Letters to the editor

BSNL revival Other

Jul 30, 2022

IT is a good step that the Central government has given a second dose of financial assistance for the revival of BSNL. It was once a profit-making government enterprise. Wrong policies, political interference, import of obsolete and unviable technologies, and rampant corruption led to unbearable losses. Revival of state-owned communication company is indispensable for security and credibility of country. Also, it will play an instrumental role in the development of infrastructure in rural areas for high-speed 4G broadband services and cellular service in the remotest areas, where private operators are reluctant to work. BSNL administration should avail of this opportunity and contribute in the development of basic infrastructure in telecommunications to meet the country’s needs — also in the defence sector. After the premature retirement of old staffers, BSNL has young and talented employees capable of meeting the challenges.

Deepak Khanna, by mail

Nation’s loss

Another MiG crash has taken place. Six MiG-21s have crashed since January last year, killing five pilots. As many as 44 have lost their lives in 46 aircraft and helicopter accidents in the defence forces in the past five years. Our IAF pilots are dying in a terrible manner in such crashes. The MiG-21s should have been retired long ago. But there is a huge delay in the induction of new fighter jets. The blame game goes on. It is not the loss of an individual or a family. It is a huge loss for the nation. The government should provide our soldiers and pilots with good weapons and safe aircraft. For how long will we use these MiGs?

Preeti thakur, Mohali

Ground MiGs

Apropos of ‘2 pilots die in MiG crash near Barmer’, the news is shocking and heartbreaking. How many more crashes do the authorities need before grounding these flying coffins? Every pilot lost is a huge loss, not just to the family but also the nation.

Navreet Kaur, by mail

Liberty at stake

In today’s India, it is not just freedom of speech, personal liberty is in danger too. Anyone in a position of authority — a minister, a bureaucrat, a policeman, a revenue service official, or even somebody who has a friend in power — can have any one arrested. The truth is that politicians at the Centre and the states routinely use the police and revenue authorities to settle personal scores, and to target critics. Over the last few years, the misuse of Central agencies has reached new heights. The onus of protecting personal liberty, therefore, falls on the judiciary. The very character of our democracy is at stake. When politicians have no respect for personal liberty and order arrests indiscriminately, it is naive to expect policemen and bureaucrats will not follow their example.



Refer to SPARSH proposal; the decades-old pension disbursement system in the armed forces never faced any problems. Veterans, some over 80 years, are not well-versed in computerised working. Also, the network is not efficient in remote and rural areas. Imposing SPARSH on even before 2006 retirees is a struggle for veterans and family pensioners. Implementation of complete or at least phase 3 needs sympathetic reconsideration.


Media trials

Refer to ‘There is limit to targeting judges: SC’; the court is right in its observation. The electronic media has zero accountability. The so-called media trial by TV channels, one after another, leads to serious consequences, at times, inciting public emotions and leading to arson, riots and killings of innocent people. And yet, the media gets away with it. It is a serious threat to society. Some sort of legislation is required to put curbs on media trials and fix accountability.

Raminder Jit Singh, Chandigarh

Pillar of faith

Refer to ‘Can’t fake it with God’; faith and devotion are subjective. Faith gives strength. A feeling of devotion unites people and helps accomplish a task, however difficult it may be. But people have become too rational these days. Faith and logic cannot go hand in hand. It is good to be rational, but it should not eclipse one’s faith. After all, it is faith that creates the milk of human kindness. At least faith in humanity should not be lost, it keeps the world going.

Surinder Kumar Mahna, Karnal

Extend rail line

The Jalandhar-Hoshiarpur section of Northern Railway terminates at Hoshiarpur. The rail line should be extended to the Una-Amb Andaura section for a direct link of Jalandhar with Una and areas beyond it in Himachal Pradesh. It will be a boon for daily commuters and business, besides the strategic development of the area.

Lalit Bharadwaj, Panchkula

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

Selective raids Other

Jul 29, 2022

Apropos of ‘Surge in ED raids’, the increase in raids and searches smacks of proactiveness and settling of political scores. The raids in non-BJP ruled states and on political opponents expose prejudice. The perception of political intimidation further gets strengthened due to the poor conviction rate, though it might have been influenced by other extraneous reasons, including the loopholes in the legal system. The tendency to use the CBI and ED to forward political agenda, and the systemic vulnerability of these agencies is the bane of our democracy.


CPEC challenge

Refer to ‘CPEC and third parties’; India’s strong objection to the attempts by China and Pakistan to woo other countries to join CPEC is right. Both these countries have thrown to the wind all international norms and protocols as the corridor is routed through illegally-occupied PoK. Any such action by any party or country directly infringes on India’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. All political parties and the people of India must stand united against this mischief. We must strengthen ties with like-minded democratic-spirited countries and make efforts to apprise the world of our concerns.

Krishan Kant Sood, Nangal

India must stand firm

Apropos of ‘CPEC and third parties’, Pakistan and China never miss a chance to hurt Indian sentiments with their unwanted statements and irresponsible actions. The invitation to third parties in CPEC is the latest proof of that. Pakistan is depriving its own citizens a share in their natural resources. It is time for India to take strict action over the issue as it violates our sovereignty.

Aparna Rajmohan, by mail

Not the right way

This refers to ‘Some suspended MPs spend night in open’. Several MPs have been suspended from Parliament for disrupting the ongoing monsoon session of Parliament. The suspended members were demanding a discussion on price rise of essential commodities in both Houses of Parliament. While it is appropriate to demand a discussion on issues that concern the common man, unruly behaviour by the members is neither the right way nor acceptable. By disrupting parliamentary proceedings, it becomes even more difficult to find a way out.

Devendra Khurana, Bhopal

Zoonotic diseases

Reference to the article ‘Get serious about one health’; the writer has highlighted well the aspects of the frequent occurrence of various zoonotic diseases over a small period. Now, it appears that another disease may be round the corner. Global warming may also be a contributory factor. Thus animal and environmental scientists should work in unison the world over to examine the trans-boundary aspect of the transmission of diseases with a preventive approach.

RS Kishtwaria, Palampur

Privatise BSNL

Refer to ‘Rs 1.64 lakh crore revival package to upgrade crisis-hit BSNL’; there are many private players in the telecom sector and BSNL cannot compete with them even after pumping in Rs 1.64 trillion, because a government organisation cannot function on commercial basis, i.e., it cannot make profits and needs to be bailed out regularly. Hence, any investment on BSNL is unproductive. It is better to privatise it instead of wasting huge amounts of money on it.


Railway concession

Refer to the news item ‘Rly concession may return for senior citizens’; the Railways may raise the age to, say, 65 or 70 years to save money, but to allow only non-AC travel under this concession is not justified. Senior citizens need more comfort while travelling, so at least AC chair car and 3AC class should be covered.

IPS Anand, Chandigarh

Use cloth bags

The use of plastic bags and items is banned by the government, but it has failed to implement it. As citizens, we lack national character and do not abide by laws and regulations. It is very simple to say no to plastic bags. Keep three cloth bags in your mode of transport and carry them with you when you go shopping. The government should, in the meanwhile, deal with non-compliance with a strong hand and punish shopkeepers and vendors who are flouting the ban. Firms manufacturing these items should be punished and jailed for violating the laws of the land. Available plastic stocks must be destroyed.

Col GS Bhullar (retd), Jalandhar

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

Roll out judicial services Other

Jul 28, 2022

Apropos of ‘Court appointments’, there is hardly any timeline in the history of our country after attaining Independence, when all sanctioned posts of judges in high courts and Supreme Court remained filled. The Collegium system is a colonial legacy and must be ended. The nation is celebrating 75 years of azadi. Since Independence, many institutions of governance have undergone drastic changes, in keeping with the principles and ethos enshrined in our Constitution. Therefore, the judicial services should be introduced, in line with the civil services. It will democratise opportunities to become a judge through an open competitive exam. Inordinate delays in the disposal of cases and petitions are a violation of the right of the people.

Ravi Bhushan, Kurukshetra

Probe source of funds

Refer to ‘RS ticket racket’; corruption breeds from the top. Is it not corruption to favour the corporate world, to write off loans, extend tax concessions, award contracts by Central and state governments in lieu of chanda? From where do political parties get the millions that they spend lavishly on propaganda and building party offices etc? To weed out corruption, we need to adopt a policy of transparency in funds received by parties and their expenditure. If the CBI or ED is entrusted the work of unearthing the financial dealings of political parties, the nation will benefit.


Multi-crore racket

It is shocking to learn about a multi-state racket where posts of Governor and Rajya Sabha member are being offered for Rs 100 crore (‘RS ticket racket’). A fair probe will reveal the persons and agency involved in such deals of exchanging money bags, but the common man feels cheated. Corruption is deep-rooted in the system. Searches are being conducted and large amounts of money and other valuables being seized, but surprisingly, there has been no raid on politicians belonging to the ruling party, despite allegations. The media should help enlighten the public, ignoring ill-informed and agenda-driven debates.


MPs’ suspension

Suspending MPs from Parliament in the ongoing session for unruly conduct is not a new phenomenon, but is becoming common. The BJP can neither brook criticism outside Parliament nor the raising of questions by the Opposition inside the House. The brute majority has made the BJP arrogant and obstinate. It either resorts to the rushing of Bills or Ordinances. Debates and discussions are now left to party spokespersons in TV studios. The country is witnessing a decline in the quality of lawmakers; a majority have criminal antecedents. The new Parliament building is a white elephant.

Deepak Singhal, Noida

Reconsider live telecast

‘Ruckus over inflation, record 19 RS MPs suspended’ reflects a sad state of affairs in the conduct of the House. When the issue of unparliamentary words was in news, it was said our representatives were not ‘kids’ needing monitoring in the choice of words. But if their behaviour does not behove their august status, the live telecast should be given a second thought.

DV Sharma, Mukerian

What is the truth?

Refer to ‘No Pandit resigned after targeted killings: Govt’ and ‘2000 have quit jobs, claims KP association’; which report is to be believed? It is tough for the readers to decide. The plight of Kashmiri Pandits and their sufferings has become a matter of concern for the masses who will be confused by these contradictory pieces of information. Maybe a credible film or documentary can help people form an opinion.

Hira Sharma, by mail

Overhaul jails

As per official information released by the Punjab Government, over 50% of the inmates in various jails are drug addicts. Similarly, gangsters are fearlessly running their business of extortion and murder from jail premises. If the government can’t control drugs and crimes by persons under its direct custody, how can it claim to eradicate these social evils from Punjab? It speaks volumes about the nexus between the jail authorities and the criminals in custody. The jail administration needs a thorough overhaul.

Lt Col Harbinder Dullat (Retd), Patiala

Safety in the air

I am a retired pilot. Recently an article was published in The Tribune about many commercial flights that had to make an emergency landing. I want to highlight that what pilots, without giving their names, said is not fully correct. It is okay to fly with minimum equipment once in a while, but if done frequently, it can cause safety issues. Unseen problems may occur in the air.

Aman Kumar, Noida

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

Monkeypox challenge Other

Jul 27, 2022

Refer to ‘Tackling monkeypox’; last month, 3,040 cases of monkeypox were reported from 47 countries. The occurrence of monkeypox in many parts of the world and the concern raised by the WHO should be kept in mind. Monkeypox can be controlled as we have in our arsenal a vaccine developed against smallpox. We should assess the immune status of the population vaccinated against smallpox vis-à-vis those who are unvaccinated.

SS Paul, Nadia

Bhagat Singh’s photo

Apropos of ‘SAD(A) submits memo on martyr’s pic’, Simranjit Singh Mann is in the habit of remaining conspicuous in the media by making irresponsible statements. The entire country knows Bhagat Singh as a staunch freedom fighter. If he was an atheist, it was his personal choice. There is nothing wrong in the display of his portrait in the Sikh museum, along with the portraits of other freedom fighters. Mann should desist from making such controversial statements which are in poor taste and not in the interest of anyone, including his own party.

Balbir Singh Kakkar, Jalandhar

Dwindling tree cover

Reference to the news report ‘State records loss of 456 sq km trees cover in just two years’; the report is alarming for a state with only 3.67 per cent forest cover as against the national figure of 21.71 per cent. Thousands of trees were axed during road-widening operations from Phagwara to Ropar and Jalandhar to Hoshiarpur. The guidelines of planting 10 times more trees before uprooting them were grossly flouted. No new trees are visible along these stretches. The state government must fix accountability of erring officials and take effective measures to increase the dwindling forest cover.


Rank is all that matters

Refer to the article ‘The hollowness of ranking’, everything in the education sector is now dependent on rankings. Branding in education is not the best advertisement for it. Education in India has come a long way from the guru-shishya relationship, and a student is now a consumer. All the trappings around educational institutions are designed to make the consumer buy the ‘product’ available. Dedicated teachers who wanted to mould students are a rarity, and those who did it without monetary expectations have gone extinct.


Quality education

Apropos of the article ‘The hollowness of ranking’, India has more of quantity, but little ‘quality’ education. Globally, our universities are at the tail-end. At the age of 23, Shaheed Bhagat Singh had read so much. Till his last moment, he was reading Lenin. Imagine his level of inquisitiveness! True education is the progressive discovery of our ignorance. We are lacking on that front.


Illegal mining

Reference to ‘Nuh murder symptomatic of political malaise’; mining is not a small operation that it can be hidden instantly. Perhaps, no government has been serious about checking illegal mining. Why are forces like the CISF not employed and barriers put on roads with cameras for surveillance? Work permits to vehicles and handlers need to be registered and identified after verification of antecedents. The society should boycott those involved in wrong practices. The voters need to be circumspect in the interest of democracy.


Dumping garbage in river

Refer to ‘Bhuntar MC workers dumping garbage in the Beas’; the act goes against the extant BJP dispensation’s Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan. The authorities concerned are duty-bound to find a safe disposal system in their own area, instead of dumping litter down a river. The dumping is bound to adversely affect the lives of people living in lower areas. The administration, both at the district and state levels, must join hands for the safe and scientific disposal of garbage towards achieving the national goal of Swachh Bharat.

KL Noatay, Kangra

Smart e-beat policing

The smart e-beat policing system launched by the Haryana Chief Minister, Manohar Lal Khattar, will not only benefit the police, but also society. It will become easy for the police to patrol various areas. The best thing is that the bikes given to them can be tracked, which will help in providing immediate help to the citizens. Every city should opt for such a system.

Rajbir singh, Shahkot

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

More stress now Other

Jul 26, 2022

Apropos of ‘CBSE’s cosmetic changes’, the decision to do away with merit lists for class X and XII exams is inconsequential as admission to Central universities shall be based on the CUET score. Students will have to now undergo more competition and stress. Coaching centres have started mushrooming for CUET exam. The premise for conducting such an exam was to level the field, but students who can afford coaching classes have an edge. The field remains uneven. Also, the standard of question papers for diverse subjects is comparable to class XII board exams, unlike JEE or NEET. Schools should advise students to zero in on their class XII syllabus — a key to cracking the competitive exam. This shall assuage the anxiety of students and parents.

Deepak Singhal, Noida

Gangs of Canada

Apropos of ‘Canada a safe haven for wanted criminals’, it is shocking that ‘A’ category gangsters of Punjab, wanted in cases of extortion, loot and murder, are hiding in Canada and operating the nexus using youths of Punjab to settle their scores. The extradition policy of Canada is rigid and the response over the disposal of these cases slow. The Canadian government should take up the matter on priority, as in future it will have to deal with all this. These gangsters are establishing and strengthening drugs and weapons supply. Canada may have to face the consequences someday.

Aparna Rajmohan, Amritsar

Regulate media

The concern expressed by the CJI is genuine, but putting the entire media in a poor light is not right (‘Media running kangaroo courts, weakening democracy, says CJI’). There is some good content too. Those using this platform for vested interests should be barred. Instead of taming such channels, the government is interested only in taming its critics. The ruling dispensation is itself utilising this platform for furthering its agenda. The hope now is judiciary, which should take cognisance and issue necessary directives to the government to ban such channels.

Ravinder Singh, Jalandhar

Fair criticism

Reference to ‘Media running kangaroo courts, weakening democracy, says CJI’; it is a fact that electronic media is hungry for TRPs. News that can satisfy its appetite on a particular day becomes its ‘prey’. At the same time, if judges are acting within judicial parameters and interpreting the law in their judgments, the media shows no interest, however, it makes it a prime time debate if the observations are passion-driven. Fair criticism of the viewpoint expressed in a judicial pronouncement, or of other forms of judicial conduct is consistent with public interest and public good that judges are committed to serve and uphold.

ANIL GANDHI, Faridabad

Tricolour ‘made in China’

Modications in the flag code is a welcome step and should be a part of school curriculum. Allowing only authorised manufacturers for specific sizes and proper dimensions, and making flags available on affordable price for every citizen should be encouraged. Free availability may result in its disrespect, damage or use by anti-social elements. It was a surprise to receive a ‘made in China’ Tricolour when I ordered it online.

RS Kishtwaria, Palampur

Not a big deal

Refer to ‘The trees of Subedar Singh’; as the Adjutant, upkeep of the Quarter Guard — the mirror of a unit — was my responsibility. We were expecting the GOC. I heard a siren announcing his arrival. As a last-minute checking up, I tried to wipe a small part of a big brass frame which had the Standing Operating Procedure. I had just touched it, when it came crashing down. There was panic, but nothing could be done because in walked the General. The Subedar Major mumbled, ‘Sahib, meri galti se gir gaya, maafi chahta hoon’. The GOC looked at me with a little smile, because he knew the Subedar Major was lying. He later called me and said, ‘Cheer up son, once it happened with me too, when I was the Adjutant of my battalion.’ He knew it, I knew it, his staff officer knew it, that it had never happened with him. Such ethos can only be found in the services.


Doctors in rural areas

‘Improving doctor retention in rural areas’ will not be easy for the government. To encourage doctors to serve in villages, the foremost prerequisite must be sufficient provision of medicines and well-equipped labs. Rural doctors are cut off from the latest research in medical field. They should be given extra financial benefits and guaranteed admission to specialised courses after rural service of a specified duration. All village health centres should have proper residential facilities for the doctors and paramedical staff.

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: Letters@tribunemail.com

Table White Paper Other

Jul 25, 2022

Illegal mining at various sites across Haryana, be it riverbeds or hilly areas, has been going on with the collusion of the mafia, the police, departments responsible for checking it, and politicians (‘Of cows and quarries’, Nous Indica). This nexus has emboldened the mining mafia. This nefarious business, worth crores, has been thriving. There exists a nexus between various government agencies to help loaded trucks pass from one area of jurisdiction to another, with ‘proper sharing of money’. A commission of inquiry must be convened and a White Paper be tabled in the Assembly so that people get to know who are the hidden faces behind this illegal business. Mud-slinging by the political leadership will not help.

Ravi Bhushan, Kurukshetra

Sponsoring crime

Apropos of ‘Of cows and quarries’ (Nous Indica), cows and quarries are only a pretext; the malaise is deep-rooted. The real culprits are the ones who pay for illegal activities. Operators and eventual beneficiaries should be nailed. Organised crime cannot be sustained without political patronage. Criminalisation of politics and politicisation of crime are interwoven. The complicity of a pliable bureaucracy and political bosses is compromising the rule of law. Unless polity is isolated from discretionary whims and fancies of political masters, the elimination of vested interests and sponsorship of crime would remain elusive. The onus is on media and higher courts to be the proactive sentinel and saviour.

Lalit Bharadwaj, Panchkula

Won’t make difference

The election of Droupadi Murmu as President will not result in the uplift of women and the tribal community. It is just a symbolic celebration, keeping in view our past experiences. The outgoing President was from a Scheduled Caste. What did he do for SC betterment during his tenure? There are many examples from the past — Jagjivan Ram, Ram Vilas Paswan, Mayawati, to name a few. They remained on top positions for a long time, but most of them worked only for themselves and their families.

Bhupinder Kochhar, Panchkula

Women achievers

Reference to the article ‘Women of substance’; the profiles of Murmu and Alva are strikingly different, but the mission is similar with avowed adherence to the dictates of conscience in conformity with the Constitution. Whether we have this combination of two distinguished women working in tandem towards the same goals is rather difficult, considering political and mathematical calculations, but India deserves a top spot in the comity of nations for having broken the glass ceiling often with ‘women of substance’.

Harbans Lal Kapoor, Mandi

Gandhis not above law

The manner in which the Congress has reacted to the summons issued by the Enforcement Directorate to party president Sonia Gandhi is shameful. The Gandhis are as much subject to the laws of the land as other citizens, and are duty-bound to give appropriate replies to questions raised by the government authority.



The middle ‘The trees of Subedar Singh’ seems unrealistic. A JCO is shown befooling a Commanding Officer (CO) and a Brigade Commander by painting the withered plants with green paint to give them a fresh look. And the writer calling it a military lesson in resourcefulness is strange. It is impossible that a CO or a brigade head can be fooled by subordinates. Won’t it send a wrong message to the Army?


Bandh woes

Apropos of ‘Price the common man must pay’; the writer is right to ask if it is fair, but the moot question is, who is actually responsible for it? Does any government address the grievances of people organising the bandhs, to avoid such situations and the hardships caused to the public? Does the government, or the police administration make alternative arrangements/routes for emergency situations during a bandh? It is their failure. They are responsible for any untoward situation that may follow.

Satender Singh Yadav, Kurukshetra

Disruptive protests

Reference to ‘Price the common man must pay’; bandhs or dharnas are common in India. People block roads and damage public and private properties even as the masses face problems. This is unconstitutional. We have a right to protest against any government or authority, but peacefully. Who has given us the right to burn or damage properties?


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

Making it to the top Other

Jul 23, 2022

Droupadi Murmu, the first tribal woman to be elected President, has become a beacon of inspiration for the present and future generations. Her selfless service towards the community and the country has been well recognised by the ruling NDA. It can happen only in India, where a sadharan and garib citizen, irrespective of gender, caste, religion, region, etc. — dedicated to the welfare of society — can rise to the topmost constitutional post. It is a moment of glory and pride for all. But it would have been better if she had been elected unanimously.

Krishan Kant Sood, Nangal

Proud moment

Apropos of ‘President Murmu’, a day of inspiration and a proud moment for women across the country as Murmu is elected India’s youngest and first tribal President. It is a colossal achievement for Murmu, who comes from a humble background. The tribals can now think of aspiring for high positions in their lifetime, irrespective of their background and community. It is hoped that Murmu will lead from the front and strengthen India’s development journey and promote the cause of social equality.

Harpreet Sandhu, Ludhiana

President’s election

Usually, the candidate nominated by the ruling party wins the President’s and Vice-President’s election. The electors have party compulsions while voting. The President and Vice-President should be above the influence of political parties, zones, castes and tribes. They should feel free to act independently without any obligation to a party or person. There should be a more democratic and transparent procedure for the election to the top posts. They should be elected by the citizens of India by direct voting.

SS Bhathal, Canada

Adjourn sine die

Both Houses of Parliament have been adjourned every day since the beginning of the Monsoon Session without transacting any business. Unruly scenes by the Opposition, the shouting, displaying of placards and crowding are defaming the country, besides wasting public money. It appears that both the government and the Opposition are not interested in the functioning of Parliament. The all-party meeting before the commencement of a session has become a formality since none of the members adhere to the decisions taken by it. Parliament is meant to discuss and pass Bills, but these are being passed without discussions, amid protests and walkouts. It is better to adjourn both Houses sine die for the remaining session. Don’t convene the Houses unless all MPs, irrespective of party, promise to the nation that they will allow Parliament to function smoothly.

O Prasada Rao, by mail

Disruptive tactics

Apropos of ‘Oppn a divided house in presidential elections’, the Congress appears to be digging its own grave. It is dithering on vital decisions pertaining to its survival. The questioning of Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi by the ED is a normal departmental obligation, but to make it a public issue and goading the Congress cadres to indulge in disruptive practices will get it no sympathy from the wary masses. The stalling of Parliament proceedings by the Opposition is also seen by voters as wrong and not in the national interest. The Congress and the Opposition should act on real, solid issues that attract the public mind.

LR Sharma, Sundernagar

Liability or asset?

Refer to ‘ED quizzes Sonia for 2 hours amid protests’; resorting to obstruction, destruction and even arson to showcase loyalty to the party high command is doing more harm than good to the beleaguered party, alienating it from the masses. The Gandhis shirking legal recourse doesn’t seem right. It is now moot whether they are a liability or an asset for the party that needs to strategise more positively to win public trust. Sadly, our vibrant democracy is the loser in the absence of a united and cohesive Opposition since divergent interests of regional satraps are detrimental to unity.

Lalit Bharadwaj, Panchkula

ECHS docs not to blame

With reference to the light-hearted piece ‘Popping pills, Army style’; what the writer has put forward is a true picture of our ECHS polyclinics, but it would be unfair to blame the polyclinic doctor for substituting medicines. The organisation procures medicines from the Central supply or from the market and the doctors are told to prescribe medicines from among the available medicines, which on many occasions are substitutes with the same composition. I have served with the ECHS for five years and know about its functioning. Doctors can’t be blamed for it.

Saroj Kumar Patial, Bilaspur

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

Illegal mining Other

Jul 22, 2022

Apropos of the editorial ‘Murder of a DSP’, what should actually be a jolt is a slight nudge in a society ruled by a polity based on political expediency rather than unshakeable principles of governance. The response of political authority testifies to this fact in Haryana, in the aftermath of the mowing down of a senior police officer. The state has been witnessing such incidents during similar raids since 2005, as disclosed by the state’s Home Minister. Where money speaks, justice gets silenced, as is seen in cases that are ‘closed as untraced’.

Jagvinder Singh Brar, Patiala

Who is responsible?

Illegal mining in Haryana raises a question. Who, despite the order of the Supreme Court, permitted a dump truck without a number plate? Obviously, it cannot be done without the connivance of those at the helm. If the mining mafia is not busted, it will have a demoralising effect on honest officers, like the DSP, who had to pay the price for discharging his duty. The apex court should take suo motu cognisance and punish those in the government who have violated its specific order banning mining activities in the state.

Maheshwer Sharma, by mail

Everything on sale

The report ‘Medical seats offered for Rs 20-25 lakh’ shows that money can buy anything. Our elders would advise children that they could buy everything with money, but not education. They have been proved wrong. Not just medical seats, even MLAs and MPs can be bought to establish governments of choice. Politicians are lawmakers and ‘guides’, who represent us in our state Assemblies and Parliament. When they put a tag of ‘on sale’ on their faces to switch over to other parties for a more glittering chair, how can they stop the sale of medical seats, when most such syndicates are patronised by one or the other politician?

Faqir Singh, Dasuya

Farmers’ cooperatives

Refer to ‘Wheat crisis fuels concerns over food stocks’; the Ukraine war has created shortages of wheat, especially in some European and African countries. Resultantly, the prices of wheat have gone up in the international and domestic market. In the context of Indian farmers, the creation of a chain of farmers as producers and traders of grain, on the concept of cooperatives, would be beneficial for all stakeholders. The homogeneous power of all members in such cooperatives, contract farming arrangements and supply chain setup is the crux for its sustainability. With the entry of big corporates and traders in the grain market, there is a tendency to exploit farmers. Thus, the farmers themselves should venture into trading of foodgrains by establishing cooperative supply chain arrangements. There is an enormous scope for increasing wheat production and the farmers venturing into the export market. The government should play the role of a facilitator in the form of providing marketing intelligence inputs and smoothening the process by formulating pragmatic policies.

KB Singh, Ludhiana

Bolstering the rupee

Apropos of ‘Macroeconomic care a must to shore up rupee’, the pace at which the value of rupee against the US dollar is falling is a matter of great concern. Various factors like inflation, unemployment and FIIs leaving the country are weakening the economy. There is an urgent need for immediate steps by the RBI and the government to check this negative trend. The RBI should resort to short-term measures, like disposing of some reserves and offshore exchange marketing, to bring stability. The government should consider restrictions on certain unproductive imports. Indigenous products in the market and exports should be promoted. Effective implementation of policies beyond sloganeering is required. ‘Made in India’ should be promoted in its true spirit. Taxes on petroleum products needs to be lowered to contain inflation. A wholesome package is required to check the dwindling economic trends.

Surinder Kumar Mahna, Karnal

Climate crisis

Unprecedented global warming should be a serious international concern (‘The deadly heatwave’). It is time to collectively limit the record-smashing temperatures and aggressively reduce carbon emissions for a safer, healthier and more equitable future. The governments in major carbon-polluting nations should make meaningful policies, and ordinary citizens should behave sustainably to usher in a radical economic and energy transformation to tackle the disastrous climate change.

DS Kang, Hoshiarpur

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Why not Punjab? Other

Jul 21, 2022

The formation of the high-powered committee to make the MSP regime more transparent has triggered a political slugfest. What raises the eyebrows is the fact that Punjab, which was behind the Green Revolution, besides being the main contributor of foodgrains to the Central pool, has not been given representation. While various states and universities have found representation, the iconic Punjab Agricultural University, which has produced world-class scientists, has been ignored. The Central government should give representation to Punjab, which has richly contributed to the freedom struggle and has been feeding the country since time immemorial.


Include PAU scientists

Refer to ‘Row over MSP panel’; the corpus of research by agricultural experts and scientists of the PAU and HAU is laudable and useful for revamping Indian agriculture. Their historical role in ushering the country into the Green Revolution is praiseworthy. The brightest minds from these universities should be included in the Union government’s committee meant for making the MSP system more transparent.


Mutual faith must

The MSP panel has been rejected by the Samyukta Kisan Morcha, which has announced to start another round of agitation as Punjab does not find any representation. The public faces the brunt of such agitations. All stakeholders should be accorded due place. No side should take an unreasonable stand. To achieve results, positive attitude and mutual faith is a must. The government should give due representation to all, particularly renowned scientists and economists from the PAU, HAU and such other institutions.


Reconsider decision

The reason behind not giving representation to Punjab in the MSP committee is a mystery. There is still time to reconsider the decision and avoid any ugly situation as farmers are fuming. Policies should be resilient to keep space for change. The situation needs to be handled maturely in the interest of the public who suffers the most.

Raj Kumar Kapoor, Ropar

Air safety

Refer to ‘DGCA crackdown’; due to pandemic losses, there is a possibility of airlines compromising with safety standards by cutting corners in aircraft maintenance. The DGCA’s directive should have come earlier. Even as the regulator asked the airlines to comply with safety protocols and report back to it by July 28, two more instances of snags have been reported. The situation is worrisome as the airlines aren’t being asked to do anything new. India has in place a safety programme and an integrated set of regulation for air safety. The occurrence of a large number of incidents is the result of component failure. But given the policy support and worrying reports on safety, there are bound to be questions on the performance of both the DGCA and the government.

PL Singh, by mail

Take on mining mafia

The cold-blooded murder of a DSP in Haryana by the mining mafia is shocking. The state and the nation have lost a true son of the soil who made the supreme sacrifice in the line of duty. It would be a shame if his sacrifice goes in vain if heads do not roll even now. Scores of trucks are being used for illegal mining, and if they are not seen by the eye of the law, it simply means that it is being run in connivance with the political-bureaucratic nexus.

Amit Kumar, Mohali

Population control Bill

If our leaders are really concerned about the prosperity of the country, they must go ahead with population control. A section of society seems against population control, but it must understand that controlling population is as much in their interest as in the interest of the nation. Undoubtedly, rising population is the mother of all problems the country is facing; like unemployment, housing, food, water, electricity and even fresh air. A Bill on population control is in everyone’s interest.

Lt Col Ram Lal Arora (Retd), Jalandhar

Melodious gems

The death of legendary singer Bhupinder Singh has upset his fans, and the Indian film and music industry. His mellifluous voice enthralled the hearts of millions over the past six decades. His long career may not have a large body of songs, but certainly they are melodious gems which would always echo in the hearts of his countless fans. His natural grace and talent would leave indelible footprints in the sands of time. A befitting tribute would be from a song sung by him and Lata Mangeshkar, ‘Meri awaaz hi pehchaan hai, gar yaad rahe....’


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Belligerent China Other

Jul 20, 2022

Apropos of ‘India-China stalemate’, China has disputes with 17 nations over land and maritime boundaries. China’s policy of territorial expansion is a major cause of disputes. Several rounds of military and diplomatic talks have taken place between India and China to resolve the deadlock, but China is adamant. It has deployed a large number of PLA forces along the border in eastern Ladakh while engaging in high-level military talks with India.

RK Arora, Mohali

Blessing in disguise

Refer to ‘No headway, but India China to stay in touch’; China not resolving the border row and India accepting the challenge has resulted in making the borders strong by manning and infrastructure and connectivity development. India has, for decades, not cared about infrastructure development along its borders. China and Russia always station the military at the borders, and expand gradually. We should thank China for training our forces in borders security.

Ashok Kumar Goel, Panchkula

Drugs in jail

Refer to ‘Drug trafficking’, the scale and magnitude of the problem can be gauged from the recent seizures. Politicians, bureaucrats and police officers who connive with drug trafficker, are the worst enemies of the country. It is heartening that the Punjab Police, in tandem with the Gujarat Police, have successfully seized a huge haul intended to be smuggled to Punjab. That the AAP government is sincere about eradicating this problem is corroborated by the fact that the Punjab Police have nabbed 676 drug smugglers during week-long operations. We cannot let our demographic dividend change into liability.

Roshan Lal Goel, Ladwa

Need honest officers

Refer to the news that 40% of jail inmates are able to obtain drugs freely; the government is harping on improving the jails, and at the same time, drugs are being supplied to jail inmates. This cannot happen without the collusion of jail staff. Senior officers with integrity should be put at the helm to break this nexus. Earlier it is done the better it would be.

NPS Sohal, Chandigarh

Insult to nation

Simranjit Singh Mann has taken oath in Parliament, but without any regret for the insult to the most inspirational freedom fighter, Shaheed Bhagat Singh, whom he called a ‘terrorist’. He also defended the honour bestowed on General Dyer at Akal Takht by his grandfather. This is a huge insult to the whole nation by the MP, that too from Punjab. The Jallianwala Bagh massacre was the blackest historical incident of our freedom struggle, which Mann is trying to change with his own ideology. What interests of Punjab or the country will he safeguard?


Mann in Parliament

Reference to ‘Secessionist Mann swears by Indian Constitution, vows to uphold sovereignty’; the entry of a pro-Khalistan leader and his vow to uphold the integrity and sovereignty of the country should allay the fears regarding democratic values being at stake in the country, as expressed recently by the CJI (‘Shrinking space for Oppn not good sign for healthy democracy’). To gain political space for itself, the Opposition will have to go through electoral ordeal. It is not going to be given wishful space gratis. Mann has earned the right to raise his voice through due democratic electoral process.

DV Sharma, Mukerian

Pragmatic politics

Apropos of ‘Plant 5 trees on getting power connection: CM’, it brings pragmatic politics to the fore, which is the need of the hour for Punjab. The government can develop the bank of Kali Bein as a ‘monument of environment’. This would generate revenue and become a good source of environment restoration. A visit to Kali Bein should precede a visit to Budha Nullah to drive home the point of environmental pollution and the importance of restoration to schoolchildren and environment enthusiasts. CM Bhagwant Mann drinking Kali Bein water demonstrates the veracity of the claim of low TDS, which already stands vindicated by the drinking of Kali Bein water by Balbir Singh Seechewal, noted environmentalist and Rajya Sabha Member.

Jagvinder Singh Brar, Patiala

Presidents to remember

Of all the Presidents India has had, perhaps history will remember only three — Rajendra Prasad, S Radhakrishnan and Dr APJ Abdul Kalam — who were elected to the post as per the guidelines in the Constitution. All the others were nominated and elected either due to their caste or political allegiances. Should there be a post of President at all? Where is the necessity of such an ornamental post if he or she is to serve as a ‘rubber stamp’ of the ruling party?

Balbir Singh Kakkar, Jalandhar

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Unpardonable act Other

Jul 19, 2022

Sarbarah Arur Singh’s despicable act of honouring General Dyer, the perpetrator of the Jallianwala Bagh massacre, cannot be condoned (‘Simranjit Singh Mann defends grandfather who honoured General Reginald Dyer’). The ‘honour’ will remain a blot on our history. Sarbarahs, like other important gurdwara functionaries, were British appointees and remained their stooges. They never cared a hoot for Sikh traditions and ethos.


Logic behind ranking?

Reference to ‘Institute ranking system’; the evaluation of higher education institutions is certainly a futile exercise. Two reputed global institutions — Times Higher Education, London, and QS (QS World University Rankings) — annually evaluate over 1,600 universities across 99 countries. Evaluation and ranking by these bodies is based on performance across four areas: teaching, research, knowledge transfer and international outlook. The Indian ranking by the National Institute Ranking Framework (NIRF) is merely wastage of time and energy. Do we put any effort, at any level, to strengthen the weak areas in Indian universities? If not, what is the rationality behind the ranking system?

VK Anand, Chandigarh

Manipulating ranking

Reference to ‘Institute ranking system’; the main purpose behind the ranking should be to raise the quality and standard of education, but this objective is seldom envisioned in the long exercise of evaluating an institute in the light of the responses to the questionnaire designed in a mechanical manner. The fact is that our educational system is grossly commercialised and even good rankings are managed with the help of graft and slush money. Even PhD degrees are bought and no pains are taken to explore topics extensively and intensively. The passion that is a prerequisite for PhD is conspicuous by its absence.

Roshan lal goel, by mail

Need strong Oppn

Apropos of ‘CJI: Shrinking space for Oppn not good sign for healthy democracy’, the CJI’s concern is not unfounded as a strong Opposition is a must for a vibrant democracy. A government with brute majority often tends to exercise unrestrained political power and tends to frame arbitrary laws, negating the very principle of democracy — government by the people and for the people. Ignoring the Opposition can be construed as gross disrespect of voters who have elected representatives from Opposition parties.


Ayurveda holds promise

Every medical science should be subject to scrutiny and the same goes for ayurveda. At the same time, it must be kept in mind that this ancient form of medicine offers promising results in the long term, like treating the root of the disease, has minimal side effects, and is an effective treatment. Ayurvedic practice of medicine must be encouraged and funded in a planned manner so that it may thrive in the right manner.

Rewant Sharma, by mail

Food-borne diseases

Food-borne diseases are a growing concern in India, costing 15 billion annually at present and the number of cases is expected to rise to 177 million annually by 2030. All state health departments are silent on the issue. Even FSSAI officials are not helping. The government is taking steps to promote good quality food in the country and has launched initiatives, such as ‘Eat Right India’ to transform the food ecosystem. The government laid emphasis on chemical-free farming in the last budget as well. Indians are consuming about 70,000 metric tonne of pesticides every year, including those that are banned in other countries for causing cancer.


Population growth

The burgeoning population is the mother of all ills that India is facing today. Despite our progress in all fields to achieve supremacy, we are bogged down due to rising population (‘India to surpass China as most populous’). For this dubious distinction, our leadership is squarely responsible. In our democratic setup, votes are the only means to achieve political power. So, politicians would never raise this sensitive issue to avoid public ire. The nation is choked due to huge rush in almost every public place, like airports, bus stands, hospitals, educational institutions, roads, parks and markets. Instead of bullet trains, we should focus on the rising population. The government should introduce a Bill on the control of population.


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Not fit for House Other

Jul 18, 2022

Refer to ‘Unduly prickly’; the long list of 1,500 words used in common discussions and declared unparliamentary goes against democratic norms followed the world over. Etiquette and decorum have to be maintained but critical debate and discussions are the essence of any discourse. If a debate is on the subject of gangrape, the Opposition would say ‘the country is ashamed of the increasing heinous crimes’. What about the discussion on corruption, when the PM says, ‘bhrashtachar desh ko ghun ki tarah kha raha hai’? Majoritarianism is the order of the day and democratic discourse is no more the mantra for our polity.

Prem Singh Dahiya, Rohtak

Word meanings

The Lok Sabha Speaker has done a wise thing by saying that there is no blanket ban on any word in the House and the context of usage would determine whether a particular word would be expunged from the records. By themselves words have no meaning, it is assigned to them and they are not impervious to change. National security and national pride are the preferred matrix around which narratives are woven to create contexts and install new meanings. When India endorses declarations at international forums upholding media freedom, right to dissent, freedom of expression, inclusive growth, and suchlike lofty ideals, it jars with the real-life situation. ‘When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said in an authoritative tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.’ To this Alice said, ‘The question is, whether you can make words mean so many different things.’ Undoubtedly, our politicians are capable of performing this feat!

Beant Singh Bedi, Mohali

Good for India

Apropos of ‘First I2U2 summit zeroes in on food security, clean energy’, the four-nation grouping is a timely initiative to harness the entrepreneurial spirit to tackle some of the greatest global challenges through joint investments in water, energy, transportation, space, health and food security. It is a positive sign that the inaugural summit focused on food security crisis and clean energy and zeroed in on two specific projects to give Indian farmers guaranteed access to West Asia markets and set up a hybrid clean energy project in Gujarat to make India the supply chain hub of renewable energy. It will definitely give a significant push to job creation in our country.

Krishan Kant Sood, Nangal

Anarchy in Sri Lanka

Reference to ‘Lanka in Turmoil’; after months of political instability and subsequent economic collapse, Sri Lanka’s civil decorum has come to a grinding halt with heads of state fleeing the country for safety. The island earlier witnessed assassinations, murders, mayhem and terrorism for nearly three decades during the reign of the LTTE. The Rajapaksa family came to power legitimately in 2005 with majority. People later realised that it was all a family business, putting the country in huge debt. The lesson for voters in democracies is to be mindful of their choices as majoritarianism is never the best policy, as has been proved in the case of Sri Lanka.

Gregory Fernandes, Mumbai

Retailer not responsible

Reference to the news report ‘Factory owner booked for selling spurious fertiliser’; the law pertaining to the fertiliser Act is vague and faulty, as according to the Fertiliser Control Order and Essential Commodities Act, in the event of failure of any fertiliser sample, the retailer/dealer is also made equally responsible to face the legal consequences as the unscrupulous manufacturer. The failure of sample due to adulteration is the responsibility of the factory owner and not of the innocent retailer. There are many such cases pending in different courts, where the retailers are also suffering due to the manufacturer’s fault. This Act needs to be revoked. Aristotle had said, ‘Even when the laws have been written down, they ought not always to remain unaltered.’ It is in the interest of justice to review this obsolete and unjust Act.

Achil Anand, by mail

Illicit liquor

It is a routine matter to find a news report about the seizure of thousands of litres of illicit liquor or lahan by the police. But after the completion of court formalities, its fate is not known. Probably it is thrown away. We have numerous prominent universities and institutions in the country, where research is done on various subjects. The state government should approach them to find a way to utilise the seized liquor and get financial benefits from it.

Naresh Johar, Amritsar

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Trouble in Sri Lanka Other

Jul 16, 2022

Apropos of ‘Lanka in turmoil’, as President Gotabaya Rajapaksa fled to escape the protesters who are upset with his rule, leaving the people struggling with a severe shortage of food, fuel and other essential items, the political instability in the midst of an economic crisis is a clear indication that only a popular government can bring peace and put the economy back on track. It also sends the message that the Rajapaksas, blamed for the destruction of economy, will find it difficult to survive politically now. Clearly, Sri Lanka is in the throes of a political change.

Ramesh Gupta, Narwana

Anarchy in Colombo

Angry Sri Lankans who are indulging in anarchy seem to have lost patience and want results immediately. President Gotabaya Rajapakasa should have resigned much earlier. He should have taken moral responsibility for failing to stem the rot and quit long back. Colombo needs a functional government to immediately conduct negotiations with the IMF and other nations and restructure economy to make it viable again. Not too long back, Sri Lanka was South Asia’s brightest economic spot, but mismanagement of its economy has threatened a regression.

PL Singh, by mail

Unparliamentary words

Reference to ‘Unduly prickly’; the latest list of unparliamentary words is another instance of the present- day political dispensation’s growing spirit of intolerance in public life. Now the urge is to control the language of expression even of those who are the voice of the people. The elected members of both Houses need not be told how to frame their arguments. Apt words and phrases are needed to make a point. Besides, expressions in any language have a history and rationale of their own.

DV Sharma, Mukerian

Rishi Sunak for UK PM

If the Indian-origin Rishi Sunak becomes the Prime Minister of Britain, it will be a case of the empire striking back. We do find a contrast here with Indian politics where the foreign origin of Congress leader Sonia Gandhi was sought to be turned into a political issue. We have to admire the British and their political parties who preferred an Indian to be a front-runner in the race.

Capt Amar Jeet (retd), Kharar

Murmu for President

Apropos of ‘Another blow to Oppn, JMM also backs Murmu’, JMM chief Shibu Soren rightly announced support for the ruling NDA nominee Droupadi Murmu in the July 18 election for the post of President of India. Apart from various allies of the BJP, other parties too have announced their support for Murmu, who has proved her mettle well in the past. Keeping her stature in mind, Opposition leaders should shed their approach and help her in getting elected unopposed. It will set a healthy precedent in Indian politics.

Vijaya Sharma, by mail

Transfer of employees

This is in reference to the transfers of technical and non-technical employees in the department of local government, Punjab. I wonder how this decision will improve the work efficiency. Such decisions should be rectified by the CM at the administrative level as it will only give rise to expediency in the discharge of duties. Posting to far-flung places may not always help in improving effectiveness.

Harsimranvir Singh, Patiala

Population growth

There is a need to correctly interpret some facts on population growth. India is going to overtake China not because it has failed to control its population. It is China’s population growth that has slowed down in the last decade due to its one-child policy. Now China is scrambling to reverse this demographic slump, and couples have been allowed to have up to three children. India’s problem is not population but policy. It is only when the young are educated, acquire useful skills and find employment that a large population becomes advantageous. India seems to be failing at all these levels.

EL Singh, by mail

I2U2 summit

The first I2U2 summit has zeroed in on food security in South Asia and the Middle East and there are plans to set up food parks in India with a huge investment. It will generate job opportunities and also lead to diversification of crops which can be exported to other countries. It is a good opportunity to earn foreign exchange and get advanced technology in the agriculture sector. But will those subsisting on free foodgrains provided by the government have their share of the pie from these projects?

Rajesh Goyal, by mail

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Revisit bail laws Other

Jul 15, 2022

Apropos of ‘Bail legislation’, the SC directive of 2014 that cops diligently record reasons necessitating arrest and magistrates grant bail only when fully convinced remains ignored with impunity. There is no mechanism on compliance follow-up. The State is the biggest litigant and those who lack affluence and influence languish in overcrowded jails pending trial. Courts in India@75 should be obliged to grant damages for custody and coercion to those absolved of charge. Prioritise bail legislation like the UK’s Bail Act mutatis mutandis, as delays take their toll.

Lalit Bharadwaj, Panchkula

Bail them out

Reference to ‘Bail legislation’, our prisons are crowded with inmates, most of whom are undertrials and require no incarceration as per the unbiased interpretation of the provisions of criminal jurisprudence. An inmate feels victimised when after undergoing a harrowing experience in prison, he is acquitted after a prolonged incarceration. The low conviction rate reveals that the detention of most of the undertrials smacks of the high-handedness of the law enforcing agencies. Arrests are effected on the slightest pretext, also to settle political scores. Reiteration by the apex court that ‘bail is rule and jail an exception’ is seldom honoured.

Roshan Lal Goel, Ladwa

Shift emblem

Refer to ‘Row over angry lions replacing benign ones’; there are, rightly so, two schools of thoughts on the installation of the emblem atop the Parliament building. Unveiling ceremony by the PM, without the presence of representatives of other political parties, was improper. This massive structure will be seen only by a small percentage of the elite and media representatives. These roaring lions seem more to scare the beholders than to represent power and self-belief of our country. It is not late, this structure can be shifted and installed under the canopy of India Gate. We may consider installing emblems of the four major religions — Hinduism, Christianity, Islam and Sikhism — on a rotating base, with replica of the Ashoka pillar in the centre. It will do more justice to what India is — a secular nation, and not an angry, roaring nation.


‘Real lions’ a problem

Refer to the row over angry lions; the common man is not concerned about the controversy over the emblem installed at the new Parliament building. TV channels are busy holding discussions with spokespersons of various political parties. These debates are not useful in solving more vital problems like price hike and unemployment. The common man is concerned more about the real-life lions who they face daily in the shape of real problems.

DK WIG, by mail

Drug seizure

In the last less than a year, drugs worth Rs 30,000 crore have been seized by different agencies across India. Despite such seizure, the drug trade is going on at the same pace. This shows the magnitude of gains involved in the trade, but it seems that it is not only the financial gains that is driving this. Those involved want to break the back of society by involving our youth in drug consumption and then trade. The task before the authorities is too huge and can only be handled through a well-coordinated approach. The cooperation shown by the Punjab Police and Gujarat Police in the recent huge seizure from Mundra port is commendable.


Revenue office nexus

Refer to ‘A glimpse of goings-on at tehsil office’; the writer has given a true picture of the working style of revenue offices. Deed writers, munshis and those who stand witness to identify people whom they have never met, have a nexus with officials. For every quick disposal or favour, some amount exchanges hands depending on the sensitivity and status of a case. Getting orders typed and issued requires extra ‘favour’. A similar situation exists in ‘patwar khanas’, where unauthorised and private assistants have been employed illegally.


Can’t help it!

While reading ‘Anything but polite!’ I was smiling as I have seen Haryanvis trying to be polite numerous times but failing in their attempts most of the time! My maternal grandfather is a Haryanvi. He can never show a welcoming gesture no matter how hard he tries. As a resident of Punjab, I can see how different the welcoming styles of both Haryanvis and Punjabis are. It was hilarious to read that even though it is supposed to be polite, the meanings are such that anyone who doesn’t know it would feel offended. The piece made my day after spending tiring hours at school.

Vanshika Garg, Bassi Pathana

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Populous India Other

Jul 14, 2022

REFER to ‘India to surpass China as most populous in 2023’; in 1980, the population of China and India was 98 crore and 70 crore, respectively. Sensing the gravity of the situation, China imposed a strict policy, forcing couples to have only one child, whereas India continued with its policy of ‘Hum do, hamare do’. It took China about four decades to lower its population growth rate. India should take a leaf out of China’s pragmatic approach. To aggravate the already precarious situation, there are many fringe elements in almost all religions in our country who are advocating the people of their respective community to produce more children. Along with other necessary steps, the government must take immediate action against such people too.

Balbir Singh Kakkar, Jalandhar

Population control

Notwithstanding the good news that the fertility rate in India has reduced and contraceptive prevalence has increased, the increasing population rate is a matter of concern (‘Population milestone’). The projections that by next year, India would overtake China’s population to become the world’s most populous country should stir our policy-makers from slumber and compel them to come out with a population control policy and family planning measures acceptable to all Indians, irrespective of region, caste and religion.

Ashwani Kumar Malhotra, by mail

In nation’s interest

Our politicians leave no stone unturned in taking advantage of a situation and creating uproar, no matter how vital the issue under consideration might be for national interest. Confrontational methods in support of a political cause has been their modus operandi, but it is not acceptable on a hot issue like population control, which has been an impediment in the growth of our nation. Yogi Adityanath’s statement to move forward with the population control programme shouldn’t be imbued with polarising colours, as it is in the interest of the entire country, rather than being detrimental to a particular sect or religion. One hopes this programme gains steam not only in Uttar Pradesh, but also across the country to reduce the burden on our limited resources.

Upant Sharma, Panchkula

Scrap advisory panel

The AAP chief and CM of Delhi, Arvind Kejriwal, is treating the Bhagwant Mann government as an annex of the Delhi Government. The advisory panel headed by Raghav Chadha from Delhi is illogical and unwarranted. Why does the Punjab CM need an advisory when he has experts and competent people in his state to help him implement the policies promised during elections? Is the CM so weak that he needs help to govern? If he needs advice, he must get it from local sources. He is answerable to the people of Punjab. This illegal and unconstitutional body must be scrapped.

Capt Amar Jeet (Retd), Kharar

Roaring lions

Refer to ‘Row over lions’; while a strong Opposition is necessary in a democracy, it should focus on constructive criticism, rather than opposing every move of the government. Just because the lions in the national emblem looked a bit different in the past is no reason to perpetuate the same for eternity. It could be minor variation on a basic theme. There is also nothing wrong with holding rituals of the majority community when unveiling the emblem. In Tamil Nadu, for instance, Dravidian politicians have been known to conduct special pujas whenever they or a family member got into trouble with the law, while abusing the Hindu religion and its practices in public. The ruling party deserves to be appreciated for not giving in to political hypocrisy unlike other parties.

V Jayaraman, Chennai

Mattewara project

Refer to ‘Govt scraps Mattewara textile project’; the government has given in to the pressure of NGOs and political parties and scrapped the textile project. It shows that the government had not done proper homework regarding the feasibility study and environmental impact assessment before introducing the project. As 33% of the total geographical area must be under green cover, and currently it is only 3.3% in Punjab, the government must learn lessons from its mistakes and introduce biodiversity conservation and protection of flora and fauna as a basic aspect in industrial policy.

Harvinder Singh Chugh, Jalandhar

Uddhav’s nod

Apropos of ‘Uddhav backs Murmu after Sena MPs’ plea’, Uddhav has done well to listen to his genuine supporters, breaking ties with an unholy alliance, and for agreeing to support NDA’s presidential candidate Droupadi Murmu. He should also consider the demand of his party MPs to rebuild ties with the BJP to regain lost ground in politics.

Upendra Sharma, by mail

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

Fragile ecosystem Other

Jul 13, 2022

Apropos of ‘Amarnath tragedy’, cloudbursts and landslides come under the category of natural disasters and little can be done about it. However, human intervention in the form of construction activity and deforestation has aggravated landslides. An early warning system could be useful in evacuating people before the catastrophe strikes. The number of pilgrims and tourists too needs to be regulated to help conserve and maintain the balance of a fragile ecosystem. In the bid to milk tourism for all its worth, little attention is paid to environmental concerns. This is not going to be the last tragedy of its kind.


Advisory panel

Refer to Punjab advisory panel; does the state need an advisory panel? Senior officers with immense experience head various departments. Ministers have been given different departments to take appropriate decisions. If a separate panel has to give guidelines, ministers and secretaries will have no role to play in the government. No government has ever formed such panels with extra-constitutional powers. Will this panel work without remuneration? Advice has always been taken from experts, and not from political leaders. External advice may become a hindrance in future.

Wg Cdr Jasbir S Minhas (retd), Mohali

Give it a shot

Refer to ‘Agnipath will weaken Gorkha bonding’; involving a large population in military training and service through the Agnipath scheme will strengthen the country. Depending on Nepal to provide men for India’s security, on the British formula, is itself worrisome. Are Indians incapable of guarding their nation? Change is always better and it is the universal truth.

Ashok Kumar Goel, Panchkula

Relevance of Agnipath

Too much has been said about the Agnipath scheme (‘Agnipath will weaken Gorkha bonding’). Besides patriotic bonds, the Army provides employment to the youth in accordance with their competency and wish. The present circumstances, wherein the supply and demand ratio is unbalanced, the sustainability of the decades-old policy seems to be irrelevant. The tripartite recruitment agreement of 1947 might be the need of that time, but the Agnipath scheme is the need and reality of the present hour. The government is obliged to generate employment opportunities across the board for the youth.

Sunil Kumar Mahajan, Tihri

Introduce two-child norm

The UN report projecting India to surpass China’s population by 2023 presents an alarming scenario. India’s sustainable development goals are likely to go off-track amid the current pace of population growth, which will affect the core areas of health, education and transport. With limited resources, India can’t afford to keep its developmental agenda alive with unbalanced demographic growth. We need a stringent law to rein in population. A two-child norm is the best way out. Give priority in jobs and social security to those who volunteer to it as a national responsibility.

Anil vinayak, Amritsar

Raking up SYL

Reference to the news ‘CM Khattar seeks new Vidhan Sabha building in Chandigarh, raises SYL’; sometimes decision are taken for political gains/motives. Crores of rupees have already been spent on the SYL project and landowners have been given compensation for acquiring land. Why did Punjab not consider that there was no surplus water when the agreement to construct the SYL canal was made? All the money and cultivable land has gone to waste. The land has since been reclaimed and handed over to the owners. How is the project possible at this belated stage? There is no answer to this question.

Raj Kumar Kapoor, Ropar

Mango delight

Apropos of the middle ‘The mango reigns supreme’, it was amusing to read about the snobbish behaviour of some people regarding the guthli. All love the taste of mangoes and have enjoyed eating them in childhood, digging into the pulp around its seed, with juice dripping over clothes. But so-called decorum and sophistication have diluted that pleasure. Invariably, the guthlis are savoured by the children and the hostess once the guests have gone! Embarrassment of the menfolk indulging in that heavenly pleasure on being seen by the guest can be well imagined.

Arun Bala, Bathinda

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

New dawn for Lanka Other

Jul 12, 2022

Refer to ‘Chaos in Colombo’, an all-party government is set to be formed in Sri Lanka. President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s impending resignation could cool frayed tempers and help the authorities persuade the protesters to return home. It is obvious that the people, battling an acute shortage of essentials such as milk and fuel, are on the edge. Only a new leadership can restore public trust in the government and steer the island nation’s economy out of choppy waters.

SS Paul, Nadia

Misuse of power

Apropos of the editorial, ‘Chaos in Colombo’, populism, majoritarianism and financial mismanagement have plunged Sri Lanka into a politico-economic crisis of unprecedented magnitude. This is an eye-opener for other developing countries. Democracy, once defined as ‘government of the people, for the people and by the people’ has metamorphosed into ‘government of the politicians, for the politicians and by the politicians’. Democracy can survive and thrive only when the interests of the masses are duly taken care of. Other democracies in proximity should learn the lesson that the protesting voices of the masses cannot be stifled by unleashing military or police force against them. The misuse of power does boomerang sooner or later.

Roshan Lal Goel, Ladwa

One-family rule

The situation in Sri Lanka shows how one family's rule can adversely impact a country. Several subsidises were announced without making arrangements for additional income generation. This ultimately precipitated the economic crisis. Due to a crunch of foreign reserves, imports were banned. It will take Sri Lanka a long time to recover financially. In this time of need, China is not doing enough to help the country. India is closely watching the developments as an exodus from that country will have economic and geopolitical ramifications.

Yash Pal Ralhan, Jalandhar

Schoolgirl’s death

The death of a schoolgirl after a heritage tree fell on her and other students in a prestigious school of Chandigarh is very painful and shocking (‘The tragic tree crash’). Merely putting up a board at the site does not absolve the authorities of the responsibility of regular inspection by experts to assess the health and vulnerability of the tree. In this case, the authorities miserably failed to take timely corrective measures. As envisaged in the law, a tree conservation committee can be established in every district. It states that apart from meeting periodically and inspecting heritage trees, the committee can prescribe health cards for identified trees and take action to remove the dangerous ones. It should be ensured that such committees are established in every district for the safety of the trees as well as the public. The Punjab Government has already issued instructions to remove moth-eaten trees from the premises of educational institutions.


Handling China

Apropos of “From BRICS to G-20, clear China policy needed’, India needs diplomacy of the highest order as China is unpredictable and a tricky nation to deal with. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi has rightly said, ‘We have more common interests than differences.’ Unfortunately, China does not follow such statements with confidence-building measures. Our politicians and diplomats must continue to strive for good relations with neighbours Pakistan and China. Once this happens, we shall reach the summit of progress and development, like any developed nation.


Hate speeches

Communal unrest led to gruesome murders in Amravati and Udaipur. Such incidents are irreparably damaging the fabric of our secular state, which is the basic feature of our Constitution. Hate speeches by political and religious leaders are triggering unpleasant goings-on in our country. It is good that the government is mulling to bring a law against hate speeches. It is necessary to put the brakes on unlawful activities fuelled by communal hatred. The sooner it is done the better, lest beheadings become the order of the day.

Maheshwer Sharma, by mail

What religion means

The word ‘religion’ is apparently derived from the Latin ‘religare’, which means ‘to bind’. But is the word currently true to its original meaning? Religion should create a sense of brotherhood among various sects. God is one, then why can’t his children be treated as one? Preachers and saints have taught us what reforms should be carried out to unite all under one roof. Have we forgotten such teachings?

Konica Deveser, by mail

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

Unity in diversity, really? Other

Jul 11, 2022

Refer to ‘Theatre of hate’ (Nous Indica)’; unity in diversity is the maxim we Indians proudly identify ourselves with. But is it so? Religion is being used as a tool to divide communities. We have divided God and made it our undying resolve to ‘protect’ Him. The question we need to ask ourselves is, does something so prodigious and pious need our protection, or is it us who need salvation?

Rewant Sharma, by mail

Exploiting religion

The nub of ‘Theatre of hate’ that the rights to offend and get offended are not acceptable public behaviour, is easier said than done. Down the centuries, the solution has remained elusive. Hate, which is synonymous with intolerance, is manifest in violence and virulence, fear and fanaticism that are inimical to social and communal harmony. But votebank politics thrives on exploiting religion. We need a common civil code that will not only forbid mixing religion with politics, but also isolate the rule of law from religious codes. Tolerance by the State of any breach of law is a curse.

Lalit Bhardwaj, Panchkula

No longer ‘fringe’

Apropos of ‘Theatre of hate’, most persons in society are neither scientists nor philosophers. Expecting them to be logical and reasonable where their mainstay of life and faith is involved, is expecting too much. We have been ignoring the perpetrators of the venomous spirit of hate by calling them fringe elements. Now, they threaten to occupy space in the mainstream. The eradication of this menace is possible if religious leaders take the initiative in matters of faith. Politicians can toe the line but they cannot lead in matters of social and religious importance.

DV Sharma, Mukerian

India has lost a friend

With the assassination of former Japan PM Shinzo Abe, the world has lost a statesman. He was Japan’s globally best-known leader in a long time, and the key driving force behind the resurrection of Quad, realising that Japan had to play an important security role in Asia to counterbalance China. He laid the foundation for what a dynamic Japan should be. This dynamism was visible in the New Delhi-Tokyo relationship, which has deepened with a mutual logistics support agreement and a 2+2 foreign and defence ministerial dialogue. Abe believed in India’s rise and its ability to deliver for Asia. New Delhi and Tokyo must continue to work on his vision. PM Modi has paid rich tributes to his close friend by announcing one-day national mourning in the country.


Religious intolerance

Reference to ‘The growth of the fanatic’; religious fanaticism is on the rise everywhere. Just one hateful statement, a perceived or intentional blasphemous photo or media post, and there is a swarm of fanatics/bigots who are ready to kill and maim in the name of their religious beliefs and teachings. Unfailingly, all religions preach love, compassion and mutual tolerance and respect. If religious enthusiasts are full of hatred and violence, they may be misled and brainwashed by their religious teachers/leaders because of their vested interests.

Ravi Rana, Kapurthala

Mark sick trees

Refer to the tragic death of a promising schoolgirl; the 250-year-old tree was branded as heritage, if so, did the horticulture department carry out any periodic inspection (‘Schoolgirl dies as tree falls during recess’)? The tree was termite infested and was not treated by the department concerned. The lifespan of a peepal tree ranges between 900 and 1,500 years. The administration should mark the trees that are prone to fall due to age, waterlogging or storm; and take appropriate steps to prevent any future tragedy.

VK Anand, Chandigarh

Permission to cut now?

A decaying heritage tree was allowed to grow precariously on a school’s premises. It caused an avoidable tragedy, in which a child lost her life and many others were seriously injured. It takes months to get permission even to prune such a tree, leave alone seeking its removal. One should ‘thank’ the UT administration for allowing the tree to be cut after this tragedy. If it could be cut now without permission, why couldn’t it be removed earlier? It would have averted the tragedy. It must now allow the removal of such trees that are a threat to life and property.

BALVINDER, by mail

Book UT officials

A heritage tree came crashing down on a large number of girl students, claiming the life of one, in a prestigious Chandigarh school. The hand of a student had to be amputated. Why was there no maintenance of the heritage tree? The tree was moth eaten and needed immediate pruning. An FIR should be registered against the officials concerned of the UT administration and the Department of Forests and Wildlife.


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

Johnson’s resignation Other

Jul 09, 2022

UK PM Boris Johnson’s resignation was expected after the resignations of two senior ministers of his cabinet. But the interesting thing is a morality tale that has lessons for democracies, how a leader who just over two years led his party to a landslide parliamentary majority, squandered so much political capital so fast. Even the most ardent of Boris Johnson will have to agree that his authority has been severely dented. The message here is that even leaders with mammoth mandates need to be mindful of the fact that the office needs to command at least a measure of respect and authority.

SK Panesar, by mail

Flight safety

‘Ensure flight safety’; it is appalling that SpiceJet had failed to take appropriate corrective actions despite several warnings about deficiencies in its operations. It also reveals the lack of penal action by the regulator, the DGCA. It would be appropriate if the airline curtails operations for a while so that all inadequacies are addressed. With so many mid-air incidents, confidence in air travel is bound to be dented. The regulator needs to be more alert.

SS Paul, Chakdaha

Mid-air turbulence

Apropos of ‘Ensure flight safety’, the show-cause notice to SpiceJet over safety protocols is mere routine stricture passed by the aviation regulator. What matters most is the blatant non-compliance of minimum safety protocols required to be observed before take-off. If Spicejet failed to maintain in-house safety measures, DGCA too has been lagging in its periodic safety audit and inspection exercise leading to series of worrying incidents.

Anil Vinayak, Amritsar

Obnoxious comments

Refer to ‘The growth of the fanatic’, most people of all faiths want harmonious relations with each other, barring some fanatics who are present in every faith. The writer has mentioned many incidents, past and present, from India and abroad, but omits to say even a word about ‘Kaali’ that tends to hurt religious sentiments. If everyone belonging to every faith tries not to pass any comment that may hurt anyone’s religious feelings, India will become a beautiful place to live in.

Wg Cdr CL Sehgal (retd), Jalandhar

No jobs in Punjab

In Punjab, there is no guarantee of employment even after pursuing higher education which leads to migration of youth to foreign countries like Canada, Australia in search of jobs, and better quality of life. On the other instance, the youth is veering towards drugs and into the trap of gangsters. It is a matter of concern for society.

Konica Deveser, by mail

Police reforms

Apropos of ‘Cops vs cops in Ghaziabad’, how the law enforcement agencies are misused not only to target innocent political adversaries but also to defend the accused involved in an offence of hitting the opposition leader is amply illustrated by the unseemly tussle between the cops of Chhattisgarh and UP over the arrest of a TV anchor on the charge of a misleading or doctored video clip. Rule of law in the real sense of the word can never be enforced in the country till the police are released from the shackles of political parties. Roshan Lal Goel, Ladwa

Accidents on highways

It is reported that 80% deaths on the KMP (Kundli Manesar Palwal) expressway is due to lack of timely medical help. Most road accidents involve truckers. The drivers of trucks and professional cabs become drowsy due to continuous long driving. The highway authorities should make mandatory to provide medical help and ambulance at all toll-plaza roads. The working hours of the drivers should be fixed. For all highway drivers, a card should be issued and this may be inserted in the gadgets installed in the vehicles sending the information in real-time to the authorities concerned. The violators should be dealt with strictly. A law should enacted by the state and Union governments to punish those who ignore the accidents occurred and continue their journey due to fear of police questioning. Road safety needs to be ensured by all means.

Dilwar Ali Meerak, by mail

Northeast insurgency

Many insurgents in Guwahati have surrendered before the Assam Chief Minister this year. Most insurgents are familiar with the terrain having spent years in jungles. The government must play an active role in involving them in activities that help rehabilitate them. Delay in rehabilitation could prove counter-productive and discourage their surrender.

Garv Bhupesh, Panchkul

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

Police reforms Other

Jul 08, 2022

Reference to ‘Cops vs cops in Ghaziabad’; hatred and hostility is being promoted by politicians of the day. Bureaucrats are mute spectators. Politicians are grinding their own axe and the welfare of the nation and people mean nothing to them. Such things were never heard of — states fighting each other like enemies, and the police being misused like this was rare. Police reforms and their independent functioning is the need of the time.


Annual feature

Refer to ‘Ill-prepared for monsoon’; no matter which party is in power, monsoon flooding is an annual feature in nearly all urban areas of the nation. Instead of blaming each other, steps should be taken to prevent waterlogging. Haphazard constructions with no proper planning and blocking natural drainage have ensured that water doesn’t run its natural course. Concretisation leaves no space for water to percolate and adds to the problem. Corruption in all civic bodies is rampant and it’s no secret that a part of funds meant for desilting and drainage goes into private pockets.


Act against all offenders

Apropos of ‘Kaali maker booked for “offensive” poster’, people expect the government to initiate similar action against those who have offended the religious sentiments of Hindus, Sikhs, Muslims Christians, etc., and those who have posted offensive matters on Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp; and have raised offensive slogans, irrespective of political affiliation or high connections. The law of the land must prevail uniformly instead of targeting opponents or a particular section of society. No political party should be permitted to use religion, caste and creed for political mileage and no offender should be protected by any group or party. The mixing of religion with politics is as bad as drunk driving.


Rationalising GST

Apropos of ‘GST yet to turn into single-point levy system’, in order to simplify and rationalise GST, there is a dire need to alter its existing avatar of a multiple-level tax and its present four tax slabs. Both these aspects must be compressed into a more feasible system of single-point levy. Also, there should be no loss of revenue compared to pre-GST era. States have to play a vital role to ensure GST becomes an engine of economic growth. Crude and oil products should also come under the ambit of GST. At present, the Centre is using its power to levy a cess on domestic crude output and export of petroleum products. This cess revenue goes directly to the coffers of the Centre. The states have a justifiable grievance that they are being excluded from revenue inflows. The buoyancy in GST collections demonstrates its effective compliance. Simplification and rationalisation is needed to further enhance its desired implementation.


Politics of expediency

The Shiv Sena was a power centre in Maharashtra politics till it abandoned its ideology to gain power with the support of the very parties which it criticised. Mixed with dynastic ambition it became an unusual concoction. Such alliance lasts only till someone in their own ranks revolts. The hubris of power takes its toll when infallibility turns into a vulnerability, casting a shadow on the politics of expediency.

Hari krishan chaudhary, Mohali

Make Agnipath compulsory

Refer to the Agnipath scheme, if it is such a great thing, why shouldn’t it be expanded and made compulsory for all job-seekers? The Agnipath route should be made a pre-qualification for all candidates for Lok Sabha and Assembly polls, government and public sector (including Civil Services), government-aided enterprises etc. Imagine India comprising disciplined, humane, patriotic, energised, trained, motivated Agniveers, having assured jobs. Such a patriotic manpower shall soon elevate India to the status of a global power. Wonder why this scheme didn’t cross the minds of our illustrious netas who were in power for so long since Independence.

Brig KJ Singh (Retd), by mail

Road mishaps

Refer to ‘Road safety’; the heart-wrenching bus mishap in Kullu’s Sainj valley is another grim reminder for those at the helm of affairs, exposing their laidback approach to road safety norms. About 3,000 people, on an average, lose their lives annually in such avoidable mishaps. Some reasons for the spike in such mishaps are poor road engineering, lack of crash barriers, parapets, overspeeding, rash and drunk driving and dangerous overtaking. The government needs to go the hard way to check all kinds of traffic violations by providing the strictest possible punishment to those flouting rules, including jail term and confiscating licences of erring drivers. The roadworthiness of private vehicles must be checked.


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