Letters to the editor

Support Murmu Other

Jun 25, 2022

IT is indeed a shot in the arm for tribal and women’s empowerment (‘Murmu’s march’). It would have been an expression of the national spirit of consensus and reconciliation had the Congress chief and the TMC supremo risen above party interests and lent support to the presidential candidate, who is an embodiment of the Indian spirit as a down-to-earth person. Yashwant Sinha would have shown sagacity had he, like Sharad Pawar, Farooq Abdullah and Gopalkrishna Gandhi, declined the ‘honour’ of being the Opposition parties’ candidate.

DV Sharma, Mukerian


Aid for Afghanistan

Refer to ‘Helping Afghanistan’; the world must reach out with much more aid, despite the Taliban not having thought of formally requesting the UN for assistance in the face of such a tragic earthquake. The scale of natural calamities, adding to manmade disasters, as in wars and conflicts, inflicted on the country can be gauged from the statistical magnitude of the humanitarian and economic crisis that has overtaken the Afghan people — widespread hunger among about 20 million people representing half of the people. Not only our hearts but also the generosity of our purses should go out to the Afghans.

SS Paul, Nadia


India must do its bit

Apropos of ‘Helping Afghanistan’, the country is already in the throes of perpetual suffering and the recent earthquake has just made it worse. The tragedy warrants the world’s attention as Afghanistan is ill equipped to handle the quake-induced humanitarian crisis. Being a major player in the region, India has more responsibility to extend a helping hand to mitigate the hardships of the people by way of supplying food and medicines. Other major powers and humanitarian organisations must come forward. However, the spate of terror attacks will deter healthcare workers from visiting the country.

Deepak Singhal, Noida


Not without consent

PM Modi should treat the whole country as his own family (‘Time for course correction’). He should not let his ministers impose new policies on the citizens without their consent. You can’t change the country overnight, so it is better to take the youngsters into confidence before launching any scheme or policy. If we understand that they are the future stalwarts of the country, we should treat them like our own sons and daughters. Coercive steps will demoralise them further.

Sunil Chopra, Ludhiana


Haryana politics

Refer to ‘Boost for BJP-JJP’; the BJP-JJP coalition government had suffered trust deficit during the farmers’ agitation against the ‘black’ laws, with Haryana’s border with Delhi being the epicentre of the protests. The immediate fallout was the defeat of BJP candidates in the two Assembly byelections held soon after. However, it was astonishing that the Congress did not field any candidate (on its ticket), owing to its grassroots organisational structure in Haryana lacking leadership for nearly a decade. With just one victory, the debutant AAP should shed its overconfidence.

Kumar Gupt, by mail


Honour players

The Haryana Government needs applause for conferring Bhim Award on 52 players on International Olympic Day. It is a reward for the hard work and dedication of the athletes. Punjab and UT seem least bothered about the sports culture and players. They too should honour their players before they shift loyalties. Chandigarh does not have a single synthetic track. How long do the players have to wait for world-class facilities?

Opinder kaur Sekhon, Chandigarh


EC action

Reference to ‘EC seeks explanation over plea to extend voting time’; the Election Commission has rightly sought an explanation from the Chief Secretary and the DC for requesting the extension of polling time. Had the AAP government done its homework, it could have averted this controversy. When it knew that farmers would be busy in paddy work, why no formal request was sent to the ECI to extend the polling time? The commission’s action was swift in this non-BJP ruled state. One wonders if it would have been possible in a BJP-ruled state.

Ravinder Singh, Jalandhar


Poor polling

The low polling percentage in the Sangrur Lok Sabha bypoll depicts public disenchantment with the democratic process. Since Independence, no matter who came to power, the masses have been beset with unemployment, drug menace, poor medical and education infrastructure, among other problems. People are fed up with politicians. It seems that Kejriwal’s Delhi model has failed to excite the people of Punjab.

Rajesh Goyal, by mail


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

Presidential pick Other

Jun 24, 2022

Reference to ‘Murmu’s march’, it is indeed commendable that the BJP-led NDA has picked a tribal woman leader, who has risen through the ranks, as its presidential candidate. Moreover, by naming Droupadi Murmu as its candidate, the BJP has tried to express its support for women’s empowerment and bringing Adivasis into the mainstream. Having said that, the Opposition’s disparaging response to her candidature left a sour note.

Aanya Singhal, Noida


Elected President

The question here is not just of electing a tribal President. The question is can the President tell the ruling party about where it needs to rethink the measures taken. Just as this government is concerned about keeping the fittest youth in Army, it must practice this even in politics. The President must be elected directly by the people as per their aspirations. The President must be above politics and not a nominated person of any political party with a majority of votes.

Capt Amar Jeet (retd), Kharar


Coalition experiment

Apropos of ‘Power play in Maharashtra’, MVA, an Opposition coalition experiment which held off the BJP for quite some time, is in peril. The MVA government’s troubles are made worse by the fact that Sena and the other players in the coalition seemed unaware when Shinde’s rebellion became apparent. CM Uddhav Thackeray’s relatively good record as an administrator and MVA’s seeming stability against a BJP that outwitted many Opposition parties in other states, had probably hidden realpolitik weaknesses.

MS Khokhar, by mail


Mature soldiers

Apropos of ‘Fitness for soldiering not just about youthfulness’, the emotive factor of youngsters needs more deliberations to determine the age bracket for Agniveers. The younger generation of present times may be physically tough and technologically advanced, but they also have to be emotionally stable and mentally tough. It will be better if the minimum age limit for Agniveers is increased to 25 years and above to attract more mature and responsible soldiers.

Sunil Kumar Mahajan, Ghumarwin


Young force a ploy

Refer to ‘No rollback, India needs young force: NSA Doval’, under the existing system, a jawan entering at 18 years retires at 33 after serving for 15 years to earn pension. Isn’t 18 to 33 years of age a young force? The call for young force is just a ploy, real aim is to save on the pension bills. It takes three to four years to fully train a person. Let us not use the forces as a platform to train men only to lose them to others. I had commanded a unit in the Air Force. If the scheme had come at that time, I would have refused to accept an Agniveer in my unit. And, why are you eyeing the pension of the soldiers, how about the MPs or MLAs who get pension that they do not deserve?

Wg Cdr CL Sehgal (retd), Jalandhar


Sainik School incident

Apropos of ‘Sainik School boys thrashed by seniors,’ parents of students interested in opting for defence forces prefer to send their wards to Sainik Schools so that they learn the etiquettes expected of them at an early stage. But what happened at Sainik School in Kapurthala would upset parents. The authorities must inquire and take the right steps to ensure discipline on campus.

Vijaya Sharma, by mail


Debt-related deaths

Reference to ‘Debt-ridden farmer kills self’, suicide by a debt-ridden farmer in Fatehgarh Sahib district has sounded a clarion call for those at helm of affairs. The incumbent AAP government is in an overdrive to rein in corruption and initiate other path-breaking decisions to show good governance, including vacating of panchayat lands, offering appointment letters to unemployed youth, inviting people’s view on budget, to name a few. The government also needs to focus on debt-related deaths. Saving precious lives should precede other key decisions of the government.

Ramesh K Dhiman, Chandigarh


UN Public Service Day

The United Nations Public Service Day (June 23) is observed every year to celebrate the value and virtue of public service to the community, highlight the contribution of public service in the development process, recognise the work of public servants and encourage young people to pursue careers in the public sector. This day commemorates the efforts of public servants to the country’s development. The contribution of workers who safeguard, acknowledge and invest in their well-being in order to keep the nation together is highlighted on this day.

Divyansha Sharma, Ujjain


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

Presidential battle Other

Jun 23, 2022

Apropos of the editorial ‘Presidential battle’, the NDA fielding Droupadi Murmu — a tribal leader from Odisha — as the presidential candidate bears PM Modi’s astute stamp and is a smart signal. The role of the Opposition in a healthy democracy is not to oppose as a policy but to support the country always and the government where it deserves it. The Opposition pick, Yashwant Sinha, would do well not to act wiser than Sharad Pawar or Farooq Abdullah or Gopalkrishna Gandhi, who refused to contest in the losing game. India@75 needs to showcase its maturity by having the next President elected unopposed.

Lalit Bharadwaj, Panchkula


Consensus missing

It seems that the political parties have again missed an opportunity to strike a cordial note and work out a national consensus when the outcome of the presidential election is a foregone conclusion. As the NDA headed by the BJP has the required numbers to go it alone, the Opposition should have fallen in line to support a non-controversial lesser known tribal woman who had risen from the ranks to a creditable political career. In a bid to put up a show of notional fight, the Opposition has only ended up showing fissures. The NDA, more specifically the BJP, too can’t escape the blame for its disdain for consensus, to follow and strengthen democratic traditions and institutions. The country too looks upon the new President to uphold the Constitution, distinguish between right and wrong without conceding to political pressure.

Gp Capt JS Boparai, Bhadsali (HP)


NDA move

Apropos of ‘Murmu to be first tribal & youngest Prez, if elected’; many a political move by the BJP might have faced tumultuous storms but in the presidential elections, it has shown its trump card in a striking manner. The divided Opposition has tried to present a semblance of unity but it cannot hide its tattered approach to an opportunity that could have provided it a rallying point for the 2024 electoral battle.

DV Sharma, Mukerian


Cable car mishap

It is apparent that the government of Himachal Pradesh is adopting a cavalier attitude towards the safety of tourists in the state. Ropeways and cable cars are the shortest distance between two points and save the tourists a lot of time and effort. They are also hugely popular. It is in the interests of the state to make this mode of travel safe so that it gives a further boost to tourism. As usual, the jawans mounted a terrific rescue act and no lives were lost. The state governments must be penalised for criminal negligence if it is found that it was their laxity that lead to the cable car mishaps.

Anthony Henrique, Mumbai


Need such officers

It may be due to intense public pressure, but the way Gurdaspur Deputy Commissioner has cracked the whip on PWD officials, it is commendable. He has asked for the entire record related to the money spent on maintaining the Gurdaspur-Mukerian road in the last five years. Though he took the action after there were a number of complaints regarding the poor condition of the road, such an action is much needed to set the derelict employees right. The report has truly highlighted the importance of the road due to its proximity with the international border.

Bir Devinder Singh Bedi (Sangrur)


A Roadways problem

Apropos of ‘PRTC staff seek Rs 150 cr pending dues’, it is an irony that governments in Punjab have pushed the PRTC/Punbus into a pathetic condition. They could not settle the issue of plying their buses up to IGIA, Delhi, with the AAP government in Delhi for more than three years. The then CM Capt Amarinder Singh was quick to announce free travel for women in government buses. He should have provided funds in advance.

Upendra Sharma, by mail


Protests not justified

Arson and vandalism that ensued with the announcement of the Agnipath scheme are a cause for concern. It seems whenever any change is contemplated in the system, it always meets with resistance. Instead of leaving it to our experienced military officers who are in the best position to take decisions in such matters, everyone has been giving an opinion on Agnipath. The old mindset needs to change. Joining the armed forces should not be looked upon as another opportunity of employment but fulfilment of a passion to serve the nation. Any new policy introduced for betterment of armed forces, that face the harshest of conditions, should not be turned into a political controversy.

Yoginder Singhal, Ladwa


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

Stop direct recruitment Other

Jun 22, 2022

Apropos of ‘Revise Agnipath rationally’, producing an Agniveer after six months of initial training is akin to delivering a premature baby to save a mother or her child in acute health emergency. There is no such catastrophic situation at the moment to cut short the training of the armed forces. It takes years after induction training before a young soldier can be entrusted to take on an independent role in a battlefield environment. Four years is too short a time to expect an Agniveer to deliver the desired results. As regards employment of released persons after four years, the government should come out with a blueprint to absorb all the Agniveers into CAPF and state police. It would cut down expenditure of these forces which they would have spent on initial training. In fact, direct recruitment in CAPF and police may be stopped after four years as there would be enough number of trained Agniveers to be inducted.

Lt Col JS Dullat (Retd), Patiala


Don’t impose schemes

There are confused and conflicting responses regarding the Agnipath scheme. The reason appears to be that like agricultural laws, which were later repealed, the government was unable to properly make the benefactors understand the benefits. It is the BJP’s practice to decide and impose schemes without proper awareness of the masses. Coercion is always detrimental. There appears to be a policy vacuum as youngsters are in a dilemma as to what they will do after four years. They are ignorant about the detailed scheme and see no future in it. Decades back, the Short Service Commission was introduced, where youngsters were commissioned for five years. The government should make public the details of the scheme through the print media and other means.

Raj Kumar Kapoor, Ropar


Jawans’ feedback

A lot has been discussed and debated on the Agnipath scheme. Only the military top brass is talking about the recruitment policy. We have not taken the views of serving and retired jawans who are actually the backbone of the armed forces. The Army top brass should have taken the feedback from them before saying yes to the government. The guidelines to retain the Agniveers should have been explained because it is going to be difficult for the unit commander to shunt out a major chunk of manpower. Later, when they go to other organisation like the police and paramilitary forces, they are not going to be accepted so easily because of the stigma of rejection by the armed forces.

Col GS Bhullar (retd), Jalandhar


Modify Agnipath

Though Agnipath is being criticised on mainly two points, it is good for the youth. One point is security of the nation and the other is the re-employment issue after four years. The tough, basic training and a disciplined routine will make the Agniveers efficient enough to face any challenge of life. After coming out from the armed forces, such people will not damage national property in the name of agitation. Nowadays, more and more applications are piling up for premature retirement. This will cease after Agnipath. Unwilling and uninterested persons will not meet the retention criteria. The only thing is that 25% quota is quite less. It should be around 40%. Modification of such type will be in the interest of all concerned.

NP SHARMA, AMBALA


Kabul attack

Reference to ‘Kabul terror attack’; the first and foremost responsibility of the government is to ensure the safety and security of its citizens, irrespective of their community and religion. Minority sections must be protected at all costs. Islam is a religion of peace, and no radical or extremist elements may be permitted to commit violent acts in Afghanistan. People across the world should respect the gods of other faiths and strengthen the harmonious relations among societies. It is now for the Taliban government to ensure that no attacks take place on the minorities in future, only then will their image get a boost on international fora.

SUBHASH VAID, by mail


RS conscience vote

The article ‘Conscience vote in RS polls hurts Congress’ highlights the weakness in the strategy of the Congress high command in the recently held RS polls. The Gandhis should not have depended too much on the regional satraps. Ajay Maken’s defeat is a personal setback for the Gandhis. There was a time when Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi would often meet state leaders to obtain their views on relevant issues. In Rajasthan, the Congress high command’s dilly-dallying attitude won’t work. Let’s wait and watch the way the party handles future challenges.

Ravi Kumar, Amritsar


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

Security paramount Other

Jun 21, 2022

The overhaul in recruitment and retention mechanisms should ensure the country’s security and defend its national interests (‘Recruitment plan out, protesters barred’). The Centre has shown magnanimity in announcing age enhancement, non-alteration of unit’s composition and reservation in Central police forces. It should address the remaining concerns of the agitating youth. For the success of new paradigm, the government should ensure fair and transparent selection, and proper training for operational capability. Post their exit from the Army, these Agniveers should get assured re-employment in government, public and private sector undertakings. The budgetary allocation for the defence sector should be increased. The Opposition should stop politicising this important national issue and the ruling party should restrain its overzealous cadres from making irresponsible statements.

DS Kang, Hoshiarpur


Hurried step

Refer to the report ‘Recruitment plan out, protesters barred'; the government is in a tearing hurry to commence the recruitment process under the new scheme and has no plans to roll it back. Possibly it wants to send a strong message that despite the protests, the government is receiving a record number of applications thick and fast. The government is likely to accelerate the enrolment process and portray it as a grand success. However, what happens after four years when 75 per cent of them are retrenched and join the league of growing unemployed youth? From government perspective, it shall be just another drop in the ocean of unemployment.

Deepak Singhal, Noida


Reconsider Agnipath

The course of violence, vandalism and arson adopted by the Agnipath protesters is not right. Peaceful protests are more successful and the farmers’ agitation is a recent example. The agitation was the longest and the biggest, still no vehicle or property was damaged. The protests are otherwise justified. The possibility of conflicts between different categories of soldiers cannot be ruled out. The professional bond may go missing. The scheme should be debated among the stakeholders and reconsidered.

SS Bhathal, Canada


Homework lacking

Apropos of ‘10% quota for Agniveers in CAPFs, Assam Rifles, upper age relaxed,’ the progressive tweaking and continuous climbdown by the government in the face of widespread resentment, though not out of place, is a clear indication that adequate homework has not been done. Whatever be the reason, self-introspection and accountability is needed, the farm bills being a case in point. The long-term repercussions on the services and the reaction of the youth waiting for recruitment could have been anticipated. Creating a situation and then attributing blame on the Opposition and other agencies can only divide society and not advance national interest with implications for all. The issue is not to be mixed with party politics or nationalism as everybody has a stake in national security.

Gp Capt JS Boparai (retd), Bhadsali


Creating jobs

Reference to ‘Critical task of employment generation missing,’ job security, especially at the level of workers is a paramount issue. The policy of disinvestment has to be handled carefully so as not to create joblessness. Agriculture, the source of subsistence for most people, needs a boost by going in for diversification and adoption of modern practices so as to ensure sustenance and create new opportunities.

BM Singh, Amritsar


Safe deposits

Apropos of ‘FDs back in vogue as markets fall,’ banks used to keep a reasonable cushion on rates paid on deposits and interest charged on money lent to borrowers. They used to get returns on fixed deposits and government schemes like NSCs and PPF and paid reasonable interest to small depositors, including senior citizens. It was reversed subsequently. But it is heartening that the trend has been reversed in keeping with the global leads.

Vijaya Sharma, by mail


Electoral reforms

Apropos of ‘One candidate, one seat’, though keeping election-related expenses under check is important, piecemeal cleansing of electoral process will not do. Mandatory norms like being a voter of the constituency for contesting an election and one-year membership to get party nomination will rid our system of many ills. Those elected as Independents must stay so for their entire term. Anyone convicted of moral turpitude or a heinous crime must be barred from holding a public office for life.

Lalit Bhardwaj, 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

Travesty of democracy Other

Jun 20, 2022

‘Bulldozer as a metaphor’ (Nous Indica) is opportune, but alarm bells ring when the ‘will of the people’, backed by influential individuals, runs amok. Sadly, growing disorder and indiscipline are a travesty of our democracy. Action against crime is blown out of proportion by the media for the sake of TRPs, and by vested interests for pecuniary and vote-bank gains. Creating a judicial barrier to instant bulldozer justice may be imperative, but the ruthlessness of the law against encroachments and radical hooliganism is pertinent too. The apex court aptly upheld the razing of illegal structures, though with the caveat of following the process of law. Blaming the ‘bulldozer’ is not fair.

Lalit Bhardwaj, Panchkula


Do it the right way

Bulldozer politics reeks of undemocratic behaviour. Such actions of the state authorities are a blatant abuse of power. The Supreme Court recently asked the UP Government to show due diligence in matters of law when dealing with illegal structures. This holds true not just for structures perceived to be targeted by the administration for being connected to those booked for protesting or even rioting, but for all structures deemed to be illegal in the state. What is also of paramount importance is not only the law, but also the behaviour of society in response to a government that bypasses the process of law.

GURPREET SINGH, by mail


Delayed action

Refer to ‘Bulldozer as a metaphor’; I agree but also disagree. It is correct to quote the SC order — ‘no demolition without due process of law’ — but unfair to compare the present dispensation with Aurangzeb. Only those houses have been bulldozed that were illegally built on government land. That the houses happened to belong to those who were accused of violence was a coincidence. It is right to question why the encroachment was allowed in the first place. Now that the authorities have woken up, let us not create hurdles and let them do their job. A ‘delayed action’ is better than ‘no action’.

WG CDR CL SEHGAL (RETD), JALANDHAR


Three changes, already

Though the actual recruitment and implementation of the scheme is yet to take off, three amendments — age enhancement, non-alteration of units’ composition and 10 per cent reservation in Central police forces — have already been issued, within just three days of the announcement of the scheme. Why couldn’t these important issues be considered earlier? It seems that the views of the stakeholders were not taken into consideration before announcing this drastic change in the recruitment policy.

Lt Col Harbinder Dullat (Retd), Patiala


Ensure lateral absorption

Very strong views have been expressed regarding the Agnipath recruitment scheme, both for and against. While there is no gainsaying that this scheme is flawed, it can easily be made acceptable to all stakeholders by addressing their concerns. The ‘Tour of Duty’ should be for seven years with assured lateral absorption into the Central police and paramilitary forces and the state armed police. Thus the armed forces will get to retain the most suitable manpower while effecting considerable savings in recruiting and training costs of the Central and state police forces. This will also give the much-needed job security to the youth who sign up for the scheme.

Col Rosy Singh Khandpur, by mail


Agniveers vs legislators

There is almost similar length of service for the proposed Agniveers and the legislators. About 75 per cent of the Agniveers will have a four-year service tenure, while the legislators have a full five-year term. But the Agniveers will get no pension while the legislators enjoy multiple pensions, one for each term. This is in contradiction of the avowed austerity measures of the BJP. Should the BJP not introduce a legislation to fix only one pension for legislators, irrespective of the number of their terms? The party should at least do it in BJP-ruled states.

Hari krishan chaudhary, by mail


Harassment in sports

Reference to ‘Sexual harassment in sport’; harassment is not only prevalent in sports, but also in government and corporate offices, the film industry etc. A large number of harassment cases go unreported due to a sense of stigma and shame. We must introspect how it can be eliminated from society, so that girls and women can live in dignity. Enforcement of stringent laws is essential to achieve this purpose.

Kumar shiv, 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

Diluting honour Other

Jun 18, 2022

The ‘Tour of Duty’ contract will render our great Army a picnic, to have a good time for four years, with active and difficult service of just over two years. There will be annual leave, training, acclimatisation etc. They will also be required to undertake studies and skilling for their employment after leaving the Army. Agniveer is an honour which just cannot be dished out to one and all, like the dilution of gallantry awards. Some may question, what is in a name? But being a veteran, it the misuse of such respectable words of honour, which do not come the easy way, hurt. The true Agniveers on this difficult Agnipath can only be our posthumous gallantry award winners who laid down their lives for the nation in the line of fire. The late CDS, Gen Bipin Rawat, had said: ‘I want to warn you, remove this misconception from your minds. The Army is not a means of employment. If you want to join the Army, you have to show physical and mental toughness. You should have the ability to face difficulties.’ There is no choice left to the Army but to implement the ill-thought means of employment.

Col RC Patial (retd), by mail


At cost of security

Refer to ‘Flaws in new policy of inducting Agniveers’; the government’s proposal to recruit Agniveers just for four years is not feasible. By the time, the Agniveers will become battle-ready, they will be retired from service. India is perpetually beleaguered by hostile neighbours. China’s encroachment into Indian territory on the LAC is still going on. Half-baked decisions may play havoc with the nation’s security. Cutting down pension bills at the cost of security is a poor bargain. If the system can’t be changed, the Agniveers should be recruited for a minimum of 10 years and with a guarantee of government jobs after their retirement.

CS MANN, Una


Will play safe

Before introducing the new recruitment policy, the views of our veterans who had fought three wars with neighbouring countries should have been taken into account and debated in Parliament. The present service Chiefs have agreed with the policy which could cause us huge embarrassment in any future war. Our Army is highly professional and our jawans are highly motivated and follow the leader blindly in war. A soldier having a long service is more proud of his regiment and is prepared to sacrifice his life for the nation. An Agniveer won’t take any risk, knowing that he is there only for four years. This is just a lollipop by the government. It would be in our national interest to reconsider and debate the scheme before pushing it through just to reduce the burden of pension of retired soldiers.

GS Bhullar, Jalandhar cantt


Not how soldier is made

Agniveer is a good slogan, but a bad reality. It seems to be an idea of a Babu who has never been to a cantonment. A soldier is not made by a slogan nor by basic training and uniform. More than half a soldier’s service goes in training and endurance. He submits the prime years of his life in the service of his country. He stays away from his family for years, and sometimes doesn’t return alive. It is a sin to think of making fiscal savings from his emoluments. Savings should be made from the salary and perks of MLAs, MPs and white-collared elephants drawing salaries in lakhs.

SS Bhathal, Canada


Short-term benefit

Induction of Agniveers may provide short-term benefits to individuals opting for it, but after four years, where will these young people go? Without a job, there morale would come down and they can be misguided. The armed forces should chalk out an effective plan which is feasible at the ground level.

Amandeep Arora, by mail


‘Agnipareeksha’

Agnipath appears to be an agnipareeksha of our unemployed youth in terms of their career. Agnipath may also undermine the security of our country. This fact should have been pointed out by the three service Chiefs, who instead preferred to remain mute spectators. While their silence is unfortunate, veterans, on the other hand, have vehemently criticised the scheme. Meddling in the affairs of defence forces may result in serious security complications in the backdrop of our ongoing conflict with China. New recruits will lack proper battle skills and motivation which are acquired over a longer period of time.

Ravinder Singh, Jalandhar


Can’t depend on conscripts

Wards of well-to-do parents and students with good academic prospects will not opt for the Agnipath scheme. If even a fraction of these trained youth fails to find employment, they may pose a threat to society by falling into the hands of antisocial elements. Moreover, conscripts could never prove their mettle in battlefields, as exemplified by Chinese and Russian armies. A pilot project should be run for this scheme.

rajesh goyal, by mail


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

Risky experimentation Other

Jun 17, 2022

Refer to ‘The Agnipath way’; the scheme is an example of short-sightedness. After four years of military service, 75% will have to retire, it will be a betrayal of their dreams. The use of such ‘contract’ in the forces is not justified. The consequences of this experiment in the Army may soon come to the fore. It may be the opposite of what the government is hoping to achieve. There is a possibility of secret information being leaked. Army job is not a part-time job. The scheme is sheer deception, injustice with the unemployed youth. Will these contractors take responsibility for the future of those youths? Ask the people associated with the Army and their families, what is the place of the Army and service in their heart?

Sikandar Bansal, Shimla


A young force

The Agnipath policy on defence recruitment is a step in the right direction, keeping in view the long and porous border we share with Pakistan and China. To safeguard this type of border, human surveillance is imperative. A fit and younger regiment, duly trained in guerrilla warfare, is needed to quell the numerically superior Chinese armed volunteers seen in the 2020 Galwan Valley clash. India needs a specialised human combatant force to operate in treacherous terrains. If the Short Service Commission for officers is already in place in the forces, the concern being expressed by veterans for other cadres is not justified.

Anil vinayak, Amritsar


Not a game-changer

The government’s decision to induct 46,000 Agniveers into the Army for a limited period of four years may not augur well for the battle-readiness of the Army on tough borders with our hostile neighbours China and Pakistan. With barely six months’ basic training, the new recruits may not be able to match the fighting techniques and capabilities of the regular recruits in the Indian Army. The first casualty would be the merit and expertise of the Army in handling modern equipment and nuances of the latest warfare. Given this scenario, will it be advisable to induct into a fully trained Army inadequately trained Agniveers? The consequences can be better imagined than explained. At any rate, the new scheme cannot be called a game-changer.

Maheshwer Sharma, by mail


Will instil nationalism

Already, staged protests have started against the new Agniveer recruitment scheme. But there is a silver lining. In Singapore, a short duration stint in the armed forces is a must for all students before they join any university course. Only those who opt for medicine as a career are exempt. This results in instilling a sense of nationalism and pride in all citizens. Singapore is not the only country following such or similar routine. Other concerns aside, this scheme could be a big advantage for the nation.

Sandeep Chaudhri, Karnal


Letter to CJI

Refer to the news report ‘Ex-judges write to CJI on state repression in UP’; it is strange that former judges and senior advocates of the Supreme Court have taken the court of the Chief Justice of India as an ordinary office and have started correspondences with it. If at all they were aggrieved in any manner, they could file a petition before the apex court. Nowadays, everyone is aggrieved with the decisions/actions of the present government in one way or other, and if all start making references to the CJI, the said court will merely become an ordinary office dealing with correspondences and won’t remain a court passing verdict on petitions. It would cause a setback to regular petitions, which are already piling up. There is huge pendency of cases, which is alarming.

GD Gupta, by mail


Passenger rights

Reference to ‘DGCA penalises Air India’; reports suggest that Indian carriers have been overbooking their flights as Covid-19 cases are receding, and when the number of passengers exceed the number of seats in an aircraft, the airlines do not take them on board. The DGCA has justifiably imposed a fine of Rs 10 lakh on the airlines for denying boarding to a passenger with a valid ticket, and thereafter not providing the mandatory compensation as per rules. The DGCA’s stipulations are in sync with similar regulations followed across the world to accord appropriate respect to the rights of passengers.

SS Paul, Nadia


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

Will hit morale Other

Jun 16, 2022

Apropos of ‘Radical recruitment changes, now soldiers to be inducted for 4 years’; in its enthusiasm to do something new and cut pension bills, the government is opening up another area for experimentation, contrary to the professional advice and without factoring in the long-term impact on soldiering. What was wrong with the existing system? Four years is too less to train and motivate soldiers. Isn’t 15% absorption as permanent cadre too less to even sustain the training cost, while releasing 85% personnel without any blueprint for a second career in civil? The scheme has been sugar-coated but its impact on the operational potential and morale of the services is anybody’s guess. The perfectly working system of ‘single class’ regiments too is up for change to ‘all India, all class’ method of recruitment which failed in the past.

GP Capt JS Boparai (Retd), Bhadsali


Not a good decision

The new Agnipath scheme to recruit soldiers for only four years is not a right step. Recruits will have less motivation as they would have to search for jobs again after getting released. There will be difference of skill between regular jawans and Agniveers who will have less training. This cannot be called employment as the period is very less.

IPS Anand, Gurugram


Disband armed forces!

The Central government has brought in radical changes in recruitment with the aim to cut down the pension bill of defence personnel. The government should disband the defence forces. Instead of the Army, it should restructure the BSF/ITBP to include some elements of armoured and artillery forces etc. Instead of the Air Force and Navy, we should hand over our air and naval bases to the US to safeguard our country, as is being done by many countries. As far as internal security is concerned, the state police and the CRPF are well experienced and competent to deal with it.

Col PK Kapoor (retd), by mail


Chiefs in agreement?

Did the three service chiefs recommend this radical recruitment system for soldiers? They seem to be supporting the RM since they never objected to it over the last two years. Did the present fixed class compulsion for units fail the nation? No. What was the compulsion to change it? It is doubtful if the pension bill will be reduced since ORs will be retiring early.

Brig HS Ghuman SC (Retd), by mail


Scope for changes

The new recruitment policy announced by the government for the armed forces, though radical, may prove to be a fiscal game-changer. The policy will ensure a very young and energetic force always, but will be dotted with uncertainties for those who will be demobilised after four years. It may hit the morale of the forces, thus affecting their fighting efficiency. The low morale of the Chinese army, exhibited in eastern Ladakh, should not be ignored. The armed forces should give a real feedback to enable the government to carry out necessary changes in the policy, if need be.

Col sajjan kundu (retd), Hisar


Aimed at electoral gains

The Agnipath recruitment scheme seems to be aimed only at getting short-term electoral gains. Giving military training and temporary employment to unemployed youth for four years may be counterproductive in the long run. The majority of these youths would become unemployed again at the age of 25. At this vulnerable age, these trained youths could easily be tempted to join terror-spreading agencies, for whom they would be a big asset.

Balvinder, Chandigarh


Nuclear dilemma

Reference to ‘Resurgence of N-dilemma’, while the idea of deterrence continues to hold good against nuclear war, it is of no use against conventional wars. Rather it promotes and prolongs them. Strong conventional armed forces are the only deterrent against conventional wars. However, both powers are sine qua non for national security. India must have strong conventional armed forces as well as nuclear arsenal. The recent report by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute that India has less nuclear warheads and launching platforms than even Pakistan is ominous.

Lt Col GS Bedi (Retd), Mohali


Be wary of China

Refer to the deadlock with China; there seems to be an alarming situation along the LAC. The continuous tensions between the two countries have led us to this stage. There is an urgent need to resolve the issue. Procrastination may lead to a situation similar to that in 1962. India should take steps to tell China that it has done enough to test our patience, and if it does not stop, it will suffer the consequences at national and international levels.

Kushagar Bansal, by mail


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

Demolition guidelines Other

Jun 15, 2022

Refer to ‘Free run for bulldozers’; when the prosecutor, judge and executioner is the same person, the dispensation degenerates into dictatorship, notwithstanding democratic pretensions. This would have a negative cascading effect and social upheaval may assume explosive dimensions. The judiciary must play a proactive role to stamp out dictatorial trends in the polity. The Supreme Court should intervene and lay down clear guidelines regarding demolition of encroachments. No demolition must be allowed soon after protests by people. Holding a protest is the people’s right.

Prem Singh Dahiya, Rohtak


Family not to blame

I do not agree with the administrative decision of demolishing the house of one of the alleged accused in Prayagraj violence. Even though he is the alleged mastermind of Friday’s mob violence, he should be punished as per the law. Such actions may only create serious communal conflicts and further widen the gap. If a person has been behind mob violence, why should his family be rendered homeless? What if someone was hurt in this action? Who will take the responsibility?

Jayani Mattu, Patiala


Act of revenge

It is shameful if the MC uses a bulldozer or JCB to remove an encroachment in the name of revenge. Why was the encroachment allowed in the first place? Encroachments are ignored for the sake of votes and later these are demolished without due notice or a chance for hearing. This is not as per the Constitution of our country. Moreover, demolishing the house of a person belonging to a particular community must be condemned. The judiciary should take suo motu cognisance and give clear orders to all elected heads to stop it with immediate effect. Otherwise, the consequences of this act may snowball into more controversies.

PK Patpatia, Ambala


Punjab liquor policy

Apropos of ‘New policy aims to curtail liquor mafia’, Punjab does need overhauling of its liquor-cum-excise policy. Certain welcoming features like barcoding, tracing and tracking are likely to be incorporated, but this is not enough. If non-alcoholic drinks etc., get supplied efficiently by the system of wholesale and retail trading, why not liquor? It should be sold through departmental stores and other commercial establishments. The creation of government shops will be unviable and involve huge overhead costs. Such stores/shops could create a separate corner on their premises for the purpose. Also, the excise policy should be consumer-centric. The state should not waste resources on regulating the contractors. The outdated system of quota-fixing, auctioning, cheap sale during March, carrying limit, storage limits, permits during weddings, and many others are breeding corruption. This sector, plagued by licences and permits, needs out-of-the-box solutions.

Jaswinder Singh Brar, Patiala


Why isn’t war ending?

The Russian invasion of Ukraine has persisted for over three months now. All attempts at restoring peace through diplomacy and de-escalation have proved futile. This is surprising because a viable peace plan exists — Ukraine must declare binding neutrality and the West must relinquish its ambitions of bringing Ukraine into the NATO fold. The US has an incentive not to end the war as its continuance benefits it financially. It is earning millions through the supply of high-tech weapons to the war-torn country. Also, the severance of the Russia-Europe energy relationship has presented it with the opportunity of exporting LNG to Europe, which is a lucrative deal. The primary factor impeding the settlement of this international dispute is the mercantile nature of the US. Unfortunately, it has obfuscated its ulterior motives by projecting itself as the benevolent protector against the belligerent aggressor, Russia. The reality is that western solidarity with Ukraine is a facade and has nothing to do with restoring peace in the region.

Nissim Aggarwal, Chandigarh


Indian, playing for India

Kudos to Nikhat Zareen, the ‘Indian’ boxer who gave a befitting reply to questions about her community. She said she was representing her country as an athlete and not any community. Like any Indian, she wants to win for her country. This is true sportsmanship, where a player rises above the narrow walls of religion or region and just plays for the country. We all must be proud of such players, and instead of binding them to any particular community, they must be encouraged so that they may bring more and more laurels to the country. Players do not belong to any religion or region, rather they belong to the whole humanity and the country they represent.

Bir Devinder Singh Bedi, Sangrur


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

Build national character Other

Jun 14, 2022

The RS elections were held amid high drama. Democratic propriety was thrown to the winds. Leaving aside the election process, the temple of democracy is marred by continuous disruptions and absenteeism in both Houses. PM Modi had to pull up his party MPs over low attendance. We might be building a world-class Central Vista, but a nation is built by character, and not by concrete structures. We need amendments to increase the number of working days in Parliament and make attendance compulsory. A minute of the session costs lakhs. Taxpayers’ money must not be wasted.

Rajesh Goyal, by mail


Back-door entry

Refer to ‘Unseemly exercise’; RS polls, indeed, are proving to be a disappointment for all those who believe in democracy. No party seems to be bothered about the proper upkeep of its constitution-mandated dignity. Successive RS elections are being used to gain back-door entry into this august House, unmindful of the prospective candidates’ lack of experience in public life or having some specialisation in the fields of science, technical know-how, sports, social welfare etc. It has become a stage-managed number game.

Kumar Gupt, by mail


Bulldozing law

The pillars of our democracy now seem to rest on bulldozers. Ours is the only democracy where instant injustice is rendered by bulldozing houses of suspects without observing the law of the land. The fourth pillar of democracy, the media, is silent and arranging debates of some Muslim leaders who are justifying these demolitions. Our pillars of democracy are cracking and need urgent repair and reinforcement. Otherwise, the political system will crumble down.

Capt Amar Jeet (retd), Kharar


Opposition unity

Reference to CM Mamata Banerjee’s letter to Opposition parties for a meeting; Congress chief Sonia Gandhi has already convened a meeting where senior leaders of Opposition parties, including NCP chief Sharad Pawar, MK Stalin and Left leaders, will discuss a strategy regarding the presidential poll. During the course of eight years under the NDA government, there has been an intensification of the neo-liberal capitalist exploitation of people and the secular-democratic framework of the Constitution has been eroded. The lost glory of the Constitution cannot be restored by any single political outfit but by a determined Opposition, leaving aside their differences. It should not be only about the presidential election, but also to protect and preserve the democratic, secular, socialist fabric of India.

SK Khosla, Chandigarh


Hope for cancer patients

Refer to the miraculous disappearance of cancer (‘Chasing cancer cure’; Spectrum); it is heartening to know that scientists have been able to find a cure through immunotherapy. I recall the words of a doctor whom I went to consult in connection with my mother’s treatment who had symptoms of liver carcinoma. He bluntly told me, ‘If your mother is suffering from cancer, then nobody can save her.’ Within three months, I lost her. This landmark innovation is going to be a game-changer. Since India has a huge number of cancer patients, this news is a ray of hope for many. There is a need to carry out this trial on a much larger spectrum of patients before this therapy can be applied universally.

RAVI SHARMA, DHARIWAL


Violence in Valley

The killings of Pandits, non-locals and migrants is another frustrated attempt by separatists and Pakistan-based terrorists to upset the Centre’s initiatives to restore normalcy after the abrogation of Art 370 (‘Targeted killings bid to derail peace process in J&K’). With reduction in violence, elections to local bodies, growing tourist trade and response to the Amarnath Yatra, there has been a sea change in the trouble-torn state. But these killings have again instilled fear in the minds of people and posed a security challenge that needs to be addressed to usher in peace, stability and development. Instead of criticising the government, political parties, NGOs and peace-loving majority Muslim community should show solidarity with the beleaguered minorities to save the traditional social and cultural fabric of the Kashmiri society. The government should also win the confidence of the alienated population by holding the Assembly polls at the earliest.

Karman Singh, Hoshiarpur


Hindi at UN

In 1977, the then Minister of External Affairs, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, delivered his speech in Hindi in the UN for the first time. Even though he used to speak English, the purpose was to promote Hindi on the international platform. Recently, the UNGA adopted the resolution on multilingualism, co-sponsored by India. The resolution recognised the use of Hindi language as an important communication at the UN. Majority of the population of India speaks Hindi and 85-90% of people in the country understand Hindi.

RK Arora, Mohali

If scared, quit politics Other

Jun 13, 2022

THE Mann government’s decision to withdraw the security of over 400 persons was a good decision. However, after Moosewala’s killing, the government has restored the security under pressure. Those who want protection should pay for it. Apart from this, the Punjab CM, his Cabinet colleagues and other stalwarts of the ruling party should have minimum security. Doctors and technicians working in blood banks and laboratories always have the risk of contracting infection. Those working with radiotherapy carry the risk of malignancy. If politicians are so scared that they need huge security, they should quit politics and join another profession.

Ajay Bagga, Hoshiarpur


Cheaper liquor

Reduction in liquor prices by the Mann government is a wrong decision. Not only does it lure people to buy and consume more liquor, but also it reduces the contribution of excise to the state’s fund. Already excessive liquor consumption has had many disturbed households, with broken families and traumatised childhoods. Rather, the government could have made a liquor corporation to stop liquor smuggling, ensure quality control as people sometimes die after consuming spurious alcohol, and take strict hold of the fund management. A corporation would also bring in more employment opportunities for the youth.

Harsimranvir Singh, Patiala


Next President

Refer to ‘Election for 16th Prez on July 18, NDA set for comfortable win’; most of the past Presidents were politicians and the next one is also likely to be a politician. Except politics, they have had no credentials. The President, as the first citizen of India, should be a learned man with great achievements in the field of arts, science, defence, sports etc., and one who has served, or is serving the country. Why not elect a person from the defence services as the next President to acknowledge his contribution to the security of the country?

O PRASADA RAO, by mail


Poor ranking

Apropos of ‘Govt rejects eco index ranking India lowest’, we have been taking various steps to contain pollution but we forgot to take into account that there has been a drastic increase in motor vehicles in the country, building construction activities in cities and villages, construction of expressways, national and state highways, increase in industrial activities, and every year millions of trees are being axed to facilitate the construction of roads and other infrastructure. The rise in population in the country may also be another cause of increased pollution.

ROOP SINGH NEGI, Solan


LAC buildup

Reference to ‘Chinese infra buildup’; the recent developments along the LAC are worrisome but not new. China has been focusing on infrastructure for a long time because it helps in mobility, which is one of the important factors tactically. India too is continuously putting efforts to match China, but more needs to be done in an urgent manner. The world has become unpredictable and we can’t be dependent on other nations, as we have seen in the case of the Ukraine conflict. India should take more steps, like the recent approval of Rs 76k crore by MoD for military projects, to face any threat boldly.

Ishan Hastir, Gurdaspur


Language of heart

Refer to the report ‘Hindi mentioned in UN resolution for first time’; it is more a matter of national pride than any utilitarian purpose. But this small step will pave way for the latter. In our country Hindi is caught between Hindi-haters and Hindi-baiters. The diehards on both sides have done a lot of harm to the propagation of Hindi, which otherwise has nationwide acceptance across all geographically dispersed people. Delhi is the heart of the nation and the language of the heart needs no political props to sustain itself, provided it is left to make its own way in a natural manner. English and the regional languages supplement the richness of Hindi as a national means of communication. Hindi is finding acceptance not at the cost of the other languages, rather the regional languages are finding a national platform through Hindi.

DV Sharma, Mukerian


Consider rotation

Was there a rotation plan to select the CDS from the three services (‘Ensure no dilution of CDS’s role, charter’)? If not, we should have one now, otherwise the Air Force and Navy may never get a chance. There should be an orientation/familiarisation course for the new CDS with each force to update him on the latest command and control procedures and practices of the forces. Since all officers at that level have almost equal calibre and competence, we should follow the time-tested principle of seniority. There would be no heartburn then nor criticism from any quarter that a ‘pliable’ choice has been made.

WG CDR CL SEHGAL (RETD), JALANDHAR


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

Focus on safety, instead Other

Jun 11, 2022

Reference to ‘Mask policing’; the DGCA diktat is unreasonable, harsh, hard to implement and tantamount to panic-mongering. The airline industry is bleeding. The order will do a disservice to the industry. Given that the majority of population is doubly vaccinated, many wear mask of their own volition. There are other areas where the watchdog ought to be more hawkish — safety of planes, as recently there has been a report of near-miss accidents. The air-conditioning system of planes doesn’t always function, forget about the availability of sanitisers and masks. It shall be prudent for the DGCA to refrain from taking piecemeal measures.

Deepak Singhal, Noida


Can they be trusted?

Our democracy has become a farce. Keeping MLAs ‘captive’ in hotels and resorts so they may not vote for rival party candidates is a mockery. Resorting to jamming of the Internet, so they can’t be tempted to cross-vote shows these elected representatives lack trust and loyalty. What good can they do for people when their own loyalty is doubtful? If they are not trustworthy, why should they not be removed? Media is conducting hate debates and the government is supporting them. Our democracy is made untrustworthy by these unethical politicians.

Capt Amar Jeet (retd), Kharar


CDS selection

The MoD notification on the eligibility for the CDS post appears to be unbaked and directionless, smacking of politics. Such an ambiguous position has never been heard since 1947. For promotion, the three serving Chiefs should be considered, and not a three-star General or a retired officer. Can the Chief Justice of India be selected like that? The morale of the defence forces, capable of fighting the enemy even with inferior equipment, would perhaps be the first casualty. The policy would add to confusion. Delay in having a CDS is not in our national interest.

Babu Ram Dhiman, Pinjore


Chinese buildup

Refer to the Chinese infra buildup; it is surprising that a visiting US General had to draw India’s attention to the buildup of military infrastructure along the LAC. It is hoped that the Indian Army is not caught napping. China is rapidly building border infrastructure, like troop shelters and helipads, in disputed areas along the border. With Chinese President Xi Jinping looking to secure his third term at the CCP Congress, he is not likely to compromise on his aggressive posture. The only way India can counter this is by developing its own border infrastructure. But given that Beijing outguns India in terms of resources, New Delhi needs to simultaneously engage in tactical collaboration with the US and other countries which are concerned about Chinese belligerence.

PL SINGH, by mail


Patent waiver

Refer to ‘Vaccine patent waiver challenge for WTO’; the intent behind the push is to remove any bottlenecks due to intellectual property protections and ramp up the production and distribution of these vaccines in the rest of the world. If the Big Pharma waives their IP and patent rights for not only the coronavirus vaccines, but also other life-saving vaccines, it will be a big gain for universal vaccine momentum. It will create a risk-free environment for other manufacturers from countries like India who can attempt to reverse engineer vaccines. Additionally, if the manufacturers can get support with technology transfer and critical raw materials, it will speed up the process of large-scale vaccine delivery.

HN Ramakrishna, Bengaluru


AAP goes off track

The AAP has announced a new liquor policy for Punjab to bring down liquor prices by at least 30-40%. This contradicts its commitment to abolish the drug menace in ‘Udta Punjab’ by rehabilitating addicts and bringing them back into the mainstream by providing them jobs in newly established industries. The state will see a rise in the crime graph. The new policy will encourage people to purchase more and create a nuisance on roads. Their families will wait for longer at night for their safe return. Are the party’s basic promises to bring down unemployment and inflation, and prevent brain drain becoming a distant dream?

Puneet Mehta, Patiala


Not for SGPC to decide

Apropos of ‘SGPC objects to non-Sikh as Punjab & Sind Bank MD’, it does not behove the SGPC to offer its comments on the secular character of public sector banks. It is the prerogative of the government to appoint bank executives. The SGPC should confine itself to religious affairs only.

Upendra Sharma, by mail


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‘Pliability’ factor Other

Jun 10, 2022

Refer to ‘Eligibility for CDS’; if we place a rightful man as the President and allow him to function rightfully, what is the need of another joint commander of the forces? The truth is that political bosses want more pliable men at powerful positions. The dilution in the eligibility to become CDS is basically to widen the choice and bring in people with lower qualification but with higher pliability quotient. Another angle which needs attention is the adverse impact which this change will have on the morale and culture of our forces. When a Deputy Chief becomes CDS, he will become the boss of his own Chief. Can anyone imagine a Colonel saluting a Lt Colonel? This shift in the name of better management will weaken the defence mechanism of the country.

Nirmal Singh, Patiala


Why ignore seniority?

Why is the government ignoring the existing time-tested procedure of deference to seniority, experience and exposure in the appointment of the CDS? The service Chiefs get adequate time to mature into and move smoothly into the shoes of CDS, ensuring continuity and avoiding undue strain on service hierarchy. It may cause heartburn if a junior officer is elevated to the post, undermining the Chiefs. The nation is passing through a critical time when the threat from both the North and West is for real. Was it necessary to court this controversy at this moment?

GP CAPT JS BOPARAI (RETD), BHADSALI


Ranked lowest

Apropos of ‘India rejects eco index that ranked it lowest’, India has rubbished the report as ‘unscientific’. To make this index, Columbia University used 40 performance indicators across 11 categories involving 180 countries. Therefore, it is absurd to question the credibility of the report. Instead of displaying an ostrich-like attitude, India should immediately take appropriate steps to improve its ranking.

Balbir Singh Kakkar, Jalandhar


Environment index

Refer to India rejects Environment Performance Index; this is a reflection on the state of air quality in India. Efforts have been made by the government to reduce industrial pollution as well as vehicular emissions but these have not been adequate. India was among the first countries to join the Paris Climate accord in 2015, but is currently the world’s third largest emitter of greenhouse gases. The government should provide more money through its budgetary allocation to fight air pollution. Afforestation should be on the agenda of every state government to make India greener.

Devendra Khurana, Bhopal


Scars of Partition

Reference to ‘Let’s not carry Partition’s burden’; as per official record, more than 20 lakh people were killed. People were uprooted from their homeland. It is every migrant’s story, who suffered due to communal frenzy. When I was a child, I did not understand the seriousness of this tragedy, but now, I break down when I think about the horrendous happenings. What was our ancestors fault? They died and suffered because of dirty politics. The Partition is embedded in our mind and soul. After my demise, this burden will go. I pray to God to forgive those who committed sins on innocent humanity.

Shiv kumar, Bathinda


NEET-PG seats

Apropos of ‘SC pulls up counselling panel over vacant seats in NEET-PG’, the court pulled up medical counsellors for not filling 1,456 PG seats. Judges’ vacancies exist in courts all over India. Who is to be pulled for keeping these vacant permanently, when there is no shortage of qualified advocates and four crore cases are pending in courts and litigants are suffering due to the non-delivery of justice. Automation and responsibility are required to be introduced in judiciary appointments and justice delivery systems to reduce corruption and delays.

Ashok Kumar Goel, Panchkula


Jail security

Refer to ‘From jail to freedom via hospital’; in the absence of proper security arrangements, the Government Medical College in Amritsar, seems to have become a convenient and easy escape route for undertrials and prisoners lodged at the Central Jail. This report reveals the inside story behind all such great escapes. How come the authorities continue to be in a deep slumber and no remedial steps seem to have been taken to rein in all those ‘facilitating’ such stage-managed freedom? The Punjab CM must take prompt cognisance of this nexus.

Vinayak, by mail


Confusing signals

The government, on the one hand, emphasises the significance of rotation of crops and tries to dissuade farmers from sowing paddy, and on the other hand, it encourages them to do so by promising to give them eight hours of uninterrupted power supply.

Harish Malhotra, Sangrur


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

Mamata’s antics Other

Jun 09, 2022

Apropos of ‘Bengal Cabinet approves plan to make CM Chancellor’, Mamata Banerjee has come out again with a new tantrum and has exceeded her limits. Approval of the Cabinet to make Mamata Chancellor of all state-run universities (including agricultural and health), replacing Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar, is tantamount to occupying a post by removing the designated authority. She must not forget that the Governor is appointed by the President of India and she cannot remove him.

Vijaya Sharma, by mail


Not the netas we want

Reference to ‘Punjab ex-minister Dharamsot arrested for forest dept scam’; it is shameful when we read or hear such news. First came the name of the state health minister, then it was the HM of Delhi, and now it is former minister Dharamsot. Another ex-minister is also in queue. We entrusted the destiny of the nation to such leaders. India has a rich past, rich resources, rich manpower, but such leaders cannot lead us to glory. Sometimes we lose faith in democracy due to leaders who give preference to their own interests over national interests.

Faqir Singh, Dasuya


Warning bells

Refer to ‘150% rise in diabetics in 3 decades, ICMR issues guidance’; the surge is a matter of huge concern. Prevention is better than cure. Our youth is leading a sedentary lifestyle, eating unhealthy diet and there is lack of physical exercise. Mandatory and regular checkups, maintaining healthy weight, leading a stress-free life and engaging in positive social activities will help. Walks, yoga and meditation are beneficial in maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Raj Kumar Kapoor, Ropar


Volatile debates

No doubt the comments made against Prophet Mohammed by Nupur Sharma were uncalled for, however, it is vital to take into account how she was provoked by the opposite panellist, who made objectionable comments on Lord Shiva. Over years, to grab more eyeballs and increase TRPs, the debates on TV channels have metamorphosised into warring zones where panellists go hammer and tongs against each other to emphasise their points, as a result, often crossing the violable line. Nupur Sharma is a mere scapegoat among the long roll of representatives, across party lines, who have, every now and then, transgressed moral decorum of shows and issued controversial statements.

Aarti Aggarwal, Kapurthala


Repo rate

The RBI has rightly increased the repo rate by .50 basis points, bringing it to 4.90%. With this, the loans granted by banks are apt to become costlier; dissuading people to avail lesser loans, resulting into decreased money circulation in the economy. Another parallel way to squeeze money circulation is to persuade people to park their savings in banks and post offices. Therefore, the RBI should take steps to increase deposit rates as well. They are at the lowest possible level.

NPS Sohal, Chandigarh


Parental alienation

In family courts, a child is at the mercy of judges. In the guardian and wards cases, where the welfare of a child should be discussed, often than not, judges are facilitating women at the cost of children, who are unable to meet their father. The government should make laws and implement ‘shared parenting’ to stop this practice in the courts and prevent parental alienation.

Jitender Kumar Gupta, Haryana


Oh, Miyar valley!

The report ‘Lahaul valley’s last village gets road connectivity’ made me go back over 40 years. As a geologist, I, along with a colleague, carried out geological mapping of the 70-odd km Miyar valley in the remote Great Himalayan Range. There was no vehicular connection to a dozen-odd villages of this area, let alone the rest of the 40-km-long valley of barren terrain. It would take expedition parties two days to reach the last village, Khanjar. We set up our camp near Chhaling village, 5 km short of Khanjar. The village folk were curious. A middle-aged villager strode over to my tent and asked if we were carrying some medicines. His mother had fever and severe headache. I handed him a few paracetamol tablets. The next day, we found a group of villagers pleading for medicines. Our geological camp looked like a dispensary. Most of them wanted to stock medicines for future use. What medicines and for what ailments, it hardly seemed to matter. It only reflected the pitiable condition of the healthcare system in those remote villages. Thanks to the road construction activity, the socio-economic condition of the inhabitants has changed now. I was pleasantly surprised to read a news item some time ago that a Miyari girl had cracked the JEE Main exam.

KC Prashar, Kullu


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

Not at nation's cost Other

Jun 08, 2022

Refer to ‘National embarrassment’; advocating Hindu supremacy and spreading hatred for minorities is seen as the sole electoral success mantra by the BJP. The world has been watching it and the Arabs reacted when it became too much for them. Besides the national embarrassment, it is a national loss too. Social unrest impedes economic progress. If the trade with GCC countries worth $87 billion is hit, it is sure to hit the livelihood of all those involved in any form. What about the millions of NRIs who have jobs and homes there? Should the BJP harm their interests for the sake of the party? There have been attacks on churches and Christians too and the new BJP government in Goa has started talking of churches built by demolishing Hindu temples centuries ago. Indians possessed by the devil of religious fanaticism must introspect what is right and what is wrong, at least from the perspective of their livelihood.

HL Sharma, Amritsar


Role of civil society

Refer to ‘Back to square one in Kashmir’; though security forces and government machinery have been working hard to bring peace in Kashmir, there is no cooperation from local politicians and religious leaders for peaceful coexistence. The civil society should come forward and identify militants — local or from neighbouring country — and prevent the heinous targeted attacks on innocent civilians.

RAMESH GUPTA, NARWANA


Said like a politician

The speech by Akal Takht jathedar, inciting hatred against other religions while addressing Sikhs on the eve of the Operation Bluestar anniversary is highly unbecoming of his position. It is not what our Gurus have advocated through Guru Granth Sahib. Sikhism teaches religious tolerance, forgiveness, and love and respect for others. The jathedar should have given a call for peace and harmony on this day instead of asking gurdwara managements to make firing ranges to teach the use of firearms. He sounded more like a politician than a religious head while addressing the congregation.

Lt Col JS Dullat (Retd), Patiala


Khalistan slogans

The pro-Khalistan slogans and banners raised by a group of radical outfit is detrimental to the communal fabric of the country. Punjab is the heart of India. None of the Gurus advocated the division of their motherland. Coined a few decades ago, the idea of ‘Khalistan’ is used as a tool to create fissures between Hindus and Sikhs, who have a common ancestral lineage and have been living harmoniously for ages and standing by one another through thick and thin. Though the movement is being revived by a handful of separatists fuelled by foreign-based radical elements to plunge Punjab back into the dark days of insurgency, all the stakeholders, cutting across all religions and sects, need to neutralise the threat.

Preeti Rastogi, Mohali


Bluestar anniversary

Thankfully, the Operation Bluestar anniversary passed off peacefully. Supporters took out processions with Khalistani flags and posters and shouted pro-Khalistan slogans, but the government kept tactical silence and the media gave muted response, thus denying them the publicity they were looking for. Earlier, Khalistan supporters had tried to hijack the farmers’ stir at Delhi borders last year, but received little response from the farmers. The government must keep a watch on mischief makers who may try to create trouble to revive the Khalistan movement.

WG CDR CL SEHGAL (RETD), JALANDHAR


Rise in diabetes

The report depicting 150% rise in the number of diabetics is an eye-opener. The reason may be lifestyle issues or genetics, but the worrisome fact is that it has started affecting children and adolescents. There is a dire need to change our lifestyle. The youth these days remain glued to mobile screens, which restricts their physical movements. They are addicted to fast food which is ruining their health. Majority of them don’t like home-cooked fresh food, rather they wish to eat out. Green vegetables are missing from their diet plans. They must go for physical activities at least for half an hour daily.

Bir Devinder Singh Bedi, Sangrur


Errant pet owners

Apropos of ‘Scoop your pet’s poop’, it is shameful that most pet owners lack pet etiquettes. They are averse to picking up and disposing of the poop in a proper manner. Only few pets are leashed, but muzzles are missing, which puts passers-by at risk. RWAs should put on notice the errant owners and the MC should take punitive action against them under the Punjab Municipal Corporation Act, 1976, as extended to UT Chandigarh as well as the Chandigarh Registration of Pet Dogs Bye-laws.

RPS CHOPRA, 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

BJP acts Other

Jun 07, 2022

The BJP has swiftly expelled its head of the media cell of Delhi unit, and suspended one of its national spokespersons for making controversial remarks about Prophet Muhammad. Distancing itself from the statements of its two office-bearers that sparked protests in different parts of the country as well as in the Arab world, the BJP strongly denounced the insult of religious personalities. While several countries in the Gulf expressed reservations, India’s biggest problem came from Qatar, a key Gulf partner currently hosting the Vice-President of India. Despite a clarification that the functionaries in question didn’t represent the views of the Indian government, the Qatar foreign ministry summoned the Indian ambassador to convey its rejection of the controversial remarks. In the given circumstances, India and Qatar should work together against elements that aim to undercut the strength of bilateral ties between the two nations.

Sanjay Chopra, Mohali


Spokesperson expelled

Apropos of ‘Respect all faiths: BJP removes Nupur, Jindal’, the BJP has sent a message to its cadre by expelling its Delhi media in-charge Naveen Jindal and suspending its spokesperson Nupur Sharma from the primary membership of the party, for inflammatory comments against Prophet Mohammed. Persons occupying such posts are expected to exercise restraint while dealing with sensitive issues, but both failed in their duties.

Upendra Sharma, by mail


America’s actions

Apropos of the editorial, ‘American criticism of India’, by delineating the terribly dismal record of America’s performance vis-a-vis fomenting trouble across the world, transgressing democratic norms, supporting authoritarian regimes to further its own interests and violation of human rights, it has rightly been said that America has forfeited its right to act as a moral beacon for others. First be a practitioner of all that you intend to preach to others. But it is distressing that while countering the allegations hurled in the report on international religious freedom, nothing is said to rebut the charges with authentic and irrefutable evidence. After condemning America, we also need to introspect whether or not religious intolerance is growing in our own country, the controversy sparked by BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma being a case in point.

Roshan Lal Goel, Ladwa


Targeted killings

Apropos of ‘Kashmir killings’, the terrorists resorting to targeting the ordinary Kashmiri Pandits, non-Kashmiri Hindus, Muslims and even security personnel shows a concerted attempt to sow fear and challenge the efforts at attaining normalcy since the nullification of Article 370. The targeted killings are extremely difficult to prevent as security personnel have no way of knowing who will be the next target of the militants. This is in contrast to bigger terror operations that can be tracked through effective intelligence gathering. Previously, Kashmiri Muslim civilians have also been a target, but in recent months there has been a clear attempt to terrorise Kashmiri Pandits and the Hindu and Sikh communities in J&K. It is time for the Central government to recognise that the important task before it is to involve Kashmir’s mainstream political leadership, as they also have a role to play in their political outreach to minority communities in the Valley.

SK Singh, by mail


GHI rankings

The Global Hunger Index (GHI) is jointly published every year in October by Concern Worldwide, Ireland’s largest aid and humanitarian agency and Welthungerhilfe, one of the largest private aid organisations in Germany. India was ranked from 94th in the previous year to 101 out of 116 countries in the GHI for the year 2021. Astonishingly, now after a few months, those countries which stood much better than India in GHI ranking, are begging India to re-open wheat exports. Does it not put a question mark on GHI ranking?

RK Arora, Mohali


Fuel tax cuts

Reference to ‘Tussle over fuel taxes’, after gradually increasing the fuel prices, the Centre has lowered excise duties on petrol and diesel. The government’s decisions are also driven by its desire to stem the surge in inflation, and this will have a moderating influence on price pressures in the economy. But not just inflation, even growth gets adversely affected by accelerating prices as rise in fuel rates has a cascading effect on other commodities too. Now the state governments need to follow the Centre by reducing their VAT component on petroleum products. The combined impact of fuel tax cuts will provide relief to household budgets and small business balance sheets.

Lajwant Singh, 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

Communal disharmony Other

Jun 06, 2022

Refer to ‘Way out of the communal trap’ (Nous Indica); the perpetrators of violence in the name of religion are lumpen elements in any society or culture and know no religiosity. Violence and virulence, fear and fanaticism are inimical to social or communal harmony, and ultimately eat into the values and beauty of life and law. Education-related goals, secularism, spiritualism and social justice become elusive in a violent and communally charged atmosphere, leading us nowhere. For flourishing communal harmony, opportunism exploiting religious discord must end.

Abhimanyu Malik, Jind


Terror cycle

The killings of innocent citizens and migrant workers in the Valley have shocked the whole country (‘Way out of the communal trap’; Nous Indica). The government must take a serious note of the growing insecurity among government employees. It is tragic that the Kashmiri Pandits are being targeted in their own UT. They have been on edge for the past three decades and even now they find themselves hounded by fanatics. This painful chapter in our national life must come to an end. We must close ranks by rising above sectional loyalties and restore peace in Kashmir.

Raj Bahadur Yadav, Fatehabad


Fleeing home

Kashmiri Pandits fleeing Kashmir following targeted killings is a grave issue that needs a workable solution. Such exodus is proof that the Valley has turned into a hell, bursting into fanaticism and violence; where smoke from guns now blurs the pristine landscape that once signified peace. Now, hatred resonates in the sound of bullets, hitting the Valley of love.

Navreet Kaur, Abohar


Not their fault

It pained me to see the front-page picture of a child along with his parents (‘Hundreds of Pandit families flee...’). The family had to leave the place of their ancestors for a camp in Jammu, fearing targeted killings of the minority community in the Valley. The fault of this child is that he doesn’t belong to the majority community. Does God ask anyone to opt for a particular religion before sending him/her to earth? Does Kashmir belong only to Muslims? Will a few short-sighted, misguided elements decide the fate of others? The J&K administration and the Centre should make earnest efforts to stop this exodus or it can have adverse effects in other parts of the country too. Shame on the elements in the Valley who are responsible for defaming Islam.

Manjit Singh, Batala


Putin’s war

It is a matter of grave concern that even after 100 days the war between Russia and Ukraine is still going on and there are no signs of it ending. Putin’s actions have weakened Moscow, caused human suffering and put friends in a spot. His overconfidence to win the Ukraine war in a short span has proved wrong. Russia can actually lose the war and will cut a sorry figure. As NATO and the US are extending help to Ukraine, it is leading to more fighting between the leaders. Really, New Delhi offered a lesson in how best to safeguard nation interest first in adversarial circumstances.

Subhash C Taneja, Gurugram


Let the past be

Refer to ‘RSS chief’s conciliatory note’; his advisory will be welcomed by all. Digging the past is bound to ruin the future. History is the exclusive regime of historians, its debate on roadside gatherings and in ignorant groups is bound to distort the reality and sanctity of this important branch of knowledge. Any controversy of mosque and temple, including controversial artefacts, must be resolved by the experts in the field. Pushing such subjects in the courts ought to be avoided.

VK Anand, Chandigarh


Amicable solution

Reference to ‘RSS chief’s conciliatory note’; appeal for amicable settlement of religious issues is welcome and timely. The country belongs to all citizens. Any attempt to disturb peace and harmony will have repercussions. The concluding lines that the misleading attempt to reverse any perceived historical ‘wrong’ would only lead to new ones, is a sagacious advice to all feuding sides. Wise counsel must prevail.

RAVI RANA, Kapurthala


RS elections

Refer to ‘RS poll muddle’; political parties are anxious about the upcoming Rajya Sabha elections. In Haryana, we are already witnessing parties taking their MLAs to secured locations. It is ironic that in our democracy these tactics are important for the parties, rather than electing the right candidate from the respective state, on the basis of merit and performance. Nowadays, the real contributions an MP can make are being ignored.

Jatinder Masoun, Ludhiana


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

RS nominations Other

Jun 04, 2022

Reference to ‘RS poll muddle’; the Upper House members play a crucial role in the legislation of laws for the states. Political parties have been using these nominations to adjust their leaders who lost elections, were not given ticket or to keep them with the party. Leaders have been nominated for election from other states. How can they look after the interests of these states? There is a need to fix MSP for the sale and purchase of these leaders also. Only people belonging to a state should be nominated for election to the RS, so that they can look after the interests of the state. No action has been taken so far in the sale and purchase of leaders to vote for a particular candidate. The Supreme Court must take cognisance of such incidents and declare this act as corruption.

Wg Cdr Jasbir S Minhas (retd), Mohali


Minister in custody

Refer to ‘Delhi Health Minister Jain sent to ED custody till June 9’; the Union and state governments run in the name of President or Governor on the collective aid and advice of the Cabinet headed by the PM or the CM, respectively. After the intolerant power zealots in West Bengal and Maharashtra, the contagion of witch-hunting political adversaries and law-enforcing agencies at loggerheads among themselves is acquiring alarming proportions. Automatic suspension of any lawmaker or other holders of a public office who is incarcerated is the need of the hour, as a public servant stands suspended if in custody beyond 48 hours.

Lalit Bhardwaj, Panchkula


Overhaul jails

Apropos of ‘Gangsters clash in jail’, Punjab jails have become a haven for criminals. Frequent seizure of mobiles phones and other banned items from high security jails is a matter of concern. Gangsters are running their network with the help of these phones, including carrying out killings, the latest being the murder of singer Moosewala. How are they running their operation from behind bars? Punjab jails, housing dreaded terrorists and drug smugglers, are no longer ‘sudhar ghars’ but dens of criminals. The government must undertake a complete overhaul of the present jail management system in Punjab.

Anil Vinayak, Amritsar


Income tax portal

The income tax departmental procedural portal was closed on May 31, 2021, for a week, with an assurance of a better, taxpayer-friendly, portal on June 5. The taxpayers were given to understand that the returns would be processed in a day and the refunds credited immediately. Unfortunately, that has not happened. The returns which have no tax payable or have no refund are processed in a few days, but the returns with big refunds are held up. Income tax officers coerce assessees to pay enhanced advance tax to meet their assigned revenue targets, but at the time of issuing refunds the parentages change. Many times, a message flashes that there is a mistake in the computation of income, while there is none. Certain return and other forms whose due dates of filing are coming closer have not been notified yet. The new software developer has not been able to deliver.

AK JOSHI, AMRITSAR


Domestic gas prices

Refer to the encouraging reports indicating that the ATF price has been cut by 1.3% alongside commercial LPG per 19-kg cylinder rate by Rs 135, following the softening of the global brent crude prices; but how come that the government thought it wise to continue with its extant price level of Rs 1,003 per 14.2-kg domestic cylinder, which has astronomically risen by Rs 193.5 since April 2021? One hopes that it soon provides much-needed relief for domestic LPG users too.

Kumar Gupt, by mail


Handwritten letters

Apropos of ‘Snail mail had its appeal’, the middle reminded me of 1992 when I was posted at Srinagar and relied on snail post. The efforts entailed in ensuring its delivery at a remote place definitely had an inexplicable charm. It kept ones hopes and expectations alive and also developed the virtue of patience. There was tremendous joy in letter writing. Now, it is becoming a relic of the past, due to the advent of technology providing instant connect. The emotional connect is missing in today’s mode of communication. The written letters became a prized possession to be read later too. When I used to leave for Srinagar, my wife used to stay at Gurdaspur with her parents. There used to be a delay of a week or two weeks in the receipt of the first communication confirming my safe arrival. I intentionally used to delay reading the letters received to sustain the suspense and charm of the contents. Thanks to our formidable India Post for keeping us connected with our near and dear ones.

RAVI SHARMA, DHARIWAL


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

Targeted killing Other

Jun 03, 2022

Refer to ‘Kashmir killings’; the spate of targeted killing is unfortunate. Despite heavy deployment of the Army and police, militants are having a free run. The current dispensation is still basking in the glory of the abrogation of Article 370, which was touted as a game changer. The mainstream political parties are being shown as supportive of terror outfits and the government is demonising them by using every trick in its books, be it unleashing investigative agencies or promoting a controversial Hindi film. Its attempt to open old wounds by fanning issues of temple vs mosque is meant to flare up communal tensions. It must be mindful that this will have a direct bearing in the Muslim-dominated Valley, where Hindus are at a receiving end. The LG is advising local Hindus to have patience despite their brethren being gunned down. How can anyone take the government at face value?

Deepak Singhal, Noida


Samba erupts

Apropos of ‘Samba erupts over another targeted killing in Kashmir’, it is unfortunate that the militants indulged in the targeted killing of a teacher. They are not able to understand that teachers do not belong to any caste, creed or religion. They just prepare future generations of the country to take it to heights of glory. Instead of being grateful to this devoted section of society, in tune with the basic culture of J&K, they are being unfairly targeted.

Vijaya Sharma, by mail


Rebuild education sector

Refer to the article ‘Need to build resilience in education sector’; children were disproportionately affected by the closure of schools due to Covid as many of them did not have the opportunities, resources or access needed to learn during the pandemic. The over-reliance on online education fuelled the current unequal distribution of educational aid. Many state governments did not have policies, resources or infrastructure to introduce online education so that all children could access education equally. The time has come to strengthen the right to education by rebuilding a better and more just and strong education system. The aim should not only be to restore pre-pandemic conditions, but also to address the loopholes in the system.

Sikandar Bansal, Shimla


Teeming numbers

Population control has become a necessity as overpopulation will be a threat to resources and economic development (‘Population control Bill soon: Union minister’). After Independence, the Pariwar Niyojan scheme had gathered momentum. Unfortunately, it received a great setback during Emergency days due to excesses by overzealous Congress workers. Successive governments did not evince interest in the scheme. The proposed Bill should cover all people, irrespective of religion and caste.

ROOP SINGH NEGI, Solan


Crime in Punjab

When the Aam Aadmi Party came to power in Punjab in March, it took the initiative of providing free electricity units, as the first step to adopt the Delhi model for Punjab. But unlike Delhi, Punjab is in high debt. Security is a major issue now as the state is witnessing frequent incidents of crime, be it communal clashes, the murder of popular singer Sidhu Moosewala or the daylight looting in a bus. This has created fear in the minds of people, especially students who travel daily for classes from villages to towns and cities. The government needs to look into the matter.

Parul Gupta, by mail


New civil servants

Reference to ‘Women bag top spots’; our country is the second most populous in the world and the world's largest democracy. There are unlimited problems in our country, namely unemployment, health problems, illiteracy, law and order. One hopes these new civil servants will be able to solve these problems.

Shiv Kumar, Bathinda


People’s aspirations

Women have done very well in the Civil Services examination, bagging 177 spots of the 687 selection list. Of the 25 top spots, women have got 10, including the first three. The profile of the selected candidates reveals a relatively moderate socio-economic, diverse and humble background. It speaks highly of their hard work and dedication. The country is fast changing and so is the aspirations of the people for a better, responsive, corruption-free administration. It is hoped that the new lot of new young minds meets the expectations of the masses.

GS MANN, NAYA NANGAL


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

Women achievers Other

Jun 02, 2022

Apropos of ‘Women bag top spots’, women of yore were relegated to the background, but with focused education and encouraged by society and parents things have changed for the better for women, bringing them on a par with men. Social sciences affirm that women’s place in society marks the level of civilisation. Indian women have occupied top positions in politics and other fields, including defence. They are now treated as equal to men. Recently a young woman became a fighter pilot. UPSC results confirm their ability and competence, giving a boost to their endeavour and dreams.

BM Singh, Amritsar


Road safety

Apropos of ‘Prioritise road safety’, it is a matter of grave concern that hundreds of lives are lost daily in road mishaps. There are a plethora of traffic laws, attracting severe penalties for violations, but there is no use putting them on paper when they are observed more in breach than in observance. Ignorance of traffic rules needs to be dispelled by organising awareness drives from time to time and by incorporating a lesson on traffic rules in academic curriculum. Huge penalties introduced a few years ago to deter violations have proved counterproductive, causing a spike in bribery cases.

Roshan Lal Goel, Ladwa


Traffic violations

Every traffic violator should be fined heavily and counselled about road safety. No liquor shop should be allowed on highways. The government should take the help of modern technology to provide documentary evidences for law-breakers to penalise them without any leniency. Students are allowed by parents, local authorities and school managements to commute daily on bikes without any licence. It is the duty of every citizen to cooperate with the authorities to minimise accidents.

Dilwar Ali Meerak, Tohana


Aadhaar misuse

Refer to ‘Aadhaar safety’, UIDAI’s warning about the possible misuse of Aadhaar card numbers should have come much earlier, as many private entities demand Aadhaar photocopies, even when they are not licensed to undertake online authentication. Digital photo-editing tools can manipulate images and text. Theft of poorly stored biometric data can undermine Aadhaar-enabled payment systems. The government must regulate biometric and Aadhaar data collection by private entities.

SK SINGH, by mail


All for ‘success’

Apropos of ‘Horror of education racket’, we are living in an age of meaninglessness and pretentiousness. Our obsession for the elusive idea of success has made us deviate from the path of truth and justice shown by our enlightened forefathers. We seem to have failed to learn any lesson from Gandhi, for whom freedom was an ethical enterprise. Our classrooms lack creativity and the art of nuanced dialogue is missing. Students fail to appreciate plurality and the beauty of heterogeneity. Every parent wants their ward to be placed in a best-ranking institution with higher grades rather than encourage a sense of fulfilment. It is pointless to educate the mind without educating the heart. The cultivation of sympathy and empathy, warmth and compassion is integral to the ever-evolving idea of education. An education that liberates is what is needed.

Kapil Sharma, Kaithal


Fraud in education

Refer to the article ‘Horror of education racket’; the importance of education in overall human development can’t be overstated. But how bright would the future of the country be when education itself is rigged? Various professional institutes have management seats which are openly purchased, thus sowing the seeds of corruption in the very beginning. Some universities have been in the business of awarding fake degrees. Even Himachal Pradesh has hit headlines with regard to thousands of fake degrees. Embezzlement of scholarship distribution among students was unearthed in the Directorate of Education, HP, in the recent past. There are numerous cases of back-door recruitment of teachers. Universities take years in awarding PhD degrees and see PhD candidates applying for the posts of peon and mali. Can there be more insult to education than this?

KR Bharti, Shimla


Easy way out

The burgeoning fuel prices have had a cascading effect on the prices of essential commodities, pushing up inflation. The living standards of the common man have fallen as he is compelled to cut expenses on non-essentials to make ends meet. The government lacks sound economic sense and novel ideas. It has found an easy way out by increasing fuel prices from time to time to paint a rosy picture of the economic health of the nation.

Swinder Singh Sangha, Ludhiana


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

Punjab crime index Other

Jun 01, 2022

Apropos of ‘Gangs of Punjab’, there is no proper CCTV surveillance, no proper security, no discipline and no thorough checking in Punjab. Recently, a popular kabaddi player was shot. The government is not taking adequate steps in the field of law and order. Quick action should be taken by the government so that heinous crime can be deterred. Incidents of crime can only impede the path of progress if not checked. Progress should be visible in every area like education, sports, etc. This situation, if it prevails for long, can only add to the propensity to migrate abroad.

DOLLY PAL, JALANDHAR


AAP govt not to blame

The pruning of security is a right step taken by the AAP government in Punjab. The police is not only for VIPs, but also for the public, for maintaining law and order in the state. If any VIP senses a threat to his life, he can keep private security, as is done by some actors and others. Sidhu Moosewala’s murder was not due to the pruning of security, but due to a war among gangsters, who were created and supported by politicians of previous governments. News channels, mostly owned by political parties, are blaming the AAP government for the murder.

BL Gohal, Nabha


Race for Rajya Sabha

Nowadays, all political parties of the country are busy in filing nominations of their members for the Rajya Sabha. Unfortunately, the Upper House of Parliament has become a parking lot for those politicians who have lost parliamentary elections or those millionaires who have funded a party. Sportspersons, bureaucrats and film stars are also nominated. They hardly attend sessions, let alone make any tangible contribution to the House by participating in debates. Sending persons who lack both interest and aptitude to the Upper House is a sheer wastage of taxpayers’ money.

Balbir Singh Kakkar, Jalandhar


Chasing money

Refer to ‘Horror of education racket’; the issues raised in the article present a grim, yet real picture of education in the country. The youth is so enamoured of the immediate gains in a materialistic world that no sermonising is going to cut ice with them, unless they are given concrete alternatives for a better future. They are the product of the times and education is not a sector immune to the corruption prevalent in all other sectors of society. ‘Daam banaye kaam’ overrides other considerations. Money matters and morality cannot go together in a society void of authentic social and political leadership.

DV Sharma, Mukerian


Pratibha’s snub

Apropos of the news report ‘Party worker first, then CM, Jai Ram Thakur snubs Pratibha ’, it does not behove a person of the stature of HP Congress president Pratibha Singh to criticise the Chief Minister for visiting her at Jakhu to invite her to PM Modi’s rally. Instead of appreciating his gesture, she criticised him. She belongs to the family of former CM Virbhadra Singh, who always referred to the sitting CM as honest and a simple man.

Vijaya Sharma, by mail


Atmanirbhar soldiers

Reference to the article ‘Pause, reflect on “Tour of Duty”’; real atmanirbharta depends on making the soldiers atmanirbhar, both in terms of modern defence equipment placed at their disposal, and also imparting to them the confidence that the country is appreciative of their selfless resolve to protect the nation’s borders, at the cost of their own life. It is more so, especially when an expansionist neighbouring country poses a threat to our borders. No soldier should feel that he is being engaged only till the external aggression is impending. Short-term soldiers should also not carry any apprehension that once their services are dispensed with, they will be deprived of privileges and facilities. The soldiers’ atmanirbharta should be liberal and not economised.

KL Noatay, Kangra


First among equals

Reference to ‘Women top Civil Services exam’; it is commendable that women have clinched top positions in the country’s most-coveted exam and proved that they are first among equals. In our country, where crime against women has become commonplace and they are subjected to subjugation and domestic violence, this feat is a glimmer of hope. It will inspire many girls who abandon their dreams due to family pressure in a patriarchal society.

Aanya Singhal, 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