Letters to the editor

Terror attack in J&K Other

Aug 13, 2022

Reference to ‘Army camp attacked in Rajouri, 4 soldiers killed’, it marks the return of fidayeen attacks in J&K. Though both terrorists were neutralised, four soldiers were also martyred in the encounter. Undoubtedly, J&K’s security set-up has been successful in preventing big attacks but terrorists switching to new tactics and the targeted killings of ordinary Kashmiris have created an atmosphere of fear obstructing the path of normalcy. So, small extremist groups need to be engaged so that targeted killings can be prevented, enabling security forces return to their primary job of handling cross-border terrorism. That’s why the democratic process needs to be fully restored in J&K. The EC’s decision to hold back the publication of final electoral rolls for J&K assembly polls not only keeps democratic politics in the UT unsecured, it also has security ramifications.

Sanjay Chopra, Mohali

Proper strategy needed

The Army camp where a fidayeen attack took place in Rajouri has thick vegetation all along. It is similar to the Uri camp attack that occurred a few years ago. It’s not understood why excuses of defeat are not eliminated in the first instance. Peace times should be utilised best by conducting inspections and making preparations instead of enjoying camps. All feedbacks and shortcomings should be recorded, monitored and responsibility fixed to avoid such losses.

Ashok Kumar Goel, Panchkula

Check on freebies

Apropos of ‘Curbing freebies’, the decision of the Supreme Court on getting rid of the freebies culture should have come much earlier. If left to voters, no one is likely to say no to anything free, and politicians have found promising freebies to be an easy way to reach out to their voters. This free for all in the name of freebies is taking a heavy toll on our financial health. With the government now urging the apex court to give guidelines till a law is framed for this, one hopes that some way will be found for this populist measure.

PL Singh, by email

Flag-hoisting decision

The announcement by our PM to host the Tricolour for three continuous days including nights at rooftops, businesses and other establishments under the ‘Har Ghar Tiranga’ campaign to mark the 75th Independence Day celebrations is not very desirable. People are surely coming out in support of this decision, but most are not aware of the practices involved in the process. The government should find other ways also to mark the celebrations. It can direct the local administration to motivate the general public to assemble at a common place for the flag-hoisting ceremony. This will strengthen the social and communal bond among the citizens.

Navneet Seth, Dhuri

Nitish’s action

The way the BJP was trying to overthrow governments formed by the Opposition parties by horse-trading and marginalising regional parties, Nitish Kumar only took a pre-emptive action. Nitish will fit the bill as a PM contender to challenge Modi who seems very confident after winning the UP elections. But the 2024 Lok Sabha election will not be a cakewalk for the BJP if the Opposition unites.

Capt Amar Jeet (retd), Kharar

Venkaiah Naidu’s legacy

When Venkaiah Naidu was made to contest for the post of Vice President of the country, it was alleged that it was only to pack him off from the BJP to avoid his claims to some top position in the government. During his tenure as the VP and Chairman of the Rajya Sabha, we have found him to be an excellent administrator, a man endowed with the rare gift to make his presence always pleasurable and peaceful and a tactful trouble-shooter. One hopes that Venkaiah Naidu, an outspoken person, will record his experiences, gains, losses and disappointments in life, both social and political, in his memoirs said to be in the offing.

Tharcius S Fernando, Chennai

VC’s resignation

Apropos of ‘Dr Raj Bahadur’s resignation accepted’, quitting but only after allowing irreversible damage to his psyche and the system is no bargain. As the septuagenarian VC was never obliged to lie on a dirty mattress in hospital complying with a wrongful ‘order’, he should have resisted it forthwith uprightly putting in his papers. It is high time that bureaucrats and senior professionals in the government stand up to thwart wrongful orders of political bosses. But for this, they ought to shed complicity and be upright in their conduct.

Lalit Bharadwaj, Panchkula

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

Parting of ways Other

Aug 12, 2022

Apropos of ‘Nitish’s gambit’, even before rising to the current political eminence, the BJP had this itch to grow alone, at the expense of its ‘disposable’ allies. After courting the JD(U) and anointing Nitish as the CM in a coalition government for years, the BJP managed to outnumber its ally in the Assembly. Nitish was apparently uncomfortable with the thrust of the Parivar, and was administratively put on the backfoot. Hence, he had no choice but to part ways with the BJP.


New partners

The JD(U)-RJD alliance has infused a whiff of fresh air in the moribund Opposition unity, while denting the invincibility of the BJP. There was nothing common between the BJP and the JD(U). Whereas the JD(U) subscribes to socialist and secular ideology, Hindutva ideology is the BJP’s leitmotif. The only thing now to be seen is how the new alliance discharges its responsibility to set and maintain the highest standards of governance. People of not only Bihar, but also the rest of India will be watching closely. Hopefully, the new allies will play well and score a goal in 2024.

Lt Col GS Bedi (Retd), Mohali

Unnatural alliance

The BJP-JD(U) coalition was shaky from the start due to deep policy and ideological differences. The JD(U) was reduced to 43 seats and the BJP gained 74 seats in the 2020 elections — an embarrassment to the former. And yet, Nitish was named Chief Minister. This was Modi’s masterstroke as Nitish could have jumped the fence. It was not a friendly gesture, but an unavoidable option. But the BJP was putting roadblocks in Nitish’s administrative functioning.


Smacks of complicity

Refer to ‘Illegal mining’, there is no denying the nexus between influential politicians, the police, powerful government functionaries and the mafia. Illegal operations of this scale in Haryana lend credence to the suspicion that political patronage and complicity of bureaucracy facilitates the continuation and proliferation of such money-spinning activities. If the government maintains that there are only stray cases of illegal mining, it betrays that the government has no political will to eradicate this menace. Mere rhetorical defence will not cut ice with the masses who feel that laxity of the government is responsible for the illegal mining operations.

Roshan Lal Goel, Ladwa

Demographic decline

Apropos of the article ‘Demographic benefit waning’, the advice to get rich before you get old is applicable to nations too. This government has been unsuccessful in making the nation richer, in spite of its initiatives like ‘Make in India’. Even the PLI scheme announced with much fanfare does not seem to be going anywhere. The grand promise of 2 crore jobs has largely been forgotten. Unless there is a drastic increase in employment opportunities, the demographic dividend can soon become an albatross round the nation’s neck.


On a positive note

We habitually criticise our country, but ignore the positive side. India of 1947 and now are worlds apart. Successive governments have been vigorously contributing towards development and poverty alleviation. It began with the setting up of steel plants, light and heavy machinery factories and massive energy generators, like the Bhakra Dam, and the substantial expansion of the canal and rail network. Today, India is among the top industrialised nations. We have attained success in the field of space and nuclear technologies. From import substitution to indigenisation to ‘Make in India’, the nation is on the right path. India may well become the auto-hub of Asia in the near future. Public-private partnership has bloomed in the last decade and we have world-class highways. We have excelled in the field of immunisation, the latest being the massive Covid-19 vaccination programme. We have stood up well to the challenges posed by our adversaries. Indian democracy is vibrant and functioning. Peaceful transfer of power is a feather in India’s cap.


Smart school, really?

Reference to ‘Smart school sans boundary wall, amenities’, it is unfortunate that parents and students were compelled to lock classrooms of a government smart primary school in protest against the lack of a wall and other infrastructure in the school. Unwalled schools have unsafe teaching environment. Also, students cannot focus on studies due to the frequent movement of stray animals and unwanted people. The government should take steps to address this issue at the earliest in the interest of the students.


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

Ditching BJP Other

Aug 11, 2022

The political somersault by Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar depicts how big an opportunist he is (‘Nitish dumps BJP; to be sworn in as CM again with Tejashwi as deputy’). His ditching the BJP and allying with the RJD does not augur well for the BJP, with the parliamentary elections due in 2024. The possibility of the JD(U) and its allies facing the wrath of some Central agency cannot be ruled out. People are aware of such political gimmicks of politicians whose vested interests are supreme to people’s welfare and development works. There is no friend or foe for politicians while forming a government.

Ravinder Singh, Jalandhar

Politics of convenience

Bihar CM Nitish Kumar, known as ‘Sushasan babu’ for delivering a robust corruption-free administration to the state, has also succumbed to the politics of convenience by aligning with arch-rival RJD to remain in power. His image of an upright politician has taken a hit. Democracy has been reduced to a number game, going by the recent political developments in Maharashtra and elsewhere. The public mandate has been negated by vested political interests. Democracy will cease to exist if this obnoxious trend is not reversed. Lawmakers and votaries of democracy must ponder over it and arrest this trend.

Anil vinayak, Amritsar

No friends, no foes

The JD(U) supremo taking oath as Bihar Chief Minister after bidding adieu to ally BJP did not come as a surprise, but him losing no time in joining hands with opposition parties proves that there are no permanent friends or foes in politics. In fact, the breaking of the BJP-JD(U) alliance has come as a blessing for RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav as he was administered the oath of Deputy CM. Nitish Kumar now enjoys the dubious distinction of having changed his political allies as per convenience. He will be hard put to justify his flip-flop.

Kumar Gupt, by mail

Threat from China

Reference to ‘Chinese belligerence’; if a Chinese spy ship docks at Hambantota, our space mission launch location and strategic weapon-testing area will be under close surveillance of the hostile nation. China may even interfere with these activities by deploying its cyber and electronic warfare mechanisms. Though China professes consultation, cooperation and coordination, the ground reality is different. The international community should come together to contain Chinese expansionist policy, arrogance and belligerent behaviour.

Subhash Vaid, New Delhi

Improve healthcare

The article ‘Public healthcare, medical research lagging’ should act as an eye-opener. India ranks 154th in terms of quality and accessibility of healthcare. The health facilities are not only poor, but also unevenly distributed in the country. In rural and hilly areas, you won’t even find a GP to get first aid, leave alone a PHC or a hospital. Critical healthcare facilities are almost missing in all government hospitals. Though medical research is done only in a few prestigious medical colleges and hospitals, still we do not refrain from making tall and false claims. Even the Covid-19 pandemic has failed to awaken us from slumber and make us aware of our deficiencies. We are yet to enhance our health budget in proportion to our needs.

Sunil Chopra, Ludhiana

Apple growers’ dilemma

Apropos of the news report ‘Poor link roads irk apple growers’, why did the state government not take into account infrastructural arrangements for the transportation of apples ahead of the apple season? Why has the Bashla-Untapu road seen no work for four years, even after being sanctioned under NABARD? The bad condition of link roads that are full of slush is adding to the high transportation costs of the apple growers, who have already faced high input costs this year. As per a report, apple constitutes 79 per cent of the total production in Himachal. People depend on its cultivation for their livelihood. The government must take immediate cognisance of this issue.

Ritish Pandit, by mail

Read books

Reference to the middle ‘Why books must stay relevant’, one is never lonely if one has a book in one’s hand. My father was a voracious reader. Never did I see him without a book, not even during a sojourn. The habit of reading books doesn’t come overnight. It must be encouraged and cultivated from early childhood. Unfortunately, it is on the decline.

C Ghanshyam, Visakhapatnam

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

Violence against children Other

Aug 10, 2022

Refer to ‘Crimes against children’, these crimes cut across the boundaries of geography, race, class, religion and culture. The issue needs attention and special steps must be taken to deal with it. It’s not only girls who are vulnerable to criminals; boys also are abducted for cheap labour. It is a grave matter for the government, families and society. The children’s safety is vital as they are the future of the nation.

Gaurav Badhwar, Rohtak

Need more courts, judges

Apropos of ‘Ease of justice wanted for undertrials’, it is disheartening that over four crore cases are pending in various courts and about 3.5 lakh undertrials are languishing in jails. In order to reduce the huge pendency, the government should double the number of courts and triple the number of judges. Modernisation and computerisation, establishment of fast-track courts and lok adalats should be the top priority. Arrests must be restricted as far as possible for petty offences and political victims. Police officers must be made accountable for unwanted arrests.


Will overcome upheavals

Bemoaning ‘a steady withering away of the fundamentals of democratic spirit’ (‘Freedom from decadence’), the article cynically suggests the proverbial solution of throwing the baby out with the bath water. There seems to be no escape from the kind of electoral politics which is the root cause of the ailments of the country. The land of Tagore, Bose and Vivekananda, who were nurtured in the spirit of compassion and plurality, can withstand all sorts of upheavals and remain in sound health.

DV Sharma, Mukerian

Democracy derailed

Apropos of the state of affairs in Bihar, a state which has the lowest per capita income has the highest political activities without caring for the problems of the common man. Can these activities stop the exodus of workers to other parts of the country? Can new industries be set up? Can employment opportunities be enhanced? A common citizen is not interested in which party is in power. All that he wants is the progress of a state and job opportunities. A majority of people have to migrate in search of livelihood. Will the leaders of Bihar remain busy in petty politics without caring for development? We should not forget leaders like Karpoori Thakur and Rajendra Prasad who had set an example for the people.

Yash Pal Ralhan, Jalandhar

For a sound mind

Refer to ‘Why books will stay relevant’, there is no substitute for books, not even e-books. There are very few bookshops that sell books other than school and college textbooks, especially in tier-2 cities and towns. Digital devices like smartphones and e-book readers have eliminated the need to carry hard copies. District libraries wear a deserted look. People don’t have the patience to read. They just want instant information on Google. The digital format strains the eye. Reading books enriches our mind in the same way as exercise does to our body.

Vikramjit Singh, Amritsar

Sports in rural areas

India’s players have brought laurels to the country by their superlative performance in the Commonwealth Games. There is a need to improve sports infrastructure in rural areas because that is where most of our medal winners and other sportspersons come from, in spite of non-existent facilities. Athletes Hima Das and Avinash Sable and the majority of our boxers and wrestlers belong to villages.

Lt Col Harbinder Singh (Retd), Patiala

Choose millets

Apropos of ‘Millets offer opportunities’, millets have more nutritional value than wheat and rice. Millets as a staple diet are not popular in urban India due to the lack of awareness and their unavailability. Moreover, mechanisation of the processing of these millets couldn’t keep pace with that of rice and other cereals and so these never got their due place in the kitchens. We should popularise these grains and learn a lesson from western fast food chains which have become totems of economic prosperity. When the Indian economy opened in the early 1990s, branded muesli and oats became popular breakfast foods as MNCs marketed nutritionists’ views, food columns favoured these breakfast foods in popular newspapers and magazines and a thre was a blitzkrieg of sleek advertisements. Just declaring a year after millets will not serve the purpose to popularise these grains. Efforts must be made on the ground to popularise them.

Rajesh Goyal, by mail

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

Chinese challenge Other

Aug 09, 2022

Since China considers India as a challenge in its pursuit of dominance, it is reasserting its control of disputed territories to undermine India’s capabilities (‘Countering China’). Intrusions by the PLA and military infrastructural buildup have led to violent standoffs. Diplomatic and military-level talks have failed to resolve the row. Faced with an economic slowdown, the Chinese leadership wants to boost Xi’s image for re-election and pursue its trade interests with India. New Delhi should adopt a more resolute foreign policy approach. Besides our diplomatic engagements with the US, the EU and other nations concerned over China’s expansionist designs, we should focus on military preparedness, impose sanctions against Chinese goods and promote indigenous production.

DS Kang, Hoshiarpur

Repeat offender

This refers to the editorial ‘Countering China’. China is a repeat offender of poking in India’s eyes by way of transgressions at the borders, overtly supporting Pakistan’s nefarious designs and missing no opportunity to deride India at international forums, including the UN. Any act of finding a middle path is akin to casting pearls before swine. Proscribing Chinese apps is disproportionate to its misadventures and plucking low-hanging fruits. India should up its game and forge an alliance with Indian-Pacific countries, similar to Quad, to check the rogue neighbour.

Deepak Singhal, Noida

Right to abort

Reference to ‘Abortion aberration’, a woman is still a woman whether society terms her as unmarried, married, divorced, widowed or separated. Every woman should have the right when it comes to her body, and her life. Unwed women should be given the right to abortion. Denying this right may lead to mental health deterioration and even increased suicidal attempts. If it is just about the effects of MTP, the procedure must be explained in detail and the complications and outcomes, but the choice should be in the hands of women.

Muskan Garg, by mail

Nitish’s absence

Apropos of ‘Nitish’s absence at NITI meet puts ties with BJP under lens’, Nitish Kumar was also conspicuous by his absence at a dinner hosted by PM Modi for the outgoing President. Skipping an important NITI Aayog meeting does not behove a sitting chief minister. Instead of indulging in a cold war with the BJP, he should boldly state his intentions about continuing with the alliance. Modi had offered him the post of CM, even though more MLAs of the BJP had won in the Assembly elections compared to that of JD (U).

Vijaya Sharma, by mail

Vitiating peace

Apropos of ‘Call to hoist kesari flag a ploy to vitiate peace, says Warring’, it is true that the peaceful atmosphere in the state is being vitiated by Sangrur MP Simranjit Singh Mann, whose tantrums and statements are beyond comprehension. He has given a call to hoist kesari flags instead of the Tricolour atop houses despite expressing his faith in the Indian Constitution.

Upendra Sharma, by mail

Crossing the line

Reference to ‘Call to hoist kesari flag...’; it seems that Simranjit Singh Mann has decided to remain in the limelight by making controversial statements. Earlier, he stirred a hornets’ nest by calling Bhagat Singh a terrorist. If, as a parliamentarian, he can take oath on the Constitution of India, why should he have a problem with the national flag? As an elected representative of the people, he should refrain from making such irresponsible statements which can disturb the hard-earned peace and harmony in Punjab.

Balbir Singh Kakkar, Jalandhar

Dying waiting for justice

Refer to ‘HC: Denying bail to aged not justified’; the court justifies bail to criminals in old age, but at the same time, court cases of the elderly mostly remain undecided till death. My father and father-in-law died with pending court cases due to old age. Now, I am over 70 and expecting the same in a pending case. It is a routine matter because the court justifies delay than justice in time. In the past 10 years, the backlog of pending cases has increased from three to four crore.

Ashok Kumar Goel, Panchkula

Kudos to hockey team

Our women’s hockey team is returning after winning the bronze medal in the much-coveted CWG. It has broken the jinx after 16 years by defeating none other than New Zealand. Though the credit goes to each member of the team, much goes to skipper Savita Punia who made three splendid saves in the shootout. The government should suitably honour and award the members of the team and the coach.

NPS Sohal, Chandigarh

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

Wake up to reality Other

Aug 08, 2022

Apropos of ‘Democracy and Hindutva’ (Nous Indica), divisive politics is a crime against democracy and may not last long since the poor and deprived will, sooner or later, realise that they are being cheated. The issue at this stage is not how the Congress or any other party will play their cards, but how and when the people will awaken to seek redress of their real and pressing issues. Punjab has not just given a thumping win to the AAP but has set an example by voting, irrespective of religion or caste, for quality and affordable education and healthcare, and with the hope that their basic needs will be taken care of.

HL Sharma, Amritsar

Resilience of democracy

Reference to ‘Democracy and Hindutva’; there is resilience in Indian democracy despite every ordeal it has undergone since Independence. Given the vast size and diverse social composition of our country, no single party can monopolise power for long. It is true that in the South, the people are devout Hindus, yet the voting pattern is different from the North. Meanwhile, only mass leaders with a grassroots connect can rejuvenate the Congress party.


National perspective

Reference to ‘Democracy and Hindutva’; if only the political leadership at the national and regional levels was astute enough to understand the dynamics of the situation, we would be able to see the emergence of a balance in political thought and an earnest assessment of the citizens’ aspirations that sum up the collective mood of the nation. It would channelise the energy and vision of our glorious country.

Mohanpal Singh, Chandigarh

Their right to vote

Reference to ‘Let J&K vote’; the abrogation of Article 370 was indeed a historic moment. The objective was to give a normal life to the people of the state so that they would integrate better with the rest of the country. But no elections have been held, depriving the Kashmiris their right to vote. Free and fair elections should be conducted in Jammu and Kashmir, and democracy in the real sense should be restored at the earliest possible.

Aparna Rajmohan, Amritsar

Erratic growth

Refer to the article ‘Why our economic growth has been patchy’; it is not fair to mainly blame the education system for it. Socialist policies, including reliance on PSUs, were required in the 1950s and 1960s, but should have given way to reforms and a bigger role for the private sector. In the post-Independence era, the private sector was not forthcoming with large investments due to non-availability of sufficient capital and restrictive business practices of those times. After visiting the premises of Citizen Watches, Japan, when Nehru asked leading private business houses to set up a watch manufacturing facility in the country, the proposal didn’t find any taker, and HMT — the machine-tool maker — was ‘ordered’ to take up the project, which it did successfully. Watches proved to be the company’s cash cow for several years. It is worthwhile that on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of Independence, a debate is on to pinpoint the reasons for the patchy growth.

CN Dhar, by mail

All for free

The suggestion of the Supreme Court to constitute a body of experts to dissect the whole anatomy of freebies is appreciable. Every political party believes in populism and the pursuit of political power is a common objective. It is not the ideology of a party which wins them elections but the doles and sops they distribute free of cost. Unfortunately, the cost is borne by the honest taxpayers. To draw a line between subsidies and freebies would be a tough task. Are subsidised food, free health services, free telephone services and several pensions being enjoyed by the elected members across all parties also not freebies?

Harmohinder Nagra, by mail

Freebies with a rider

It seems difficult to control the freebie menace as all political parties woo voters by promising them free things. Remedial steps should be taken to check this. If no solution is found, freebies should be allowed, with the condition that the party coming to power must implement them in toto. There should be no excuse for delays due to financial or other reasons. Non-compliance should entail swift punishment. The political parties will then think twice before making false promises to voters.

TK Gupta, Bathinda

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

Empower EC Other

Aug 06, 2022

Refer to ‘Curbing freebies’; the apex court has rightly reprimanded political parties for not taking a stand on the issue of freebies. It is time to prevent the parties from committing economic harakiri and draining taxpayers’ money to grab power. The Election Commission is a toothless tiger; it should be empowered to take action against political parties indulging in such practices. It should be vested with more legal powers to impose penalties, de-register parties and declare irrational populist measures as deceptive acts to woo voters.

Anil vinayak, Amritsar

Road to power

The late C. Rajagopalachari criticised corrupt practices of political parties during elections in his book Rescue Democracy from Money Power. He was particularly opposed to transporting voters to polling booths in cars, calling it ‘last-minute bribery’ and suggested instead that poll officials visit voters’ homes and collect their votes! One wonders, what would have been the statesman’s reaction were he alive today. No one objects to the freebies provided to the deserving poor. But, the intent of politicians behind promising the moon is not economic uplift, but the desperation to capture power. The parties must submit their manifestos to a panel of independent economists who would allow only viable promises.

V Jayaraman, Chennai

Ban freebie culture

Freebies are a bribe to voters at the time of elections. AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal is promising Rs 3,000 pension to every elderly person if his party comes to power in Gujarat. Nobody knows from where so much money will come, even if his party wins. The Supreme Court must issue strict guidelines to the EC to ban this freebie culture.

Ramesh Gupta, Narwana

Poor economics

Freebies have become a major tool in the hands of political parties to woo voters. It is bad economics and a drain on the already strained exchequer. Parties make unreasonable promises without specifying the sources of funding. Voters need to understand that one way or other, the money will be siphoned out of their own pockets. All public welfare schemes should also be adequately budgeted for.

Ravi Sharma, Dhariwal

No shortcut to safety

Refer to ‘Safety first’; safety should not be sacrificed for the sake of completing a task hurriedly. A work procedure must be followed to comply with safety standards. Safety rules exist in all work environments. We resort to shortcuts sometimes to complete the work quickly. Also, workers should be careful about not reporting to work under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Any kind of distraction can cause an accident.

Om Parkash Sandhu, Naya Nangal

Tenure of CJI

This refers to ‘CJI Ramana recommends UU Lalit as his successor’; the tenure of CJI Ramana is 16 months, and the next incumbent Justice Lalit will have a tenure of less than three months. Generally, a person due to retire in less than three months will be preparing for post-retirement life and the organisation does not expect much from him or her. A person needs to have a service of at least three years to make a noticeable contribution to an organisation. A clause may be included in the selection procedure of the CJI that the candidate needs to have a service of three years left. This clause can be met either by selecting such a person, ignoring seniority, or extending the service of the candidate selected on seniority.

O Prasada Rao, Hyderabad

Flag disposal

On the occasion of the 75th anniversary of Independence, the government is propagating the catchy slogan, ‘Har Ghar Tiranga’, and expects the hoisting of 20 crore flags on the day. How much feeling of nationalism or enthusiasm this would generate is a hypothetical question, but the main issue would be the disposal of so many flags after the event. Will the flags be disposed of as scrap, or has the government issued guidelines on their disposal after August 15?

Jai Prakash Gupta, Ambala Cantt

Drones for surveillance

Reference to ‘Rs 13L looted from Jalandhar bank’; earlier, Rs 35 lakh had been looted from a bank in Patiala. The incidents point to the lack of security and surveillance. Law enforcement agencies should make use of drones in sensitive locations, such as banks, religious places and government buildings. Drones can provide wider coverage and continuous monitoring can prevent illegal activities.

Raminder 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: Letters@tribunemail.com

Pelosi’s Taiwan visit Other

Aug 05, 2022

Apropos of ‘Perilous provocation’, Pelosi’s visit has heightened tensions and further frayed the US-China relationship. Given the fact that the US and Taiwan have maintained cordial ties for years, Congressional visits have been a regular feature. China’s reaction is unwarranted. However, Chinese military coercion of Taiwan cannot be ruled out as Beijing has threatened trade and naval retaliation. Beijing has also been resentful of the growing activities of Quad in the Indo-Pacific region. New Delhi must prioritise its strategic interest and ensure that the US does not use it to settle scores with China.

Gregory Fernandes, Mumbai

No room for misadventure

China had warned the US of dire consequences before House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan, but she went ahead in the name of preserving democracy there. Both US and China are bullying each other. Earlier in May, during the Quad Summit in Japan, Chinese and Russian jets carried out joint flights over the Sea of Japan and South China Sea. Both sides should restrict these misadventures, otherwise the world will be forced to face the catastrophe of a third world war.

Virender Sharma, Shimla

Big borrowers

Refer to ‘Loan write-offs’, every economic policy decision is a process to evaluate the trade-offs, and loan write-offs are not an exception. Banks undertake this exercise to clean their balance-sheet. The flipside is that these loans are already covered in NPAs and borrowers have stopped payments of interest and the principal. This borrowing will sooner or later be waived. This exercise, from a bank’s point of view, is recognition of loss of investment in loans extended. Money for extending loans comes from the depositors or the government. The banks have started charging for every small service, like the withdrawal of your own money more than a specified number from ATMs. This is how a favour to a friendly industrialist is financed. A big loss of the bank is shared in small amounts by all customers. This is a bad bargain.

Nirmal Singh, Patiala

Legal scrutiny must

It is shocking that banks have written off loans worth Rs 10 lakh crore despite the fact that the country is reeling under a crunch. Big defaulters are beneficiaries of this largesse, whereas small borrowers are at the receiving end. As an arbitrator, I had a chance to deal with bank recovery cases in which small loans ranging from Rs 5-10 lakh were involved. More often than not, mortgaged vehicles were forcefully taken away and auctioned before the case reached its logical end. Legal scrutiny of waivers to make the system transparent is needed.

Maheshwer Sharma, by mail

Bank defaulters

The editorial ‘Loan write-offs’ brings to the fore the blow to the financial sector, especially public sector banks. Indifference to the Rs 10 lakh crore write-off shows the real ‘morale’ of India being fed on propaganda in the name of patriotism, tallest statues, stalwarts of the freedom struggle and ancient Indian glory. Falling value of rupee, inflation, polluted environment, unemployment, etc., keep the general public embroiled, thereby providing opportunities to swindlers like wilful bank defaulters to steal public money artfully. This has exposed the vulnerabilities of the banking system. A strong nation does not brook such public loot. The government has shown systematic weakness that raises suspicion in the public mind about the real nature of our contemporary politics.

Jagvinder Singh Brar, Patiala

Border security

Refer to ‘No compromise on security’; India is facing multiple challenges at the LAC, LoC and IB. No less is the threat perception in the sea and hinterland. Dropping of arms, ammunition, explosives and narco substances by drones from across the border has complicated the security scenario. The need is to identify the flashpoints and constitute integrated theatre commands. There is no alternative to the physical domination of the area of responsibility. Soldiers must be adequately equipped with basic necessities to perform their duties efficiently in the most difficult terrain.

Subhash Vaid, New Delhi

Develop border areas

Apropos of ‘No compromise on security’, our land borders are with nations who challenge us without provocation. Our borders should be manned properly day and night. Strengthening the borders with infrastructure should be given priority. For a few years, revenue should be spent on border areas instead of the hinterland for easy commerce. Rail track and roads should be given preference over managing borders by air. In case of war, air support alone will not help in the present missile and drone era.

Ashok Kumar Goel, Chandigarh

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Shortage of teachers Other

Aug 04, 2022

The editorial ‘Locking up school’ highlights certain issues afflicting our school education. Time and again, the shortage of teachers in schools and other institutions of higher learning has been flagged, but hardly any measure is taken to remedy the situation on the ground. Instead of establishing ‘smart schools’ and ‘schools of eminence’, priority should be given to the recruitment of qualified, competent and committed teachers who can raise the standard of teaching imparted. The quality of teachers ensures greater learning outcomes. There is an urgent need to address these problems, particularly in schools situated in villages and small towns.

NP Manocha, Chandigarh

E-classes how? 

Apropos of ‘Locking up school’, the education sector was greatly affected during the pandemic. The urban-rural gap was further aggravated because of this. It is necessary that teachers are appointed to improve the quality of education. The mid-day meal facility should be revived and proper exams held. AAP’s ‘school of eminence’ requires a lot of homework. What is the meaning of e-classes if teachers are not in classrooms? 

Aparna Rajmohan, Amritsar

Panchayat must step in 

When I was studying in class VIII in 1960, there were many primary schools in rural areas of Punjab where there was only one teacher  (‘Locking up school’). But the teacher’s dedication was such that students’ education wasn’t affected adversely. However, the number of students then was less. While the availability of adequate number of qualified teachers is essential for imparting quality education, it isn’t right to lock up the school. It smacks of vigilante culture gaining traction under the AAP government. By locking the school, children are being deprived of mid-day meals. The panchayat should chip in with its resources to do the needful until the government appoints regular teachers. 

Lt Col GS Bedi (Retd), Mohali

Killing of Al-Qaida chief 

Apropos of ‘End of al-Zawahiri’, the Taliban violated the Doha agreement by providing a haven to the Al-Qaida chief and the world’s most-wanted terrorist, exposing the difference between its sayings and doings. For decades, he has been the mastermind behind attacks against Americans. He had also played a key role in the bombings of US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. Though several terror outfits have started to gain a foothold in Afghanistan after the pullout of US and NATO troops, the killing of the terrorist sends a clear message that US’ intelligence presence in Afghanistan has not waned. 

Tushar Anand, Patna

BJP filled a vacuum 

Apropos of ‘Phenomenal rise of BJP’, BJP’s growth is an expression of the suppressed feelings of the common man’s identification of the self with India as one nation, which he had been finding absent from the ideologies of the mainstream political parties in post-Independence India. Its spread and outreach across all social sections  is not a flash in the pan. In a democratic set-up, everyone has equal opportunities, and prudence is not the monopoly of any particular party. The BJP rose to the occasion and reaped rich dividends through electoral gains. It fulfilled the political aspirations of the new generation. The other political players failed to see the writing on the wall. 

DV Sharma, Mukerian

Cong’s phenomenal fall 

Reference to ‘Phenomenal rise of BJP’; equally phenomenal is the fall of the Congress. Behind the rise of the BJP is the sustained work of an organisation whose discipline and organisational skills no other party’s cadre can match. Behind the fall of the Congress is its unfathomable love for the dynasty. Divisive policy of the BJP, ‘nationalism’ and belligerent Hindutva  have made the party No. 1. It is ruthless in crushing its adversaries. But the Congress has no moral ground to criticise the ruling dispensation as it too had some notorious Governors at its command who would dethrone duly elected governments. The BJP may touch dizzy political heights if the Opposition fails to find a ‘Lok Nayak’. Recently, it failed to put up a united front in the election of the President of India.

HMS Nagra, Faridabad

Queue for senior citizens 

Recently my wife and I, both senior citizens, visited Mata Vaishno Devi shrine. At Adhkumari, there is a facility of battery-operated cars. We stood in the line for an hour and when our turn came, we were told no seat was available. It is surprising that there is no separate queue for senior citizens. Many younger persons got the tickets. The management must display the number of seats at the counter so that every visitor can know whether he/she will get a seat. The number of battery-operated cars should also be increased. 

NK Sharma, Ludhiana

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People are supreme Other

Aug 03, 2022

Reference to ‘Every citizen must be made aware of rights: CJI Ramana’; earlier the CJI had said that judiciary was answerable ‘only’ to the Constitution. He may be right, but one feels that judiciary, like any other organ of the state, is answerable to the people. All three organs derive their powers from the people. In a democracy, the people are supreme. We, the people, have created the Constitution. How can our creation be more supreme than us? Furthermore, the people are aware of their rights and duties. But we request all the organs of state, including judiciary, to perform their duties with honesty and integrity required of them. That is the essence of democracy.


Picture not rosy

The government is gloating over the fact that GST collection has touched a new high at Rs 1.5 lakh crore, pointing to the resilience of the economy. But a host of issues, such as price rise, massive unemployment, falling income of farmers, dwindling wages of farm workers, concentration of more than 90% of national wealth and assets in the hands of a few capitalists enjoying the patronage of the government, stockpile of NPAs, rampant corruption in every government department and black money parked in foreign banks point to the fact that our economy is in a shambles. Unless there is perceptible amelioration in the plight of the poor and vulnerable masses, the economic health of the country will remain a challenge.

Roshan Lal Goel, Ladwa

Nab big fish

The union government’s initiative to work with Punjab to fight the menace of drugs is welcome as the state’s ongoing drive has failed to curb it (‘States must work in tandem with Centre to fight drug menace: Shah’). This illegal trade is thriving owing to the nexus among drug traffickers, politicians and the police. Curbing the drug menace will be a tall task. The arrest of some small fish and seizure of drugs can hardly be termed as success. The big fish behind this nefarious trade should be caught to make Punjab drug free.

Ravinder Singh, Jalandhar

Price rise debate

After the washing out of precious two weeks, the government has agreed to allow discussion on price rise. Since the beginning of the Monsoon Session, the opposition parties have been clamoring to raise the issue of rising prices and the recent hike of GST on many eatables. Food inflation is an important contributor to the economic inflationary conditions. The Modi government has been refusing to accept any motion moved by the Opposition under the rules for a structured discussion on these burning issues. While publicly claiming that it wishes to discuss all issues in Parliament, the government has been deliberately obstructing any such discussion. The Modi government is responsible for destroying the character of parliamentary proceedings.

SK Khosla, Chandigarh

Fake Rs 2,000 notes

Refer to ‘107-fold spike in fake Rs 2,000 notes since 2016’; it implies that the black currency market continues to thrive, notwithstanding the fact that one of the key purposes of demonetisation and the specially designed Rs 2,000 notes was aimed at keeping a check on fake currency. However, the data belies the intended purposes. Notably, Rs 2,000 denomination notes have nearly vanished from the public domain since commercial banks are reportedly unable to supply them on demand to retail customers.

Kumar Gupt, by mail

Crime against SCs, STs

Refer to ‘Crime against SCs & STs on rise’; it’s disheartening that the crimes against SCs and STs are increasing but the conviction rate is not encouraging. Many acquittals may be because of shoddy or improper investigations by the police and negligence of prosecuting advocates. It is important to fix responsibility on investigating officials who fail to gather tenable evidence and prosecuting advocates who do not correctly present and argue the cases. This will help to increase the conviction rate.


Tiranga unites

Apropos of ‘PM urges people to hoist Tricolour to mark Independence Day’, the PM has rightly remembered Pingali Venkayya, who designed the national flag, and urged the people to make ‘Tiranga’ their profile picture on social media. India’s unity in diversity is envisaged well by the ‘Tiranga’. We should celebrate Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav with zeal and vigour. By hoisting the flag atop each home, we can show to the world that we are a ‘sangathit’, vibrant and progressive nation.

Krishan Kant Sood, Nangal

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What about backlog? Other

Aug 02, 2022

IT is interesting to note that the Prime Minister and the CJI have asked for the speedy release of undertrials, but what about the backlog of court cases? Why nobody talks about the undue slow pace of the working of the judiciary? What is the justification of summer and winter vacations for the judges when the courts are air-conditioned? Does crime stop during vacations? This practice should be done away with. Accountability should be fixed for any undue delay in the delivery of justice. If other government officials work for eight hours a day, if the PM can work for 15-16 hours a day, why can’t the judges work for more hours to clear the backlog?

Nirmal Kumar bhalla, by mail

Awareness about rights

Refer to ‘Every citizen must be made aware of rights: CJI Ramana’; the Chief Justice of India has rightly stated that we need to educate citizens about their constitutional rights and duties. Justice Ramana stressed upon the role of lawyers being a vital cog in the creation and maintenance of societies in which the rule of law, democratic value and human rights are observed. Young lawyers have an obligation towards society and must play a significant role to spread legal awareness so that citizens can understand and exercise their rights which will determine the quality of democratic life the people enjoy.

Harpreet Sandhu, Ludhiana

Centre must keep word

Refer to ‘Haryana farmers protest “non-fulfilment” of promise by Centre on MSP’; it is worrisome that farmers are protesting the non-fulfilment of the promises made by the Centre before the suspension of their year-long agitation. The government has alleged that certain groups are carrying out their political agenda, backed by opposition parties, but the farmers have been accusing the Centre of backing out on its promise of legal MSP guarantee for all crops. One expects the Centre to duly honour its commitment. The current protests should not be allowed to assume serious proportions and revert to the avoidable position of 2020.

Vinayak G, by mail

Boycott opportunists

Reference to ‘Rs 10 cr lure for Jharkhand MLAs to topple govt: Congress’; if it is true, it is a big slur on the face of our democracy. The word ‘horse-trading’ had never been heard by the makers of our Constitution, otherwise they would have incorporated its remedies. In the present context, both parties are playing the game of allegations and counter-allegations and are trying to fool the people. If the Constitution can’t defend the rights of voters, the voters themselves should come forward to protect their rights. Whoever tries to switch over his/her loyalties after winning elections should be boycotted and not be allowed to enter any village or city. The ED should immediately raid their premises and catch them red-handed with the ill-gotten money.

Faqir Singh, Dasuya

Crop diversification

The crop diversification model that started with fanfare in Punjab in 2006 has not yielded any results. Rather, the government has spent huge sums of money on some ill-founded and ill-conceived schemes. The nodal agencies have failed to create an effective ecosystem. As a result, many farmers have been left high and dry when it came to marketing their produce. The wheat-paddy cycle continues to thrive because of the Central policy regarding the procurement of foodgrains under PDS. Unless the farmers are shown the cost-benefit ratio of alternative crops, with an assured market linkage, it would be difficult to break this cycle. The ‘food bowls’ of north India are seeing an alarming drop in the groundwater level.

Raminder Bhatti, Chandigarh

Counterproductive act

Apropos of ‘Humiliated, med varsity VC quits’; the Punjab Health Minister’s humiliating behaviour with Dr Raj Bahadur is condemnable. It is essential for politicians to behave themselves in public. Their acts should be inspiring to the public as well as the administration. This can be achieved only if a politician has a good academic background. What is the result in this case? A doctor of such high calibre resigns from his service.

Om Parkash Sandhu, Naya Nangal

Appoint doctor minister

The rude behaviour meted out to a senior doctor and VC of a health university by the newly appointed Health Minister is condemnable. He should have taken up the issue privately with the VC. The CM would earlier target political parties for appointing ministers with less education, thereby making a mockery of highly educated youths, forcing them to go abroad. He should appoint a doctor as Health Minister, in place of a class-12 passout. The government should also arrange for a behavioural course for the newly elected members.


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CM must take action Other

Aug 01, 2022

The treatment meted out to Dr Raj Bahadur by minister Chetan Singh Jouramajra is shocking, inappropriate and deserves condemnation (‘Rude treatment...’). In case of complaint/shortcomings, the matter should have been probed and sorted out in the VC’s office or in private. There was no need to create a scene. After the doctor tendered his resignation, many other doctors have followed suit. Resultantly, patients would suffer for no fault of theirs. The CM should take exemplary action to assuage the hurt feelings of not only Dr Raj Bahadur, but also of the entire medical fraternity.


Act of arrogance

The rude treatment meted out to the Faridkot medical university VC by the state health minister was deplorable. The picture says it all. The minister’s body language smacked of high-handedness and arrogance, which must be condemned by all, including the Chief Minister of Punjab.

Lt Col HS Dullat (Retd), Patiala

Wrong manner

Humiliation of the Faridkot medical university VC by the health minister in full public view is condemnable. Such misbehaviour of AAP MLAs after sweeping the polls is not in the spirit of the mandate given by the people. No doubt, there is large-scale mismanagement and disorder in all government institutions and healthcare centres, but this was not the right way to fix the problem. Such incidents will cause more harm than good to the crumbling healthcare system in Punjab.

Ashok Kumar, by mail

Sack minister

The Punjab Health Minister should be told how to behave with senior and qualified people. Everyone deserves respect. The way a senior doctor was treated by the minister has hurt the sentiments of the medical fraternity. Such unqualified and uncouth ministers should be sacked immediately. People have high expectations from the AAP government.

davinder kaur singh, by mail

Climate goals

The growth of any country is directly linked to the rate of its carbon emissions (‘Big polluters reset their climate goals’). Climate change due to greenhouse gases is haunting the entire world. It is vital to reduce carbon emissions for our energy requirements. Developed countries are the major polluters, followed by India in the fourth position. However, in terms of per capita emission, it is way behind major economies. In order to remove poverty, India has to achieve rapid growth that will invariably lead to rapid carbon emissions. The need of the hour, therefore, is to reset the climate goals for the major producers.

Ramesh Dogra, Panchkula

PLA overhaul

Apropos of ‘PLA overhaul is in line with Chinese ambitions’, it is a wake-up call for India. In today’s unpredictable world, India must strive to be a regional power, if not a superpower. The late former President Abdul Kalam had the vision for the country to be a superpower by 2020, but this has not been achieved, mainly due to rampant corruption and according low priority to defence forces. All those in power should keep India first in their policies, uproot corruption, modernise defence and police forces — the panacea to be a superpower and checkmate the designs of any aggressor. This will also ensure vikas of the entire nation.

Col Sajjan Kundu (retd), Hisar

Propping up BSNL

The revival of BSNL is vital. Presently, Reliance Jio and Bharti Airtel are the two major players controlling mobile communications in India. Other operators are pushed to the fringe and may vanish in the coming times. BSNL is on the verge of extinction. During any crisis faced by the country, our communications will be in the hands of corporate giants whose sole motto is profiteering. It takes years for a telecom operator to put up required infrastructure. The government should not let BSNL collapse.

Rajesh Goyal, by mail

Life expectancy

Within a span of four days in the ongoing Monsoon Session of Parliament, conflicting statements have been made by the Minister of State for Health Bharti Pawar (July 27) and Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya (July 30), pegging life expectancy in India at 69.7 years and 70.42 years, quoting the 2015 and 2019 data, and the latest UN population division estimates, respectively. This approach creates unwarranted confusion in the public mind. Only the latest data from an authentic source should be given in Parliament.

Jagvinder Singh Brar, Patiala

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