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Letters to the editor

Extortion in name of cow protection

Apr 19, 2024

With reference to the editorial ‘Mob violence’; the rise in incidents of cow vigilantism is alarming. The killing of two Rajasthan residents, Nasir and Junaid, on the suspicion of cattle smuggling last year was symptomatic of the growing menace. As the cow is considered a sacred animal in Hinduism, Hindu nationalists often take it upon themselves to act as the protectors of the milch animal. But over the years, vigilantes in states like Haryana and Rajasthan have taken advantage of the cause and extorted money from cattle smugglers in exchange for letting them pass through their areas. States must work together to curb the menace. Also, members of the Muslim community must respect the sentiments of Hindus and desist from slaughtering cows.

Krishan Bhatia, Hansi

Naxalite shadow on polls

Apropos of the editorial ‘Bastar encounter’; the District Reserve Guard and Border Security Force personnel deserve kudos for the daring act of killing 29 Maoists, including history-sheeter Shankar Rao. The huge recovery of arms and ammunition from the area is concerning. There should be no compromise on security measures as the threat of Naxal activities persists. They are able to carry out major attacks because of their strong intelligence-gathering capacity and the support they receive from local residents. As India goes to the polls, the government must take steps to ensure the safety of voters and the smooth conduct of the electoral process, especially in regions prone to Naxalite violence.

Gregory Fernandes, Mumbai

Failure of healthcare system

Refer to the editorial ‘Ailing healthcare’; the harrowing incident at the Ludhiana Civil Hospital exposes a chilling reality of neglect and disregard for human dignity. The fact that a patient was forced to share a bed with a corpse is not just a failure of the healthcare system but a moral travesty. The lack of basic medical attention for days, coupled with bureaucratic apathy, highlights systemic inadequacies that cannot be excused. As the victim’s suffering persisted, administrative formalities took precedence over urgent medical care. The case serves as a distressing reminder of the dire state of our healthcare system, where individuals are reduced to mere numbers. Swift and decisive action must be taken to ensure that such egregious lapses never recur and that all patients receive the care and respect they deserve.

Gurdev Singh, Mohali

Public healthcare long neglected

With reference to the article ‘Reduce out-of-pocket expenditure to revitalise healthcare’; the author has rightly stressed the need for reducing such expenses. Public healthcare has long been neglected by successive governments. India has failed to address health problems like anaemia, malnutrition and obesity and issues like a lack of safe drinking water. Besides, it seems like insurance schemes are being used by the government as a medium to hand over public funds to the private sector. India needs to change its priorities to boost essential public services, such as health, education and infrastructure, and develop a system under which corporates and public institutions work together to ensure equitable growth.

Vitull K Gupta, Bathinda

Residents’ safety gone to the dogs

Apropos of the news report ‘Man mauled by stray dogs, third death in two months in Patiala district’; the menace of dog attacks is not confined to any particular region. Such cases are reported from time to time throughout the state. For how long will the authorities concerned let helpless residents be bitten or mauled by canines? The Punjab Government must come up with a solid action plan to eradicate the growing problem. Besides, there is a need to ensure the timely release of adequate compensation to the victims of dog attacks or their families.

Jagdish Chander, Jalandhar

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]

Freedom to criticise religion

Apr 18, 2024

Refer to the editorial ‘Resilient Rushdie’; the Mumbai-born author has remained a strong votary of free speech despite the near-fatal attack on him in August 2022. His life had long been under threat since the publication of his controversial novel, The Satanic Verses. Rushdie’s resilience and defiance in the face of a looming threat to his life are commendable. Religion is such a sensitive issue that communal violence erupts the moment any dissenting view is expressed. Free discourse on religious matters must not be prohibited. Freedom of thought, even on religious matters, is as necessary as political or socio-economic liberty.

Roshan Lal Goel, Ladwa

The right to be offensive

With reference to the editorial ‘Resilient Rushdie’; the freedom to dissent is the bedrock of a flourishing culture. With his new memoir reflecting on the 2022 knife attack on him, the fearless writer has once again risen and stood up for his right to freedom of expression. In an age of increasing censorship and attacks on creative freedom, Rushdie’s return is a reminder that the right to express oneself, even if it involves provoking or offending some sections of society, is the cornerstone of democracy.

SK Singh, by mail

Ensure wellbeing of patients

Refer to the editorial ‘Ailing healthcare’; forcing a patient to share a bed with a corpse reflects the highly irresponsible and callous attitude of the Ludhiana Civil Hospital authorities toward the wellbeing of patients. The incident needs to be looked into. Adequate facilities and infrastructure at hospitals, the establishment of new medical colleges and nursing institutes and the contribution of the pharma industry to ensure the availability of essential medicines at affordable prices are the need of the hour. It is important to remember that healthy citizens are the real wealth of a country.

Subhash Vaid, New Delhi

Conduct checks at hospitals

Apropos of the editorial ‘Ailing healthcare’; the Punjab Government makes tall claims about providing better healthcare facilities to residents, but such incidents reflect poorly on it. A distressing incident like this can erode public trust in the system. While the state government has announced a hike in the healthcare budget and proposed initiatives like the establishment of new medical colleges and mohalla clinics to provide medical facilities to patients at their doorstep, the shortage of doctors and a lack of medicines and other facilities have left the healthcare system ailing. Regular reporting, monitoring, surprise checks and audits at health facilities can help address the issue.

NK Gosain, Bathinda

Don’t discredit AAP govt’s efforts

Refer to the editorial ‘Ailing healthcare’; the episode is just an isolated case that should not be used to discredit the efforts made by the AAP-led state government to revolutionise the health sector. So many mohalla clinics have been opened in Punjab to ensure that residents have easy access to services. There is no doubt that the government should take a serious view of the incident at the Ludhiana hospital. But the government should not be blamed for it. Let us not forget how, in 2022, Punjab CM Bhagwant Mann sacked the state’s then health minister, Vijay Singla, over allegations of corruption. That shows the AAP government’s commitment to good governance.

BM Singh, Amritsar

Voters’ time to decide

With reference to the article ‘The winnability factor and the failure of NOTA’; for a vibrant democracy, it is important for the electorate to vote to power a candidate who is honest, capable and known for his commitment to public welfare. If no candidate in the fray meets the standards set by the electorate, it would not be wrong for the voters to go for the ‘NOTA’ option. With the General Election around the corner, the ball is in the voters’ court. They can decide if they want to have a clean candidate in power or one with criminal antecedents.

MD Sharma, 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]

BJP’s failure to ensure welfare

Apr 17, 2024

Apropos of the editorial ‘BJP manifesto’; amid the din of polls, the BJP is counting the promises it made in its last manifesto that it has fulfilled. The Ram Mandir has been consecrated, and the CAA is being implemented. But how does any of it help the common man? It can be said that the construction of the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya has helped the party secure the Hindu vote bank. But it does not solve issues like unemployment, price rise and corruption. Besides, the saffron party’s election campaign has gone off track. PM Narendra Modi’s remarks on Opposition leaders having meat during the month of Sawan and accusing them of having a ‘Mughal mindset’ reflect badly on him.

Yash Khetarpal, Panchkula

Don’t play with consumers’ health

Refer to the editorial ‘No, it’s not healthy’; the fact that thousands of firms are allowed to market their products with misleading labelling in the absence of proper checks is a matter of serious concern. No product that can be injurious to health should be allowed in the market, and at least not with the tag of being healthy. Successive governments have shown a lack of courage and political will to look into the matter. The quality, quantity and effects of every ingredient in a product should be analysed. It is also necessary to punish the authorities concerned for their inaction.

AG Rajmohan, Anantapur (AP)

Probe agencies shouldn’t have bias

With reference to the news report ‘Only 3% ED cases against politicians, honest have nothing to fear: PM Modi’; PM Narendra Modi is right in a way. The people of India would want to see those guilty of corruption brought to book. But it is worrisome how some ‘tainted’ Opposition leaders get a clean chit after crossing over to the ruling party. It sends the wrong message to people across the country. Probe agencies must act against all politicians involved in graft, irrespective of their political affiliation. The ED, the CBI and other agencies must have no bias.

Roop Singh Negi, Solan

True happiness is unattainable

Refer to the article ‘The grand myth of absolute happiness’; complete happiness is unattainable in reality, as human experiences are inherently dynamic and subject to change, and no individual can achieve perpetual bliss. While societal factors like economic security contribute to contentment, systemic inequalities hinder true happiness. And hence, absolute happiness remains elusive. So, people should instead strive for a balanced and meaningful existence grounded in inner peace. By embracing life’s complexities and finding joy in simplicity, one can transcend the illusion of absolute happiness and cultivate genuine fulfilment.

Chanchal S Mann, Una

Rat race robs people of joy

With reference to the article ‘The grand myth of absolute happiness’; the fast pace of life, the rat race and the focus on material possessions have robbed the masses of joy. In the rush to get admission at reputable institutions and to land a job with a good salary, true happiness has been lost. What is the point of having plenty of money and a rich lifestyle if one is not truly happy? True happiness lies in contentment with what one already has. It is something that owning material items cannot buy.

Abhilasha Gupta, Mohali

Negligence at govt hospitals

Apropos of the news report ‘Patient shares bed with corpse at Ludhiana Civil Hospital’; the state of medical facilities at the hospital in question is shocking. It reflects poorly on the hospital management and highlights the callous attitude of the doctors there. Health professionals serving at government hospitals often have a cavalier attitude because they enjoy job stability. It is time to revisit the policies regarding the recruitment and employment of doctors at government health facilities. That may push medical professionals to be more professional and prevent such an administrative lapse.

RS Narula, Patiala

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

Attack a harbinger of bigger war

Apr 16, 2024

Apropos of the editorial ‘Iran vs Israel’; the retaliatory attack by Iran on Israel is not just a local conflict but a harbinger of a broader regional crisis. With hundreds of drones and missiles launched, innocent lives remain at risk. The escalating tensions threaten to engulf West Asia into a devastating war. The onus is on world leaders to swiftly coordinate a diplomatic response to prevent further escalation. The US’ backing for Israel must be balanced with efforts to de-escalate the situation and prevent a wider conflict. It is imperative for the UN Security Council to condemn Tehran's actions and find a path towards peace. The stakes are too high to not act.

Gurdev Singh, Mohali

World can’t afford a bigger conflict

Refer to the editorial ‘Iran vs Israel’; the drone and missile attack by Iran on Israel late on Saturday night has sparked fears of the six-month-old Israel-Hamas war spilling over. The big question now is: How will Israel respond to the attack? Iran has described its move as an act of self-defence and just a response to the attack on its consulate in Damascus. Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu, on the other hand, has warned: “Whoever harms us, we will harm them”. It is very unlikely that Israel will take the attack lying down. But it would be in the best interest of the world to ensure a de-escalation of the situation. The world has already been reeling from two wars, and it cannot afford a bigger conflict in West Asia.

RK Arora, Mohali

Choose diplomacy, not conflict

With reference to ‘Iran vs Israel’; the Iranian assault on Israel marks a perilous escalation, threatening to engulf the region in a bigger conflict. America’s unwavering support for Israel, while commendable, underscores the complexity of international alliances and the delicate balance of power. More needs to be done to address the underlying tensions. The threat of a response from Israel is looming. Iran’s declaration of the conclusion of the matter, juxtaposed with its stern warning against further Israeli actions, paints a picture of a conflict paused but not resolved. In this precarious moment, the international community must prioritise diplomacy over aggression. The alternative — a regional war with untold consequences — cannot be accepted.

Sahibpreet Singh, Mohali

Caution thrown to the wind

Refer to the news report ‘550 Rewari school buses unfit or sans permit; 345 impounded’; it is astonishing that such a huge number of school buses plying on roads in Rewari district lack permits. It is a matter of shame that it took the loss of six lives for the authorities to wake up from slumber. The school authorities and the district officials are to blame for the Mahendragarh mishap. Stringent punishment should be given to them. Further, the government should issue guidelines to all schools to ensure compliance with the safety norms. Besides, other states should also take steps to avoid such tragedies, as the issue is not just limited to Haryana.

Raj Kumar Kapoor, Ropar

Hope for J&K residents

Apropos of the editorial ‘PM's J&K outreach’; the restoration of the statehood of J&K and the conduct of Assembly elections in the UT are two significant promises made by the PM that inspire confidence. The political atmosphere in J&K has long been volatile. If the PM keeps the promises, it could help foster development and prosperity in the region. But there is a need to outline a roadmap and set a timeframe for the milestones to be achieved. That is the only way to ensure that the aspirations of the people of the Valley are realised.

DV Sharma, Mukerian

The Kargil lessons

Refer to the article ‘A saga of bravery, discipline & sacrifice’; the Army operation was well planned and ably executed, but Kargil was a glaring case of intelligence failure. India needs to improve its intelligence-gathering system. The writer, who was a part of the Kargil operation, has rightly lauded the bravery of the troops and the sacrifice made by them. But let us not forget the role played by the Indian Air Force in the war.

WG CDR CL Sehgal (retd), Jalandhar

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]

Saffron party’s challenge

Apr 15, 2024

Apropos of ‘Shadow of economic distress on polls’ (Nous Indica); unemployment and price rise can influence the outcome of the Lok Sabha elections. The amelioration of the suffering of poor and marginalised people is the real parameter of a country’s progress. It is generally the poor who bear the brunt of price rise. Employment provides financial independence to people, enabling them to lead a prosperous and meaningful life. The ruling party, however, has been micromanaging its election campaign, making course correction in its electoral strategy, stitching up alliances with regional parties and banking on pro-poor welfare initiatives. It remains to be seen if the saffron party will be able to overcome the challenge and win the elections.

Ravi Sharma, Dhariwal

Fate of BJP sealed

With reference to ‘Shadow of economic distress on polls’ (Nous Indica); the fast-changing political scenario in our country indicates that a landslide victory for the BJP in the General Election is not a foregone conclusion, contrary to what some sections of the media are suggesting. The BJP relies on identity politics, pivoting around matters like the Ram Temple, and welfare schemes for the poor. But it may not be enough to offset the damage caused by the economic distress. The huge scale of unemployment and soaring prices of essential items are a matter of concern. Economic distress may override any other consideration in sealing the fate of the BJP in the Lok Sabha elections.

Roshan Lal Goel, by mail

Create jobs to tackle distress

Refer to ‘Shadow of economic distress on polls’; the author has rightly highlighted issues of unemployment and price rise. The numerous welfare schemes launched by the ruling dispensation may have impacted the poor positively, but they are not enough to uplift those who don’t have jobs. Employment generation is the best way to tackle economic distress. No matter how good a political party’s poll strategy is, it cannot bring on board unemployed voters unless they are given hope for a job.

Hari Krishan Chaudhary, Mohali

Ensure safety of students

Apropos of the editorial ‘School bus mishap’; the accident that claimed the lives of six schoolkids and injured many others is a result of gross negligence and dereliction of duty on the part of the bus driver, the school management, district education officials and traffic police personnel. The episode is a reminder of the importance of ensuring adherence to safety norms. It is unfortunate that the government only wakes up when an untoward incident occurs. District officials must conduct safety audits at schools from time to time. All school bus drivers must be made to take breathalyser tests regularly. More needs to be done to ensure the safety of students.

NK Gosain, Bathinda

Negligence claims precious lives

With reference to the editorial ‘School bus mishap’; the death of six students in the Mahendragarh bus accident has left the parents in a state of shock. Precious lives were lost, all because of the recklessness of a drunk driver. Most private schools charge parents thousands of rupees as transportation fee. It is incumbent on the school authorities to engage only well-trained drivers and ensure that no unfit buses are used. The safety of the pupils must remain the top priority of the authorities. The officials concerned must take steps to prevent a repeat of the incident.

Raj Bahadur Yadav, Fatehabad

Hold school mgmt accountable

Refer to ‘School bus mishap’; it was not the first such incident, and unfortunately, it would not be the last. Whenever such a tragedy happens, there is a hue and cry for some days, and then it all blows over. But hopefully, this horrific crash will wake the authorities concerned from slumber. No monetary compensation can mitigate the agony of the parents who have lost their children. Exemplary punishment should be given to the school management and all local or state-level authorities responsible for the mishap. They must change their attitude and start ensuring compliance with the safety guidelines.

Bhupinder Kochhar, Panchkula

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

Failure to ensure students’ safety

Apr 13, 2024

Apropos of the editorial ‘Safeguard students’; the fact that the incident occurred at an educational institution in Punjab is shameful and shocking. It brings forth the vulnerability of girls and women. Despite all the talk of women’s empowerment, girls are not even safe on the premises of an educational institution. It is a sad commentary on the collective failure of the institution, administration and society as a whole to check crimes against women. Besides, whenever such an untoward incident happens, instead of ensuring justice for the victims, school or college authorities rush to hush up the matter to protect the reputation of the institution. A zero-tolerance approach to sexual harassment and exemplary punishment for the guilty must be ensured to curb such heinous crimes.

Priyanka, by mail

Enhance security at institutions

With reference to the editorial ‘Safeguard students’; it is not an isolated incident. Such cases point to a broader systemic failure that should be looked into. The absence of CCTV cameras and lax security arrangements that allow outsiders easy access to the premises demonstrate negligence on the part of the authorities. College authorities, local law enforcement officials and policymakers need to view this incident not merely as a crime but as a clear indicator of the system’s inadequacies. There is an urgent need to step up the security measures at all institutions. Much needs to be done to transform educational campuses into sanctuaries of learning and personal growth, not arenas of fear and crime. 

Amity Gumber, Abohar

Integrated theatre commands

Apropos of the article ‘The knotty issues delaying integrated theatre commands’; the delay in establishing integrated theatre commands is a disservice to our nation’s security. Leaders must address this matter on priority. The lack of coordination among our armed forces leaves us vulnerable to unforeseen threats. In an era of rapid global shifts, unity and efficiency are non-negotiable. Our military must evolve to meet contemporary challenges. The establishment of integrated theatre commands is not just a strategic necessity but a moral imperative to safeguard India’s sovereignty. Bureaucracy or red tape must not hinder progress.

Gaganpreet Singh, Mohali

Canadian clean chit to India

Refer to the report ‘No evidence of India’s interference in poll: Canadian probe clears air’; a Canadian panel has cleared India of interference claims. In a testimony before the panel, former Deputy Foreign Minister Marta Morgan clarified that there was no trace of Indian disinformation in the Canadian information ecosystem. Former Cabinet Secretary Janice Charette stated that the Indian Government did not meddle in the 2021 Canadian election. Ottawa should not have accused New Delhi of influencing its elections. PM Justin Trudeau must tender an unconditional apology to India.

Upendra Sharma, by mail

Another road mishap

With reference to the news report ‘6 schoolkids die in Haryana mishap’; private schools often use old buses for the transportation of children. Many such buses are operated without the necessary clearances, pollution certificates, valid documents or trained drivers. The tragedy is a grim reminder that nothing concrete has been done to prevent such accidents. The incident should be probed thoroughly. Financial assistance to the bereaved families is not enough. It is easy for most members of the public to move on from the tragedy until another mishap occurs. It is time that the authorities concerned are held accountable for it.

Wg Cdr JS Minhas (retd), Mohali

A breath of fresh air

Refer to the article ‘Hope for a change of heart’; new NIA Director General Sadanand Date’s dedication to truth and justice is commendable. However, it is concerning that many of the nation’s bureaucrats place personal gains above constitutional integrity. This is why young voters lose faith in the system and the electoral process. The trend of the pardoning of sins of Opposition leaders who join the ruling party is a glaring violation of electoral ethics. The need of the hour is for our leaders and bureaucrats to heed the call of their conscience and perform their duties with honesty.

Chanchal S Mann, Una

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]

Rein in hate crime

Apr 12, 2024

With reference to the editorial ‘Indian students in peril’; the death of yet another Indian student in the US is a matter of concern. It calls for effective steps to rein in racially motivated crimes and anti-social activities. The Indian-origin students in America must be assured of their safety. Such incidents need to be thoroughly investigated to determine the root cause, and the perpetrators should be dealt with sternly. US Ambassador to India Eric Garcetti’s assertion that his government is ‘very committed’ to making Indians realise that America is a safe place to study will ring hollow if such criminal activities are not curbed on priority.

Ravi Sharma, Dhariwal

Check anti-Indian propaganda

Refer to ‘Indian students in peril’; the recent spate of deaths of Indian students in the US has sparked concerns about the safety of members of the Indian diaspora there. Many young Indians migrate to countries like the US, the land of opportunities, for higher education. Some of them face racial discrimination or become targets of hate crime. There is a need to counter the negative propaganda against the Indian community in the West, leading to racially motivated attacks on innocent Indians. It is unfortunate that American laws often fail to protect the interests of the victims of such attacks and their families. 

Gregory Fernandes, Mumbai

Protection from climate crisis

Apropos of ‘Climate change’; the verdict given by the European Court of Human Rights affirming protection from the impact of climate change as a human right is historic. India’s Supreme Court has also stressed that citizens have a right to be shielded from the detrimental effects of the crisis. This will encourage activists to hold governments accountable for all types of environmental disasters, ranging from floods to droughts. Nations should make joint efforts to limit global warming. More needs to be done to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. There are critical gaps in the environmental sustainability policies being followed by several nations. The recent legal victories can help deliver justice to billions of people affected by natural disasters.

Gaurav Kochhar, Yamunanagar

Hit the brakes on speeding

With reference to the news report ‘Bathinda schoolboy crashes speeding car into tree, killed’; the boy’s parents are to blame for the incident. No parent should allow their underage wards to drive cars. The youngster, who was reportedly obsessed with speed, had posted videos showing his car being driven around 160-180 km per hour. He was driving the car at a breakneck speed, and it ultimately ended in his death. The traffic police need to do more to check the menace of rash driving before it claims more lives. Any person crossing the speed limits must receive strict punishment.

Bir Devinder Singh Bedi, Sangrur

Parents’ negligence costs life

Refer to the report ‘Bathinda schoolboy crashes speeding car into tree, killed’; the youngster could have hit pedestrians with his car, injuring or killing them. He could have also crashed into a bigger vehicle, like a bus or truck, embroiling the driver in a legal case without any fault on the latter’s part. It is telling that the deceased was a minor. The incident was a direct outcome of gross negligence on the part of his parents. In such cases, legal action must be taken against the parents. They must not be spared.

Ravinder Mittal, by mail

A fatal obsession

Apropos of ‘Bathinda schoolboy crashes speeding car into tree, killed’; the death of Uday Partap Singh, a 16-year-old student of Class XI, is tragic. It has come to light that the teenager had posted videos that showed him driving his car around at a speed of 160-180 km per hour. The boy’s parents and the traffic police personnel are to blame for the tragedy. Besides, it was not an isolated incident of overspeeding. Such cases involving youngsters have occurred in the past. It is time for the authorities concerned and parents to make efforts to help youngsters get over their obsession with speed.

Vijaya Sharma, by mail

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

Prioritise relief efforts

Apr 11, 2024

Apropos of the editorial ‘Disaster relief delay’; India is a country that faces calamities like landslides, floods, cloudbursts, cyclones and droughts every year. Such disasters wreak havoc on entire communities, claiming lives and destroying property. Tamil Nadu is right to ask the apex court to direct the Centre to pay Rs 37,902 crore for the damage caused by Cyclone Michaung and another Rs 2,000 crore as an interim measure for relief operations. Political wrangling and red tape must not come in the way of relief work. The priority of the government should be providing aid to the people in distress. The wellbeing and welfare of the citizens are what really matter.

Subhash Vaid, New Delhi

Frequent defections in politics

It is intriguing that Birender Singh and his wife, Prem Lata, have quit the BJP and rejoined the Congress. This comes just a month after their son, Brijendra Singh, joined the grand old party. Birender had served as a minister in PM Narendra Modi’s cabinet; his son got elected as the Hisar MP on the BJP ticket; and his wife was an MLA. It is clear that Birender was still not content and deserted the BJP for the Congress in search of greener pastures. Politicians are focused on gaining power, and that attitude is to blame for frequent defections. This only puts off voters. 

Ramesh Gupta, Narwana

Kejriwal must mend his ways

Apropos of the news report ‘Enough material: Delhi HC rejects Kejriwal’s plea against arrest by ED’; the Delhi High Court has rightly rejected the AAP national convener’s petition challenging his arrest by the probe agency. The court also dismissed his allegation of political vendetta on the eve of the Lok Sabha elections. The HC’s rebuke of Kejriwal for ‘casting aspersions’ on the judicial process with his claim about an approver in a money laundering case making donations to the BJP via electoral bonds is welcome. The CM must shun the use of such tactics.

Upendra Sharma, by mail

A victim of political vendetta

The Delhi HC’s rejection of Arvind Kejriwal’s plea challenging his arrest in the graft case is disappointing. It not only undermines the principle of justice but also raises concerns about the impartiality of our legal system. Kejriwal’s arrest, just ahead of the General Election, reeks of political vendetta and is not a genuine pursuit of justice. The Supreme Court must intervene to ensure that our leaders, regardless of their political affiliations, are treated fairly. The allegations of ‘tax terrorism’ and politically motivated investigations further highlight the urgent need for accountability and transparency in governance.

Sahibpreet Singh, Mohali

Systemic failure to rein in crimes

Refer to the article ‘Systemic changes a must to curb fake encounters’; the problem of fake encounters is assuming alarming proportions in India. Often, the cops who carry out fake encounters, generally under pressure from those in power, are treated as heroes. Politicians perceived as having a hand in such encounters also reap electoral dividends. Besides, the officials involved in fake encounters are seldom brought to book. There is no excuse for breaking the law, not even when it is broken to take out anti-social elements. Such cases are an outcome of the systemic failure of the law enforcement agencies to tackle crimes and the inability of the judicial system to deliver justice in time.

Roshan Lal Goel, Ladwa

Glorifying extrajudicial killings

With reference to ‘Systemic changes a must to curb fake encounters’; the pop culture and movies are to blame for romanticising extrajudicial killings. Influenced by cinema, many citizens have started celebrating such encounters, which are now common in states like Uttar Pradesh. The due process of law is a long and exhausting one, and it involves a lot of effort on the part of the police to have a culprit convicted. The idea of the state spending so much money on the confinement of criminals does not sit well with many well-meaning people. And that is what prompts the authorities and police officials to take the law into their own hands.

Anthony Henriques, Mumbai

Letters to the Editor, typed in double space, should not exceed the 200-word limit.

These should be cogently written and can be sent by e-mail to: [email protected]

Agencies must act without bias

Apr 10, 2024

With reference to the editorial ‘Battleground Bengal’; the recent attack on the NIA team at Bhupatinagar in West Bengal’s East Midnapore district shows that the authorities are not dealing with the miscreants with an iron hand. And the lack of action emboldens anti-social elements to attack officials of agencies like the NIA. The state politicians are more concerned about securing their vote banks than the safety of the residents. Ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, it is important to ensure that there is no political interference in the functioning of the state police. Further, government agencies like the ED and the NIA must have no bias against any political outfit.

Rajinder Singh, Patiala

Ensure safety of tourists

Refer to the editorial ‘Safety protocol lax’; the death of Ritu Chopra, a seasoned paragliding pilot, has once again brought to light the lack of proper safety measures at Bir Billing, a popular destination for paragliding. Since the weather conditions in hilly areas are always unpredictable, there should be comprehensive regulations for the recruitment of pilots and safety guidelines to prevent mishaps. All illegal constructions in the area should be razed. The onus is on the authorities concerned to ensure that the adventures of tourists at Bir Billing do not take a tragic turn.

Harshita Kalra, Rajpura

Bar erring paragliding operators

Apropos of ‘Safety protocol lax’; the fact that even an experienced paragliding pilot could not save her life in the mishap is a commentary on the sorry state of affairs in Bir Billing. The difficult topography, coupled with unpredictable weather conditions, makes paragliding a lot more challenging in the terrain. The safety of the paragliders must remain the top priority for the local agencies. A strict enforcement of international standard operating procedures for paragliding should be the way forward. Besides, the authorities concerned should ensure that, in case of violation, the operator or agency is barred.

Bal Govind, Noida

Hate on campus

Six students from Afghanistan and one from East Africa were recently asked to vacate the Gujarat University’s hostel rooms for overstaying, in a move that came weeks after some foreign students were attacked for offering namaz on the premises. The incident could have been averted if tolerance and respect for other religions had been promoted on campus. It is common for Indians to express concern and sympathy for students from our country being discriminated against or targeted abroad. But how are we treating international students here at home? Religious tolerance is the need of the hour.

Lajwant Singh, by mail

Silence of AAP MPs

Refer to the report ‘Five AAP MPs keep mum on Kejri arrest, leaders baffled’; all MPs of a political party are bound to follow its agenda and promote its interests at the national level. The silence of these Rajya Sabha members amid the crisis being faced by the party has baffled AAP leaders and legislators. AAP is struggling to establish itself as a formidable political force at the national level, and the role of its MPs in helping achieve the objective cannot be overstated.

Jagdish Chander, Jalandhar

Scourge of defections

It has become increasingly common for political leaders to switch parties whenever they see any electoral benefit. It shows that today’s politicians are bereft of any ideology. Even big names in the political arena are not above hopping parties, and it proves that they have not worked at the ground level and lack a mass base. Besides, a lot of capable and educated people who are socially aware do not get to contest an election because of the huge sum of money required for a campaign. Even if there is a changing of the guard, power is generally transferred from one political bigwig to another. There is a need to have more people from a humble background in politics, as they would better understand the problems that the common man faces.

Rajesh Goyal, by mail

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Beware of the Dragon

Apr 09, 2024

Apropos of the editorial ‘China’s LAC moves’; the current standoff with China remains a matter of serious concern. Beijing’s incursions into Ladakh and Doklam and the Dragon’s claim over Arunachal Pradesh make it abundantly clear that China wants to keep India on tenterhooks. Beijing plans to further pursue its policy of expansionism. It is noteworthy how China has reaped humongous profits through its trade relations with India over the years, but it never misses any opportunity to scuttle India’s impressive growth and stall its emergence as a leading global power. China’s intent to foment trouble along the LAC is obvious. The Dragon is bent on undermining India’s defence strategy in an invidious and calculated way without evincing any intent of waging a full-fledged conflict.

Roshan Lal Goel, Ladwa

Address root cause of illicit trade

With reference to the editorial ‘Kidney racket’; the cases of organ trafficking and exploitation of donors have become increasingly common. The widespread prevalence of the illicit trade points to the existence of an organised network involving several people, including health professionals. Such a trade cannot thrive without the patronage of political bigwigs and law enforcement officials. Therefore, while dealing with such cases, the role of powerful kingpins and their links should also be probed. The culprits should be dealt with strictly. Organ donors usually come from a poor background, which makes them vulnerable to exploitation. The trade cannot be reined in until the government addresses the root cause — poverty.

AG Rajmohan, Anantapur (AP)

Implement laws strictly

Refer to the editorial ‘Kidney racket’; organ trafficking continues unabated despite the legal restrictions on commercial dealings in them. According to a news report from 2016, roughly over 10,000 kidney transplants are performed illegally across the world. The practice remains rampant in India. In a lot of cases, forged documents are created for the donors to present them as relatives of the patient. The involvement of corporate hospitals in illegal transplants cannot be ruled out. Innocent and poor people are exploited by the agents, who pocket the lion’s share of the money. Collective efforts from governments, healthcare professionals and the public are needed to combat the unethical practice. Further, strict implementation of laws and raising awareness about the crime are crucial steps for protecting both donors and recipients from exploitation.

O Prasada Rao, Hyderabad

Chinese interference in polls

With reference to the report ‘China may use AI to influence poll in India, cautions Microsoft report’; the revelation made by Microsoft Threat Analysis Centre (MTAC) about China’s potential use of AI to sway elections is alarming. While such efforts in Taiwan proved ineffective, the mere possibility of interference in democracies like India is a cause for concern. The sophistication of AI-generated content poses a threat to the integrity of the electoral process. It is imperative that we bolster our cyber defences and raise public awareness to combat this new form of geopolitical manoeuvring. The resilience of our democratic institutions depends on our collective vigilance against such covert operations.

Gurdev Singh, Mohali

Spectre of AI manipulation

The ominous spectre of AI manipulation looms large over the democratic process, as Microsoft’s stark warning reveals China’s potential to subvert elections in India and the US. With geopolitical interests at stake, the tech giant’s cautionary note underscores the urgent need for vigilance. While past attempts in Taiwan and South Korea faltered, China’s relentless refinement of AI-generated content poses a grave threat. MTAC general manager Clint Watts’ insight into this perilous landscape serves as a wake-up call, highlighting the insidious tactics being employed by the Dragon. As elections approach, the integrity of our democratic institutions hangs in the balance. It is important that we fortify our defences against this digital onslaught and safeguard the sanctity of free and fair elections.

Gaganpreet Singh, Mohali

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

Lessons from the Kargil War

Apr 08, 2024

With reference to ‘Recalling the blood spilt on mountaintops’ (Nous Indica); as we approach the 25th anniversary of the Kargil conflict, it is crucial to reflect on the lessons learnt from the episode. The Kargil bloodshed, the Doklam incursion and the Ladakh standoff are stark reminders of the threats on our borders. These events should not be mere footnotes in history but pivotal moments for introspection and fortification. The valour of our soldiers must not be forgotten. However, the intelligence failure that necessitated such sacrifice should be looked into. There is a need to ensure that the bravery of our troops is matched by the vigil on our borders.

Gurpreet Kaur, Mohali

Prevent a repeat

Apropos of ‘Recalling the blood spilt on mountaintops’ (Nous Indica); the Kargil conflict is a saga of patriotism that is still fresh in the minds of Indians. The current standoff with China remains a matter of concern. The last thing we want is a repeat of the Kargil War. It would lead to bloodshed and the loss of lives all over again. China’s incursions into Ladakh and Doklam and the Dragon’s claim over Arunachal Pradesh expose Beijing’s nefarious ploy against India. New Delhi’s emphatic response to China’s baseless claims has shown that India will not succumb to such heavy-handed tactics.

Ravinder Singh, Jalandhar

Protecting India’s global image

With reference to the editorial ‘Tough stand on terror’; India needs to be wary of the Western powers that do not support New Delhi’s rise as a major power on the world stage. Of course, Western countries use India to counter the Chinese influence in the region. But when it comes to Indian efforts to nip the evil of terrorism in the bud, those powerful countries do nothing. West Asia is already going through a volatile phase. With hostilities between Iran and Israel reaching a flashpoint, the situation is a time bomb waiting to explode at any moment. India would do well to dispel the claims that R&AW carried out killings on Pakistani soil. In view of the recent diplomatic tensions between India and some Western powers, New Delhi cannot afford to take any step that will prompt the Western media to paint it as a country that does not respect other nations’ sovereignty.

Deepak Taak, Panchkula

Promise of a better future

Apropos of the editorial ‘Congress manifesto’; the Congress’ pledge to initiate affirmative action is a beacon of hope for India’s marginalised communities. For decades, these groups have been sidelined and their potential stifled by the archaic chains of caste. The proposed lifting of the reservation cap is not just a political promise. It is a clarion call for equality and justice. As the nation goes to the polls, the Congress’ commitment to the promises highlighted in its manifesto must become the cornerstone of governance, if it is voted to power. It’s time to dismantle the barriers of caste and craft a future where the circumstances of one’s birth do not decide one’s destiny.

Sargunpreet Kaur, Mohali

Don’t tinker with history

Refer to the news report ‘NCERT books drop references to Babri demolition, Gujarat riots’; the quick pace at which abrupt changes are being made to the curricula is not academically desirable. Introducing one drastic change after another in the syllabi does not bode well for the education system. In the field of science and technology, a periodic revision of the syllabi is necessary to keep pace with new inventions and discoveries. But there should be no unnecessary alterations in the books of literature or the social sciences. The NCERT must not play with history.

VK Anand, Chandigarh

NCERT book revisions welcome

With reference to ‘NCERT books drop references to Babri demolition, Gujarat riots’; the latest revisions made by the NCERT in the textbooks have sparked a debate about the portrayal of historical events and political narratives in educational material. Are these alterations an effort to reflect contemporary realities and correct factual errors in textbooks or just a needless syllabus revision? Some references to the Babri Masjid demolition have been dropped. The language is being changed to align with the latest developments in politics. There is a need to acknowledge the complexity of such events, ensuring that the communities affected are represented accurately. Overall, efforts to update textbooks reflect a commitment to providing students with accurate, relevant and inclusive learning material.

Shruti Saggar, Ludhiana

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Promoting diversity on campus

Apr 06, 2024

Refer to the editorial ‘Progressive guidelines’; the set of guidelines issued by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI) for all educational institutions under its jurisdiction is commendable. It will help promote diversity on the campus. The recitation of the Preamble to the Constitution and the setting up of an inter-religious prayer room will help inculcate patriotism and respect for all faiths among the students. Besides, in view of the communal atmosphere in the country, it is high time that all communities reviewed their religious practices and traditions. Discarding the divisive elements and promoting those that encourage harmony are imperative for helping children grow into mature adults. 

Subhash Vaid, New Delhi

Fostering an inclusive environment

Apropos of ‘Progressive guidelines’; the CBCI’s directive to educational institutions for the recitation of the Preamble and to respect all faiths is welcome. Avoiding the imposition of Christian traditions and setting up inter-faith prayer rooms demonstrate the CBCI’s commitment to diversity. Displaying the Preamble at the entrance of the institution promotes the values of justice, equality, liberty and fraternity. In a polarised society, prioritising individual dignity and national unity is vital for nurturing a sense of social responsibility among citizens. Other institutions affiliated with any religion should also emulate the CBCI’s model to foster an all-inclusive environment for the true development of the nation.

Chanchal S Mann, Una

Fostering a harmonious society

With reference to the editorial ‘Progressive guidelines’, the directive from the CBCI, urging schools under its jurisdiction to showcase constitutional values and respect all religions, is a step in the right direction. By emphasising justice, equality, liberty and fraternity on the campus, the body can foster a culture of inclusivity and tolerance. More such efforts should be made to help students grow into responsible citizens who create a harmonious society. Religion should be a source of solace for an individual, and hence, it should not be forced on anyone. The initiative reflects a commitment to nurturing responsible citizens and creating a more peaceful world.

Vijay Kumar Katial, Panchkula

Indian polls an internal affair

Apropos of the report ‘Don’t need UN to tell us poll should be free and fair: EAM’; External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar has rightly dismissed a senior UN official’s remarks on the conduct of elections in India. The UN Secretary-General must pull up the official concerned for overstepping his boundaries. The UN must stick to performing the functions it is supposed to. If the UN is so concerned about the integrity of elections, why did it not intervene when allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential elections were being made? Why did it not act when Chinese and Russian meddling in Canadian elections was suspected? People from other countries don’t need to lecture India about how elections should be held here.

Upendra Sharma, by mail

Double standards of US

Apropos of the report ‘Varying stance by US on arrest of Kejri, Imran’; it does not behove the US, the oldest democracy in the world and an ally of India, to treat the cases of Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal and former Pakistan PM Imran Khan differently. US State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller was caught in an awkward situation when asked why Washington supported imprisoned Kejriwal but not the hundreds of political prisoners in Pakistan, including Imran. Though he dismissed the characterisation, he failed to address the difference in the approach.

Vijaya Sharma, by mail

Curb wastage of food

It is concerning that at a time when 78.3 crore people are facing chronic hunger, 19 per cent of the food is getting wasted. The menace of food wastage needs to be checked. The global goal to halve it by 2030 is commendable, but a hidden enemy hinders progress. Current methods for tracking food waste are not adequate. We urgently need a multi-pronged approach to curb the issue. This includes robust measurement systems for identifying hotspots of wastage across the entire food supply chain.

Anansha Godani, Ujjain

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Role of ED under scanner

Apr 05, 2024

Apropos of the editorial ‘Bail for Sanjay Singh’; the release of the AAP MP and the fact that no money trail has been established call into question the functioning of investigation agencies like the Enforcement Directorate (ED). Has the agency failed in its duty? It is a well-known fact that Central agencies play a crucial role in ensuring a transparent and accountable system of governance. Such bodies must function independently, without any pressure from the ruling dispensation. Over the past decade, such agencies have become mere weapons of the Central Government. The current regime must take necessary steps to dispel the impression that investigation agencies are being misused to target Opposition leaders.

Yash Pal Ralhan, by mail

Misuse of Central agencies

With reference to the editorial ‘Bail for Sanjay Singh’, the top court has granted bail to the AAP MP, observing that no money had been recovered from his possession and there was no trace or trail of it. It is telling that the ED, which had arrested him in October last year, said it had no objection to his discharge on bail. All this suggests that the AAP leader was put behind bars without any solid evidence. The same could be true for other party leaders, such as Satyendar Kumar Jain, Manish Sisodia and national convener Arvind Kejriwal. The latest development has given credence to the Opposition’s apprehension that the ruling dispensation is using Central agencies to settle political scores.

MD Sharma, Shimla

ED’s credibility at stake

Refer to the editorial ‘Bail for Sanjay Singh’; the fact that the ED did not object to the grant of bail to AAP leader Sanjay Singh is an indication that the probe agency has not been able to garner substantial evidence to keep him in jail. There has to be some basis for the incarceration of one Opposition politician after another. It is imperative to ensure that there is no political interference in the functioning of Central agencies. Otherwise, citizens would lose faith in democracy, and the investigative agencies would lose their credibility.

Rajinder Singh, Patiala

Cross-verification of votes must

Refer to the news report ‘SC to hear after 2 weeks plea to tally EVM votes with VVPAT’; the people’s faith in the prime democratic process of free and fair elections, through which they can choose their leaders, must not wane. Fortunately or unfortunately, EVMs have been made to appear vulnerable to manipulation, and it has sown seeds of doubt in the voters’ minds. Only 100 per cent cross-verification of votes with voter verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT) during the Lok Sabha elections will strengthen the electorate’s faith in EVMs and the electoral process.

Hira Sharma, by mail

SC’s belated crackdown

The Supreme Court is right to question why the Central Government did not take any legal action against Patanjali Ayurved for claiming that its product could cure Covid-19 and let the firm promote it as a panacea for the disease. This is especially important because the claims were made at a time when the pandemic was at its peak. The answer probably lies in yoga guru Ramdev’s proximity to the ruling dispensation. It needs to be looked into. Further, some political leaders had also suggested unscientific practices to drive away the virus. They should be held accountable.

Tharcius S Fernando, Chennai

Prepare for heatwave

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has predicted a mix of rain and heatwave conditions across several states, such as Jammu and Kashmir, Odisha, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh and Punjab, for the next few days. The state governments should be focussed on developing heat action plans, deploying healthcare professionals, promoting adaptive measures in workplaces and creating awareness about the dangers of heatwaves. There is an urgent need to ensure preparedness for the days to come. Residents must be educated about the ways to tackle a heatwave.

Rohan Chandra, Zirakpur

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Protect India’s sovereignty

Apr 04, 2024

Refer to the editorial ‘China’s name game’; India’s firm rejection of China’s renaming of several places in Arunachal Pradesh is welcome. Such unilateral actions on the part of the Dragon cannot redefine established sovereignty and history. Arunachal Pradesh remains an integral part of India, despite Beijing’s baseless claims over it. The attempt to rename the places is not just senseless, but it also undermines the mutual respect two neighbouring countries ought to have. It is a futile exercise in cartographic aggression that does not change the ground reality. India’s stance is clear: no amount of renaming will alter the nation’s boundaries or the commitment to its land. The international community must recognise and support India’s sovereignty to ensure regional stability and uphold the principle of territorial integrity.

Amanjot Kaur, Mohali

China’s name game futile

With reference to ‘China’s name game’; in the face of China’s audacious attempt to rename 30 sites in Arunachal Pradesh, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar’s assertion reaffirms India’s unwavering stance on the sovereignty of the nation. His poignant analogy — “If I change the name of your house, will it become mine?” — encapsulates the futility of such tactics. Arunachal Pradesh is and will forever remain an integral part of India. China's relentless encroachments and provocations demand a unified and steadfast response. Thankfully, the Indian Army personnel deployed at the sites continue to stay vigilant, ensuring the sanctity of our borders.

Gaganpreet Singh, Mohali

Indians falling prey to fraud

Refer to the editorial ‘Cyber fraud’; the rising number of Indians falling prey to cyber fraud and being stranded in Myanmar and Cambodia is alarming. The MEA’s intervention is welcome, but a more comprehensive strategy is required to effectively combat the threat. Enhanced communication and intelligence-sharing among governments are important to break the global network of cyber scam syndicates. Prompt steps are needed to address the reasons driving Indian nationals to seek employment in countries where they are vulnerable to exploitation. Timely government intervention is necessary to curb this trend.

K Kumar, Panchkula

Rising unemployment to blame

Apropos of ‘Cyber fraud’; rising unemployment in the country has compelled youngsters to take up menial jobs in other nations. Indian nationals being trapped in shady jobs in Southeast Asia is an outcome of the low employment rate. The External Affairs Ministry must keep a check on the migration of IT professionals to countries like Cambodia and Myanmar and ensure that the Indians trapped abroad can be brought back home. Major cities in India have also turned into hubs for cyber criminals. Besides, Indian students have been migrating every year to the US, UK, Australia, New Zealand and Canada in large numbers with the goal of finding jobs there. The government needs to take a serious view of it.

Wg Cdr JS Minhas (retd), Mohali

Flyers inconvenienced

With reference to the editorial ‘Flight disruptions’; Vistara has seen several flight delays and cancellations in the last few days. The impending merger with Air India has added to the employees’ woes. The reworked contract terms, which include a shift to a fixed salary for 40 hours instead of the previous 70 hours, are unfair. Seniority is another issue that needs to be looked into. The Directorate General of Civil Aviation has rightly asked for a detailed report as the delays and cancellations are causing grave inconvenience to the flyers.

Bal Govind, Noida

Trump’s return good for India

Apropos of the article ‘The prospect of a Trump presidency’; former President Donald Trump has a clear edge over Joe Biden because of the former’s focus on the economy and employment and his 'America First' policy. The only thing weighing down the Trump campaign is the lawfare. Trump is facing a number of legal challenges as he seeks another presidential term. Biden, on the other hand, is aged and lacks the appeal that Trump has. In any case, Trump’s return to the White House will augur well for the India-US ties.

BM Singh, Amritsar

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China’s unilateral claim

Apr 03, 2024

With reference to the editorial ‘China’s name game’; the renaming of places in Arunachal Pradesh by China is an exercise in futility, akin to changing the nameplate of a house and claiming its ownership. External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar’s stance is commendable; it reaffirms India’s unwavering claim over Arunachal Pradesh. Renaming the state does not alter the fact that it has always been and will continue to be an integral part of India. This move by China cannot erase the rich history and deep cultural roots that bind Arunachal with the rest of the country. It is high time that the world recognised such acts for what they are: mere posturing that cannot change geographical realities or the sovereignty of nations.

Gurdev Singh, Mohali

Ensure a level playing field

Apropos of the editorial ‘Congress gets tax relief’; the development comes as a huge relief for the grand old party. It is encouraging to know that the Centre has given an undertaking to the Supreme Court that it would refrain from initiating coercive steps to recover the Congress’ tax dues of over Rs 3,500 crore till July. The freezing of accounts of any political party could cripple it financially and make it hard for it to campaign for an election. Any election requires huge funding. The main Opposition party in India must not be targeted in the run-up to the General Election. Ensuring a level playing field is a must.

Subhash C Taneja, Gurugram

Shortcomings of Opposition

It is the targeting of Opposition leaders that has prompted the INDIA bloc to lodge its protest against the misuse of Central agencies by the ruling party. The alliance leaders are not wrong to feel that there is no level playing field and that our democracy is in danger. Ever since the UPA government was dethroned by the NDA, there has been a steady fall in public probity. In all fairness, the Opposition is also to blame for it. There are many serious issues in the country, such as unemployment, hunger and economic disparity. But sadly, the Opposition has not been able to bring any viable solution to the table.

Deepak TAAK, Panchkula

India can play peacemaker

Apropos of the editorial ‘Ukraine beckons’; the importance of India’s engagement in resolving the Ukraine conflict through diplomatic channels cannot be overstated. Amid growing tensions, India’s commitment to dialogue and mediation is paramount to de-escalating the situation. As a neutral party with longstanding diplomatic ties with both Ukraine and Russia, India is in a position to bridge the gap between the two warring nations. It is crucial that New Delhi seize this opportunity to assert its diplomatic leadership on the global stage. The world must rally behind India’s efforts to bring about peace in Ukraine and the region at large.

Amarjeet Mann, Una

Overhaul education system

Refer to the article ‘Let’s value the ethos of libertarian education’; the piece is thought-provoking and a good commentary on what could be described as true education. Every student has his own interests and talents. No youngster should be burdened with parental expectations to grow up to become doctors or engineers. Children must be given the liberty to choose the field that they want to pursue a career in. It is imperative to develop a system of education that not only encourages competition but also helps the students develop critical thinking and a scientific temper.

Ravi Sharma, Dhariwal

Commercialisation of education

With reference to the article ‘Let’s value the ethos of libertarian education’; education has taken a back seat amid its commercialisation. The privatisation of education has dashed the hopes of the common man. Parents, who are already reeling from inflation, also have to pay the high fees of education at private schools. Students are under a lot of peer pressure to perform. This is the reason it has become increasingly common for youngsters these days to suffer from depression or develop a suicidal tendency. It is imperative that they undergo counselling by their parents and teachers from time to time.

Jasvinder Singh, by mail

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Weaponisation of govt agencies

Apr 02, 2024

The arrest of Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal has ignited a firestorm across party lines. The Opposition, once fragmented, now stands united, pointing fingers at PM Narendra Modi and the ruling party. Kejriwal, a vocal critic of Modi, finds himself ensnared in graft allegations in the run-up to the national polls. His party has labelled the case politically motivated. Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s claim that PM Modi is trying to do match-fixing in the election has found favour with many voters. This is no ordinary election. It is a battle for our nation’s soul. Government agencies must not be allowed to become weapons for the Centre.

Sewa Singh, Amritsar

Polls a chance to save democracy

AAP national convener Arvind Kejriwal’s arrest underscores a disturbing trend in Indian politics. PM Narendra Modi’s government stands accused of orchestrating a campaign of intimidation and harassment against its political opponents. The timing of the arrest — just weeks before the General Election — raises serious questions about the integrity of the electoral process. The Opposition’s united front against the tactics of the current regime signals a critical moment in Indian democracy. The alleged ‘match-fixing’ strikes at the heart of free and fair elections. This election will give the voters a chance to safeguard the principles of democracy and uphold the rule of law.

Sahibpreet Singh, Mohali

The downfall of Congress

Apropos of the news report ‘INDIA puts up unity show in Capital, urges people to restore democracy’; the Congress has been reduced to playing second fiddle. It has failed to reach good seat-sharing deals with its INDIA bloc allies. This has hit the morale of the party’s local leaders and workers. It is imperative that the grand old party regain its momentum and the INDIA grouping find a substantial agenda to be able to present itself as a strong Opposition alliance. Just being anti-Modi or anti-BJP is not enough to win over voters.

Bhrigu Chopra, Zirakpur

India not the right mediator

Apropos of the editorial ‘Ukraine beckons’; the argument that India could be a potential mediator in the conflict because it does not blame either side and has consistently insisted on dialogue and diplomacy sounds convincing. But New Delhi’s strategic proximity to Moscow is quite remarkable. And India’s supposed neutrality may be viewed with suspicion because of its obvious leanings toward Russia. Further, India has failed to condemn the obvious wrongs committed by the two warring nations. India doesn’t want to jeopardise its bilateral ties with Russia, which makes it difficult for it to mediate and hammer out a peaceful solution without displeasing its close ally.

Roshan Lal Goel, by mail

Break the nexus of mining

With reference to ‘Illegal mining’; the Haryana Government’s SOP with regard to the menace is baffling, to say the least. The nexus between those involved in illegal mining and the local administration and law enforcement agencies is an open secret. Usually, cops are hand in glove with miners. That is why the police look the other way as illegal mining continues unabated. The miners’ misdeeds must not be ignored. It is worth noting how mining in the Aravallis has damaged the environment and disturbed the ecosystem there. It is high time that the state government took corrective measures and dealt with the culprits stringently.

Bal Govind, Noida

Probe Supriya’s post on Kangana

Lieut Governor (L-G) VK Saxena recently directed Delhi Police Commissioner Sanjay Arora to carry out a thorough investigation into a social media post by firebrand Congress leader Supriya Shrinate against Bollywood actor and BJP candidate Kangana Ranaut. It was allegedly a bid to outrage the modesty of a woman. And it is hard to digest Supriya’s claim that someone else who had access to her social media account was behind the objectionable post. The police must probe the matter and identify the culprit. Further, if someone other than Supriya was responsible, she must take appropriate legal action.

Upendra Sharma, by mail

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

Terrorism is not something that is being conducted in dark corners of Pakistan. It's done in broad daylight. — S Jaishankar

Apr 01, 2024

Terrorism is not something that is being conducted in dark corners of Pakistan. It's done in broad daylight. — S Jaishankar

A fight for land & heritage

Apr 01, 2024

Refer to ‘Wangchuk’s fast, a national cause’ (Nous Indica); the spirit of Sonam Wangchuk’s protest resonates beyond Ladakh’s borders, drawing thousands to his cause. His sacrifice embodies a poignant plea for autonomy, echoing the aspirations of a marginalised region battling ecological decay and encroachment. Wangchuk’s steadfast resolve, despite his physical frailty, mirrors Ladakh’s resilience. The government’s indifference only fuels the determination of those fighting for their land and heritage. With the world watching, Wangchuk has become a beacon of hope, amplifying the urgent call to safeguard Ladakh’s pristine beauty and cultural integrity. His fast is a stark reminder that autonomy is not just a political demand but also a necessity for preserving the fragile ecosystem that impacts the entire planet.

Gaganpreet Singh, Mohali

Protect Ladakh’s fragile ecology

With reference to ‘Wangchuk’s fast, a national cause’ (Nous Indica); renowned social reformer and climate activist Sonam Wangchuk’s 21-day hunger strike in sub-zero temperatures was an earnest attempt to highlight the importance of protecting the region’s fragile ecology and glaciers from ruthless industrialisation. It has drawn widespread support from religious bodies and social as well as economic forums in Ladakh. Several rounds of discussions between joint representatives of Ladakh and the Centre have failed to find a solution. The ruling dispensation needs to formulate constructive policies for environmental sustainability and thwart China’s blatant encroachments in Ladakh.

DS Kang, Hoshiarpur

Free polls from money power

The fact that Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman is opting out of the poll battle because she does not have enough money to contest is remarkable. It points to the sorry state of electoral politics in India. If the BJP was keen on fielding Sitharaman as a candidate, it would not be a problem as the saffron party has no dearth of funds. But there is a need to free the elections from the clutches of money power. A commoner should be able to contest the elections and have a fair chance of winning. Electoral reforms are the need of the hour.

DVG Sankara Rao, Vizianagaram (AP)

Hamas should release hostages

Apropos of the editorial ‘Famine in Gaza’; while it is true that the world needs to push Israel to obey the order of the International Court of Justice, it should also seek the safe release of all Israeli hostages. Innocent civilians have been held captive by Hamas for months. It was the brutal attack on Israel launched by Hamas that prompted Tel Aviv to pound Gaza with bombs. No mercy should be shown to Hamas militants; they are butchers.

Sanjiv Bansal, Panchkula

Create more jobs

Refer to the article ‘Improve lives of poor’; creating job opportunities is crucial for improving the lives of the poor. It is imperative that everyone has a source of income so that he or she can access basic necessities like food, shelter and healthcare. India has been grappling with a job crisis for years now. The high rate of unemployment among the youth across sectors is alarming. Stimulus packages, greater investment in high-growth sectors like technology and healthcare, and boosting manufacturing and the development of infrastructure are urgently required. Such measures can help address the crisis.

Gaurav Badhwar, Rohtak

Check drop-out ratio, brain drain

Apropos of the article ‘Improve lives of poor’; the fact that such a huge segment of the educated youth in our country is unemployed reflects the grim job situation. To reduce unemployment and underemployment, the government must provide more job opportunities to the masses, especially the youth, considering the rising level of education in this group. Besides, there is a need to keep the drop-out ratio and brain drain in check. Further, the labour force from lower sections of society must be made aware of various programmes of the government to ensure a source of income for them. Earning a livelihood is a fundamental human right.

Simran Kaur, Ropar

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]