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Letters to the editor

Invest to upgrade rail infra

Jun 19, 2024

Refer to ‘Bengal train tragedy’; the mishap throws the spotlight on persistent problems like human error, track defects, maintenance lapses and obsolete signalling systems. No human error should ever result in a loss of lives. The railway personnel must undergo proper training, and rigorous standards must be established to prevent such tragedies. It is not appropriate to lay the blame for the tragedy on junior employees. A thorough probe should be carried out so that accountability can be fixed at all levels. The government must prioritise investment in advanced technology to upgrade rail infrastructure and bring the safety mechanisms on a par with international standards.

K Kumar, Panchkula

Prioritise safety of passengers

The editorial ‘Bengal train tragedy’ has rightly argued that taking steps to prevent train mishaps should be the top priority of the Railways. Passenger safety must take precedence over the glitz and glamour of modern and ultra-fast trains. The huge funds being set aside by the government for grand rail projects should instead go towards putting in place mechanisms like Kavach, the train collision avoidance system, to avert another rail disaster. A human error or deficiency in safety mechanisms must not claim more lives.

Suresh Dhiman, Jagadhri

Mitigate anthropogenic factors

With reference to the editorial ‘Nature of things’; north India has been reeling under a scorching heatwave for months now. The contribution of man-made factors like deforestation and concretisation to climate change and its repercussions cannot be denied. While the groundwater level is depleting, the temperature is shooting up. It is high time that the authorities concerned stepped in to address the issue. Planting more trees and announcing lockdown restrictions in the summer are necessary to check air pollution, which is a factor responsible for global warming.

Avinash Goyal, Chandigarh

India must tread carefully

India’s remarkable economic ascent after liberalisation has positioned it as a global powerhouse, necessitating robust regional alliances for sustained security and growth. But the spectre of China’s expansionism looms, compelling India to fortify its frontiers and foster ties with Gulf nations. Strategic initiatives like the Chabahar port and the International North-South Transport Corridor underscore India’s commitment to regional stability and connectivity despite Pakistan’s obstructionist stance. Meanwhile, the American media’s criticism of what it sees as the curtailment of free speech in India strains India-US ties. India must navigate these geopolitical currents with astute diplomacy and unyielding resolve to safeguard its interests and uphold its sovereignty.

Sargunpreet Kaur, Mohali

Rahul’s big comeback

Apropos of the report ‘Priyanka settles for Wayanad seat for maiden poll plunge’; even Rahul Gandhi’s worst detractors must concede that he has managed to rise like a phoenix from Raebareli. Having chosen to retain the UP seat, he reckons that a welcome tailwind that the Opposition alliance could generate in the state would produce a greater electoral thrust for his party down the line. Priyanka’s decision to contest the Wayanad seat vacated by Rahul, may spark a row about dynastic politics — a phenomenon that is prevalent across party lines. But after a decade that saw the ruling dispensation at the Centre take radical decisions, dynastic politics may once again find favour with the public.

R Narayanan, Navi Mumbai

Tide over the water crisis

Many parts of India have been grappling with a shortage of water. It is high time that the matter be taken seriously. Wasteful use of water can prove fatal for many. The scarcity of water has been aggravated to the extent that residents in some areas are craving a single drop of it. It won’t be an exaggeration to say that a scarcity of water could prove destructive for the entire biosphere. Punjab is one of the states that have faced the problem. Crop diversification can help ease the crisis.

Davinder Pal Chand, Gurdaspur

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

Galwan shadow on India-China ties

Jun 18, 2024

As we mark four years of the Galwan clash, the chasm of trust between India and China deepens, casting long shadows over bilateral relations. The loss of Indian soldiers and disputed Chinese casualties underscore unresolved border tensions that challenge diplomatic efforts. Despite numerous talks, the military standoff persists, with both nations fortifying their borders, signalling a new normal of heightened vigilance. India’s unwavering stance demands a return to pre-April 2020 conditions for normalcy, while China’s rhetoric remains unyielding. The impasse hinders dialogue on pressing regional and global matters, leaving India to bolster its defences, curtail Chinese imports and safeguard digital sovereignty. The appointment of China’s ambassador to New Delhi hints at a potential thaw. Yet, history cautions India against complacency.

Gurdev Singh, Mohali

Ensure safety of passengers

Multiple people were killed and several others were injured as an express train collided with a goods one in Darjeeling district of West Bengal on Monday morning. This is not the first major rail mishap in recent years, which gives people the impression that the government has not done enough to prevent such tragedies. The announcement of ex-gratia for the kin of the deceased or those who sustained injuries is not a solution. It is high time that the powers that be took steps to ensure the safety and security of the passengers.

Wg Cdr JS Minhas (retd), Mohali

Drug menace plagues Punjab

Apropos of the report ‘Alarming: Opposition jabs Punjab CM Bhagwant Mann over 14 drug abuse deaths’; every loss of life due to the consumption of drugs is tragic. But such issues must not be politicised. The Congress state president has called out the ruling party in the state for not having a roadmap to save the Punjabi youth. But when the grand old party was in power in Punjab, did it ever come up with a roadmap to tackle the issue? Over the years, the government has remained focused on disrupting the supply of drugs. The need of the hour is to educate the youth about the harms of taking drugs.

Lt Col Pradeep Jawanda (retd), by mail

Don’t let terrorism hinder polls

With reference to the article ‘Go ahead with J&K Assembly polls despite terror attacks’; it was a thought-provoking read. The encouraging turnout in the recently held Lok Sabha polls in the state-turned-UT must pave the way for a smooth conduct of Assembly elections. In line with the Supreme Court’s direction, the polls must be held before September 30. It is good to know that the process for undertaking the electoral process has been initiated. Some anti-national elements will continue to create unrest in the region. But it must not deter the Election Commission of India from holding the polls, which are due in three months.

Subhash C Taneja, Gurugram

Future of NEET aspirants at stake

NEET has been making headlines for all the wrong reasons. But this is not an isolated incident of paper leak. Such malpractices have long been common in states like UP and Bihar. Paper leaks threaten the academic and professional prospects of deserving candidates. The failure of the authorities concerned to prevent the use of unfair means is to blame for the fiasco. The government must accord the matter the seriousness it deserves, and those behind the leak must be brought to book. The future of lakhs of students is at stake.

Kirti Wadhawan, Kanpur

Role of Opposition in democracy

RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat has rightly recognised the significance of the Opposition, stressing, “It (the Opposition) should not be seen as an adversary. The Opposition presents an alternative perspective. Their views must also be acknowledged.” Opposition leaders, regardless of their views, must be respected, as they represent a certain section of Indian opinion. The moot question here is: Will the newly formed PM Narendra Modi-led government at the Centre listen to the Opposition and strive for consensus? Besides, aggressive Hindutva must not take precedence over the everyday problems facing the country.

Haridasan Rajan, Kozhikode (Kerala)

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

Ensure stability in J&K

Jun 17, 2024

The terror attacks in Jammu and Kashmir are a stark reminder of the persistent threats to India’s sovereignty. With nine civilians and a CRPF jawan killed, the violence in Reasi, Kathua and Doda is a deliberate attempt to destabilise the region. PM Narendra Modi’s directive to officials to utilise the ‘full spectrum of counter-terror capabilities’ is a necessary and urgent response. The reinstatement of Ajit Doval as the National Security Adviser underscores India’s commitment to a decisive stance against terror. Pakistan’s continued support for militancy through local agents must be met with unwavering resolve. The promising turnout in the recent Lok Sabha elections reflects the people’s faith in democracy, which terrorists seek to undermine. India’s military and diplomatic response must be firm and forceful, ensuring that stability is restored in J&K.

Sahibpreet Singh, Mohali

Biannual admissions welcome

Refer to ‘Biannual admissions’; the UGC’s decision to permit admissions to higher educational institutions twice a year is welcome. Students who appear for supplementary examinations but do not get admission because of a delayed announcement of their results will no longer have to waste a whole academic year. Besides, if biannual admissions are carried out smoothly, it will attract more international students to India. However, it is imperative for universities to improve the infrastructure and recruit more teaching staff to maintain the quality of education.

Ravinder Kwatra, by mail

Don’t target communities

India is a diverse country. From Kashmir to Kanniyakumari, people — regardless of their caste, creed, colour and faith — live together. There is no doubt that CISF constable Kulwinder Kaur’s assault on newly elected BJP MP Kangana Ranaut is highly condemnable. No security personnel or civilian has the right to take the law into his or her own hands. The CISF staffer must be dealt with strictly for overstepping her boundaries. However, at the same time, it was irresponsible of Kangana to make sweeping statements about the state of affairs in Punjab. She is no longer just an actor. She is an MP now. An entire community cannot be tarred with the same brush for the actions of a few.

Raj Kumar Kapoor, Ropar

Don’t glorify violence

The incident at the Chandigarh airport was unfortunate. The case is reminiscent of the slaying of PM Indira Gandhi by her guards. Whether it is a bullet or a slap, a person in uniform must not take the law into his or her hands. It is condemnable that members of the farming community have hailed Kulwinder Kaur as a hero and tried to glorify what she did. Since the incident occurred merely a couple of days after the election of two radicals in Punjab, speculation is rife about the CISF staffer possibly capitalising on the controversy to make her way to the Assembly or Parliament. Utmost restraint from all quarters is the need of the hour.

Krishan Bhatia, Hansi

Delhi being run from jail

The Delhi Government is currently being run from jail. CM Arvind Kejriwal — an accused in a money laundering case related to an alleged excise scam — has been lodged in Tihar jail. The fact that he is still at the helm of affairs in the Capital makes a mockery of Indian democracy. Without a working CM, the Delhi Government is like a rudderless ship. Who will be taking important decisions on day-to-day affairs? Administrative powers must be accorded to the L-G so that the government can run smoothly. The acute water crisis is one of the many issues in the national capital that needs immediate resolution. Delhi residents must not be made to suffer at any cost.

Karnail Singh, Kharar

Misuse of a draconian law

With reference to the news report ‘Delhi L-G nod to prosecute Arundhati Roy under UAPA’; the grant of sanction by Delhi L-G VK Saxena to prosecute the author, a known critic of the ruling dispensation, is shocking to say the least. One does not need to admire her literary works or approve of her political opinions or outbursts to know that the prosecution of a writer under a draconian law over a speech delivered in 2010 is ludicrous. It seems that the BJP has not learnt any lesson from the decline in its tally in the recent Lok Sabha elections.

Arun Hastir, Gurdaspur

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

Ensure safety of Indians abroad

Jun 15, 2024

Refer to ‘Kuwait tragedy’; the death of over 50 people, mostly Indians, in a blaze in Kuwait is extremely tragic and shocking. While Kuwaiti Deputy Prime Minister Sheikh Fahad Yusuf Saud Al-Sabah has blamed the mishap on the greed of real estate owners, the government cannot shirk responsibility for the tragedy. It is not the first time that a migrant worker from India has perished in a foreign land. India needs to address the issue of non-payment of salaries to Indian nationals working abroad, the poor sanitary conditions of their accommodation and a lack of measures to ensure their safety. More importantly, the Gulf Cooperation Council countries must do more to protect the workers who sweat and toil to build their cities.

Gregory Fernandes, Mumbai

Lack of firefighting measures

Apropos of the article ‘Draw lessons from Kuwait blaze to protect workers’; it is shocking that a building housing about 200 foreigners lacked arrangements for firefighting, including a fire alarm. How can the authorities concerned have such a casual attitude toward the safety of workers or residents? A fire NOC must be mandatory for all high-rises. And it is important to ensure that only buildings with adequate firefighting equipment and measures to prevent a blaze in place get the nod.

Abhilasha Gupta, Mohali

Need a change in attitude

With reference to the editorial ‘Gender gap’; it should come as no surprise that India has been ranked 129th out of 146 countries on the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap index.  To plug the gap, there has to be a change in attitude towards women in Indian society. It is unfortunate that women in India earn Rs 39.8 for every Rs 100 that men earn on average. All the talk about ‘nari shakti’ is merely a ruse to keep women from demanding their fair share in the economic prosperity.

Anthony Henriques, Mumbai

Find sustainable energy solutions

Apropos of the report ‘Heat, paddy season push power demand in Punjab to season’s high’; the unprecedented surge in Punjab’s power demand — reaching a staggering 15,379 MW — is a stark reminder of the pressing need for sustainable energy solutions. This peak, driven by extreme summer heat and the paddy transplantation season, exposes the fragility of our energy infrastructure, which is heavily reliant on grid withdrawals and thermal supply. With projections indicating a demand spike to 16,500 MW, the situation is alarming. It is imperative for policymakers to accelerate the transition to renewable energy sources and invest in modernising the grid. Efficient irrigation techniques and crop diversification must be promoted to alleviate the agricultural sector’s strain on power resources. Addressing these challenges requires a collective effort to ensure energy security and environmental sustainability for Punjab’s future.

Sewa Singh, Amritsar

Wipe out support for separatists

The article ‘The PM has his work cut out’ is replete with some incisive and insightful observations. The belief that PM Narendra Modi is going to change his style of governance for the coalition government that he is heading this time does not inspire much optimism. Though he has admitted that there has to be consensus on critical decisions, his entrenched intolerance to dissent gives rise to little hope that he will walk the talk. A wolf in sheep’s clothing is still a wolf. The formation of the new Cabinet bears the stamp of his absolute authority. Further, the victory of some separatists in the recent Lok Sabha elections is a matter of serious concern. The only way to wipe out terrorism is to erode the support terrorists receive from their communities.

Roshan Lal Goel, Ladwa

Hold dialogue with separatists

With reference to ‘The PM has his work cut out’; the election of separatist leaders in the Lok Sabha elections reveals growing discontent among voters with the government’s hardline stance on separatist movements. To avoid a repeat of the turbulent phase of the 1980s in Punjab, the government must choose dialogue over stringent measures to rein in such elements. Integrating dissenting voices into the parliamentary process can defuse tensions. Instead of adopting despotic tactics, the new regime must resolve issues through dialogue, debate and discussion to strengthen our democracy.

Amarjeet Mann, Una

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

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

Need to redefine merit

Jun 14, 2024

The Supreme Court’s observation on the sanctity of NEET being affected amid allegations of a paper leak highlights a deeper issue: the test fails to ensure a level playing field. The concept of ‘one nation, one test’ needs urgent reconsideration. NEET’s flaws — from paper leaks to technical glitches — jeopardise its integrity and disproportionately disadvantage underprivileged students. Merit should reflect societal good, not just test scores. NEET’s single-test approach neglects essential qualities like empathy and dedication, which are crucial for future doctors. Moreover, the rise of commercial coaching centres exacerbates inequalities, favouring urban, affluent students over rural and economically disadvantaged ones. True meritocracy means providing equal opportunities for all students, considering diverse backgrounds and experiences. It’s time to redefine merit in medical admissions to foster a more inclusive society.

Sargunpreet Kaur, Mohali

Future of aspirants at stake

Apropos of the article ‘NEET fails to provide a level playing field’; the allegations of a paper leak and irregularities in the test should be addressed on priority. The National Testing Agency must come clean and take steps to avoid a repeat of the fiasco. The future of lakhs of students is at stake. This is not the first time that the integrity of an entrance test or a recruitment exam has come under the scanner. Haryana, Punjab and Himachal Pradesh have all been rocked by cheating scans. The onus is on the authorities concerned to allay the apprehensions of the candidates.

Subhash C Taneja, Gurugram

Ensure fairness in entrance tests

Frequent paper leaks, partiality in recruitment tests and malpractices at centres call into question the integrity of testing agencies. It is incumbent on the National Testing Agency to restore public faith in the test. It must ensure transparency in the allotment of marks. Stringent action should be taken against those behind the leak to set a strong precedent. Technical glitches and delays in the frisking process at centres need to be looked into. Any widespread disruption in the test could affect the fortunes of numerous students and should hence be avoided. Fairness and equality of opportunity in entrance exams and recruitment tests are the need of the hour.

Asha Rani, Yamunanagar

Plug the gap in defence

Refer to ‘No room for complacency along LAC’; the article rightly underscores the urgent need for the new government to prioritise the requirements of our armed forces. China’s continued military buildup along the LAC demands enhanced Indian intelligence and better defence capabilities. There has been a modest rise in budgetary allocation to defence, but it is still inadequate for significant acquisitions. Besides, the delayed implementation of an integrated theatre command structure is a cause for concern. The ineffective Agnipath scheme warrants an urgent and thorough review. The government must address these critical issues on a priority basis.

Chanchal S Mann, Una

No peace in J&K

The terrorist attack on a bus carrying pilgrims in Reasi and multiple encounters within this week have rattled not only Jammu and Kashmir but the entire nation. It is unfortunate that a CRPF jawan lost his life in Kathua district and five soldiers and two police officers sustained injuries in separate encounters. Innocent people are being gunned down in J&K. The BJP’s decision not to contest in the Valley is an admission that the party’s ‘Naya Kashmir’ policy is an abject failure. The government’s claim of restoring normalcy in the region stands in stark contrast with the ground reality.

SK Khosla, Chandigarh

Manipur a victim of BJP apathy

Refer to ‘In Bhagwat’s utterances after polls, signs of RSS-BJP unease’; the Sangh chief’s belated remarks on the government’s failure to resolve the crisis in the conflict-torn Manipur are welcome. Bhagwat’s comment is a message to the Narendra Modi-led BJP government. It seems like the BJP’s indifference to the ethnic turmoil that has roiled the northeastern state was the final straw for the RSS chief. The Sangh leadership should have nudged Modi to act when the first reports of violence had started to trickle in from Manipur. The PM must pay heed to the RSS chief’s words before it is too late.

Avinash Godboley, Dewas (MP)

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

Pakistan must mend its ways

Jun 13, 2024

Refer to ‘India-Pak impasse’; ex-Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif realises that building friendly ties with India is the key to ensuring lasting peace, security and prosperity in the region. Unfortunately, his efforts to bring about a positive change have been marred by the Pakistani deep state. After all, it is the army — which has a strong grip on all spheres of governance, such as politics, the economy and foreign affairs — that calls the shots in Islamabad. It is, therefore, imperative that the political elite across the border impress upon the military leadership the need to stop exporting terrorism to India and adopt a policy that will help improve Islamabad’s relations with New Delhi, Kabul and Tehran. It is never too late to give peace a shot.

Subhash Vaid, New Delhi

Need to revisit Agnipath scheme

The Department of Military Affairs’ belated inquiry into the manpower shortage caused by the Agnipath scheme reveals a concerning oversight. Despite its promise of a youthful military, the scheme’s inadequate recruitment quotas starkly contrast with the high retirement rates, worsened by a pandemic-induced hiring freeze. The immediate consequences — understaffed units and operational challenges — are felt deeply within the ranks, particularly in specialised regiments like the Gorkhas. The political manoeuvring around Agnipath, including Opposition accusations and the ruling party’s stance, underscores the scheme’s contentious nature. A reassessment is crucial, not just for political optics but to ensure that our armed forces maintain their strength and readiness. Prioritising fiscal savings over operational efficiency risks undermining national security. It’s time to rethink Agnipath before it further erodes our military capabilities.

Gurdev Singh, Mohali

No compromise on nat’l security

Apropos of the article ‘Manpower shortage calls for a rethink of Agnipath scheme’; regardless of the politics surrounding the issue and other considerations, there should be no compromise when it comes to India's national security. There is a need for the masses to understand the goal behind the introduction of the Agnipath scheme and not get swayed by misleading talking points. The country is already beset by widespread unemployment. Youth, hailing from diverse academic backgrounds, are just looking to secure a job, regardless of the duration of the service.

Sunil Kumar Mahajan, Bilaspur

Kangana’s remarks uncalled for

Actress Kangana Ranaut’s remarks about elderly women being paid to stage a protest during the farmers’ stir were completely baseless and highly condemnable. She should have apologised for the comments. However, that does not justify the assault on the newly elected MP by the CISF constable. Any person in uniform is supposed to serve the nation and protect its citizens. An official on duty must not let their personal views or emotions dictate their actions. Some anti-social elements, who want to stoke communal tensions, have lent their support to the erring constable and seized the emotive issue. The growing animosity among different sections of society will only disturb communal harmony in the state.

Upant Sharma, Una

Attack on Sikh man

A Sikh man was allegedly thrashed and called a ‘Khalistani’ in Haryana’s Kaithal on Tuesday. This was a highly condemnable attack, which calls for a thorough investigation. If the culprits are not brought to justice, it could set a dangerous precedent. It has become common for miscreants to throw around such epithets at members of the Sikh community. Those of us who are law-abiding, patriotic Sikhs feel hurt and offended by this kind of mischaracterisation. There is a need for more stringent laws to address such crimes. Those who dub all Sikhs as Khalistanis must be punished. That could be a step towards making Sikhs feel safe and respected.

Nirmal Singh, Patiala

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

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

All eyes on PM Modi

Jun 12, 2024

Apropos of the editorial ‘PM’s team’; all eyes are on Prime Minister Narendra Modi as he embarks on a record third term. He will no longer be able to steamroller Bills that are in line with his party’s agenda through Parliament, as he does not enjoy the absolute freedom and unchecked power to do that anymore. But there is no doubt that the country is far more developed today than it was a decade ago. The year Modi took over, India was the 11th largest economy in the world. Within a span of 10 years, it rose to become the fifth-largest economy. This is a reflection of PM Modi’s commitment to making India a developed nation by 2047. The government must stay focused on maintaining the pace of development while steering clear of divisive politics.

RK Arora, Mohali

Ditch strongman politics

Refer to ‘How Modi 3.0 looks from South Asia’; as Prime Minister Narendra Modi begins his third tenure, the gaze of South Asia is fixated on India with a blend of anticipation and retrospection. The region, once buoyant with the promise of Modi’s ‘Neighbourhood First’ diplomacy, now harbours a cautious optimism for a renewed SAARC spirit and India’s rapprochement with Pakistan. The initial grandeur of SAARC invitations has waned, giving way to a realpolitik that prioritises nationalistic fervour over regional camaraderie. Yet, the recent electoral verdict in India has rekindled hope across South Asia — a hope for a leadership that transcends majoritarian narratives to embrace the pluralistic ethos that once defined the subcontinent. The collective aspiration is for Modi 3.0 to steer away from the shadows of strongman politics and towards the light of cooperative regionalism.

Sahibpreet Singh, Mohali

Curb menace of terrorism

Refer to the editorial ‘Terror attack in J&K’; the presence of foreign terrorists in the Valley is a matter of grave concern. This is an outcome of the systemic failure of intelligence agencies to keep track of terrorist activities and movements. Mere financial assistance to the victims’ kin will not be enough. The need of the hour is to curb the menace of terrorism with the help of local communities and village defence guards. Clearly, some of our neighbouring countries, such as Pakistan, are not pleased about the swearing-in of Narendra Modi as PM for the third consecutive term. We must stay vigilant.

MD Sharma, Shimla

Assault not a terror attack

The remarks made by actor and MP Kangana Ranaut after she was slapped by a CISF staffer at the Chandigarh airport last week are unacceptable. By linking the attack on her to what she described as a rise in violence and terror in Punjab, she has given the world a bad impression — and one that is wrong — of the border state. Not only do such remarks sow seeds of disharmony in society, but they also strike fear in the hearts of the masses — both locals and tourists. This was not the first time that a politician was hit or assaulted. There have been many cases of ministers being attacked or having their faces blackened with ink by protesters. But none of those attacks was labelled an act of terror. Kangana, as a newly elected legislator, bears a lot of responsibility. She must be careful with her words.

Harsimranvir Singh, Patiala

Legacy of a media baron

The demise of veteran media entrepreneur and film producer Ramoji Rao marks the end of an era. His passing away has understandably left Telugu people in a state of grief. Rao was a compassionate man who touched thousands of lives through his ventures. He was always ahead of his time. The entertainment and media personality will be fondly remembered by generations of cinema buffs, especially those who live in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana and are big on Telugu cinema. Among many of his successful endeavours as an entrepreneur was the Hyderabad-based Ramoji Film City, which is certified by the Guinness Book of Records as the world’s largest film studio complex.

Ramesh G Jethwani, Bengaluru

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

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

Kangana is overreacting

Jun 11, 2024

Apropos of the editorial ‘Kangana slapgate’; the CISF constable slapped newly elected BJP MP Kangana Ranaut over some abhorrent remarks previously made by her on the farmers’ stir. Violence by someone in uniform to make a political statement is reprehensible. It is unfortunate that certain farm outfits have thrown their weight behind the erring CISF staffer. However, what Kulwinder did cannot be called an act of terror. Soon after the episode, Kangana took to social media and voiced concerns about what she described as a “rise in terror and violence” in Punjab. She is clearly overreacting and wrongly describing a case of physical assault on her as a terror attack, which is condemnable.

Roshan Lal Goel, Ladwa

Don’t celebrate violence

Apropos of ‘Kangana slapgate’; PM Indira Gandhi was assassinated by her Sikh bodyguards in 1984. In 2011, Salman Taseer, then the Governor of Pakistan’s Punjab, was assassinated by his own security detail. These assassinations were condemned worldwide. But unfortunately, some sections of society are celebrating the attack on actor-turned-politician Kangana Ranaut. The attack on her came just days after the son of one of Indira Gandhi’s assassins won the Lok Sabha election from Faridkot, meaning that he has been made out to be a hero. The assault on Kangana was not just about her. It smacks of the mentality of anti-social elements who don’t want to live in peace and harmony.

Subhash Chandra Chhabra, by mail

Coarsening of public discourse

With reference to ‘Use of violence to vent anger condemnable’; I wholeheartedly agree with the writer’s take on the issue. Besides, the author has rightly emphasised as an Indian, Sikh and Punjabi that there is no contradiction between any of the three identities. But the fact that a member of a minority community has to even say it while making a valid argument is a sad commentary on the state of public discourse in the country. There is no doubt that the CISF staffer was at fault, which reflects poorly on the federal police organisation and raises questions about the kind of training that officials are undergoing. However, our leaders too need to be responsible, abide by the rules and lead by example.

Rupinder Singh Brar, by mail

Political instability is looming

India is a country rich in diversity — be it religion, region, caste or language. The Lok Sabha election results are telling. The BJP lost in states where it had strongholds and bagged seats in those where it was not expected to have a good showing. The factor of anti-incumbency was at play only in some states. The Hindutva ideology failed to impress the voters, and the ‘Abki baar 400 paar’ slogan backfired by sparking concerns about the possibility of the NDA altering the Constitution if it got an absolute majority. It remains to be seen if the NDA coalition or the INDIA bloc will stay intact. The country should brace itself for a period of political instability.

Vinay Kumar Malhotra, Ambala Cantt

Modi must lead by example

Refer to the report ‘Be humble, rise to people’s hopes, PM tells ministers’; Prime Minister Narendra Modi made an important point in his address. It is commendable that he urged his ministers to be humble, work for the people and live up to their expectations. But as a leader, he must walk the talk and set an example. This time, unlike his previous two terms, he is at the helm of a coalition government. The dip in the BJP’s tally this time should be seen as a warning to the PM and his party and prompt them to go for course correction.

Bal Govind, Noida

Remembering Ramoji Rao

Ramoji Rao, the renowned chairman of the Eenadu media group and founder of the Ramoji Film City, passed away recently. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his tribute to the media baron, rightly praised Rao as a visionary who had revolutionised the Indian media. There is no doubt that he made a rich contribution to the field of journalism and left an indelible mark on the world of films. Through his noteworthy efforts, he set new standards for innovation and excellence in the media and entertainment industries.

Rukma Sharma, Jalandhar

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

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

Modi’s moment of truth

Jun 10, 2024

With reference to ‘Keep your friends close, enemies closer’; as Prime Minister Narendra Modi embarks on his third term, political manoeuvring becomes paramount. The warmth from allies like N Chandrababu Naidu and Nitish Kumar masks a precarious balance of power. With Sonia Gandhi’s rumoured outreach to NDA partners, the adage ‘Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer’ is more relevant than ever. Modi must navigate this landscape with the cunning of Chanakya and Machiavelli. The internal dynamics within the NDA, coupled with an emboldened Opposition, demand strategic acumen. Naidu’s focus on Andhra Pradesh may benefit Modi, but the larger question remains: Can the PM manage these intricate alliances without compromising his vision? The coming months will reveal whether this coalition stays resilient or fractures under pressure.

Gurdev Singh, Mohali

Holding the coalition steady

Refer to ‘Keep your friends close, enemies closer’; the article captures the intricate dynamics of PM Narendra Modi’s third-term manoeuvring, emphasising the need for Chanakya and Machiavelli-like strategic pragmatism. As Modi consolidates power, allies like Chandrababu Naidu and Nitish Kumar must align with the Centre’s demands to secure essential financial aid for their states. Despite Sonia Gandhi’s overtures for a coalition shift, Modi retained power as the INDIA bloc lacked the numbers. Potential infighting in the NDA and possible parliamentary disruptions reveal a tactical style of governance. Keeping allies close and adversaries closer will be crucial for Modi to maintain stability in the coalition in the coming months.

Chanchal S Mann, Una

Spreading awareness is the key

Apropos of the editorial ‘Child food poverty’; though India has achieved self-sufficiency in food production, it does not guarantee food security. It is unfortunate that, despite having surplus food, hunger still persists in the country. A significant number of children do not have access to a protein-rich diet or grains. The significance of consuming a diet rich in nutrition for the healthy development of young children cannot be emphasised enough. The government should focus on stepping up food intake among young children. A nationwide awareness campaign to enlighten the masses about the perils of malnutrition is the need of the hour.

Gaurav Badhwar, Rohtak

Spectre of militancy in Punjab

Apropos of the news report ‘Cop slapped Kangana Ranaut in rush of blood, says CISF’; the statement by Vinay Kajla — who is the DIG, CISF, Airport (North Sector) — suggesting that the constable had assaulted MP-elect Kangana Ranaut in a rush of blood is irresponsible and uncalled for. It does not matter if the CISF staffer had a clean record of 15 years. She had no right to raise her hand on the actor. The SKM and other farm unions have made life miserable for the masses. There are some anti-social elements in the state who harbour separatist sentiments. On top of that, a cash reward and support have been announced for the erring official, setting a dangerous precedent. It seems like the people of Punjab have not learnt anything from the long spell of militancy in the state.

Jagdish Banyal, by mail

Kangana must watch her mouth

The CISF staffer’s assault on actor-turned-politician Kangana Ranaut at the Chandigarh airport is condemnable. There is no place for violence in this country. But the actor’s remarks on rising terrorism in Punjab are highly inappropriate. As an MP, she must refrain from making statements that can hurt the religious sentiments of a community. She may have to pay a heavy price for her words. Besides, as the CISF’s Vinay Kajla put it, Kulwinder had acted in a rush of blood over some derogatory remarks previously made by Kangana on the farmers’ stir. Stringent action should be taken against the Bollywood actor for hurting the sentiments of the Sikh community.

Nyamatdeep Kaur, 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: [email protected]

Quenching Delhi’s thirst

Jun 08, 2024

Refer to the editorial ‘Delhi’s water crisis’; the fact that the Supreme Court had to step in and direct the Himachal Pradesh Government to release 137 cusecs of water to help New Delhi tide over the water crisis is a sad commentary on the state of affairs. The failure of leaders to resolve the issue amicably reflects the lack of cooperation, coordination and collaboration among the states. The Upper Yamuna River Board should have played a proactive role in ensuring effective water management and distribution. Besides, the failure of the authorities concerned in the Capital to address water wastage — which is reportedly 50 per cent — caused by leakage and theft points to criminal negligence on their part.

Subhash Vaid, New Delhi

The rise & fall of Nifty, Sensex

Apropos of ‘Rahul for JPC probe into market crash, questions role of PM, HM’; the sharp fluctuations in India’s stock market after the exit poll results necessitate a thorough investigation. Opposition leader Rahul Gandhi’s call for a Joint Parliamentary Committee probe into the matter is welcome. Comments by PM Narendra Modi and other ministers potentially influenced market behaviour. The surge in the NSE Nifty 50 and S&P BSE Sensex ahead of the results, followed by a sharp decline, raises questions about market manipulation and insider trading. Transparency and accountability are imperative for maintaining investor confidence. SEBI must conduct a comprehensive investigation to ensure the integrity of the financial markets.

Sahibpreet Singh, Mohali

INDIA put Modi in his place

With reference to ‘Oppn parties must keep INDIA intact’; the writer has rightly observed that the outcome of the Lok Sabha elections has hit PM Narendra Modi’s sense of invincibility. It is Modi’s reputation as a ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ leader that is at stake. The INDIA bloc has successfully stopped the Modi-Shah juggernaut in its tracks. While the BJP, which is set for a third straight term at the Centre, has not been defeated, there is no denying that the saffron party did suffer a massive setback in this election. The onus of holding the ruling regime accountable remains on the Opposition leaders.

Ramesh Gupta, Narwana

Assault on Kangana

With reference to the front-page news report ‘CISF staffer “slaps” Kangana at Chandigarh airport, detained’; the assault on the newly elected MP should be condemned in the strongest terms. The incident should be taken seriously. Security at sensitive places like an airport is not a trivial matter. In this case, a constable entrusted with the role of ensuring security took the law into her own hands because she allegedly had an issue with a remark previously made by the actor on the farmers’ stir. While every citizen living in a democratic country is entitled to dissent, resorting to violence is not acceptable. This was not expected from an official on duty. The CISF constable must receive stringent punishment.

Jagdish Chander, Jalandhar

Suspension not enough

Apropos of ‘CISF staffer “slaps” Kangana at Chandigarh airport, detained’; it is shocking that Kulwinder Kaur, a CISF constable, allegedly abused and slapped Kangana Ranaut, a high-profile Bollywood actor and the newly elected MP from Mandi, at the Chandigarh airport. If a political leader who is generally accompanied by an entourage of guards can be assaulted by a security official at a public place, one can’t help but shudder to think about the safety of a commoner who expresses a controversial opinion. The mere suspension of the erring constable is not enough. Stringent action should be taken against her.

Vijaya Sharma, by mail

Hooliganism in uniform

Refer to ‘CISF staffer “slaps” Kangana at Chandigarh airport, detained’; it is unfortunate that CISF constable Kulwinder Kaur allegedly abused and assaulted Mandi’s MP-elect and actor Kangana Ranaut. The security personnel had no right to attack the actor over her stance on the farmers’ protests. Officials on duty must not let their personal opinions or beliefs dictate their actions. Any person in uniform is duty-bound to follow the requisite protocol while dealing with public representatives and be courteous to the public at large. The authorities can set a strong precedent by ensuring action against the official.

Upendra Sharma, by mail

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

BJP’s loss in Ayodhya

Jun 07, 2024

Apropos of the editorial ‘The UP verdict’; the BJP was hopeful that the consecration of the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya would significantly improve the electoral fortunes of the party. But much to the shock of the saffron party and political analysts, the BJP lost the Faizabad parliamentary seat in Ayodhya district to the Samajwadi Party (SP). The loss can be attributed to the inconvenience that the locals had to face because of the construction of the temple and preparations for the grand inaugural ceremony. Villagers in Ayodhya were not happy about the acquisition of land around the temple and the airport. Amid all the frenzy, the residents of the district were sidelined.

Subhash C Taneja, Gurugram

Don’t take voters for granted

With reference to the editorial ‘The UP verdict’; the much-hyped inauguration of the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya by PM Narendra Modi earlier this year was expected to give the BJP an edge in the General Election in UP. But the party failed to reap any electoral dividends from the grand event and the religious fervour surrounding it. Besides, it appears that the pollsters failed to correctly gauge the mood of the voters. The predictions were way off the mark, calling into question the utility of such forecasts and the credibility of the pollsters. The strategy crafted by the SP-Congress combine helped prevent the BJP from crossing the 272-seat mark. This is a reminder that voters cannot be taken for granted.

Roshan Lal Goel, Ladwa

BJP should change tack

Refer to the editorial ‘The UP verdict’; the defeats that the BJP faced in states like UP, Haryana and Maharashtra must compel it to go for course correction. The governing alliance must shift its focus to real issues like inflation, unemployment and national security concerns. The electorate has had enough of the anti-minority rhetoric that pits Hindus and Muslims against each other. Voters yearn for development, job opportunities and healthcare facilities. The saffron party’s losses in Faizabad, Amethi and Lakhimpur Kheri should serve as a lesson to parties about the importance of keeping the voters’ priorities in mind while campaigning.

Wg Cdr JS Minhas (retd), Mohali

The dilemma of jailed lawmakers

The parents of jailed ‘Waris Punjab De’ chief Amritpal Singh — Tarsem Singh and Balwinder Kaur — have hailed his win from the Khadoor Sahib parliamentary constituency as the verdict of the people against the government’s high-handedness. They are calling for his release from prison. Up there in J&K, PDP president Mehbooba Mufti has asked for the release of Sheikh Abdul Rashid — who is in jail in connection with a terror financing case — following his victory in the Lok Sabha election. Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal — who has been in judicial custody — and other AAP leaders tried to garner votes with the ‘Jail ka jawab vote se’ campaign. Leaders must stop treating the law of the land as a plaything. Such unreasonable demands for the release of anti-national elements must not be entertained.

Ravinder Kwatra, Kurukshetra

Naidu, Nitish should join INDIA

Refer to ‘Naidu’s comeback’; realising that giving another term with a simple majority to the ruling BJP will only spell trouble and threaten the democratic principles of the country, the electorate has rightly clipped the wings of the saffron party. The BJP now has to depend on the support of N Chandrababu Naidu of the TDP and the JD(U)’s Nitish Kumar to stay in power at the Centre. Naidu and Nitish are seasoned leaders who know how the BJP might treat its allies after forming the government. If the two leaders want to save the country from the clutches of an autocratic regime, they must join hands with the INDIA bloc members and help them form the government.

Tharcius S Fernando, Chennai

Kangana’s foray into politics

People in Himachal are elated over Bollywood actress Kangana Ranaut’s foray into politics. Her victory in the Lok Sabha election from Mandi, her hometown, is a reflection of the huge base of fans and supporters that she commands. Kangana won because the people of Mandi reposed their faith in her ability to lead. She has won over people with her acting talent over the years. Now, she is set to impress them as a political leader. The woman who did justice to her role in Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi will hopefully also do justice to the post she holds.

Vasudha Pande, Paonta Sahib (HP)

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

Voters reject polarisation

Jun 06, 2024

With reference to ‘India’s message’; the BJP has managed to secure a third consecutive term. But the defeats it faced in many constituencies should prompt it do course correction. It is time for the saffron party to reassess its stance on agricultural issues and the Agnipath scheme. It should also address the alleged misuse of Central agencies like the CBI, the ED and the I-T Department for political reasons. The Indian voters have rightly rejected the politicisation of religion, as the General Election results in UP clearly show. Though the NDA government had many achievements under its belt, namely the abrogation of Article 370, the G20 Summit, the Chandrayaan-3 mission, and so on, it fell short of its target. The party leadership must analyse what went wrong.

Anil Vinayak, Amritsar

Hopeful of better days

Apropos of the editorial ‘India’s message’; the verdict is out. Though the BJP will retain power at the Centre, it has failed to achieve a simple majority to form the government. This suggests that most voters want PM Narendra Modi to continue at the helm, but not as a leader with unchecked powers. Indians don’t want a PM who mixes religion with politics or promises to have more temples constructed. We want a leader who will work to uplift the poor, help the economy grow and ensure affordable healthcare facilities for all. As the BJP looks forward to its third straight term at the Centre, this time in a coalition, the electorate is hopeful of better days ahead.

Pratibha Sharma, Chandigarh

A win for Indian democracy

Refer to the editorial ‘India’s message’; the Lok Sabha election results are a win for Indian democracy. The BJP-led NDA’s ability to stay in power at the Centre despite growing anti-incumbency is no mean feat. The grand old party — which has improved its tally — and its INDIA bloc allies put up a spirited fight. The Opposition leaders are now better placed to keep the ruling dispensation on its toes. A strong Opposition is a prerequisite for democracy. India’s return to the coalition era has thrown the spotlight on the role of regional parties in national politics.

Ravi Sharma, Dhariwal

A rebuke for divisive politics

Apropos of ‘India’s message’; the election results are a reminder that political leaders cannot fight and win elections solely on catchy slogans or by fomenting hatred. The decline in the BJP’s tally can be linked to issues like joblessness, rising prices, growing inequality and the controversial Agnipath scheme. Besides, PM Narendra Modi has drawn flak several times with his anti-minority rhetoric. His divisive campaign targeting Muslims may have alienated voters in certain regions. The Modi-led Centre has also been accused of stifling dissent and jailing political rivals on what many say are trumped-up charges. The number of seats that the NDA has secured in this General Election is a far cry from its ambitious target of 400 seats.

Capt Amar Jeet (retd), Kharar

SAD, AAP need to introspect

With reference to the news report ‘Punjab hands 7 to Cong, 2 to radicals’; the grand old party has stamped its authority by clinching seven of the 13 seats in the state. With the tally, the Congress has proven that it still has the might to take on the BJP. On the other hand, regional party SAD and the ruling AAP need to analyse the reasons behind their poor showing in Punjab. It is telling that even the BJP got a higher vote share at 18.56 per cent than the Akalis’ 13.42 per cent. SAD cannot sustain itself if it continues to be helmed by just one family. Besides, AAP’s failure to keep many of its Assembly poll promises cost it dear.

Bir Devinder Singh Bedi, Sangrur

BJP’s goal comes a cropper

The Lok Sabha elections reveal a nation loyal to democracy and its core principles, rejecting divisive ideologies. While craving stability, voters won’t tolerate intolerance or hate-driven agendas. Despite the BJP’s ambition, it fell short of an absolute majority, signalling a shift in political dynamics. The saffron party’s dream of a Congress-free India has been shattered by the Opposition resurgence powered by regional parties. Understanding the grassroots reality is vital for electoral success. Regional parties, sidelined in recent years, now play a pivotal role, ensuring diversity in governance. The election outcome discredits the exit polls and reinforces faith in the electoral process.

Vijaykumar HK, Raichur (Karnataka)

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

Congress bucks poll predictions

Jun 05, 2024

Exit polls got it wrong

Much to everybody’s surprise, the Opposition INDIA bloc, despite all the challenges it faced, managed to give a neck-and-neck fight to the BJP-led NDA across the country. The INDI alliance hobbled the NDA’s march towards the goal of 400 seats. While it is true that the Opposition lacks a strong leader who can go toe to toe with PM Narendra Modi, the INDIA grouping managed to give the saffron party a tough contest. Notably, the actual election results are far different from what the exit polls had forecast. The results indicate growing discontent among voters with the ruling regime. The parties that would form the government at the Centre must ensure India’s holistic development in the years to come through good governance and visionary leadership.

Kirti Wadhawan, Kanpur

With reference to the article ‘Congress’ failure to unite INDIA will cost it dear’; the writer rushed to draw a conclusion based on what the exit polls projected. But contrary to the predictions, the grand old party has put up a strong show in the General Election, shattering the perception that the BJP is invincible. The BJP did not win the comfortable majority that it was expected to. The people of the country have sent out a strong message about how they feel about the current state of affairs. The BJP ultimately got the numbers to form the government, but dissatisfaction among voters is obvious.

Prem Singh, Chandigarh

Setback for the BJP

The General Election results are a reminder that exit polls cannot be relied upon. No party, no matter how big, can take the voters or an election for granted. The election results are drastically different from what the pollsters had forecast. The saffron party has fallen short of its target. Though the BJP is not a party that easily makes compromises, it will now need its allies’ support to sustain itself. It remains to be seen how it will affect the functioning of the new government.

Anthony Henriques, Mumbai

Lotus fails to bloom in Sikkim

Refer to the editorial ‘Mixed bag for BJP’; Arunachal Pradesh CM Pema Khandu’s victory has established him as a force to reckon with in the state. He has successfully filled the void left by the death of his father, Dorjee Khandu, in 2011. The results raise serious questions about the future of the Congress in the state that it once ruled. In Sikkim, thanks to CM Prem Singh Tamang’s image as the Chief Minister of the common man and his pro-poor initiatives, his Sikkim Krantikari Morcha (SKM) bagged 31 out of 32 seats. The BJP, which parted ways with the SKM, must be sulking right now as it drew a blank in the state.

Bal Govind, Noida

Congress’ diminishing appeal

Apropos of ‘Mixed bag for BJP’; the Assembly election results in Arunachal Pradesh reflect the Congress’ diminishing appeal in a region where it was once a dominant force. Further, the saffron party’s ability to retain power in Arunachal shows that anti-incumbency is not a prevalent sentiment in the border state. The BJP government in Arunachal and the SKM in Sikkim have their work cut out. In view of the ongoing unrest in Myanmar and China’s knack for territorial disputes, ensuring stability in the regions should be the state governments’ priority. Besides, the fragile ecological balance of the Himalayan states, which are prone to natural disasters like landslides and floods, is a concern that should be addressed as soon as possible.

Mona Singh, by mail

Convicted felon in the fray

Refer to the article ‘Trump’s conviction thickens the plot’; a convicted felon, Trump, if re-elected, would be bad news for American democracy. The former President has shown disregard for the law of the land. Despite being found guilty on as many as 34 counts of falsifying business records, he continues to describe the trial as a sham. He has openly cast aspersions on the justice delivery system in his country. The criminalisation of politics in the US is a matter of concern. Nobody breaking the law should be holding public office. It is a disgrace that he is the Republican Party’s presumptive presidential candidate.

MD Sharma, Shimla

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

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

Take exit polls with a pinch of salt

Jun 04, 2024

Exit polls are just a rough estimate meant to gauge the mood of the voters during an election. These forecasts often stir controversy because many of the agencies conducting them are perceived to be biased. These surveys are influenced by the choice, phrasing and timing of the questions. Exit polls are not reliable. There is also a perception that most media houses in the country favour the ruling dispensation. The exit polls predicting an emphatic victory for the NDA must not be taken seriously, as anti-incumbency is prevalent in the country. Amid rising inflation and unemployment, the common man feels disillusioned with the ruling regime.

Gaurav Badhwar, Rohtak

ECI should ban exit polls

Apropos of ‘Exit polls’; these predictions give fresh talking points to parties and political commentators in the run-up to the counting of votes. But it is important to note that the forecasts are not always accurate. It is worth remembering that the exit polls had predicted an easy majority for the NDA in 2004, but it was the Congress and its allies that ultimately formed the government at the Centre. It is time for the Election Commission of India (ECI) to impose a ban on exit polls, which have no use, as these could be misleading. Nobody benefits from these polls other than TV channels and the pollsters.

Sanjay Chopra, Mohali

The fight over exit polls

With reference to ‘Exit polls’; all political parties carried out no-holds-barred campaigns, with their leaders occasionally hitting their rivals below the belt. But it is heartening to know that the long-drawn-out polls were conducted mostly in a peaceful manner. The ECI deserves kudos for the smooth conduct of the General Election, which is rightly dubbed the ‘festival of democracy’. From poll officials and candidates to the campaigners and voters who braved the heatwave sweeping many parts of the country, all played a key role in the success of the polls. As expected, the INDIA bloc is rejecting the exit polls — which cumulatively predict a comfortable majority for the BJP-led NDA — while the ruling regime is expressing confidence about retaining power.

Krishan Kant Sood, Nangal

Oppn bloc and its hollow rhetoric

It has become common for the Opposition in India to raise questions about the functioning of various institutions. Unable to match the blitz of the ruling dispensation, the INDI alliance has lost its moorings. The Opposition grouping, which is devoid of principles and driven by the sole goal of grabbing power at any cost, has ended up as a laughing stock. Instead of doing something for the welfare of people, all it offers is hollow rhetoric. A weak Opposition does not bode well for Indian democracy.

Sachin Kaushal, Patiala

Minimise risk of mishap

Apropos of ‘Tragic negligence’; sadly, those behind the wheel often don’t follow the norms. The harrowing car crash in Pune that killed two people and the bus mishap in Akhnoor were an outcome of negligence. It is high time that the authorities concerned took stringent action against those violating the traffic regulations. Further, it is imperative to make sure that no person breaking the law is shielded by the very people who are supposed to bring them to justice. Moreover, the condition of roads in Jammu and various other places across the country should be improved to minimise the risk of a mishap.

Parisha Khatri, Chandigarh

Pune crash boy’s kin complicit

With reference to the news report ‘Pune car crash: Minor’s parents conspired to swap sample, say police’; the Juvenile Justice Board failed to take a serious view of the accident that killed two young engineers as it involved a minor. But it is inexcusable that the grandfather and parents of the 17-year-old boy who fatally knocked down the two IT professionals with his car while driving under the influence conspired to save him. The boy’s grandfather coerced the family driver to take the blame for the mishap. The mother provided her blood sample so that it could be swapped with his, and he could be saved. And it was the boy’s father who allowed him to drive without a valid licence. They should all be held accountable.

Vijaya Sharma, by mail

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

Centre must engage with Punjab

Jun 03, 2024

Apropos of ‘Heed the cry from Khadoor Sahib’; the author has brought home the point in the incisive article that even if Amritpal Singh, a secessionist, happens to win the Lok Sabha election from Khadoor Sahib, it should not be misconstrued as a victory of insurgency or secessionism. For, the 2.14 crore voters of Punjab have chosen moderation. The issues facing the state, such as the agrarian crisis and environmental hazards, are real. It is the Central Government’s indifferent attitude toward the genuine demands of Punjabi voters that is to blame for the growing discontent in the state. It is telling that even though many farmers died during their year-long agitation against the three contentious farm laws, their demand of a legal guarantee for MSP remains unfulfilled.

Roshan Lal Goel, Ladwa

Ensure peace in border state

Refer to ‘Heed the cry from Khadoor Sahib’; the article has rightly highlighted the growing support for independent candidate Amritpal Singh in the Khadoor Sahib constituency and the ongoing protests demanding the release of the 22 Sikh prisoners who have been in jail for decades. These are indicative of the massive discontent simmering in Punjab. The Centre must reassess its stance on the treatment of the Bandi Singhs and engage in meaningful dialogue with Punjab’s farming community to address the agricultural crisis plaguing the state. The government must heed Punjab’s call for justice and economic revival to ensure stability and lasting peace in the region.

Chanchal S Mann, Una

The ball is in US voters’ court

With reference to ‘Trump’s conviction’; Donald Trump has become the first US President to be convicted of a felony. Throughout the trial, the former President tried to dismiss the process as a political witch hunt orchestrated by the Joe Biden administration. The politicisation of such high-profile cases can affect the public’s perception of the justice delivery system and erode its faith in the judiciary. Just like Trump, his supporters are blaming the Democrats for using lawfare to target him. Though Trump has played down his conviction by saying that the real verdict — the one by the people — will be delivered on November 5, it does not change the fact that a grand jury in New York has found him guilty of falsifying business records. Now, it is up to the American voters to decide if they want a convicted felon as their next President.

PL Singh, by mail

Trump in the dock

Apropos of the editorial ‘Trump’s conviction’; it is alarming that former US President Donald Trump has been found guilty on 34 counts of falsifying business records to cover up his sexual affair with porn star Stormy Daniels ahead of his ascent to the White House in 2016. It is a matter of shame for America and its citizens that the presumptive presidential candidate of the Republican party is a convicted felon. Contrary to what Trump has always believed, he has to face the consequences of his actions. He is rightly being held accountable for breaking the law.

Bhagwan Thadani, Mumbai

Restore peace in the world

Amid the unending wars in Ukraine and Gaza and India’s protracted standoff with China, there is a universal yearning for an end to the unrest. US President Joe Biden must take charge and deftly negotiate a ceasefire and an eventual détente between the warring countries. There is fresh hope for peace in Gaza. Even Moscow, under a perhaps mellowed Putin, seems inclined to find an end to the conflict. If Donald Trump returns to power in the US — which will elect its next President this November — the world could be a safer place. As a leader, Trump can restore peace in the world.

R Narayanan, Navi Mumbai

Down with exit polls

Refer to the front-page news report ‘350 paar, Modi sarkar teesri baar: Exit polls’; a clutch of exit polls has predicted that PM Narendra Modi will secure a third consecutive term as the Prime Minister. However, there is a lack of clarity about how many seats which party or alliance will bag. These polls only serve to sow more confusion in the minds of the electorate. It is worth remembering that such predictions are off the mark a lot of times. Besides, exit polls only create more conflict among political parties and their supporters. Do we really need them?

M Somasekhar Prasad, Hyderabad

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

Protect vulnerable people

Jun 01, 2024

Apropos of the editorial ‘Heatwave havoc’; north Indian states like Punjab and Haryana and the Capital have been reeling under very high temperatures. The loss of lives due to the searing heat is a matter of concern. This should prompt the government to take steps to protect the most vulnerable sections of the population amid the heatwave. While most people can look out for themselves and take precautionary measures, like not venturing out of home in the middle of the day and keeping themselves hydrated by consuming plenty of water, the authorities concerned must ensure the wellbeing of poor people who live in shanties and eke out a living by seeking alms. Municipal authorities need to ensure an adequate supply of drinking water in areas facing an acute shortage. Religious bodies, NGOs and social workers must all come forward to help those worst affected by the heatwave.

Ravi Sharma, Dhariwal

Residents bear brunt of heatwave

Refer to the editorial ‘Heatwave havoc’;   the record-breaking temperatures in north India and the tragic death of a 40-year-old man in Delhi due to heatstroke underscore the need for urgent action. Inadequate water supply and long power cuts amid the scorching heat make the lives of residents hellish. Proactive measures, such as promoting green infrastructure, water conservation and heat-resilient designs, need to be implemented to mitigate the dire situation. Investing in climate-resilient infrastructure is crucial for coping with heatwaves. It is time for the government to take steps to prevent further loss of life.

Amarjeet Mann, Una

Adaptive measures a must

With reference to the editorial ‘Heatwave havoc’; the NCR, Rajasthan, Punjab, Chandigarh and Haryana are experiencing unprecedented levels of heat. Thanks to the ongoing heatwave, it has become hard for labourers to work outdoors. The need of the hour is for the powers that be to implement adaptive measures. Citizens should be made aware of preventive measures to protect themselves from the scorching heat. The authorities concerned must emphasise the importance of staying hydrated and consuming a balanced diet. Since the heatwave is symptomatic of climatic shifts affecting urban India, it is imperative that the public is enlightened about the ill-effects of global warming.

Arpita Anand, Chandigarh

Kejri’s bail plea not sincere

Refer to the front-page news report ‘Setback for Kejri, SC refuses to list plea for bail extension’; the Supreme Court Registry is right in refusing to list the Delhi CM’s plea seeking a seven-day extension of his interim bail. Clearly, the medical grounds being cited by Kejriwal are not genuine. He could have easily got the necessary medical tests done by now. Further, he has not faced any health issue while holding road shows in Punjab amid the scorching heat. Where do the sudden concerns over his health come from? Besides, it has been just days since his aide allegedly thrashed party MP Swati Maliwal at the CM’s residence, and the CCTV footage of the incident has reportedly been erased. This raises more questions about what Kejriwal has been up to.

WG CDR CL Sehgal (retd), Jalandhar

No mercy for teen driver

The article ‘Juvenile justice must balance punishment with rehabilitation’ was a thought-provoking read. It is a pity that the 17-year-old boy who fatally struck two bike-borne young engineers with his Porsche car in Pune while allegedly driving under the influence of alcohol was granted bail (later cancelled) within hours of the incident. The conditions for bail, like writing a 300-word essay and studying traffic rules, were way too lenient. Even his blood sample was tampered with so that it could not be proven that he was drunk at the time of the mishap. The teenager and all those involved in the cover-up deserve severe punishment.

Subhash C Taneja, Gurugram

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