Taliban for banishing women from restaurants is futile (‘Taliban strike again’). They are doing exactly what the Islamic scriptures ask them to do. Whatever they are doing is backed by specific citations from the Quran and Hadith. Polygamy, triple talaq and burqa are an integral part of Islam. Intermingling of genders is against the basic tenets of Islam. Criticism by non-Muslims will hardly find any takers among Muslims in Iran, Afghanistan or even India, where donning burqa is described as ‘freedom to dress’. Indeed, the root cause of the beleaguered position of women in Afghanistan is due to the lack of internal opposition to the Taliban. The reforms have to come from within the Islamic community. Initiatives for reforms for women’s rights in the Hindu community (sati ban, widow remarriage, etc.,) came from within the community by people like Raja Ram Mohan Roy. Unless the Muslims themselves realise that 7th-century Sharia laws are not relevant in the 21st century, there is no hope for Muslim women.

Ajay Tyagi, Mumbai


Undertrials & bail bond

It is a matter of concern for India that among those in jail, no crime has been proved so far in 76 per cent cases. They are rotting in jail because of poverty as they are unable to pay the bond money even after getting bail. For this, the Union Home Ministry has announced a new scheme under which some amount will be given to the state governments with the intention of identifying and releasing the undertrials who have been languishing in jail for years due to the non-payment of bail bond. This scheme is commendable. The new scheme will help in getting such undertrials released. It is also necessary for the judiciary to consider the issue as to why a competent person, who is financially sound, cannot furnish surety-bond for more than one accused after being granted bail in the lower courts.

Shakti Singh, Karnal


Road connectivity

Apropos of ‘Jammu-Srinagar travel time’; the minister for road transport is doing a commendable job. Highways are developing swiftly, which is key to a robust economy. However, village roads are in a poor condition. After 75 years of Independence, some villages are still deprived of road connectivity. Potholes, encroachments, lack of parapets, etc., are issues that need to be addressed. Deep gorges are a pitfall of hilly terrain. Precious lives can be saved by installing crash barriers.

Mamta Thakur, Dharamsala


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

EU autonomy

Apr 12, 2023

Reference to ‘EU’s strategic autonomy’; the statement of the French President that the EU should desist from following the US or China on the Taiwan issue is the start of a new world order and weakening of the US grip on the EU. Russia and China are already aligned against the US on the Ukraine issue. At the behest of China, Iran and Saudi Arabia have agreed to improve their relations. In the present scenario, China has largely succeeded in changing the world order. It will be in the US interest to woo countries that have strategic stakes in containing the might of China and stop the proxy war against Russia. Otherwise, it may lose control over NATO and other friendly countries.

Virender Sharma, Shimla


NATO’s overreach

Refer to ‘EU’s strategic autonomy’; the French President is showing spine by nudging EU countries to become a formidable third pole after the US and China. The bogey of NATO to intimidate countries is proving counterproductive, at least in this day and age. With Finland joining NATO, the possibility of ending the Ukraine war looks distant. This is as good as going one step forward and two steps backwards. The French President shall walk the talk only if all EU countries revisit the menacing role of NATO. Is it really safeguarding their interests or is it becoming a powder keg? The only glimmer of hope could be clipping NATO’s wings rather than giving it more teeth.

Deepak Singhal, Noida


Big cat population

Apropos of ‘Tiger count up’; it is heartening to see the big cat population progress in Project Tiger on its 50th anniversary. New efforts to conserve the big cats, including tigers, will have a positive result on forest conservation. India’s policy approach has been to side-step framing the issue as an ecology vs economy one as it recognises their inter-link. But if this approach is to be meaningful, the laws that enable the coexistence of ecology and economy need more work. Human-animal conflict is a serious problem that can undermine efforts. A more practical approach to limit human presence in dedicated corridors is essential. The proposed Bill must have a clause incorporated in favour of wildlife conservation and not endanger areas rich in biodiversity. To build on Project Tiger’s success, we need to protect our forests better.

PL SINGH, by mail


Sex racket

Refer to ‘Lid off prostitution racket, 10 arrested’; such rackets are a form of criminal activity that exploit vulnerable individuals for profit, besides violating human rights and perpetuating a cycle of violence and oppression. It is important to address the root cause of prostitution, such as poverty and inequality, in order to prevent individuals from being sucked into this industry. Law enforcement agencies must be given the resources and support to identify and prosecute those who engage in this racket. Society should work together to protect those who are most at risk.

Shruti Jain, Ghaziabad


Cyber fraud

Apropos of ‘Cyber thugs create fake websites of Manali hotels, defraud tourists booking rooms online’; cyber thugs are a growing threat to tourists as they are using various methods to defraud unsuspecting travellers. They often use sophisticated tactics such as phishing scams, fake websites and malware to steal personal and financial information from tourists. Once they have access to this information, they can make fraudulent purchases, drain accounts, or steal identities. Tourists must take precautions to protect their information when travelling. They should avoid Wi-Fi networks, use strong passwords and monitor their financial accounts regularly. Governments and tourism organisations can raise awareness and implement measures to prevent such crimes.

Navneet kaur, Rajpura


Social exclusion

As per the Ministry of Education, 33 suicides have been reported from IITs in the past five years. The recent case of Darshan Solanki indicates that communalism is still prevalent. Social exclusion in educational institutions questions the foundation of society. It is unacceptable how humankind is bound to such shackles that deepen the wounds of many. It is in our hands to make the world better or bitter.

Arshnoor, Mohali


Taliban ban

Refer to ‘Taliban bar entry of women to eateries with open spaces’; it is horrifying what women are going through in Afghanistan. They are even banned from public spaces such as parks and gyms. This is a violation of basic human rights. In this era of equality and breaking conservative gender roles, how can a whole community live in such fear? International organisations must shed more light on these matters so that the plight of the Afghan women can be ameliorated.

Aaditya Thakur, Ambala Cantt


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

Historical myopia

Apr 11, 2023

The NCERT has dropped chapters and portions of textbooks relating to political science, civics and Hindi. These deletions have been made under the lame excuse of rationalisation of curriculum. The deletions indicate that multi-culturalism is anathema to the RSS and the powers that be. History-writing involves not only why and how the events occurred, but also what caused the events and their social, economic and political impact as well. The NCERT has removed the reference to a conspiracy behind Gandhi’s assassination, the names of those involved in his murder, the ban on the RSS imposed by Sardar Patel and so on. The whole exercise is meant to exonerate Nathuram Godse and boost the image of the RSS and Savarkar. Further, the deletion of the chapter on ‘industrial revolution’ is attributed to the notion that the industrial revolution did not originate in the West and we had been vishwaguru much before. History is based on credible sources of information. Rationalisation can be done by adding new writings, but wiping out Mughal history from 1526 to 1857 reeks of historical myopia. History cannot be wiped out in this crude way.

Prem Singh Dahiya, Rohtak


May distract students

The multi-disciplinary approach of pursuing a mixed study of science, commerce and arts subjects at XI and XII level will deprive students pursuing science stream of adequate time. It will also divert their attention from the main science subjects. This approach offering broad-based education should be restricted to Class X. Study of science, technology and engineering is a part of general education which prepares a person for banking, managerial, service and administrative jobs in the government or private sectors. At the primary stage, students have a greater proclivity for picking up new languages. Therefore, teaching of English must start from that stage. The significance of online education has not been adequately dealt with in the NCF draft.

Lt Col GS Bedi (Retd), Mohali


Lost legislative hours

The just-concluded Budget Session had low productivity as the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha were adjourned for a significant period of time. The Lok Sabha had a productivity rate of 34.38%, functioning for only 45 hours out of the scheduled 133.6 hours, while the Rajya Sabha worked for just over 31 hours out of 130 hours, with a productivity rate of around 24%. The adjournments resulted in a significant loss of money for the country — estimated to be around Rs 2,814 crore. The loss of legislative time due to adjournments can have a significant impact on the functioning of the government and the passage of important Bills and laws, making it crucial for MPs to prioritise the efficient utilisation of legislative time.

Amarjeet kumar, by mail


Gender parity in Army

Refer to the news that at least 10% women officers will be inducted into the Army’s artillery units; it is good that the government is moving towards gender parity. The decision is in line with the government’s policy of increasing the participation of women in the armed forces. The move will provide women with greater opportunities to serve in combat roles and contribute to the country’s defence. It also reflects a shift in the Army’s approach towards gender equality and inclusivity. It will inspire other countries to follow suit and make similar efforts towards gender equality in their own armed forces.

Ganga Arora, Rajpura


Importance of degree

The Delhi L-G has slammed comments by CM Arvind Kejriwal over the academic qualifications of PM Modi, saying that degrees are not a proof of a person’s intelligence and humility. If we take these words on face value, why do government and private institutions offer jobs only on the basis of degrees? Moreover, the question is not merely about the PM’s degree, but the correctness of the affidavit he had filed before the Election Commission claiming that he was a postgraduate. As per rules, giving wrong information in an affidavit results in disqualification. Modi is vocal about criticism of his opponents almost daily, but becomes mute whenever questions are pointed towards him. This does create doubts in the public’s mind.

Bhupinder Kochhar, Panchkula


Academic priorities

Refer to ‘No function during college hours, college principal told’; it is essential for students to have undisturbed learning environment during college hours, and thus, it is important to avoid functions during this time. Attending functions, parties, or events can cause students to miss important lectures, assignments, or group projects, which can negatively impact their grades and overall academic performance. These social gatherings can be noisy and distracting, making it difficult for students to stay focused on their studies. It is crucial for students to prioritise their academic commitments.

Anisha Gupta, Lucknow


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

Wrong to compare

Apr 10, 2023

Refer to ‘Savarkar & apologies’ (Nous Indica); caste in India is not only the basic social identity of the people but also their class. Rahul’s inadvertent attack on people with the Modi surname and his refusal to apologise may alienate OBC voters. The times of Mahatma Gandhi and Savarkar were different. They had to face barbaric colonial rulers and a ruthless police. We should salute all those who participated in the freedom struggle and went to jail. It is true that a few of them turned into renegades under police torture and repression. We need not compare each of them with our great national heroes like Bhagat Singh, Subhas Chandra Bose and Gandhi. Rahul will have to forego all privileges of parliamentary politics if he wishes to be another Gandhi or Jayaprakash Narayan. They never contested elections or enjoyed the fruits of power politics.

RAJ BAHADUR YADAV, by mail

Unaware of facts

Rahul Gandhi is not fully aware of his party’s historical facts (‘Savarkar & apologies’; Nous Indica). Had he been well acquainted with facts, he could have avoided the backlash on his remarks against Savarkar. His remarks may have an adverse impact on the party’s relations with the Shiv Sena at a time when Opposition parties are trying to forge unity. His remarks in London that Sikhs were treated like second-class citizens in India were also in poor taste. He needs to think before he speaks.

Ravinder Singh, Jalandhar


Mockery of Parliament

Reference to ‘Inexcusable washout’; the recently concluded Budget Session ended on a bitter note. The session was a washout, with the Opposition and the BJP levelling charges at each other. Both Houses registered low productivity — around 34 per cent in the Lok Sabha and 24 per cent in the Rajya Sabha — in the Budget session. It was a wastage of precious time and taxpayers’ money, and a mockery of Parliament. In future, leaders of all political parties must take a serious note of such happenings.

Satish Sharma Majra, Kaithal


Stalling proceedings

Refer to ‘Inexcusable washout’; the second half of the Budget Session remained embroiled in two issues: the Opposition’s demand for a JPC probe into the Adani row and the BJP’s demand for an apology from Rahul Gandhi over his remarks on Indian democracy. Neither happened. The Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha’s productivity of 5.29 per cent and 6.4 per cent, respectively, in the second half of the Budget session is a cruel joke on voters who had elected MPs to discuss issues of their interest. Our MPs must understand that a poor country like India cannot afford the luxury of paying them hefty salaries and allowances for not transacting any business in Parliament.

CS MANN, UNA


Avalanche warnings

Apropos of ‘Sikkim avalanche’; deployment of the NDRF cannot be of much help, because the window of survival is very small after an avalanche strikes. The Snow & Avalanche Study Establishment at Manali functions under the DRDO and has its Observation Posts at various locations in the Himalayas. It issues regular avalanche warnings which need to be communicated expeditiously to the defence and civilian authorities. Warnings should be heeded to prevent such mishaps. The respective states, too, should interpose themselves and appoint a single point of contact to control movement to such vulnerable locations.

Col Prakash Bhatt (Retd), Noida


Religion part of politics

Though it is said that religion and politics should never be mixed, the truth is that religion is an integral part of politics, especially in our country where diverse religions play an active part in politics (‘Catholic churches not to enter political arena’). Any religion’s sole aim is propagation of religion and social work. Churches deserve accolades for refusing to enter the political arena. But there are many issues related with different religions which cannot be resolved without political support. Therefore, religion has become an integral part of politics in India. This phenomenon is catastrophic as in such a setup, people vote for candidates of their religion, which defeats the idea of democracy. Elections are held to elect candidates who can work for society selflessly. There is a dire need to keep religion away from politics.

Bir Devinder Singh Bedi, Sangrur


Fire safety in high-rises

High-rise buildings, especially residential apartments, are mushrooming in the vicinity of the tricity, but neither government agencies nor buildings have cranes to deal with a fire mishap. While approving building plans, the government should make it mandatory for builders to provide a stand-by crane on the premises. Alternatively, two adjoining societies can be clubbed to make such arrangements.

GOBIND AHUJA, CHANDIGARH


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

Feel of the ages

Apr 08, 2023

The decision of the NCERT to remove crucial chapters on the Mughal empire is a chaotic step. History chosen in bits is no history at all and can never develop sensibilities as a whole. Who built the Taj Mahal and the Red Fort? What were the battles of Panipat all about? Answers can be Googled, but the vistas of an age, the people, the socio-economic times, the journey of that India to this India will be missing. Textbooks are powerful tools. Any alterations should be carefully dealt with.

Navreet Kaur, by mail


Distorting the past

The NCERT move to delete chapters on the Mughals and Mahatma Gandhi is bound to lead to confusion and unnecessary gaps in Indian history. The hasty step reveals the shortsightedness on the part of the NCERT. The current curriculum has existed for half a century, but suddenly, the government has realised that it is not relevant. Strange! Let us not overlook the hard fact that ‘Medieval History of India’ comprises the Mughals, English and Hindu rulers. Removing any one will result in a muddle and misinterpretation of history. The NCERT should give a second thought to this half-cooked move and let students read undistorted history.

VK Anand, Chandigarh


Undoing history

Reference to ‘Curricula changes’; any alterations in the past truths, good or bad, are propagandist in nature and may have consequences. The future of the present generation largely depends on how keenly and objectively they learn about their past, past mistakes, failures, strengths, limitations, strategies or successes. Convenient interpretations of the past by any political dispensation for the sake of remaining in power is sheer politics. It will destroy our learning, lessons, culture, collective consciousness and traditions.

Abhimanyu Malik, Jind


Uncomfortable with truth

Apropos of ‘Curricula changes’; the BJP has shown its inclination towards censorship multiple times, but now, it has managed to dip its toes in the past as well. This will lead to generations that are ill-informed of their past. History should be taught without any political agenda. The arguments given for the deletions are untenable. It is but natural for the people of India to be deeply concerned at the textbook deletions, which suggest a lack of comfort with the truth.

RAMESH GUPTA, NARWANA


Support to media

Apropos of ‘State’s overreach’; the Supreme Court order will protect the media against arbitrary action and bar the use of undisclosed national security considerations as a pretext to shut down an outlet. The denial of security clearance to a media channel on the basis of views it was entitled to hold is a big blow on free speech and Press freedom. The SC has rightly found flaws in the approach of the Kerala HC, which had accepted material in a sealed cover on why the MHA denied clearance to the channel. A significant aspect of the judgment is that it seeks to end the casual resort to ‘sealed cover procedure’ by courts by suggesting an alternative approach to state claims of immunity from publication in public interest. The court could also appoint a friend of the court, who could be given access to the material whenever the state claims immunity from disclosure.

SANJAY CHOPRA, MOHALI


Wasteful expenditure

‘CM di Yogshala’ programme has been launched by AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal and Punjab CM Bhagwant Mann in Patiala. It is, no doubt, a good initiative and will benefit the people of the state. Punjab already has some trained yoga teachers and more are being recruited. However, a huge wasteful expenditure was incurred on posters regarding the programme. They were put on every streetlight pole and other places at an interval of 10-15 metres along all roads, and that too on both sides. The state is facing a financial crunch. Such kind of publicity was not needed.

OP GARG, PATIALA


Himachal land law

The Himachal Pradesh Ceiling on Land Holdings (Amendment) Act is, indeed, a landmark legislation which will do justice with the daughters of the state. But religious outfits should not have been exempted from this Act. The government should also bring in a legislation through which bona-fide residents of Himachal should be allowed to purchase agricultural land. Nowhere in the country does such a law exist where bona-fide or landless residents are barred from purchasing farm land.

Joginder Pal Meelu, 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: [email protected]

Land rights

Apr 07, 2023

The Himachal Pradesh CM has done well to bring in an amendment to the outdated landholding law (‘Landmark Act’). The Bill will ensure that women have a legitimate right over property. What a travesty of justice that many families without sons had to give up their 150 bighas due to this law! The patriarchal mindset needs to be challenged in all spheres of society without any delay as this positive development has taken a good 50 years to show that we have no will to bridge the huge gulf of disparity between the two genders. While women are making us proud in all walks of life, men are stuck with elephant-size egos.

Bal Govind, Noida


Equal rights to women

The scrapping of the 1972 law and introducing the Himachal Pradesh Ceiling on Land Holdings (Amendment) Act 2023 is a step towards giving equal rights to women. Though our nation has huge illiteracy among women, a large number of them have been holding top posts in politics and other fields efficiently. Our patriarchal society deprives women of equal opportunities, but the scene is fast changing with education. These days, women are excelling in male-dominated fields. A woman’s place in society marks the level of civilisation. Men cannot equal women in compassion, love, care and service to society.

BM Singh, Amritsar


End discrimination

The Himachal Government has made a commendable effort to remove gender discrimination. States should be proactive in adopting laws and policies to eliminate discrimination against women. The Chief Minister took special interest in the matter and introduced the amendment Bill in the current Budget session. The amendment aims to provide relief to families having girls. The move has been widely welcomed by all sections of society as a positive step towards empowering women in the state.

Sikandar Bansal, Shimla


Political immunity

Reference to ‘Politicians don’t enjoy higher immunity: SC...’; it appears that some politicians may be enjoying higher immunity and the misuse of Central agencies to deter adversaries cannot be ruled out. There is no denying the fact that thousands of criminal cases against MPs, MLAs and other politicians are pending in various courts, but successive governments seem to have failed to reduce the pendency. In some cases, action against politicians has not been initiated and the accused continue to move freely. The executive organ of the government is expected to take action against such politicians, irrespective of their political affiliation.

ROOP SINGH NEGI, Solan


Opposition snubbed

Refer to ‘Politicians don’t enjoy higher immunity: SC...’; 14 main opposition parties, with no common ideology, have joined hands with a common goal, but got a snub from the SC because their PIL seems to be a knee-jerk reaction. All allegations levelled against the ruling party were without evidence and generalised, having no specificity in charges, showing poor homework by Opposition parties. Similar opinion was reflected in the SC remarks while rejecting the PIL. The judges asked the petitioners to come to court with a specific case filed by someone who is aggrieved. It is time that political leaders stopped expecting immunity from the law of the country for their actions and statements.

Yoginder Singhal, by mail


Repo rate

Refer to ‘RBI keeps repo rate unchanged at 6.5 per cent’; for sure, the RBI maintaining status quo in repo rate must have belied the hopes of various stakeholders, apart from surprising several financial experts, who so stoutly batted for a 25bps hike therein. Notably, all this comes amid the RBI Governor’s claim that the core inflation (related to the manufactured goods) remains sticky alongside retail inflation trending above its tolerance level after six consecutive rate increases, aggregating to 250 basis points since May 2022. However, the RBI’s latest stance may provide some solace to the banks’ borrowers who have been reeling under the adverse impact.

Kumar Gupt, by mail


Police image

Kudos to The Tribune for openly presenting facts regarding the functioning of the Punjab Police before the public. Mobile phones are being seized from jails; drugs are entering jail premises through constables; and now a Sub-Inspector has released a drug peddler after taking a bribe of Rs 70,000. As per a Special Task Force, 25 constables, 14 ASIs, two inspectors and a DSP are in jail. What action is the Punjab Chief Minister taking? The image of the Punjab Police is taking a beating as compared to the police force of other states.

BABOO JANIA JUNEJA, 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: [email protected]