The Tribune India : Letters to the editor

Letters to the editor

PM’s advice to students Other

Jan 31, 2023

Apropos of ‘Promote gadget-fasting’; PM’s ‘Pariksha Pe Charcha’ has become a popular annual meet. This interactive session is a simple but effective tool to help children gain proficiency in their studies and hone their overall skills. As most children spend maximum time on digital devices, they are left with less time for studies and outdoor activities. Excessive use of gadgets adversely affects studies and health. Outdoor activities and engaging in social gatherings with friends, teachers, parents and other elders are essential for their overall development. Since such interactive sessions play a significant role in the formative years of children, these must be held periodically. Apart from benefiting children, these sessions could immensely help teachers, parents and the public in general.

RAVI SHARMA, DHARIWAL


Mahatma’s legacy

Reference to ‘Marginalised but immortal’ (Spectrum, Sunday Tribune)’; a genius in the crowd of commoners is said to be queer. To understand the genius of a mind, a genius is required. In the world of today that mind is missing. The pure soul of the Mahatma is elevated to the level of the altar where epithets like ‘marginalised’, ‘ignored’ or ‘disregarded’ are insignificant. His killer is overpowering the minds of the people of today, but Bapu’s legacy is so strong that people are accepting it, though unknowingly. It is steadfastly guiding their path. They can ignore him, but not his legacy. It is imbibed in the mindset of the people and they cannot be alienated from it.

Surinder Kumar Mahna, Karnal


Level of civility

Refer to ‘Need for civilised dialogue’; it is unfortunate that the government pays attention to the grievance of citizens only when there is an agitation. Uncivil and inflammatory language not only demeans the individual but also widens the existing divides. Political rhetoric need not be explicit. Political debates and discussions are vital for democracy, but sadly, we are living in a time when civility in speech has become a rare commodity. Indiscreet comments are the order of the day and go viral through social media. Civility is the lubricant that keeps our society running smoothly. Let us maintain some standards of decorum in public debates and relationships so we can be the right role models for the next generation.

HN Ramakrishna, Bengaluru


Not for entertainment

Refer to ‘IAF fighter jets collide mid-air, pilot dead’; operational training sorties are essential to enhance the professional capability of the fighter pilots. These, therefore, cannot be abandoned for fear of mishaps. Some years ago, two Hawk aircraft of the Air Force engaged in aerobatics had also crashed after a mid-air collision. Such airshows, that are purely meant to entertain the public and do not add to the professional prowess of the pilots, can perhaps be done away with. As part of the Republic Day parade, some daredevil motorcycle riders of the Army carry out stunts that can be hazardous for them as well as onlookers. Since such stunts do not form an essential part of their duties, these should be avoided. It is pointless taking risks — in the air or on the road — just to entertain the people.

WG CDR CL SEHGAL (RETD), JALANDHAR


Lesson for SEBI, RBI

Apropos of ‘Hindenburg report driven by an ulterior motive, says Adani Group’; Hindenburg is a renowned entity and its findings cannot be unfounded. The report has undoubtedly dented investor confidence in our regulatory bodies such as SEBI and the RBI. Rather than repudiating the claims, the group should come up with facts and testimonies. This is also a lesson for SEBI and the RBI that laxity will not be accepted. It is seemingly a case of dereliction of duty.

Aanya Singhal, Noida


Too many floors

The Haryana Government’s decision to allow construction of stilt parking plus four floors on single plots has created a lot of inconvenience due to damage to adjoining houses. There seems to be a nexus between HUDA authorities and builders as these constructions are being done purely for commercial gains. Adjoining houses have developed cracks, thus rendering the walls weak and vulnerable to further damage. Many complaints have been filed at the HUDA office in Panchkula, but no action has been taken. The Estate Officer is tightlipped on the matter, probably due to pressure from political bosses. Hapless residents are left to fend for themselves. They also have to deal with the serious mess created due to construction material dumped in front of their houses. Such construction is bound to put extra burden on the basic amenities like electricity, water and sewerage. HUDA has turned a blind eye to the long-term repercussions of this decision.

YASH KHETARPAL, 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]

Adani must come clean Other

Jan 30, 2023

Reference to ‘Hindenburg report on Adani Group leads to bloodbath on D-street’ and ‘LIC, SBI investments in Adani at risk: Cong’; the report, accusing the group for malpractices, should be convincingly contradicted by Adani otherwise there could be more panic in the share market. And if the rumoured high stakes of our financial giants like the LIC and SBI, besides other public sector banks, in the Adani group turns out to be true, our economy may be at a considerable risk. A bigger matter of concern should, however, be that if our key economic activities in strategic fields like ports. airports, highways, railways, power, solar energy and defence depend upon a few industrial houses, their slide could mean the slide of the nation’s economy and that may hit our strategic interests. Putting all eggs in one basket is certainly risky.

HL Sharma, Amritsar


Boom to bust

Refer to ‘Big Tech layoffs’; the so-called boom in the information technology sector was a sham. The high volume of layoffs are still continuing. It is bound to shatter those who faced the axe. One hopes this is only a temporary trend and not the start of a worsening recession which the IMF and the World Bank have already warned nations about.

RAMESH GUPTA, NARWANA


Mohalla clinics

The Punjab Government has started mohalla clinics for the benefit of ordinary people, but it appears that the government is renaming existing health centres as mohalla clinics, instead of opening new centres. The government should upgrade and overhaul old health centres. The most necessary and fundamental sectors of education and health need immediate attention. Infrastructure and appointments of personnel are the most important aspects. A little manipulation or ambiguous data projected or exaggerated advertisements to appease the masses might put the AAP in a spot in the next elections. The government should also avoid announcing more freebies and try to minimise the existing ones to stop its coffers from being depleted.

Dilwar Ali Meerak, TOHANA


Defend border integrity

Refer to ‘Access to 26 LAC patrol points cut by China’; the Leh SP’s revelation is disturbing. China has already usurped thousands sq km of Indian territory and still continues to nibble at our land. The PLA’s objection to the patrolling by Indian forces even in buffer zones speaks volumes of Chinese dominance. Instead of making rhetorical statements that India won’t allow even an inch of its territory to be usurped by the hostile neighbour, the government needs to see what is actually happening on the border and take appropriate action.

CS MANN, UNA


Leave judiciary alone

Reference to ‘Disclosing RAW reports serious: Rijiju targets Collegium again’; it is very unfortunate that the independence of the judiciary is being attacked time and again. The minister must read the Constitution which provides for, and underscores the judiciary’s independence. It is vital for the purpose of fair justice. There should be no interference by the legislature or the executive in the proceedings of the judiciary. In case of intervention, there may be an element of bias on the part of the judges in taking a fair decision. The power of appointment of judges vested in the executive is not an absolute power, but it is hedged in by some wholesome checks and safeguards. The President can’t appoint judges without consultation with the Chief Justice. Had the minister gone through the Constitution, he wouldn’t have issued an irrelevant statement.

Faqir Singh, by mail


The Lion of Punjab

January 28 was the 158th birth anniversary of the great martyr, Lala Lajpat Rai, belonging to Dhudike village in Punjab. Except an advertisement by the Punjab Government, there was no word about this ‘Punjab Kesari’, or the Lion of Punjab, who sacrificed his life during the freedom movement. When the British rained lathis on him, he had fearlessly uttered, ‘Mere upar lathi ka ek-ek prahar, videshi hukumat ke kafan me keel saabit hogi.’ And this is what happened.

RAJNI BALA, by mail


Padma awards

It has now become a practice to present Padma awards to unsung heroes. The country should feel proud of such personalities. A veteran doctor, snake catchers, Rasna creator, a Kannada author, an agricultural scientist etc., have figured on the list this year. Many of the awardees have been silently working for the betterment of society. This practice should continue in the future. These awards should be awarded to unsung heroes so that it may have a positive impact on future generations.

Yash Pal Ralhan, 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]

Dying with dignity Other

Jan 28, 2023

Reference to ‘Easing euthanasia norms’; the Supreme Court’s decision to simplify the stringent rules will effectuate the inactive provision of passive euthanasia. Time-bound reports of medical experts and allowing notaries or gazetted officers to execute the ‘living will’ will help cut the red tape to provide relief to both the terminally ill patient and the family. Instead of unduly prolonging the pain and misery of the patient, the process of passive euthanasia should be undertaken as soon as the patient slips into irreversible vegetative state. The wish of the patient for dignified death ought to be respected even while ensuring that the process of euthanasia is not misused.

CS MANN, UNA


President’s address

In her Republic Day address, the President made two salient points of great significance — that the Constitution reflects the spirit of India, and diversity forms the core. However, the President’s emphasis is in stark contrast to what the ruling dispensation tries to do. The attempt to amend the basic structure of the Constitution forebodes that it would tinker with what lends distinctness to our Constitution. The President has described diversity as the defining feature of our nation, but the Right-oriented ruling dispensation is hostile to India’s cultural pluralism. The nation is confused which direction it is sailing towards.

Beant Singh Bedi, Mohali


Punjab tableau

Apropos of ‘CM Mann slams Centre over tableau’s exclusion on R-Day’; this omission did in no way ‘unprize’ the contribution and recognition of Punjab and Punjabis, but surely, it reflected poorly on the competitive presentation prowess of the state machinery. The Punjab CM would have patted his back if the state tableau had been paraded. He is now craftily deriving political mileage from the rejection. Good governance/work is its own publicity.

Lalit Bharadwaj, Panchkula


Impact on learning

Refer to ‘Drop in reading ability’; the ASER report suggests that despite wide variations in how children accessed technological aids during the pandemic period, most schools attempted to keep learning going with digital resources. Here, a very significant contribution of the parents needs to be acknowledged. In the coming months and years, as our states try to find ways to reach NEP 2020 goals of achieving foundational literacy, they would do well to weave ASER’s hypothesis on the role of parents into their plans.

MONA SINGH, by mail


Gender equality in sports

Reference to ‘Is there a level playing field for Indian sportswomen?’; though women are breaking glass ceilings in almost every sphere, the question of equality has been hogging the limelight for years. Some of the legislation lacks effective implementation, thus acting as a deterrent for women to raise their concerns. Over the years, the condition of women has ameliorated but there is a long way to go to accomplish gender equality. The perpetrators of sexual harassment against wrestlers should be brought to book at the earliest. This will encourage not only budding sportswomen, but also lift the sagging morale of all women players across all sports.

Aanya Singhal, Noida


Aspire to be JC Anand

The news that the Department of Political Science, Panjab University, Chandigarh, is organising JC Anand Memorial Lecture transported me to the early 1960s, when I had been his student. He used to teach the dry paper of ‘western political thought’ in a very interesting manner. So much so that we nicknamed him Plato when he taught us about that thinker and changed it to Aristotle when he dealt with him. Even after more than six decades, I remember his lectures. He had inspired many students to become civil servants. His three daughters served as the Chief Secretary, Haryana. I wish that the present generation of teachers in the discipline of political science emulate him. That shall be the greatest tribute to him.

Ranbir Singh, New Delhi


Sania bids adieu

Sania Mirza’s ‘Grand slam swan song’ during the Australia Open mixed doubles left not only her, but also many tennis fans teary-eyed. She had every reason to end her glorious chapter with head held high, having won six major titles. She defied age with grit and self-belief, and was an athlete par-excellence. There have been many superb tennis players, but she was a true sportsperson.

SPS NARANG, NEW DELHI


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

Verify news Other

Jan 26, 2023

Reference to ‘Deepfake narratives’; every new technology brings along new problems because of its misuse. The Chief Election Commissioner has rightly flagged the dangers of the use of Artificial Intelligence in elections. Since the problem is not limited to India alone and poses a threat to all democracies, a solution has to be found. In the eagerness to be the first with the news, the mainstream media often fails to verify and authenticate fake news. A case in point was a video game which was peddled as live visuals of the Ukraine conflict. I do not recollect any apology made by the channel concerned.

Anthony Henriques, Mumbai


Judicial independence

Refer to the article ‘Constitution as North Star’; the ongoing controversy between the Supreme Court and the Centre regarding the proposed elevation of some advocates as high court judges does not augur well for our secular and democratic republic. Since the quashing of the NJAC Act in 2015, the current Central dispensation has been criticising the Collegium system for its lack of transparency and accountability, and making constant attempts to assert the superiority of the executive over the judiciary to control higher judicial appointments for promoting its toxic political agenda. As a rebuttal, the CJI has rightly defended the basic structure of the Constitution that provides for individual freedom and judicial independence. The government and the apex court should collaboratively formulate an institutional mechanism based on recommendations of the Venkatachaliah Commission for fair judicial appointments and provide speedy delivery of justice to citizens.

DS Kang, Hoshiarpur


Judges’ appointment

Though there seems to be no suitable method that can replace the collegium system for appointing judges, the least that can be done right now is to enhance the retirement age of judges in High Courts from 62 to 65, and the Supreme Court judges from 65 to 68, considering better longevity due to improved healthcare. However, debate and deliberations must continue to find out a more democratic and expeditious system at the earliest. Timely appointment of judges in required numbers cannot be overlooked in the larger interest. Currently, people are suffering a lot due to a consistent shortage of judges.

Ravi Bhushan, Kurukshetra


Rural education

Refer to ‘Need to raise standard of education in rural India’; the pandemic has adversely affected rural education due to various reasons like non-availability of digital facilities and good teachers, and mostly uninterested parents. These issues have to be addressed urgently to improve learning outcomes. Besides, the Centre and states should work to increase public investment in the education sector to 6 per cent of the GDP and a decentralised administrative structure should be implemented. Besides, the professional development of teachers in pedagogy and technology should be placed on the reforms agenda.

S Kumar, Panchkula


Economic security

Apropos of ‘Need economic policy to cope with ageing population’; in India, the family still remains the mainstay for the elderly. Unfortunately, our country has one of the weakest social security system. Nearly half of the elderly are fully dependent on others for their economic needs. Economic independence is the key indicator of their well-being. Specialised healthcare is needed. Older people who can still work should be given alternative employment opportunities which will lead to less mental health issues. Skill training should be made compulsory after Class X so that every child is engaged in some kind of technical training along with regular studies. It will boost economic growth.

Raj Kumar Kapoor, Ropar


Bail to Ashish Mishra

Refer to ‘Supreme Court grants interim bail to Ashish Mishra for 8 weeks in Lakhimpur Kheri violence case’; it is ironical that under the very nose of the custodian of justice, conceived delayed justice is the basis of granting bail to an accused facing multiple murder charges. Generally, the bail is opposed to prevent the accused from influencing the course of justice, but in this case, the bail itself appears to be the outcome of external influence.

JAGDISH CHANDER, JALANDHAR


Drop in savings

The Centre has let down the middle class, which complains of bearing the brunt of taxes. It awaits any tweak in tax ahead of every Budget. The average Indian household savings fell to a five-year low in FY22 due to inflation. The gross financial savings of households stood at 10.8% in FY22 compared to 15.9% in 2020-21. Dipping into savings has dragged those in the lower middle class further down. Demand in the unorganised sector needs to be expanded so that the organised sector can expand faster. Steps need to be taken to tackle the slowdown by raising internal demand.

SC DHALL, ZIRAKPUR


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

Aam Advertisement Party Other

Jan 25, 2023

Refer to ‘Questions raised over transfers of bureaucrats who differ with Punjab Government’; wasting public money is an art and the AAP has mastered it. The AAP government has transferred the Health Secretary of Punjab for refusing to sanction money for advertisement of Mohalla clinics in states other than Punjab. The Health Secretary refused to sanction the amount saying that it would not be able to justify spending Rs 30 crore for the promotion of the scheme in states like Tamil Nadu. Recently, the Delhi Lieutenant Governor directed the Chief Secretary to recover Rs 97 crore from the AAP for allegedly publishing political advertisements as government advertisements. The AAP should be renamed the Aam Advertisement Party.

RK Arora, Mohali


Translation of verdicts

In reference to ‘SC judgements’; the suggestion by the CJI that all SC judgments should be in all Indian languages will make all verdicts accessible to the masses. It might minimise the misinterpretation of certain landmark decisions which are taken as guidelines by the lower courts in deciding similar matters. But translation must be in letter and spirit by putting rare words in parenthesis. A new law channel should be launched to telecast important proceedings of the constitutional Benches and awaken the citizens about their legal rights. It must work directly and solely under the apex court. Students studying in various law universities and colleges will benefit from it. The practice of translations in state languages should be extended to all high courts after the apex court.

Dilwar Ali Meerak, TOHANA


Undermining judiciary

In the recent past, there has been statement after statement by the Law Minister and the Vice-President of India criticising the Collegium system of the Supreme Court. After the Supreme Court struck down the National Judicial Appointments Commission Act in 2015, the doctrine has held the country in good stead. Instead of making statements, the only constitutional way of overcoming the Supreme Court verdict would have been for Parliament to pass appropriate legislation for establishing an appointment process. But an attempt is being made to undermine the independence of the judiciary. One of the pressure tactics adopted by the government has been to not clear the recommendations for the appointment of judges that clearly affects our judicial delivery system. This shows how badly the current regime wants to control the judicial appointments. The Supreme Court has clearly asserted that the Collegium system is the ‘law of the land’ and must be followed.

SK Khosla, Chandigarh


Foreign campuses

Apropos of ‘Craze for foreign varsities’; talking of higher education, the import of universities and faculty is, in a way, close to an anti-national act. It reminds one of how the English people came to India for trade, and ruled our country for a long period. Nothing of the kind would occur today, but it smacks of our poor show. We shall be exposed to the rest of the world as an inefficient, incapable and lethargic nation, dreaming of becoming ‘vishwaguru’. It is a slur to our rich civilisation and culture. A sea change in our own higher education system, with highly qualified faculty, needs to be channelled to meet our nation’s requirement. After decades of Independence, we have not been able to reach a respectable stage globally, as we do not figure among the first 200 universities of the world. Our leadership should take a serious note of it by reversing the flow from export to import in education. Education today is a business deal, negating the true purpose of producing enlightened humans.

BM SINGH, AMRITSAR


UGC move commendable

The UGC’s decision to permit the opening of autonomous foreign universities in the country is welcome (‘Craze for foreign varsities’). With their acclaimed superior academic knowledge and skills, it will improve the functioning of Indian institutions and inspire them to achieve international standards. At present, their performance is far from satisfactory, courtesy the lackadaisical attitude of our political class and academic bureaucracy. An overdose of student politics, unfair faculty appointments, lack of adequate infrastructure, teachers’ obsession with western degrees, job insecurity, scams and scandals in our temples of higher learning have constantly hampered the growth of age-old indigenous academic traditions. An earnest endeavour is needed to stem the rot. The provision of imparting quality and affordable education at home will discourage many ambitious parents to send their wards abroad for costly education. This will give a much-needed fillip to national development and the creation of an egalitarian society.

DS Kang, Hoshiarpur


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]

Social media influencers Other

Jan 24, 2023

Refer to ‘Protecting the consumer’; with technological evolution taking place at a breakneck speed, reaching out to the customer has found new ways and means, and social media influencers are proving to be a critical cog in this wheel. It is good that the government has asked the influencers to spell out their material gains from promotions. The followers should know how much profit their influencers are making for promoting a specific product. Their decision would then be a well-informed one. But would the influencers reveal it all?

Bal Govind, Noida


Pak offer not earnest

Pakistan is a constant source of trouble for India, but for its own selfish ends, it wants cordial ties, while at the same time, it won’t budge from the path of enmity with India (‘Unreliable Pakistan’). Friendship and terrorism can’t run together. What is the relation between good ties with India and the abrogation of Article 370 in J&K? Shehbaz Sharif or the previous PMs of Pakistan have never shied away from raising the issue of Kashmir internationally. Now, due to the total collapse of governance, Pakistan is on the brink of starvation and bankruptcy. Terrorism is being exported to India through the ISI. The same terrorism has pushed Pakistan into a cesspool of turmoil. Drones are being used to smuggle drugs and weapons into India. Are these nefarious activities conducive to developing friendly relations with India? Harping on Kashmir is a sure recipe for Pakistan’s doom. Let it now understand that its survival depends upon cordial ties with India.

Karnail Singh, Kharar


India set to lead

The Voice of Global South Summit in New Delhi is an assertion of India’s arrival on the geopolitical stage, which may upset the West’s hegemonic designs (‘Hopes for a new world order’). India’s G20 presidency will bring about a sea change in the fortunes of developing countries because our belief that the world is one family is the cornerstone of our foreign policy. The steps taken by PM Modi and the External Affairs Minister are an effective expression of India’s mature mentorship in world affairs.

DV Sharma, Mukerian


Govt vs judiciary

The standoff between the government and judiciary over the appointment of the Delhi High Court judge has its roots in the government’s age-old propensity to rule over public institutions. Be it the UGC, RBI or any other autonomous body, the government has been holding sway through its nominees. The issue that the SC’s appointee is gay, is only an excuse. It is a perceived threat to cultural and Vedic values to which the ruling party has shown adherence in its policies. The real threat is the supremacy of the executive.

Rakesh Sudan, Kurukshetra


Hockey debacle

The exit of the Indian men’s hockey team from the World Cup is heart-breaking. Now the blame game, which we seem to have mastered, will start, and the coach will be blamed for the poor show. The despair in his eyes was evident. More so, because he knows that he will become the scapegoat. The performance of Harmanpreet Singh, both as a captain and drag-flicker, has been pathetic. The final straw was his performance during the ‘sudden death shootout’. If the IHF is thinking of sacking the coach, drop Harmanpreet too.

SPS NARANG, NEW DELHI


Revival of Urdu

Refer to the article ‘10 years of Rekhta’ (‘Reflections’; The Sunday Tribune); the efforts of people like Sanjiv Saraf to promote Urdu through Rekhta and Jashn-e-Rekhta is laudable. It brings a faint glimmer of hope to an otherwise dismal scenario of language politics. Urdu, which once used to be the lingua franca of the Indian subcontinent, was the language of the masses. It was not restricted to a particular region or religious group. The great variety and largely secular nature of its literature have given it an almost universal appeal. It makes the most mundane things seem lyrical and poetic. To quote a poet: ‘Woh kare baat to har lafz se khushbu aaye,/Aisee bolee voh hi bole jisey Urdu aaye.’ Efforts by Rekhta can help resurrect the dying language, and thereby bring different communities together.

Paramjeet Singh, Ropar


Students in background

The Punjab Government, in tandem with the education department, is doing its best to make schools smart. The focus is on making buildings beautiful. Students are being ignored as teachers are advertising their buildings and colourful classrooms on social media. No teacher is seen making efforts to speak in English with her students; or help them solve difficult sums. The government must focus on the development of students rather than just buildings and infrastructure.

Bonny Mittal, 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]

Politics of documentary Other

Jan 23, 2023

Apropos of ‘Great game in South Asia’ (Nous Indica); what Bilawal said against Modi was well planned. What happened in Godhra and other places when Modi was the Gujarat CM is not hidden. The US had at that time banned his entry into America. When the BJP gained power at the Centre, the cases pertaining to Godhra riots were withdrawn against top BJP leaders. The BBC documentary on the 2002 riots is a counter to The Kashmir Files. In this game of politics, such movies and documentaries are made to draw attention and paint the other as the villain. British PM Rishi Sunak’s defence of Modi in Parliament will compromise Sunak’s position because he is not a popular PM. Promoting Hinduism has not gone down well with the British population. He is following what Modi is doing in India. The documentary may harm the BJP’s prospects in the 2024 elections.

Capt Amar Jeet (Retd), Kharar


Evil designs

The article ‘Great game in South Asia’ (Nous Indica) is spot on: there seems more to the documentary than meets the eye. Local audiences seem to be the target of the utterances by the former British foreign secretary and Pakistan’s foreign minister. PM Shehbaz Sharif’s olive branch to India is a ploy to facilitate his begging and borrowings. India is aptly pushing for Sri Lanka’s reconciliation with Tamils for peace in South Asia. Only self/business interests rule the roost in strategic partnerships today. It is imperative that our politicians keep politics for the hustings and synergise as members of a single political community to thwart the evil designs of India’s adversaries.

Lalit Bharadwaj, Panchkula


Sense of entitlement

It is true that the West keeps throwing leftovers at India from time to time. The West believes that it has the sole prerogative and Asian ‘scums’ are to eternally live on the margins of the West. Since not even a single court in the country has found Prime Minister Modi guilty, from where are such ‘noble truths’ emerging? It seems like a part of a great conspiracy to not only denigrate Modi, but also oust him from power. Several countries are relentlessly working to stop India’s growth. In that nexus, even hardcore terrorist organisations are allying with apostles of democracy.

Jeevan VK, Pathankot


Women unsafe

Refer to ‘DCW chief molested’; the incident is unfortunate and distressing. It is a matter of serious concern that crimes against women are not getting stemmed. Despite 75 years of Independence, we have not been able to ensure the safety of our girls and women. We have stringent laws and yet such incidents keep taking place. The perpetrators of such crimes need to be dealt with sternly. The issue calls for serious deliberations over the matter by all, especially those entrusted with the responsibility of providing a safe environment. Parents, teachers and the civil society must inculcate values in boys and lay stress on character-building.

RAVI SHARMA, DHARIWAL


Rishi Sunak fined

Reference to the news report ‘UK police fines Rishi Sunak over seatbelt error’; one wonders if any of our so-called political masters could ever be acted against, forget about them apologising when faced with a similar situation! Don’t we, more often than not, see blatant defiance of the extant traffic laws during the holding of nationwide political rallies etc, even in the presence of the police? There are no mandatory helmets or seatbelts, what to talk of observance of traffic lights throughout their show of strength amidst self-serving sloganeering.

Vinayak G, by mail


Saving mountains

Apropos of ‘Himalayan challenge’; proper research should be undertaken before proceeding with any developmental activity in hilly and vulnerable areas. Drilling and tunnels affect the base of the mountains, endangering the population. Tourism is increasing and affecting the peace of the mountains. Sustainable development is the only way to resolve the issue and ensure that other mountains do not go the same way as Joshimath.

TANISHKA PRUTHI, LUDHIANA


Another parole

Reference to ‘Dera head gets parole again’; Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, who is serving a sentence of 20 years in rape and murder cases, has again got parole for 40 days. Earlier, he was granted parole thrice in 2021 and twice in 2022, just ahead of the Assembly elections. There is a provision for grant of parole and furlough to a convict based on good conduct in prison, but how many have availed of this facility so smoothly and so frequently?

Balbir Singh Kakkar, 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]

Report alarming Other

Jan 21, 2023

The inference of the Annual Status of Education Report is alarming (‘Drop in reading ability’). During the Covid pandemic, schools were closed and students got hooked to TV and mobile phones. As children had ample time to fritter away, they remained glued to various social networking sites. There was, hence, a gradual decline in their study habits; and parents, teachers, mentors as well as educationists failed to awaken them to better habits. An irreparable loss has occurred.

Sunil Chopra, Ludhiana


Reading inability

Apropos of ‘Drop in reading ability’; the ASER report is really mind-boggling that even a Class V student is unable to read a Class II level textbook. Schools should take immediate remedial action before it is too late. The majority of children in rural areas had shifted to government schools, possibly on account of closure of private schools in villages owing to the Covid pandemic. There is an urgent need to improve the teaching standards which appear to have plummeted to greater depth.

RAMESH GUPTA, NARWANA


Mockery of ‘Beti bachao’

The silence of the top BJP leadership on the allegations of sexual harassment by a BJP leader and the president of the Wrestling Federation of India is unacceptable. The minister for women’s welfare on other matters is vociferous, but on issues which involve BJP leaders or supporters, there is complete silence. Since the allegations are made by those of the stature of Vinesh Phogat, an Olympian medallist, immediate action should have been taken. It has made a mockery of the PM’s ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’ initiative.

ANTHONY HENRIQUES, MUMBAI


PM must step in

It is a painful day for India when our Olympic medallist wrestlers have to sit in dharna against the chief of the Wrestling Federation of India on allegations of sexual harassment. Their representatives met senior officers of the Sports Ministry, but it didn’t yield any result, nor did dinner diplomacy of minister Anurag Thakur. Dissatisfied with mere assurance, they are mulling to lodge an FIR. Before this episode takes an ugly turn, the PM, who himself is so proud of our wrestlers, should ask the accused Brij Bhushan to resign so that the international fame wrestlers can go back to the ring with more energy, confidence and a sense of security. Any delay in suitable action against the delinquents will demoralise the wrestlers, which may not auger well.

Maheshwer Sharma, by mail


Demographic changes

Reference to the article ‘The big change in Goa’; riding on his nostalgic description of the land of his ancestors, one gets a clear picture of the changes the changing times have ushered in, and this is not only in Goa. Demographic changes are leaving their noticeable marks on society. In Punjab, too, we are witnessing the same phenomenon. People are constantly migrating. In foreign countries also, it is the same story. People from different nationalities are making their presence felt to the natives, which is always accompanied with some ramifications.

Pardeep Kumar Joshi, Ropar


Migration trends

Refer to ‘The big change in Goa’; this big change is happening not only in Goa, but also all over the world. Even the ethnic Canadians in Surrey and Toronto would be watching the influx of Indians with awe. The same way, a big change is taking place in Punjab. Till a few years back, migrant workers from UP and Bihar used to come only during harvesting season and would return to their states once the season was over. But now, a large majority of them have settled down permanently in Punjab. A large number of masons, plumbers, electricians and domestic help have shifted to the Gulf countries, and their place has been filled by migrant workers from other states. Many villages in Punjab have seen mosques come up in areas where only a few Muslims resided earlier. A lot of Muslim artisans from UP have shifted to Punjab for work and better wages.

Lt Col JS Dullat (Retd), Patiala


Neighbourly friends

Sadly, the concept of friendship, as embedded in neighbourhood, is on slow death (‘A warm circle of friendship’). Gone are the days when, at least in India, neighbours used to be the closest support at the time of agony and joy. Daily exchange of dishes and gossips in the evening among neighbours has become a thing of the past. The Internet and social media have snatched the warm bonding of neighbourhood, which is ‘ghaate ka sauda’.

VK Anand, Chandigarh


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

With a pinch of salt Other

Jan 20, 2023

Pakistan’s temporary overtures of peace with India can’t be taken at its face value. The conciliatory tone by the Pakistan PM, followed by an immediate U-turn, is nothing new. Pakistan’s policy of belligerence, cross-border terrorism, hate and falsehood against India, irrespective of any government — military or civil — is predictable and consistent. Its collusion with China to thwart India’s growing international clout is all too obvious, besides bleeding India through daily cuts in J&K. All political parties in Pakistan are in a fierce competition to show this animosity, as was evident by the recent immature utterances of its foreign minister. Nothing positive and tangible can be read into it. It is a ploy to tide over its present financial nightmare and diplomatic challenges. India must not lower its guards and should remain ever alert against unreliable neighbours whose inimical intentions are too obvious.

GP CAPT JS BOPARAI (RETD), by mail


Pakistan in a spot

Apropos of ‘Unreliable Pakistan’; Pakistan is facing its worst phase of economic crisis and is being humiliated at the international level. Tuesday was a dark day for Pakistan when the United Nations blacklisted not one, two or three, but a total of 150 terror entities and individuals linked to Pakistan. Earlier, the UN had included Pakistan’s most-wanted terrorist, Abdul Rehman Makki, on the global terrorist list. On terrorism and terrorist funding issues, Pakistan is cheating not only India, but also the international community.

RK Arora, Mohali


Ball in Pak court

Reference to the editorial ‘Unreliable Pakistan’; the economic condition of Pakistan is bad due to the ongoing political crisis there. Inflation has broken all records. The relations between India and Pakistan are already strained over the Kashmir issue. India had earlier rejected any third-party mediation on the issue. Both the union territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh will always remain an integral part of India. No other country has any right to comment on this. Terrorism and talks cannot go together. Pakistan will have to provide a conducive environment for the resumption of dialogue with India.

Sikandar Bansal, Shimla


Serious allegations

Refer to ‘Wrestlers accuse WFI chief of sexual abuse, want him sacked’; since the charges have come from renowned names in Indian wrestling, including Bajrang Punia, Sakshi Malik and Vinesh Phogat, it needs to be taken very seriously and should not be brushed under the carpet. Brij Bhushan has a notorious image and is known for his arrogant behaviour. The BJP should ask him to resign till his name is cleared from this controversy. Even if there is an iota of truth in these allegations, it is a matter of shame for the WFI, Brij Bhushan and the BJP.

Bal Govind, by mail


Expedite probe

Wrestling is one sport which our country can boast of and rely on as several sons and daughters of the soil have won various contests and medals in international and national sports events, including the Olympics and Commonwealth Games. As such, the sit-in protest at Jantar Mantar by India’s top and upcoming wrestlers against the Wrestling Federation of India president, accusing him of running the body in a dictatorial manner and alleging sexual exploitation and mental harassment needs to be taken seriously. A thorough, threadbare and expeditious investigation into the allegations is the need of the hour so that the WFI’s working can be made totally transparent.

Krishan Kant Sood, Nangal


Right CPR technique

Reference to the news report ‘Health Secy’s timely CPR saves visitor’s life’; I commend Health Secretary Yashpal Garg for his prompt action. However, the method used — pumping the affected person sitting in a chair, as shown in the picture and also in a video of the incident — is not the correct technique. The person must be made to lie flat on the floor or a hard bench or bed. Only then, the massage is effective in pushing blood from the heart to the body. The correct method has been taught a number of times by the Indian Medical Association and some hospitals. It is of paramount importance for everyone to know the right CPR technique as precious lives can be saved by timely action. On an average, we can survive a heart stoppage for just three minutes.

HS Bedi, 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]

End ‘sarpanch pati’ culture Other

Jan 19, 2023

Apropos of ‘Women’s proxies’; how constitutional provisions to rectify gender imbalance and deep-rooted prejudices in our patriarchal society are set at naught and how sincere efforts to empower women are nullified are best illustrated by the rampant practice of ‘sarpanch pati’ across the country. While the women get political representation, the real power is usurped by their husbands. All this cannot happen without the involvement of the local government authorities. That men don’t want to relinquish power is amply borne out by the reluctance of Members of Parliament to pass the Women’s Reservation Bill. The custodians of law must enforce constitutional provisions in letter and spirit and the violators must be severely punished.

Roshan Lal Goel, Ladwa


Gender imbalance

The concept of ‘sarpanch pati’ is quite ridiculous. Though many villages in India nowadays have female sarpanches, it is the men who have the command in their hands. Women take the backseat after winning the elections. They are used as a stepping stone by males, which ironically points towards the gender imbalance in our society. It is shocking that though women have the ability to perform various roles effectively and efficiently, the patriarchal mindset doesn’t allow them to enter certain domains which are considered to be the forte of men. There is a dire need to do away with male hegemony so that women can make a valuable contribution to society.

Sumita Kanwar, Yamunanagar


Don’t trust Pakistan

Refer to ‘Global terrorist’; we should not become complacent with Makki of the LeT being declared as a global terrorist. It will have a meagre effect on terrorist outfits. Cross-border terrorism will continue unabated without any laxity. No government in Pakistan has the courage to curb cross-border terrorism despite the fact that it has already ruined the country. Kashmir is the main agenda of the Pak foreign policy. India should not trust Pakistan and must take formidable steps to guard its borders. There must be zero tolerance to terrorism and strong action should taken be against sleeper cells in our country. Besides, a strategy must be envisaged to attack terrorist camps on the enemy soil.

Deepak Khanna, by mail


Pak PM’s offer

Refer to ‘After Pak PM’s offer for talks, his office adds Art 370 rider’; the Pakistan PM must have realised that it is better to have good relations with India, having been defeated in three wars. But Shehbaz Sharif’s intention doesn’t appear to be sincere, as his wanting peace with the powerful neighbour is in desperation. His office’s call for talks on ‘burning issues’ like Kashmir is nothing but humbug. He needs to be reminded that Kashmir was and will always be an integral part of India and its status was further confirmed by the revocation of Article 370. The only good Pakistan can do with respect to Kashmir is to stop sending terrorists. Rather than offering talks, Sharif should concentrate on fixing Pakistan’s own problems like economy.

SK Panesar, by mail


Meet IAF deficiencies

Refer to ‘Address fighter shortage with indigenisation’, a judicious mix of the indigenous and foreign procurement is necessary. The IAF has already ordered 83 Tejas jets built by the HAL, while it has procured 36 Rafales from France. It has also ordered 56 new transport planes from the Airbus, 16 in fly-away condition and 40 to be manufactured in India. A push for indigenous products is, therefore, clearly visible. The IAF is currently down to 31 fighter squadrons from its sanctioned strength of 42. But the IAF never had that many squadrons, neither in 1965 nor in 1971, yet we fought and won decisively. Under the present scenario of China bolstering its air power and Pakistan set to acquire F-16 fighter jets from the US, the IAF deficiencies must be adequately met to counter our hostile neighbours.

Wg Cdr CL Sehgal (Retd), Jalandhar


Don’t divide Chandigarh

Refer to ‘Cherish Chandigarh as a city of excellence’; is it not funny that a court had to intervene and direct the administration to do something that is its basic duty? The court should have asked the administration what prevented it from stopping all this for decades. The rainwater that flows down from nearby hills, through small rivulets, floods nearby villages every monsoon. This flooding happens because of unplanned construction in the low-lying southern sectors that have stopped the natural downward path of the rivulets. Though the city has already been divided into two parts, well-kept VIP sectors and the comparatively ignored southern sectors, the legal divisive edict appears to be unjustified. For, both parts of the city are interdependent on each other, and their combined interests should be watched without any prejudice.

Balvinder, Chandigarh


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

Tax billionaires Other

Jan 18, 2023

Refer to ‘Worsening inequality’; the Oxfam International report reveals the widening gap between the rich and poor. Indian economy too witnessed a similar trend in recovery where some sectors registered a strong growth, whereas others continued to decline. Taxing the top 100 Indian billionaires at 2.5 per cent, as suggested in the report, may prove to be counterproductive. However, the government, in the ensuing Budget, should enlarge the scope of employment guarantee schemes.

KB Singh, Ludhiana


Give work, not ration

Refer to ‘Richest 1% own over 40% of India’s wealth: Oxfam’; the government’s pro-corporate policy, lack of poverty alleviation schemes and taxation norms have led to the widening of the gap between the rich and poor. In 1947, the incidence of poverty in India was 80 per cent. The poverty alleviation schemes enabled us to reduce the poverty to 21.6 per cent by 2014 and 16.4 per cent by 2019-21. We are reportedly the fifth largest economy with gross domestic production of $3.5 trillion, but have failed to arrest poverty. The government should tax the affluent and make income up to Rs 10 lakh tax-free. Priority should be given to poverty alleviation schemes. Instead of giving free ration, it should give work to maximum hands.

Roop Singh Negi, Solan


Address inequality

The Oxfam report has only confirmed that the rich are getting richer and the poor poorer. There are many positive changes that one may observe in the last 20 years. But has there been any significant change in the income of small and marginal farmers? The economic inequality gives rise to poorer public health and illiteracy, thus increasing crimes. Citizens become pessimistic and start losing faith in the government and each other. Hence, the government should address this inequality urgently.

Ramesh Gupta, Narwana


Clear pendency

Refer to ‘Case pendency’; a major reason for the case pendency in higher and subordinate courts is the Central and state governments themselves, besides the public officials. It is mandatory to give a two-month legal notice before registering a case against the Centre, state government or public officials, but the governments and officials do not consider it appropriate to respond to legal notices. If it is made mandatory to respond to all legal notices by scrupulously implementing the laws laid down by constitutional courts, litigations will be reduced to half. All measures should be taken to clear the pending cases at the earliest and provide speedy justice to the citizens of the country.

Shakti Singh, Karnal


Overhaul legal system

The Indian legal system is notorious for its lethargy and delays. Alternative dispute resolution methods such as arbitration, mediation, neutral evaluation and negotiation need to be promoted and made mandatory in civil cases up to a certain threshold monetary value. Legal delays are common even in sensational criminal cases, but the cases in which VIPs are involved, the very same system works with alacrity and renders justice to the petitioner, whether in granting bail or allowing the accused to flee to safe havens abroad. This only strengthens the common man’s perception that some are more equal in India before the law than others. A thorough overhaul of the system is called for.

V Jayaraman, Chennai


Old pension scheme

Apropos of ‘Recipe for bankruptcy’; the old pension scheme (OPS) has become an emotive issue, besides having a potential to secure votes. This was correctly sensed by the Congress government in the hill state. The brewing political tussle may still leave the employees high and dry. But who is bothered if it can secure coveted posts and positions? Citing no budgetary provisions and mounting debt, the new government discontinued some utility services initiated by the previous dispensation. But where are the budgetary provisions for the OPS and other fancy promises? Doesn’t increasing VAT on diesel literally amount to ‘robbing Peter to pay Paul’?

Gp Capt JS Boparai (Retd), Bhadsali


Threat to democracy

The act of the Tamil Nadu Governor to skip certain portions of the speech and walking out of the Assembly is not a righteous step for democracy. According to the Constitution, the Governor’s speech at the beginning of each year’s first session is mandatory and the Governor has to read out the speech provided to him by the government. Unnecessary politics over such issues is not good for a democratic country like India. Political parties should not try to lower the dignity of the Governor’s post for their own political good. Such incidents pose a threat to the democratic structure of India.

Saikrit Gulati, Chandigarh


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

Curb imports from China Other

Jan 17, 2023

Apropos of ‘One-sided trade’; India’s export has significantly slipped and import from China has increased manifold. China is a hostile country that always keeps India on tenterhooks. Beijing still remains the largest source of critical imports for us. During the freedom movement, we had boycotted British products. Here, we are doing just the opposite — importing Chinese products and giving it economic advantage. Today’s wars are fought with economic angle. We have abysmally failed here. India, despite having demographic advantage, remains a poorly performing exporting country. We must, without losing time, boost our production in all fields.

BM Singh, Amritsar


OPS restoration

Apropos of ‘Recipe for bankruptcy’; reverting to the Old Pension Scheme (OPS) would, indeed, be disastrous for the financial health of the country. But why is it treated as a ‘recipe for financial bankruptcy’ in the case of government employees only? Our ministers get full pension. If the latter treat themselves as servants of the people, why don’t they give it up first? No editorial has been published criticising the OPS being given to our leaders. The strange thing is that those advocating the benefits of the National Pension System have been tasting the OPS ‘revdis’ for the past many years.

Tarun Sharma, Hamirpur


Pension matters

Pension is the only option which can guarantee a respectable life for the elderly. How can an employee, who dedicates his/her best years in government service, be left to fend for himself/herself after superannuation? Many pensioners help their children, who are either unemployed or underpaid due to faulty policies and the rush of job-seeking youth. Isn’t it an irony that an MLA, MP or a minister becomes eligible for a pension just after taking oath? They are not only getting multiple pensions, but also are enjoying many facilities after retirement at the cost of taxpayers. It is the government’s responsibility to give social security to the aged. Make the pension policy fair, transparent and logical, whether it is NPS or OPS.

Sadhna Saini, by mail


Financial crunch

With the restoration of the OPS, the newly elected Himachal Government has tried to fulfil its election promise. Despite a financial crunch, the new government is under pressure to re-notify the OPS. Keeping in view the social structure of the state, the need for financial security in the form of pension can be justified to some extent, but claiming it as a right is wrong. No employee union comes forward to lend a helping hand to generate the requisite revenue by adopting various innovations and checks and balances in their functions. It seems that no one is worried about the repayment of the huge debt.

Sunil Kumar Mahajan, by mail


Veterans’ welfare

Refer to ‘Rajnath inaugurates Shaurya Sthal’; on Veterans’ Day, the Defence Minister said the government was committed to the welfare of the veterans. The OROP arrears, which are to be paid from July 2019, have not been released yet. Is it not a welfare measure? PM Modi often says that it is his government that met the long-pending OROP demand. But why the delaying in arrears? After the Supreme Court’s intervention, the Centre has agreed to pay the arrears in four six-monthly instalments. Why not in lump sum? Over 3 lakh veterans have reportedly died and many more may die before receiving the benefit. Those above 80 years of age should be paid the arrears in one go.

Wg Cdr CL Sehgal (Retd), Jalandhar


PU Vice-Chancellor

The resignation of Dr Raj Kumar from the Vice-Chancellorship of Panjab University is unfortunate, but this was inevitable. It was the first time in the history of this great university that a teacher from outside the university was appointed Vice-Chancellor. It is virtually impossible for an outsider to administer the university with more than 70 departments and a huge administrative setup. As per practice, in Panjab University, the seniormost professor used to be appointed VC, but in the present case, this was an aberration. This should be a lesson for the authorities for future appointments.

VK Anand, Chandigarh


Appointment of VC

Of late, Panjab University seems to be in a mess. One hopes that the Chancellor of the university, being a former Senior Advocate of the Supreme Court, will adhere strictly to the calendar and directives of the Central government endorsed by the Supreme Court as regards the appointment of VCs in India, so that the PU gets a suitable person who is able to uplift the academic standards of the university.

Balvinder, Chandigarh


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

Drug syndicate Other

Jan 16, 2023

The higher incidence of cross-border drug smuggling and the recent busting of a drug syndicate have again raised serious concerns (‘Lords of the drug rings’, Nous Indica). Despite major drug seizures from time to time and the arrest of petty peddlers and erring policemen, successive governments have failed to check the menace, courtesy the nexus between politicians and the police. The government should show political will and devise a strategy to bust this well-organised racket. With a proactive NCB and the state police, the political leadership should take strict action against the drug lords.

DS Kang, Hoshiarpur


Eliminate local support

Refer to ‘Lords of the drug rings’; the formidable challenge is the elimination of local support. IAS and IPS officers should be mandatorily obliged to undergo a change, every 10-15 years, of the state cadre they are first allotted, to curb political leanings. Adequate strengthening vis-a-vis resources and the ambit of the upcoming full-fledged regional office of the Narcotics Control Bureau in Amritsar to outsmart the ISI is imperative. Now that the jurisdiction of the BSF stands extended, its manpower and ‘tools’ need to be increased to reduce dependency on the local police.

Lalit Bharadwaj, Panchkula


Expedite investigation

Reference to ‘Lords of the drug rings’ (Nous Indica); the movie Udta Punjab had focused on the ill effects of drug consumption on the social fabric, especially the youth of Punjab. The recent drug busts have shown that ill-gotten gains from peddling have been used to run businesses. The NCB can rope in the police and the income tax department to expose the ‘patrons and participants’ of Punjab’s drug racket. The results of these investigations need to be expedited so that action can be taken against the guilty. This can only be accomplished by political will.

GURPREET SINGH, MOHALI


Flights from Chandigarh

Refer to ‘International flights’; it is worth pondering why Chandigarh is not being given more international flights despite viability and potential. If the DGCI and the government allow more direct flights to and from Chandigarh, a significant amount of congestion can be reduced from Indira Gandhi International Airport, which has been witnessing serpentine queues. The Civil Aviation Ministry should upgrade the landing system at Chandigarh to facilitate more international flights.

Bal Govind, Noida


Valiant soldiers

The way our intrepid soldiers guard our frontiers facing various odds like inclement weather conditions is highly commendable (‘Picture of courage on snowy heights’). Hats off to the determination and valour of our soldiers. Politicians of all hues should not overlook this exemplary courage of our soldiers. They should exercise extreme restraint while issuing any statement with regard to the defence forces.

Anand Mahajan, Kurukshetra


Making China stronger

Apropos of ‘India-China trade climbed to $136 bn’; it seems that the hostile posture of China and the India-China trade are continuing, as if unrelated to each other. The bilateral trade between the two countries registered an 8.4% increase in 2022, to touch an all-time high of $135.98 billion, and that too with India’s trade deficit crossing $100 billion. The military strength of a country very obviously depends upon its economic strength. We are making China strong every year while China is doing exactly the opposite. Shouldn’t it be a matter of concern?

HL Sharma, Amritsar


Millet revolution

Reference to the article ‘Punjab can sow seeds of a millet revolution’; we should adopt millets for our health as well as that of the soil. Punjab led the nation in the Green Revolution. We can have millets as a pilot project in midday meals at schools. This would help in popularising these grains and comparing health advantages among them pre- and post-millet consumption, besides diversifying the farming system in the state to save water.

Rajesh Chander Bali, Jalandhar


Words matter

Reference to ‘Saying it best with emoticons’; we live in a world of apps where most of the chatting is done by emoticons and acronyms. But the reality is that we can never replace language with emoticons because they lack sincerity and genuineness. Simply typing an emoji to express our feelings does not convey the earnestness of emotions as opposed to language which can enable us to express the most sublime and exalted emotions.

Sumita kanwar, Yamunanagar


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]

Pharma supply chain Other

Jan 14, 2023

Apropos of ‘Cough syrup tragedies are a wake-up call’; in sensitive products such as medicines, global perception is important for India’s pharma industry. The government must undertake a thorough and transparent inquiry into the supply chain from vendors of active pharmaceutical ingredients to the manufacturing and regulatory processes. With global recognition comes the responsibility of ensuring stringent product standards that can make a difference between life and death. The Central regulator CDSCO must be held accountable for such failures. The government should learn from these tragedies and global embarrassment and bring reforms.

SANJAY CHOPRA, MOHALI


Smacks of vendetta

The registration of a case against a former Finance Secretary for alleged corruption, days after he joined the Bharat Jodo Yatra is a surprising development (‘ Post yatra, CBI books ex Fin Secy in corruption case’). He had retired a few years ago and was not involved in any wrongdoing while in service. Now, it seems like the government is digging out records of individuals joining the movement and tarnishing their public image. A fear is being created to discourage people from joining the yatra. Though everyone supports the drive against corruption and wrongdoings, but to relate it with joining the opposition march is uncalled for. Proper and fair investigation on the charges levelled is expected from the political identities governing the nation. The government needs to be tolerant to the aspirations and ambitions of the general public and accept genuine criticism to improve its functioning.

GS MANN, NAYA NANGAL


Paying court to NRIs

Reference to the article ‘Making diaspora invest in India a challenge’; it has been rightly pointed out that the government only wants money from the diaspora without any investment roadmap. The rules, regulations and policy matters are so cumbersome that NRIs are wary of investment. Infrastructure like roads, railway lines, power supply, environmental clearances and legal system cause a huge dent on investments. Properties of NRIs have been grabbed by property mafia in their absence. They keep running for years from one court to another for their properties. Organising colourful Pravasi Bharti sammelans cannot make much difference. The Punjab Government recently spent money of NRIs on their event and later returned it after backlash. Various measures like tax exemptions and infra development must be taken before inviting NRIs for investment.

Wg Cdr Jasbir S Minhas (retd), Mohali


Basic structure doctrine

Apropos of ‘Parl’s sovereignty can’t be allowed to be comprised by judiciary: V-P’; RS Chairman Jagdeep Dhankhar was in news even when he was West Bengal Governor, but as the Vice-President, he again is in the headlines when he questioned the basic structure doctrine. He has said that the power of our Parliament to amend the Constitution and legislate is not subject to any other authority, and as such its primacy is inviolable. The basic structure doctrine was laid down by the apex court in another verdict known as the Kesavananda Bharati case in the 1970s. The SC had ruled that Parliament’s right to amend the Constitution was not unrestrained, but an amendment cannot violate its basic structure or fundamental architecture. Without the basic structure, the legislature could demolish the checks and balances that come through the separation of powers between the legislature, executive and judiciary. This can go against the tenor of the debates that create a robust democracy. The fact that these constraints help in maintaining a fine balance and make our democracy work better for the citizens cannot be overlooked or ignored. Some aspects of judicial functioning may need to be changed, but the basic structure doctrine isn’t one of them.

PL SINGH, by mail


Medicare in rural India

Refer to ‘80% shortfall of specialists in rural India’; it is a matter of grave concern that rural masses continue to bear the brunt of paucity of qualified medical staff. This is contrary to what Mahatma Gandhi said that the country’s development passes through villages. Why a larger section of society that lives in villages and is instrumental in development, glory and defence of the country should be deprived of the most-needed medical services. It is one of the reasons that rural people are inclined to shift to urban areas, putting more pressure on the already strained civic amenities. The government should provide fully qualified medical staff in rural areas and bolster the required infrastructure. Such deprivation after 75 years of Independence is an act of grave disparity.

GIAN P KANSAL, AMBALA CITY


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]

Toying with nature Other

Jan 13, 2023

Refer to ‘Joshimaths in the making’; poet Bliss Carman’s quote is apt — ‘The greatest joy in nature is the absence of man.’ Everyone should respect mother Earth. What is the fault of the residents and why should they pay a heavy price for urban development? The government should take preventive steps beforehand to avoid a Joshimath-like fate. People living in hilly areas should take early steps to protect their future as nature is unpredictable. What we give to nature, comes back to us. So, we need to conserve nature.

Tanishka Pruthi, Ludhiana


Sustainable development

The reports of the sinking of land at Karnaprayag in Uttarakhand and McLeodganj in Himachal after land subsidence in Joshimath are worrying. Geologists should examine the vulnerability of the entire area and work out preventive guidelines to control the construction of new roads and buildings. There is no use crying over spilt milk. Is development of any use if sooner or later everything has to come to a naught? To save Himalayan towns from further deterioration, the focus needs to be on sustainable development, and not aggressive unplanned development.

Gp Capt JS Boparai (Retd), by mail


Reconsider construction

Apropos of ‘Joshimaths in the making’; top priority should be accorded to evacuate the affected residents as quickly as possible. They should also be given liberal economic assistance also. We should revisit findings and research work done on the geophysical, geotechnical and hydrological aspects of subsidence. All of our policy-makers and experts should think about long-term solutions. It is painful to see the victims lamenting the loss of their home and hearth. We have to think twice now before undertaking construction activities on the banks of rivers, cutting mountains for more roads, making tunnels passing through hilly villages and mining of river sand.

RAJ BAHADUR YADAV, Fatehabad


The corrupt flourish

Apropos of ‘CM’s threat works, PCS officers end stir’; corruption and the corrupt should be dealt with an iron hand, but with caution as no innocent person should suffer. The step taken by the CM is bold and praiseworthy. During my career as a PCS officer, I have seen that the corrupt flourish and the honest suffer. When I was frequently transferred and falsely framed after I challaned an Orbit bus, no office-bearer of the association supported me. I am still awaiting justice and the release of my pensionary benefits. The retreat by the association has exposed the weakness of PCS officers. The matter doesn’t end here. RTA, Ludhiana, is a plum posting. It needs to be probed who was responsible for Dhaliwal’s posting and for what consideration. Every public servant must introspect. Years ago, the SC had issued guidelines for postings and high-powered boards were to be constituted by the states. Unfortunately, Punjab has yet to take a call.

Vijay Syal, Sangrur


PCS officers’ strike

Refer to ‘CM’s threat works, PCS officers end stir’; it shows that the officers didn’t give a full thought to the cause of the strike. It is true that every citizen has the right to go on a strike, but they forget the rule which says that one’s freedom ends where the other man’s nose begins. Moreover, the success of every movement needs public sympathy. However, this stir lacked this factor because people had to suffer a lot due to this agitation.

Faqir Singh, Dasuya


Fake men of God

Refer to ‘Jalebi baba lured women by offering magical remedies’; it is unfortunate that fake babas thrive even in the 21st century and are caught only after causing considerable damage to society. The present case is another example. He was arrested after he built a big ashram in a populated locality and sexually abused 120 women, including minors. Educational or economic status, elite or common person, gender and age are no bar for people falling prey to the unbelievable claims of these babas. Society and police are equally responsible for promoting them in the name of divine powers. It is important to create awareness among the people that magical remedies don’t work. The police can have a separate intelligence wing to catch the fake babas before they start their ‘business’.

O PRASADA RAO, HYDERABAD


VAT hike on diesel

Residents of Himachal Pradesh have pinned high hopes on the Congress government in the state. They toppled the previous BJP government on the assurance that the Congress will provide relief to the common man from the skyrocketing prices of essential commodities. The new government instead of fulfilling the promises mentioned in its manifesto has hiked the value added tax (VAT) on diesel. With the VAT going up from Rs 4.4 to Rs 7.4 per litre, a litre of diesel in Himachal will cost Rs 86. This will have a cascading effect on daily essentials like vegetables, fruits, milk and pulses.

SK Khosla, Chandigarh


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

Autonomy of varsities Other

Jan 12, 2023

Refer to ‘MDU’s VC post becomes topic of discussion’; invitation of applications for the Vice-Chancellor’s post at Maharshi Dayanand University by the Department of Higher Education instead of the Chancellor’s office is an act of erosion of the autonomy of state universities. Besides, this is not in consonance with Clause 9A (1) of the MDU Act. Under this clause, there is no provision of advertisement of the VC’s post by the government and only the state can constitute a selection committee consisting of one nominee of the Chancellor and two nominees of the Executive Council. In all state universities in India, other than Haryana, the Chancellor nominee chairs the meeting as the Chancellor is the appointing authority, whereas in Haryana the education secretary does so. Moreover, this is in contravention of the procedure suggested by the UGC.

DS Hooda, Rohtak


Foreign universities

Refer to ‘Need to reform our own university system’; in the wake of the increasing number of Indian students going abroad for quality education, the government’s decision to allow foreign universities to set up their campuses in India is a welcome step. The move will reduce brain drain, attract foreign students, improve Indian economy and motivate Indian universities to raise their own standards as well. However, the entry of foreign universities would raise the cost of education, taking it beyond the reach of the common man. The government should ensure that the benefit of quality education in foreign universities reaches the poor too.

CS Mann, Una


Joshimath disaster

Even as incessant warnings were given by conservationists regarding the possible hazards in Joshimath, the government did not pay any heed (‘Joshimath a policy disaster’). Recent protests by the Jain community also make one ponder if the government should develop places of religious significance as tourist sites. The faith and belief of the people shouldn’t be ignored merely for the sake of development. The government should also think about the topography and cultural significance of the place before introducing any project. Earlier, the Dhari Devi Temple, which was submerged during the construction of a hydel project in 2013, was shifted to a makeshift place by the project workers. Later, we had the Kedarnath deluge. Locals believe that it was Dhari Devi’s wrath that caused the destruction.

Komal Soni, Jammu


Pressure tactics

IAS and PCS officers are supposed to serve the people of the country and give advice and suggestions to elected leaders in the formulation of policies and also take decisions in the interest of the state. Their show of solidarity with their colleague accused of corruption makes the public believe that they are afraid of their own acts of omission and commission and support the corrupt. The Punjab Government should not bow to their pressure tactics and ensure the guilty officer is punished.

SS Saacha, Mohali


Petty politics

Refer to ‘Yet to apologise for ’84 riots: SAD’; the party’s top leadership had requested Indira Gandhi to send the Army to counter Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale, who had become a leader of Sikh youth. There is evidence in writing, oral and personal meetings of these leaders. To now blame Rahul Gandhi, who was then a child, and seek his apology, is an example of petty politics. The Akali leadership, including Tara Singh, Fateh Singh, Parkash Singh Badal, Gurcharan Singh Tohra, Surjit Singh Barnala and Balwant Singh, were no match for the Congress leaders who were learned and highly educated. Because of them, Sikhs, as a community, have suffered greatly and the youth is least interested in education to rise in life.

Baldev Singh, Australia


Drug nexus

The arrest of druglords masquerading as innocent businessmen in Ludhiana lays bare the collusion between the police, politicians and unscrupulous businessmen. It is a worrying development that bodes ill for Punjab and brings a bad name to the state, even as the scourge is playing with the future of people and society. The general public needs to understand and be aware of such scoundrels who amass wealth in short periods and flaunt it with impunity by buying property and upscale vehicles. There are many NRIs who have access to unaccounted wealth and are able to invest in companies. The agencies of the government need to nab such criminals before things get out of hand.

Gurpal Singh Sachdeva, 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]

Follow their path Other

Jan 11, 2023

Both Swami Vivekananda and Mahatma Gandhi were an embodiment of true patriotism and radical humanism, and took pride in India’s cultural and religious heritage (‘Let’s rediscover Vivekananda’). Recognising man as the highest manifestation of spiritual consciousness, they believed in the redemptive power of religion. They raised their voice against untouchability, illiteracy, slavery, racial discrimination and religious separatism, and revitalised oppressed, superstitious and complex-ridden Indians with new strength. With the rise of Hindu nationalism, the country’s political environment has become toxic and poses a threat to our constitutional ethos of secularism, pluralism and peaceful coexistence. It is time to inculcate the values so cherished by these two iconic social reformers. This will enable us to meet the serious challenges of poverty, consumerism, fanaticism, intolerance, violence, fragile environment and terrorism that society faces today.

Harmohit Singh, Hoshiarpur


US must deport Bolsonaro

Apropos of ‘Turmoil in Brazil’; Bolsonaro resorted to the same sinister technique to subvert the electoral mandate as was done by US President Trump when he lost the election to Biden. Such crude and brutal attempts to nullify the outcome of a fair election should be condemned in unambiguous terms to sustain and preserve democracy. The onus is on President Biden to deport Bolsonaro, now in Florida, to Brazil to

face prosecution.

Roshan Lal Goel, by mail


Indian diaspora

Refer to ‘PM: Expats our ambassadors on foreign soil’; this may be true for the present generation who left India at a young age and settled in foreign countries. Subsequent generations have become foreign citizens and neither visit India nor follow the Indian way of life, hence it is doubtful to what extent they can act as Indian ambassadors. They cannot be expected to promote yoga, ayurveda etc. The diaspora’s first responsibility is towards the interests of the country of citizenship and any favouritism towards their native country can be considered as anti-national. Except pride, what benefits can India get from the achievements of its diaspora? In fact, it acts as counterproductive since it promotes brain drain of talented Indians. If they want to contribute to the development of India, they can train our doctors and engineers in the latest technologies and provide financial assistance to brilliant Indian students to study abroad in renowned universities.

O PRASADA RAO, HYDERABAD


Man-made catastrophe

The situation at Joshimath is a lesson and warning to the government on what it must do in other areas that are prone to natural disasters (‘Saving Joshimath’). There should be regular monitoring by the district administration to avoid such situations in future. If government officials are more vigilant, illegal construction cannot come up on vulnerable sites. A no-objection certificate should be made necessary from the department concerned for construction.

Himanshu goyal, Kaithal


Indian universities

Apropos of ‘Need to reform our own university system’; we have a strong network of 1,070 universities in India and not even one qualitatively matches to Oxford, Cambridge, Stanford University etc. Not even a single Indian university stands amongst the first 250 globally. Rationality demands that the government should uplift the present universities rather than allowing reputed global institutes to set up campuses in select India cities. The explanation that this move will halt the migration of Indian students opting for degrees from foreign universities is misplaced as these students prefer employment in foreign land rather than returning to their native country. The government must maintain a balance in allowing the entry of foreign universities versus uplifting our existing universities.

VK Anand, Chandigarh


Advisory to channels

Reference to ‘Citing Pant car crash, govt issues advisory to TV channels over disturbing visuals’; it is an appreciable step that the ministry has asked channels to adhere to ethical codes. Television channels are not following the principles of journalism and the ethical code of truth, impartiality, humanity and accountability. Can the people of India expect that the media would disseminate the true account of happenings and not work as publicity departments of political parties and also shun media trials? Will the ministry take punitive measures against the erring channels?

ROOP SINGH NEGI, Solan


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

Vulnerable hills Other

Jan 10, 2023

Refer to ‘Saving Joshimath’; it is unfortunate that it has taken widespread panic and protests by local citizens to initiate action. The state government has swung into action by relocating people to safer places. Local people are putting the blame on various developmental projects, such as tunnels and dams, but they are equally at fault. Across all hill stations, including Joshimath, the construction of illegal hotels and shops is rampant. Rather than resorting to a band-aid solution by relocation, the government ought to evolve a comprehensive policy to safeguard the hills and their inhabitants.

RAMESH GUPTA, NARWANA


Culture of padyatras

Apropos of ‘BJP embarks on bind India plan’ and ‘An uncertain march’; in the past, the padyatras undertaken by the great souls have played a role of prominence in the expression and preservation of India’s unity in all aspects of national interests. Adi Shankaracharya and Guru Nanak covered the length and breadth of the country. The everlasting impact of those yatras is reflected in the practical life of the people from South to North and East to West. In modern times, one is reminded of Mahatma Gandhi’s Dandi march and Acharya Vinoba Bhave’s Bhoodan (land donation) march. Now, that role is played by cricket and cinema. Political parties’ gimmicks have no impact on public imagination.

DV Sharma, Mukerian


In-flight misconduct

Tata Group chairman N Chandrasekaran’s candid admission that ‘AI’s response should have been much swifter’ has not come a day too soon. Allowing the offender to go scot free was like adding insult to injury. A blanket ban on serving drinks on flights may not be feasible in a competitive industry like the airlines, especially those travelling in business class, but with privilege comes responsibility. Anyone behaving indecently or obnoxiously needs to be prosecuted criminally, so that there is no recurrence of such instances. The DGCA has now recommended the use of restraining devices available with the flight crew to control abusive and unruly passengers when all conciliatory efforts fail. It is high time such tools are put to use in extreme situations, instead of treating them as accompanying ornaments.

V Jayaraman, Chennai


Capt sets new benchmark

The deployment of Capt Shiva Chouhan at Siachen has catapulted the status of women to impressive heights. The feat has shattered the last barrier of gender bias. She is a role model for other women who are eager to enter this domain reserved for men. Now, women are fighter pilots, too, and keen to join the combat sections of the Army. The three-month period is long. The courage shown by Captain Shiva is worth emulating and the record set by her will inspire other women.

KARNAIL SINGH, Kharar


Health facilities

All across the nation, every tehsil headquarters Civil Hospital must have facilities like CT scan, ultra-sound, ECG, X-ray, dental X-ray and complete blood culture. Also, there should be two posts of PG doctors — MD and MS. Moreover, teachers should not be allocated election duty because this hampers teaching in schools. PM Modi should set up an election-cum-multidata department. All kinds of elections should be conducted by this department. The minimum qualification should be graduation in any stream. Post-graduate candidates should be deputed at higher posts with more salary than graduates, and this department should also collect statistical data. This will also provide employment to educated unemployment youth.

ASHWINI K LOATHTA, Shimla


Hate speech

Freedom of speech is being misused to peddle hate. It has become the most concerning issue in recent times as it is resulting in communal intolerance and unrest. Politicians make hate speeches to gain votes. It is important to know the thin and often blurred line between the constitutionally guaranteed freedom of expression and hate speech. Recognition when the speech turns into hate speech is essential to pursue appropriate remedies against it. The circumstances of each case require appropriate analysis to evaluate if the speech has elements of hatred.

Gaurav Badhwar, Rohtak


Not above suspicion

There may not be any mala fide intention behind the idea of developing revolving EVMs by the Election Commission. The purpose is to enable migrant voters to cast their votes. Though there appears nothing wrong in this proposed move, it will certainly undermine the trust of the people in regard to the fairness of the elections. Doubts have been raised on the use of EVMs on many occasions in the past. This will amplify the suspicion.

MS Chopra, 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]

Govt-bashing Other

Jan 09, 2023

Refer to ‘An uncertain march’ (Nous Indica); the Bharat Jodo Yatra should preach the lesson of brotherhood, India’s cultural heritage and give views to resolve the burning issues of the country, but instead, Rahul Gandhi is using this valuable platform for government-bashing and for his party’s electoral gains. He has accused mainstream media of being an instrument that serves the ideology of those in power, but our media is, to quite some extent, unbiased and reflects the mood of the people of the country.

Pawan Kumar Rakheja, Gurugram


Shed ‘hate’ for Modi

Rahul Gandhi needs to conclude his Bharat Jodo Yatra against ‘hate’ by example — by shedding ‘hate’ towards Prime Minister Modi and the BJP. Majority-versus-minority tactics prove counterproductive. Only harmonious coexistence can lend synergy for the good of India and its people. The polity and politics ought to be centric to rationalism and nationalism to overcome the vicious circle of divisions on the basis of religion or region. But there seems little escape from short-term gains overriding larger national interest; this is the bane of our electoral democracy.

Lalit Bharadwaj, Panchkula


Political road show

Apropos of ‘An uncertain march’ (Nous Indica); the yatra is a political road show and thousands are thronging it to see only celebrities and get a selfie with Nehru’s great-grandson. Ex-minister Anthony’s occasional wise words won’t be heeded, for the Congress is in the hands of people who have little political acumen. The Congress needs political wisdom, stamina and calculus. A political excursion, traversing India from south to north, is not going to yield any fruit.

Jeevan vk, Pathankot


Alternative housing

Apropos of ‘Upholding human angle’; encroachment on government lands and public places is a serious issue and requires sensible handling. The laxity or acquiescence of public functionaries for some consideration or the other is no less blameworthy for allowing the situation to reach such a pass. Structures, unplanned residential colonies and other utility services mushroom under the very nose of those who are supposed to safeguard against unauthorised misuse and occupation. The Haldwani case falls under this category. Why was the Railways sleeping all through those decades? Why was timely care and preventive measures not taken? The Supreme Court is right to ask how such a huge population can be displaced at this stage without any alternative housing arrangement. The concern and sensitivity for human rights must invariably outweigh legal paramountcy.

GP CAPT JS BOPARAI (RETD), by mail


Foreign campuses

Reference to ‘Foreign varsities in India’; researchers will undoubtedly benefit from foreign campuses in India. Indian students will get an opportunity to pursue international education in the country. It will also encourage the arrival of foreign students in India. The high quality of education our students receive and their meaningful contribution to the Indian economy will ultimately benefit the country. But there are some questions as well. What will become of the universities running in India, whose model have been British and American universities? Why would parents with money send their children to Indian universities?

Sikandar Bansal, Shimla


Disastrous outcome

Reference to ‘Note ban was valid’; it can’t be denied that the demonetisation move was a disaster, irrespective of the intention to tackle corruption. People were not given enough time to come to terms with this major change. Our economy witnessed major upheavals due to this sudden declaration. It seemed as if no prior preparation was made to execute this idea efficiently. The government, instead of resolving the predicament, was busy in justifying its action. In a democracy, any decision concerning the lives of people needs to be assessed on the basis of the outcome, regardless of the intention.

Rishika Kriti, Ludhiana


Somewhat biased

I have been a dedicated reader of The Tribune for decades. Of late, Julio Ribeiro (column ‘Trysts and Turns’) appears biased against PM Modi and the BJP. Greater discretion should be employed as such articles tend to affect the image of the newspaper.

Ajay Aggarwal, Chandigarh


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

Extend flight ban Other

Jan 07, 2023

Refer to ‘Mid-air unruliness’; what was the flight crew doing at the time of the incident? The airline’s approach to this misbehaviour is disappointing. The victim should have been given an alternative seat, at least, to make her remaining journey comfortable. She should be compensated for such a traumatic experience. A 30-day flight ban for the accused is no ban. For such offences, there should be a three-year ban from all flights. If justice system is not improved, such uncivilised incidents will recur.

K Kumar, Panchkula


Keep it uniform

Reference to ‘Uniform Civil Code necessary for gender justice’; our Constitution guarantees right to equality to all citizens without any discrimination on the basis of caste, creed, colour, community, religion, region or any other consideration. This right should not be on paper alone, but implemented in actual practice too. Religious customs and traditions should be flexible and modified with advancing times. Many religious gurus in the bygone era used to believe that earth is flat, but now it is accepted by all that it is round. Therefore, in accordance with Article 44 and International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (1966), Uniform Civil Code should be framed so that all citizens can lead a respectful and dignified life. Irrational practices not in sync with equal rights should be rectified.

Subhash Vaid, New Delhi


Think and speak

Ministers, MPs, MLAs and other public officials are expected to be more careful in their speeches lest they should emit the venom of hate and hurt a particular person or a group of people. Since they are a part of the government and in a way represent the ruling party, they should observe restraint on their vocabulary and exhibit respect for the discordant voices. It is imperative that the people at the helm of affairs should not allow anybody the licence to spew inflammatory and disparaging remarks. They should not be condoned in the name of 'personal comments'.

Chaman Arora, Ferozepur City


Foreign campuses

The UGC has opened the doors to the world’s prominent universities to start their campuses in India. It is likely to stop the exodus of a large number of Indian youth for higher studies. It has also been rightly ensured to permit only the best universities with some legitimate restrictions. This will also invigorate Indian universities to upgrade their functioning in competition to the foreign universities. It is presumed that the UGC will keep a close watch on the developments, especially in keeping with the provisions laid down in the New Education Policy, 2020. Studying foreign universities established in countries like the UAE may be worthwhile.

S Kumar, PANCHKULA


Sane advice

Refer to the reports indicating that the CEA to the Prime Minister has cautioned that India is not insulated from global uncertainties, one wishes that FM Nirmala Sitharaman also lends an ear to his 'need based' idea of ushering in a simplified GST and Direct Tax system while formulating the Union Budget, since this year's Budget would be her last full-fledged one before the 2024 General Election.

Kumar Gupt, by mail


Grey hydrogen

Apropos to ‘Rs 19,744cr govt outlay for Green Hydrogen Mission’; the approval is appreciable. The electric current required to separate hydrogen from oxygen in water through the process known as electrolysis will be from the renewable energy, and hence, is termed as ‘green hydrogen’. It will replace ‘grey hydrogen’ used in the sectors, such as refining, steel, cement, shipping, fuelling cars and spaceships. As grey hydrogen is produced using energy generated by the burning of fossil fuels, replacing it with green hydrogen will definitely reduce carbon emissions. Consequently, it will lead to savings in regard to fossil fuel imports.

Krishan Kant Sood, Nangal


Spirit of Japan

Reference to the Japanese sporting spirit; their acts of cheering for even the opponent team and picking up garbage after a match are remarkable. They displayed the same spirit when they stayed on to remove trash from the Khalifa International Stadium, Qatar, after Japan defeated Germany in a recently concluded FIFA World Cup Group match. It is a lesson and must inspire those who indulge in hooliganism while watching a match. It may help in checking tragic incidents, like the one that took place in Indonesia last year.

Raj Kumar Goyal, 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]