Letters to the editor

Defence pensions Other

May 17, 2022

Apropos of ‘Defence pensioners at receiving end again’, the SPARSH pension system was introduced with much fanfare to meet the sanction and disbursement requirements for the armed forces. Disbursement till recently was being done by banks and the arrangement was working smoothly. It was more convenient to liaise with the banks for assistance than the far-off indifferent and bureaucratic PCDA. The changeover was rushed without adequate homework and feedback from the end user. The apathy of the PCDA staff and inadequacy of the wherewithal to undertake the task are evident.


Wheat export

Refer to ‘Ban on wheat export’; the flip-flops in government action is evident. A blanket ban is like breaking the knees of farmers and traders, from which they will find it difficult to recover — leave alone helping India’s emergence as a reliable global supplier. The government must take measures to help the middle class by amending tax rates.

SS Paul, Nadia

Science stream

The news ‘Schools sans science teachers, students opt for other streams’ took me down memory lane to the early ’70s when Giani Zail Singh was the Punjab CM. During his tenure, thousands of new posts of science and maths teacher were sanctioned and filled in government schools. He was a visionary and knew that education in general and science and technology in particular is the only means to lift the vulnerable sections out of the quagmire of poverty, and he seriously intended to do so. He offered no freebies and waivers and there were no reports of suicide from any section of society. Thousands of teachers who got jobs and lakhs of students who got quality education almost free of cost will remain indebted to his insight and honesty of purpose.

Ram Paul Chani, Ludhiana

Forest institute

Refer to the report ‘Forest research institute to be set up in state, says CM’; the announcement of the Haryana CM must be welcomed. The covered forest area in 2021 was 1,603.48 sq km, which is 3.63% of the state’s geographical area. All are aware of the adverse effects of declining forest cover. The world is facing the consequences of deforestation in the form of climate change, declining precipitation, global warning, depleting water table etc. The establishment of the institute will guide the public and the farmers to go for more plantation.

Ravish K Chauhan, Kurukshetra

A proud moment

It is a moment of immense pride for the Punjabi diaspora when a mother-daughter duo from Punjab have got an opportunity to serve in the Royal Australian Air Force. Punjabis are scaling new heights in Canada, the US and England. Now they are making their presence felt in Australia too. Kudos to the family which encourage their women to pursue their dreams. It is a lesson for those who consider daughters a burden. Manjit Kaur and her daughter Khushroop have set an example for all Punjabi women that if given a chance, they can excel even in foreign lands.

Bir Devinder Singh Bedi, Sangrur

Eternal beauty

One of the seven wonders of the world, the Taj Mahal is not only a symbol of love, but also a great masterpiece of architecture. Every Indian, irrespective of caste and creed, has been basking in the glory and pride of this beautiful monument. To visit the Taj is to drench your soul in love. It is painful for an art lover to see it being despoiled with muddy politics of hate and divisive designs. Let’s hope that good sense prevails and this ‘marvel of marble’ continues to spread message of love to all.

Sadhna Saini, by mail

Politics on Taj

It is sad that in our country, politics can mar the beauty of even a monument which stands as a tribute to the splendid glory of eternal love (‘Let Taj remain eternal symbol of love’). It is important that we realise to view monuments as refined pieces of artistry and not spoil their beauty by politicising it. Right are the words of Khwaja Sajid, ‘Kal siyasat me bhi mohabbat thi, aaj mohabbat me bhi siyasat hai.’

Sumita Kanwar, Yamunanagar

AIR Jalandhar

All India Radio Jalandhar-Amritsar celebrates its birth anniversary. Broadcasting started on this day 74 years ago in East Punjab. One transmitter was sent to Amritsar. An announcer was engaged to read information about missing Hindu and Sikh refugees, who read the daily reports in Amritsar. Jalandhar and Amritsar had low-powered transmitters. The studio complex was built in Jalandhar and was formally opened in 1949. The setup in Amritsar was dismantled in 1953 and a high-powered station was built in Jalandhar.

Harjap Aujla, 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

Need short-term solution Other

May 16, 2022

Refer to ‘Grappling with inflation’; the remedy of raising incomes, employment, consumption, capacity utilisation and fiscal deficits to negotiate inflation may be efficacious only in the long run. Inflation is a macro phenomenon and cannot be explained away by the analogy of raising an individual’s income to grapple with the pinch of skyrocketing prices. The inflation has been triggered by the Russia-Ukraine conflict which has constrained the supplies of critical productive inputs and food. To tackle such an economic exigency, the orthodox monetarist strategy of regulating money supply through tight money policy would be the most robust approach.

Vikram Chadha, Amritsar

Reviewing sedition

In a historic order, the SC has put on hold trials in all sedition cases across the country until the government completes its exercise to re-examine the provisions of Section 124A. The police has acted in blatant violation of the law. The government has plenty of laws in its armoury which can be used to silence critics and political rivals. We have seen in recent years the misuse of the UAPA, NSA, Public Safety Act and a host of IPC Sections against individuals whose writing or speech is not in tune with the government.

RS Sembhi, Ludhiana

Enforce traffic rules

It is painful to know that a recently elected MLA supported a person who violated traffic rules (‘MLA in verbal spat over traffic challan’). About two years back, I had met the DSP (Traffic), Patiala, for making suggestions in the improvement of traffic in the city. He claimed that an MLA in the district had a lengthy talk with him on the phone and insisted that no checking shall be done in his constituency. Traffic conditions are a hazard in all cities of the state and there is no fear of the traffic police. The AAP government has made tall promises for the improvement of law and order and must give a free hand for the smooth flow of traffic.

OP Garg, Patiala

What of education?

It is shocking to learn that Government School, Dhobiana Basti, lacks desks and basic facilities even after spending Rs 1.25 crore on the school building and the construction of a pool which is still non-operational. Since the CM talks of smart schools, his government must prioritise imparting best education in government schools.

Raj Paul Setia, Bathinda

Auction encroached land

Apropos of ‘Govt set to go after VIP land sharks’, the Tribune as well as the Rural Development and Panchayat Minister, Punjab, deserve praise for successfully motivating or compelling encroachers to vacate encroached lands. It is a good start. Such lands can be auctioned to unemployed youth, who are the backbone of society. Consequently, their dependence on drugs will end.

Neha Syal, Sangrur

Symbol of love

Refer to ‘Let Taj remain eternal symbol of love’; I was born and brought up in Agra and have many sweet memories of the place. The Taj Mahal must be seen as a symbol of love as all across the globe people appreciate its beauty. It is really a beautiful masterpiece.

Reeta Suri, Chandigarh

Oh Taj!

I felt impelled to pen the following lines after reading ‘Let Taj remain eternal symbol of love’: Time’s cheek glistens with this love-tear beside a river/And, the tear-drop stays there forever or not/Jackals of faith oft come scowling on/Moonlit nights prowling with canine teeth bare/And howling for their gory share/Having tasted blood once elsewhere./Alas! My eyes, too, glisten with many a tear-drop/Love being torn apart into temple and mosque.

(the first letter of each line together makes ‘TAJ MAHAL’.)

Amritlal Madan, Kaithal

Beauty that is Taj

The Taj Mahal is a grand monument and should not be dragged into petty politics of religion (‘Let Taj remain eternal symbol of love’). Tagore also wrote a poem about the Taj: “O King, you are no more. Your empire has vanished like a dream, your throne lies shattered…your minstrels sing no more, your musicians no longer mingle their strains with the murmuring Jamuna… Despite all this, the courier of your love, untarnished by time, unwearied, unmoved by the rise and fall of empires, unconcerned with the ebb and flow of life and death, carries the ageless message of your love from age to age: ‘Never shall I forget you, beloved, never.’” Another poet, Yoonoos Peerbocus, in his poem, ‘A Glimpse of Taj Mahal’ captures its beauty: ‘Wonderful is not so much/The mausoleum’s chisel-cut beauty/As the beauty of the love/Arrested in its architecture/Starry white dome in starry space/Ray-lit clouds set aglow.’

Bilal Ahmad Shamim, Port Blair

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

Redefine sedition Other

May 14, 2022

Redefine sedition

Apropos of ‘Progressive leap, courtesy SC’, in a historical context, the court has put the usage of the contentious Section 124A on hold after the Union government conveyed its desire to re-examine and reconsider the sedition law. This sweeping provision of colonial era law has continued to be (mis)used indiscriminately by the governments across the land and ideological spectrum against dissenting voices and political opponents. The term sedition has to be redefined meticulously so as to subvert effectively the threat perceptions, not to the existence of governments, but to the security interests and integrity of the country.

Krishan Kant Sood, Nangal

Colonial baggage

Reference to ‘Progressive leap, courtesy SC’; had the true nature of freedom of the country been appreciated fully both by the masses and the ruling classes, many policies would have been history a long time ago, thereby shedding the colonial baggage. Far-sighted statesmen do not make flagrant use of any law, what to speak of laws viewed against civil liberties and the basic tenets of democracy. Humans respond better to good governance than to conspicuous subjection of laws. Desh-droh is a term which works both ways in democracies and is contextual, bringing it within the ambit of the judiciary. It is not as much an era but ‘conditions’ which determine the justifiability of Section 124A.

Jagvinder Singh Brar, Patiala

Food inflation

Refer to ‘Wheat challenge’; we have been having a bumper wheat crop for the last many years. If there is a shortfall of about 5.7% in production this year, it is not a big issue. The drop in wheat procurement by government agencies is due to purchases by big private players whose motive is profit. Food inflation is set to explore new highs. (‘Food, oil prices push inflation to 8-year high’). Private accumulators of wheat may dictate price terms in the near future. The government sees petroleum product pricing, which affects inflation the most, as a big source of revenue to fund its freebies. It cannot be expected to put in place a mechanism to regulate wheat, rather all food, prices for making life easy for citizens. It may leave enough stocks to cater to its populist food schemes but it is also under an obligation to ensure that all citizens get food and other necessary commodities at reasonable prices.

HL Sharma, Amritsar

Eliminate VIP culture

The report ‘MLA in verbal spat over traffic challan’ is disturbing. It is just the beginning and entirely opposite to AAP’s ideology of eliminating VIP culture and restoring the rule of law in the state. The party should take strong action immediately against the erring MLA to nip this trend in the bud and give a clear message of zero tolerance towards such behaviour of the legislators.


Shooting at public places

Shootings in public office and court premises have become common. It appears that such incidents occur on the provocation by insiders in connivance with the law and order machinery. The custodians of law should come together, introspect and make public places safe and peaceful. In this digital era, visual devices and regulated entry with proper identity could be some solutions.

RS Kishtwaria, Palampur

Drug trade

Refer to ‘List steps to curb drug trade: Punjab and Haryana High Court to Centre’; successive governments in Punjab and neighbouring states have not succeeded in eradicating drugs. Not that the authorities do not have the wherewithal to control the menace but they lack the will to strike at the root of the problem. Involvement of policemen in this trade is disturbing. It is imperative that ‘zero tolerance’ is achieved in getting rid of drugs. By motivating law enforcing agencies and implementing modern advanced techniques, it should not be difficult to obtain the desired results.


Sisterly indeed

With reference to ‘Nursing no grudge, serving with smile’; I would also like to share my memories of long ago when I was admitted to the general and private wards of the PGI, Chandigarh. Their compassion, patience and hard work (even during off-hours) was above praise and appreciation. Nurse-patient bonding is far more important than even doctor-patient interactions. While doctors examine and prescribe treatment, it is nurses who, despite their hectic schedule, take care of patients till they recover and are discharged from hospital. Sisters carry a heavy responsibility and must not be lowly paid.

Vasudha Pande, Paonta Sahib

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

Sedition law Other

May 13, 2022

Apropos of ‘Apex court puts sedition law on hold’; since the Centre has agreed to reexamine and the SC has also put on hold the application of the colonial era IPC Section 124A till its review is completed, it is time for the sedition law to disappear from the law books. Sedition is of course not the only draconian law that curtails civil liberties. The UAPA is another misused law that also needs re-examination. Some courts have already made observations on UAPA as a tool of suppression and harassment. Terrorism is cited as a justification for the use of UAPA, but even granting that, this law needs to be watered down a bit.

SK Singh by email

Indo-Pak relations

Reference to ‘Reset ties with Pakistan’; a redeeming feature in Indo-Pak relations has been the general goodwill between people to people. India has objected to third party intervention to resolve the Kashmir dispute. Therefore, it is for India to take initiatives, saving huge expenditure on defence which can be utilised for people's welfare.

BM Singh, Amritsar

Regrettable video

A video is being circulated on social media showing some teachers in an unfavourable light at a lunch offered to them by the Punjab government after their meeting with the Chief Minister at Ludhiana. Sadly, most have condemned the behaviour of the teachers, and wondered about the plight of the mid-day meals schools serve to their students. Was this not a failure on the part of the meeting's organisers? Had the CM been having lunch with the teachers, a rare possibility as elections are five years away, could such a chaos have occured? It is shameful to subject teachers to such treatment.

Balvinder, Chandigarh

Airfare cap

Apropos of 'Existing airfare cap protects both flyers, airlines, says Scindia', Minister for Civil Aviation Jyotiraditya Scindia has rightly asserted that the cap on airfare benefitted both the travellers and airlines. In the absence of such a cap, airlines face undue competition and the passengers are a harried lot. However, the government must check the price of ATF, so that states in a belt levy the same GST and avoid unhealthy competition.

Upendra Sharma by mail

State of buses

It is really shocking to note that buses in the fleet of Himachal Road Transport Corporation are in a state of neglect. The ageing fleet needs to be replaced so that the lives of passengers are not endangered. The hazards of keeping public transport languishing cannot be understated to reduce mishaps and loss of lives.

Subhash C Taneja, Gurugram

High Court verdict

Refer to ‘Split HC verdict on marital rape’; it has belittled the status of married women who, by inference of the opinion of one judge, can be raped by her husband even when she doesn’t give her consent though consensual consent is necessary to have physical relations, else it amounts to a crime. Not to consider it a crime is to malign the sacred institution of marriage. The wife is an equal partner in a marriage, who is assured of respect and security. The husband is expected to honour the feelings and sentiments of the wife. Any cruelty and oppression is brutality and aggression, amounting to domestic violence, a punishable crime.

Chaman Arora, Ferozepore City

Power problems

In India, nearly 70% of the electricity is generated by coal-based thermal power plants. But some of these thermal plants are grappling with coal inventory dipping to critical levels in Punjab. Given that both coal mining and logistics through railways are dominated by GOI enterprises, it reflects on official management of an essential commodity requirement. Due to early start of heat wave and shortage of coal, some units have to be shut down and unprecedented power cuts imposed. In the absence of timely support from the state government, the PSPCL has no other option but to spend extra to draw more power from the Central grid. Ad hoc reforms will not work any longer. The coal distribution link to thermal plants in Punjab and other states, has to be improved.

Lajwant Singh, by email

Post of CDS

Refer to 'Nuclear command & control'; one opinion is that the post is even superfluous. A CDS from one force may have only superficial knowledge and not any deep know-how of the command and control functions of the other two forces. Professional functions of their respective force can be best performed by the three service chiefs and not an ‘outsider’. There is thus a need to have a relook on the necessity of having a CDS.

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

Political debacle Other

May 12, 2022

Reference to ‘Lankan crisis’; PM Rajapaksa’s resignation can be described as political debacle for the ruling family. But who will replace him? Over the last decade, the government borrowed heavily and got trapped in a massive debt. The country needs a new leadership which is honest and able to turn the situation around. It will not be an easy task. The main lesson from the troubles in Sri Lanka is that political efforts can create financial crises, and the Rajapaksas have shown how things can go wrong.

Gregory Fernandes, Mumbai

Out of hand

Refer to ‘Lankan crisis’; the swift and ugly developments in Sri Lanka, though unexpected, have cost Mahinda Rajapaksa his high-profile job. The crisis-ridden island nation is an example of how misgovernance and failure to assess the pulse of the people can trigger violence, mass upheaval and disorder. It will be a Herculean task now to win over the trust of the people, restore peace and order, and revive the economy. The ball is now in the President’s court.


Taking on drug lords

Apropos of ‘Bathinda village opens front against drugs’, it was heartening that the civil society has finally come out in the open to fight the menace of drug peddling rampant in the state. The residents of Bir Talab village deserve an applause for forging a formidable front against the drug lords. Even as the AAP government has reaffirmed its resolve to end drug peddling, the peoples’ role remains imperative, rather than leaving it all to the government. The crucial role played by the public at large to combat terrorism in the 1980s would remain a milestone in the annals of history, even as the government had fought tooth and nail against it for years. Similarly, people need to play a proactive role in helping the government take on this menace.


Demolition drives

Refer to ‘SC refuses to take up CPM’s plea on Shaheen Bagh demolition’; common in these actions are court directives and protests by the defaulters and the support of Opposition political parties. The question is: How did the authorities allow unauthorised constructions and encroachments to come up? And why they are not made accountable and punished? What is the need to go to courts? Do the culprits deserve sympathy for illegal activities and need to be provided alternative means as compensation?

O PRASADA RAO, by mail

Act against encroachers

The government drive against the encroachment of panchayat land is being appreciated by all. The law should take its own course, irrespective of the status of the encroachers. The government should make recovery from the date the person encroached upon the land without any kind of hesitation. It will add to the revenue of the department. There should be a probe into all irregularities and unlawful acts committed by previous governments.

BANSI RAM RAHUL, Garhshankar

Gurdaspur farm fires

Apropos of ‘In Gurdaspur, 800 farm fires this season, not even one FIR’, people had hopes from the AAP government to find a solution to stubble-burning. Even Kejriwal is silent about the smoke this time. Mohalla clinics will not be useful as stubble fires not only cause respiratory diseases, but also road accidents.

Sohan Lal Gupta, Patiala

PRTC drivers

It is strange that the PRTC did not take any action against the drivers involved in rash driving even after many persons lost their lives in 142 out of 576 major accidents (‘PRTC buses involved in 576 major accidents in 5 years’). The PRTC gets preferential treatment while allotting route permits and drivers do not face any competition. They indulge in rash driving only after wasting time at dhabas offering free meals.

Upendra Sharma, by mail

Clash in Patiala

Refer to the bloody clash between two groups in Patiala; the incident could have been avoided had the police not been caught napping. The marching orders given to the district police top brass shows that the new CM means business. It is good that the anti-social elements have been rounded up. Any attempt to disturb law and order should be nipped in the bud. It is hoped that the CM will also look into the illegal trade in sand, liquor, transport and cable network, where only a few are ruling the roost.

RK SHARMA, Kurukshetra

Defence expenditure

Keeping in view the present war scenario in Asia and its expected spread across the world in the near future, all nations are in a race to increase their defence budgets. The Indian Government, however, has downsized defence expenditure. Over a lakh posts are lying vacant in the three wings of the Indian military, and unemployed youth are desperate for jobs.

Puneet Mehta, Patiala

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

Treat with dignity Other

May 11, 2022

REFER to ‘Fit for flying’; not allowing a disabled passenger with valid booking to board a plane is denying dignity to any person with restricted mobility. The airline has violated DGCA guidelines which say that any traveller with disability is to be assisted to meet his/her need and ensure a safe boarding and journey. Humiliation, ill-treatment and discrimination are part and parcel of disabled citizens’ lives. In some cases, even bus co-passengers refuse to get up and leave seats reserved for the disabled. We must show sensitivity for the specially abled persons not only in aircraft, but in other modes of travel as well as in public places like malls and cinema halls.

MS KHOKHAR, by mail

Education reforms

Apropos of ‘Adarsh situation’, institution-building requires much more than raising expensive structures. It needs the support of the government and the public. The AAP government is planning to introduce the Delhi model to improve the quality of education in government schools, but resource crunch impedes the execution of these schemes. Any government that effects reforms in education will consolidate its mass base.

Roshan Lal Goel, Ladwa

The rot in police

‘Little sense of fair play’ is a warning to check the malaise that has set in the police and the dangers it portends to the peaceful social fabric of the country. When the top brass displays lack of justice, their cadre in particular and people in general are disheartened. Insecurity displaces whatever little courage we have. People are forced to think of other alternatives to protect themselves. It reminds me of the tribal wars in Africa and the conditions in which people live there. Racial disputes are orchestrated by power-hungry politicians.

Nirmal Singh, Patiala

Bid to disturb peace

The recent seizure of RDX, weapons and the attack on a police headquarters building raise questions on the law and order situation and safety in the state. Sympathisers of the Khalistan movement construe the change of government as an opportunity to execute their agenda. We should not indulge in the politics of accusing one another, instead we have to unite and face this challenge. Our law-enforcing agencies are capable and experienced to deal with these kinds of activities. The government must take action against such criminals and sleeper cells.

Deepak, by mail

Hypertensive adults

Refer to ICMR study on prevalence of hypertension, about 28% of the adult population is suffering from it and about 70% are not aware of it. The trend shall assume alarming proportions in the next few years. Hypertension can be controlled by medicines, but the cause of concern is that a vast number of people who do not have symptoms remain undiagnosed till they suffer from complications. Left untreated, it can affect the cardiovascular system, resulting in increased morbidity and mortality. Remedy lies in increased surveillance and screening. Massive awareness programmes should be launched by the health departments, NGOs, etc.

Dinesh Kumar Verma, Panchkula

Sedition law

Apropos of ‘Will reconsider sedition law’, the purpose behind such legislation is to restrict the idea of hatred and opposition against the government. India has almost all borrowed laws; there is no shortage of laws but effective implementation is a problem. Our country will be rejuvenated when ‘dictatorship’ is stopped.

Tania Mann, Dhuri

Cyber security

The World Password Day is observed each year on the first Thursday of May to promote cyber security, but some cyber activities are beyond the ambit of password. Few days back, some hackers succeeded in fabricating my Facebook profile and appealing my friends to transfer money since I was in great trouble and required monetary help immediately. Profile on social media platforms should be allowed to be generated only after taking approval from the office of social media platforms. It should not be free for all. Such platforms boast of huge subscribers, but if a scrutiny is done, a large chunk will be found to be fictitious.

Rajesh Goyal, by mail

UGC pay scales

Higher education in Punjab is in a crisis. Institutions are not meeting the UGC standards. Punjab has the dubious distinction of being the only state which has not implemented UGC pay scales. It has also challenged the constitutional framework by delinking the scales from the UGC. The reduction in grant for the salary of newly appointed staff is causing problems. Provisions should be made in the budget regarding the implementation of the UGC pay scales; provision for paying full pay and allowances (withdrawal of 2015 notification); and provision for restoring pensionary benefits (from 2004) for university teachers.


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

Missing bigger picture Other

May 10, 2022

THE editorial ‘Diversification push’ rightly appeals to the innate sense of proportion and common intelligence of the farmers, people and the politicians. The same attitude of ‘mere talk’ is being shown to the fast-depleting groundwater table, as is evident in case of the unprecedented rise in public debt of Punjab. Society should be ready to pay the price in times to come. The state has to take a legal measure rather than announcing incentives or subsidies to encourage the right use of this natural resource. It should make the producers and the government think of alternatives as fast as they can, as economic sense and farsight dictates.

Jagvinder Singh Brar, Patiala

Row over data

Transparency is of utmost importance when we collect data for medical research. Whenever the WHO or any other international agency pinpoints discrepancies, deficiencies or errors by Indian health scientists or councils, instead of introspection, they blatantly deny and make excuses (‘Row over Covid deaths’; ‘Health Council rejects WHO data’). They also start questioning the authenticity of the methodology of the agency and label its computation style as analytically wrong. This trend is wrong as will never make us tread the path of progress and prosperity.

Sunil Chopra, Ludhiana

Stoking hatred

Refer to ‘Hate speeches put social media under scrutiny’; such speeches are targeting groups for their ideologies, religious beliefs, gender expressions, appearance, socio-economic status, etc. Hate speeches are circulated widely and thus have not only the potential to create individual harm, but also create severe offline consequences, such as incitement of violence and to encourage people to engage in further hate speech or commit offline hate crimes.

Gaurav Badhwar, Rohtak

Burden of free ride

Apropos of ‘Dues pending, free bus travel takes govt on Rs 114 crore ride’, the reimbursement to PRTC on account of free travel for women has been pending since December 2021. It is shameful that various political parties indulge in a race during elections to announce freebies for different sections, without taking into account the fiscal condition of the state. Concessions or freebies to ineligible persons puts extra burden on the pockets of taxpayers, generally belonging to the salaried middle class that cannot conceal even a penny of their income. Such a tendency puts the state into a circle of indebtedness and annoys a major section of the electorate.

Vijaya Sharma, by mail

Model schools

Apropos of ‘In Punjab’s meritorious schools, 84% seats vacant’, as a former principal of a meritorious school, my heart bleeds to see the state of neglect of the schools and teachers. The education department seems to be coming with bright ideas on how to ruin the very noble concept of these residential schools. Education is provided free of cost, including board and lodging, to poor students who have studied in government schools. The aim was to prepare the students for professional colleges/institutes. The Chief Minister and the Education Minister must visit the school at Mohali to see the infrastructure created there for the youth of Punjab. Take it as a challenge and re-run them as model schools. It is recommended to consider opening admission from class 9 onwards, and on priority, regularise the service of teachers.

Col RC Patial (retd), Amritsar

No to appeasement

Refer to ‘Secularist silence on Islamic bigotry’; minority appeasement has gone on unabated in India since Independence. Though secularism might have been adopted by Nehru as a lofty state policy, it was soon turned into a ‘minority vote-catching holy cow’ by other politicians, equating it to Hindu-bashing. Dravidian politicians boycotted Hindu functions, while openly participating in those of the minorities. The fallout of this political hypocrisy was the gradual buildup of resentment among peace-loving Hindus, accentuated by the memories of historical Islamic bigotry and the steady growth of minority population. The Hindu feelings of insecurity were capitalised upon by the BJP, with results we see today. True secularism means equal respect for all religions, not appeasement of any section, while discriminating against another.

V Jayaraman, Chennai

Discipline Sidhu

The tweet by Navjot Sidhu regarding his meeting with CM Bhagwant Mann to discuss matters regarding the revival of Punjab’s economy is baffling. This misplaced belief that he still has locus standi in state politics is yet another hole in his political sinking ship. Sonia Gandhi and the party’s disciplinary committee should display moral courage to show him the door.


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

Congress undoing Other

May 09, 2022

‘Congress and conservatives’ (Nous Indica) is spot-on. The conservatives in the Congress are too cowardly to fight, but they hold sway, having been obliged by Sonia Gandhi during her long stints at the helm. Her ‘putra-moh’ eclipses the talent of the liberal new generation and the nub of the pre-scripted Congress agenda is to install Rahul Gandhi as the ‘duly elected’ party president. Those who broke away from the Congress lack pan-India appeal, to the detriment of a unified alternative to the Congress as a formidable Opposition. Our democracy is the loser as a constructive Opposition is missing.

Lalit Bharadwaj, Panchkula

Sonia needs to go

Apropos of ‘Congress and conservatives’, the party needs complete overhaul. Sonia Gandhi had offered to resign, knowing that sycophants would say no and she would stay put. What is presently right for the Congress is that she steps down. Once the slot is vacant, an alternative leader will automatically emerge. She should throw away the remote control she used for 10 years to run a puppet government. Both Sonia and Rahul should stay quiet for a while. Let the party evolve on its own. The Congress may revive if they are out, but if they stay, there is no chance.


Bizarre arrest

The high drama of Bagga’s arrest has shown the police of the three states in a poor light. While the Punjab Police allegedly did not follow the standard procedure to be adopted in inter-state arrests, interference by the Haryana Police was bizarre, and the quickness shown by the Delhi Police was astonishing. The episode has put a question mark on the independence of the Punjab Police. It shows that CM Bhagwant Mann is subservient to the dictates of his party chief. It is time for the Punjab AAP to set things right ahead of the 2024 elections.

Manmohan Singh, Kharar

Police faceoff

Bagga’s arrest has made one thing clear that the police have generally neglected their primary responsibility of functioning as a people-friendly force (‘Faceoff between cops of 3 states over 1 arrest’). They have become subservient to political masters and extend all possible aid to them to fulfil their selfish motives. In 2006, the Supreme Court had directed all states to frame and implement police reforms so that the police work without political interference. Police departments must respect SOPs, further democratic values and protect human rights while ensuring a peaceful atmosphere in their jurisdiction.


Misuse of police time

Overzealous police officers of Punjab, Haryana and Delhi were following their respective master’s orders. The violations of the rules of the game are evident, but not new, and there is misuse of the police force by the ruling parties. At the end of the day, Bagga is free, and unnecessarily, precious police time was lost, which could have been used for constructive purposes. In this aspect, all parties are sailing in the same boat.

Yash Pal Ralhan, Jalandhar

Pvt school teachers

The Punjab Government proudly states that it has instructed private schools to not increase fees, but one doubts if it is an achievement as it will disturb thousands of teachers working in private schools (‘30 days report card’). Already their pay and other benefits have not been increased for two successive years. It appears that another year is not likely to bring them cheers. Teachers working in government schools get an increment and two DA instalments every year. If the government wants private schools to not increase fee, it should help these schools so that the teachers get their dues, and will give them relief from the rising prices.


Pension to widows

The poor widows of Himachal Pradesh have been requesting the state government to increase their meagre pension to at least Rs 5,000 per month. The Chief Minister has appeased all sections of society by showering several financial benefits on them, but these helpless women have been ignored. They are also worthy voters and honourable citizens of the state. They cannot organise agitations or processions, but can only request for help.

MANORMA THAKUR, Joginder Nagar

For our own sake

Rising temperatures will have a big impact on agricultural production in the coming time. India is divided into several agro-climatic zones and economic activities are highly dependent on climatic characteristics. There are several essential climate variables which are important for understanding and monitoring the global climate system. In today’s materialistic age, every person is entangled in the race of life, but is unaware that our future can be secured only by protecting the environment.

Renu Kadyan, Panipat

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Covid toll lie Other

May 07, 2022

Apropos of ‘Covid toll 10 times higher, says WHO; India objects’, understandably, the government is roiled by the report which mentions 47 lakh Covid-19 deaths in India, which run counter to the official figure of 4.8 lakh. The government has claimed that its own mortality data is accurate and the report is based on heresy. However, how does the government account for the large number of unclaimed bodies reaching crematoriums and corpses being dumped into the Ganga? The Centre’s Covid count is a whopper. Under the guise of technicalities of collation of data, it may put up a brave face, but it is outright affront to the departed souls, many of whom could not even get a dignified burial.

Deepak Singhal, Noida

The letter fight

The high-profile battle of letters has reached fever pitch (‘A voice in the wilderness’). Former civil servants and their ilk are in the arena, comprising the ‘for’ and ‘against’ groups, outdoing each other in the numbers game. Their intellectual acrobatics are causing the greatest harm to the cause that the contending groups claim to espouse. Pro-Modi and anti-Modi sentiment has nothing to do with self-motivated parties involved in reducing the effects and after-effects of the politics of hate to their signature one-upmanship. The concerns in the article express the dilemma of both groups and the way out is also implicitly given therein: develop ways to create an atmosphere of trust and the rest will take care of everything else.

DV Sharma, Mukerian

Nuclear threat

In response to ‘Spectre of blundering into a nuclear war’; both sides must realise the extent of damage a nuclear war would cause. NATO is poking Ukraine and Russia feels ditched. Giving a nuclear war threat is of grave concern. The United Nations must come forward to take preventive steps. De-escalating tensions between Russia and Ukraine is essential. Unfortunately, the UN has been humiliated by this war. The current times underscore the significance of the Non-Aligned Movement. All nations must make the planet a place to live and flourish peacefully, respecting the core idea of Panchsheel that India gave to the world.

Jasvinder S Humsafar, Maloudh

Incomplete picture

Reference to the middle ‘In the end, right is right’; former bureaucrat Suresh Kumar has peddled half-truths, as is the wont of this elite group. He has not given the complete picture about how he clung to the chair before the combined thrust of the then ruling party and its MLAs pushed out his master and him. Many of these officers have an air of indispensability and infallibility around them, and only the courts or fate can show them their rightful place.

Sarat Chander, by mail

Engineering row

The BJP has mastered the art of creating one controversy or the other to divert the attention of the public and the media from the real issues. The latest being the one by Home Minister Amit Shah that the government will implement the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) when the Covid pandemic ends. They will never speak on issues concerning the common man, such as record inflation, record unemployment, tense communal atmosphere, either at public meetings or Parliament. When a common man is struggling to feed his family, he is least interested in such issues that are only raised to make headlines.

Bhupinder Kochhar, Panchkula

Restore grace marks

Recruiting agencies and the staff selection commission in Himachal Pradesh would evaluate aspirants for class III posts based on the norms set by the government, wherein additional 15 marks were allotted to certain sections, like orphans, residency in backward area, landless, below the poverty line and widows. The government has now done away with this provision and direct merit in the written examination been fixed as the criterion for selection. This is against the spirit of reservation.


Baddi rail link

Reference to ‘Cleared 15 yrs ago, tenders floated for Chd-Baddi rail link’; the BBN belt has been a boon to the geographically challenged state of Himachal. It has generated employment and brought revenue to the state. After much delay, the wheels have finally been set in motion for the rail link. The government should ensure that the project comes to fruition smoothly as it will greatly facilitate the common man and create inter-state links with other industrial areas.

Mayank Pathak, 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: Letters@tribunemail.com

Outsourcing budget Other

May 06, 2022

The tall advertisements by the AAP government in newspapers, seeking budget suggestions from the public, will result in wastage of resources in the form of time, money and energy. Every idle man will shoot off a detailed letter or mail, thereby contributing in the accumulation of paper heaps and making the government’s job tougher to go through and decide on every suggestion. Consequently, the budget will get delayed. There are over a hundred MLAs and over a thousand bureaucrats, engineers, educationists, agriculture experts and intellectuals in almost every field, who can guide the government on the budget. Asking suggestions from the public reflects the lack of wisdom to govern. The experiment had failed in Delhi in 2015. Punjab is already under huge debt and cannot bear the burden of extravaganza on repeating failed experiments, instead of learning from them.

Neha Syal, Sangrur

AAP’s populist move

The front full-page advertisements on two consecutive days in all leading dailies, inviting people’s suggestions for the AAP government’s maiden budget is nothing but a populist move. On the one hand, the Punjab CM is requesting the Centre for a relief package for the extremely strained economy of Punjab, but on the other hand, he is wasting public money on layman’s suggestions for the annual budget, which is experts’ domain. Public suggestions are going to be doles for the self only, while the budget is a composite blueprint keeping in view the larger interests of the state. This populist gimmick has already failed in Delhi and is not going to benefit the AAP in Punjab.

Arun Bala, Bathinda

Communal tension

Refer to ‘Communal tinderbox’; it is disturbing that communal tension is expanding from one state to another. Some political outfits are experimenting with the idea of polarising the population to garner votes. For long, religious festivals have been organised by all communities in a peaceful manner. Religious versions and practices being followed in the open just to instigate another community must be stopped immediately. Right-thinking citizens should come out and condemn such practices which disturb social harmony. Religion is strictly personal and must be practised in privacy without hurting the sentiments of others. The law-enforcing agencies should deal with such situations as per the rule of law rather than the law of the ruler.


Wrong is wrong, too

Apropos of the middle ‘In the end, right remains right’, the former bureaucrat’s tacit admission, concluding that he should not have rejoined the government testifies the corollary that wrong remains wrong too. The moot point is not judicial ratification of such appointments made at the whims and fancies of politicians, but the missing transparency and competition hallmark of ‘right to equality’ and ‘equal opportunity’ in appointments that public purse sustains and the need to infuse transparency even in every ex-cadre appointment.

Lalit Bharadwaj, Panchkula

Little Press freedom

The deteriorating Press freedom is a cause of concern. India being ranked 150th out of 180 countries in the World Press Freedom Index reflects the grave condition. Such a low rank is attributed to extreme interference by politicians, unhinged use of power and influence, and also the corruption existing in the media. Since India is a diverse country, it is vital for the media to report things fairly. There should be an authority which prevents the misuse of power by the government. Destroying the freedom of the Press is the first step towards destruction of democracy. Sedition charges are being imposed on anyone who speaks against the government. This must stop. The Press and media houses must maintain their ethics and sanctity.

Ishita Kukreja, Ludhiana

Confusion over coal

On the one hand, the coal minister claims that we have ‘sufficient stock of coal at pit-heads’, while on the other hand, he advises the state governments not to bank on domestic supplies and ‘plan import’ of coal. Even if imports are needed, why the Central government can’t buy it for them? What exactly is the state of affairs of the coal supply in India?

Vinay K Gupta, Ambala Cantt

Unvaccinated students

The anticipation for vaccines was palpable as it would help combat the Covid virus and facilitate students’ return to school. But unvaccinated kids in the age group of 5 to 12 are at risk of exposure to the virus, as the seating arrangement in classrooms is tight, in violation of the Covid protocol, and school buses are functioning at full capacity. Children do not wear mask properly, especially for long durations. Online education should be made an option for them till they get vaccinated.

Manisha Sharma, 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

Proactive judiciary Other

May 05, 2022

The CJI means business when he talks of piles of cases and inordinate delays in our courts (‘To be fair and just’). Judges need to be efficient, proactive and adopt a humane approach. The judiciary should pull up the executive and legislative for its passivity. I am aware of a case of a college teacher fighting for justice since 1987 against his illegal and mala fide transfer. He has not got justice due to the clout and nexus of the powerful management having a battery of senior lawyers at its command. The duty of the court is not to legislate but to expound and iron out the creases in law.

Lokesh Godara, Chandigarh

Legal system

Apropos of ‘PM for use of local languages in courts’; this will benefit a large section of people who will know whether their lawyers are arguing their cases properly or not. But the constraint can be that the judge needs to know the local language. Crores of cases are pending in various courts in the country. The government is also responsible for pendency. When the government considers the ratio of number of doctors, teachers, policemen etc., per thousand of population, why is the same not applicable to the number of judges and courts required to reduce the pendency of cases? It must fill all vacant posts of judge. There has to be a time limit for the disposal of cases, particularly of undertrials. The cases pertaining to government litigation can be reduced by screening at the legal department of the respective ministry or PSU as per the rules and regulations and allow the cases that require court intervention to be filed in courts. Judges and the Law Ministry must be made accountable for pending cases.

O Prasada Rao, by mail

Pendency of cases

People look at judiciary as the last resort. If the judiciary itself cries for sweeping reforms, the outcomes from it can be well understood. The CJI has rightly pointed out that 50% litigants are government departments. The caseload of government petitions can be reduced by making officials responsible and accountable for the delay in natural justice. The shortage of judicial officers in the courts has caused the accumulation of lakhs of cases. The space constraints, infrastructure and parking woes of courts can be well imagined. Justice if given after 20-25 years cannot be called justice.

Wg Cdr Jasbir S Minhas (retd), Mohali

Service issues

Reference to the article ‘To be fair and just’; it is right to say that it is the responsibility of the executive and the legislature to support the judiciary in order to reduce its burden of work. To deliver quick justice, the courts should give strict instructions to government officers who cannot deal with service matter cases, which comprise almost half of the pending cases, in a responsive manner.

Satish Sharma Majra, Kaithal

Simply intolerant

Refer to ‘The religiosity of hate’; all killers, maimers and hate-mongers counterfeiting in the name of religion or faith are sinners and criminals having no wisdom, compassion or respect for life or law. The majoritarian groups are getting fanatic about loudspeakers or bulldozers; the political class plays divisive tactics, and the police system is a handiwork of the netas. The religious fault lines are giving rise to bigotry where non-violence and secularism are being compromised with lumpen acts. Shrinking room for dissenting voices in the name of religion is nothing but intolerance. The majority community must uphold the faith and trust of the minorities.

Abhimanyu Malik, Jind

GST revenue

Refer to ‘Record GST revenue’; the government may well pat itself on the back for GST collections touching record highs. But it is the higher prices which are responsible and not any economic recovery. The RBI is of the opinion that it is likely to take 12 years for the Indian economy to recover from the effects of Covid-19. The Finance Minister should also do something on the employment front. Urgent policy action is needed to rein in the inflation rally and bolster consumer sentiment, so as not to sink the hopes of more investments, faster growth and even greater revenues.

SS Paul, Nadia

Political ambitions

Apropos of ‘After falling out with Congress, Kishor hints at floating party’, probably the success of the AAP in Punjab after Delhi has encouraged the poll strategist to take a political plunge. Kejriwal’s AAP was the result of and based on an anti-corruption movement. Initially it was powered by volunteerism, though now it is not very different from other parties in functioning. Kishor is no stranger to politics, having once been associated with the JD(U). It may not be easy to break into Bihar’s political landscape.

PL 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

Selection of judges Other

May 04, 2022

The CJI has asked the Chief Justices of the high courts to recommend the names of persons to be elevated as judges. We need to appoint judges with care. Only those with sound legal acumen, excellent command over the language and having impeccable integrity should be appointed. The collegium system is not transparent because in the recent past, some judges have been appointed on political and extraneous considerations. An unscrupulous advocate can hardly be an upright judge. The quality of our judges and their judgments have gone down. The duty of the court is to apply correct law, especially when the law is well settled. The CJI has blamed the inaction of the executive for litigations galore. However, the judiciary is equally responsible for inordinate delays. India Judicial Services and a National Judicial Council are the need of the hour.

Anil Bhatia, Hisar

Judicial delays

The CJI and the PM have expressed their views on the revamping of our judicial system, including speedy justice. The CJI has stated that he would consider resuming the hearing of the petitions challenging the abrogation of Articles 370 and 35A after summer vacation. One of the judges on the five-member Bench hearing the case has retired, and if the hearing is to resume in July, the CJI, who is heading the Bench, may also have to be substituted with another judge, as he is to retire in August. There are several constitutional cases that are awaiting hearing. At a time when SC’s intervention in defence of the Constitution and fundamental rights of citizens is most essential, this record of judicial delay is most disheartening.

SK Khosla, Chandigarh

Threat to secularism

Apropos of the article ‘The religiosity of hate’, this disturbing culture of hating other religions will harm the fine fabric of social harmony. It is a very sorry state of affairs. We were once proud of our secular credentials, but now, it feels like a blot. The writer has rightly felt the need of having the likes of Rumi, Kabir and Gandhi to once again guide our society.

Pardeep Kumar Joshi, Ropar

Politics of hate

In response to a letter written by 108 former bureaucrats and other signatories under the Constitutional Conduct Group calling for intervention to end the politics of hate, 197 former bureaucrats, judges and other figures, as Concerned Citizens, have accused the CCG of selective outrage and attempt to engineer hate against the powers that be. Politics of hate is an open secret, as is borne out by the SC order to the UP Government to refund the penalties on Muslims; hate speeches and the recent SC directive to Himachal and Uttarakhand governments to clamp down on hate-mongers. Polarisation of polity on religious lines and the silence of the top echelon speaks volumes about the reality of the situation.

Prem Singh Dahiya, Rohtak

History as it should be

The Centre has left no stone unturned to switch the public narrative to suit the BJP’s ideology. Change in school syllabus will be catastrophic. Chapters on Industrial Revolution, Cold War era, Non-Aligned Movement, democracy and diversity, etc., have been removed under the false banner of ‘rationalisation’ of syllabus. The attempt to cover some major historical developments and political concepts will not only present an incomplete picture about India and the world, but also force students to think in a certain way, limiting their learning of the states and societies. Students should be given full version of history, as it is, and not as it should be according to a political faction.

Rajdeep Singh, Jalandhar

Long wait for salaries

Successive governments have failed to provide enough financial strength to government institutes in Punjab, rather private institutions have been favoured more, even by going against rules (Refer to ‘College staff sans salary for 3 years’). But this case needs serious attention. The government must release the salaries immediately as it is the right of the employees. It is vital to probe the issue and punish those responsible for it.

Rajeshwar Chaudhary, DHURI

Desperate for jobs

A sense of despair among the youth is a stark commentary on the way they are being treated (‘Losing all hopes about jobs’). Pervasive unemployment is leading to indifference of students in classrooms. Respect for education and educators is disappearing. This has further aggravated the law and order problem. Job opportunities need to be created to tap the power and potential of the youth.

Rajiv Arora, 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

Waste dumps Other

May 03, 2022

Refer to ‘Managing waste’; it is disheartening to see large piles of waste becoming a common sight on the outskirts of cities and towns. These waste piles are set on fire that burns 24x7. The problem can be solved with the 3Rs — reduce, reuse, recycle, besides segregation of waste at the generation point. The government is making efforts but it is up to individuals to act on it. Environment education in schools can do wonders in raising awareness.

Gurinder Chhabra, Faridkot

Dishonest cops

Apropos of ‘87 cops in HP of doubtful integrity’, it is an irony that police officials have been found to be of doubtful integrity and ‘undesirable for sensitive posts’. The numbers may increase manifold, if a thorough probe is carried out by an independent intelligence agency. All they want is to make a quick buck everywhere. It is in public interest to shunt them out.

Upendra Sharma, by mail

What idealism?

Refer to ‘India’s realism lacks the fire of idealism’; idealism for whom? For the US, that has been helping Pakistan for the past 70 years by supplying arms and dollars to keep India bleeding? Or Europe, which never bothered to contain Pakistan, even when it openly executed Mumbai and Parliament attacks? India, as a nation, has to care for its own interests first. And the government has taken a neutral stand. This is the war between Ukraine and Russia, and they have to sort it out themselves. When the US and Europe are staying aloof, in spite of being NATO members, why should India take sides in this mess which is a creation of the West? The US and Europe were lecturing India against buying crude from Russia, but Europe increased its own buying from Russia. Post Ukraine war, it will be a different world order. The balance of power may not be the same. India has to be prepared for these changes.


Messing with peace

Reference to ‘Key accused arrested; Centre keeping watch’; it is a well-planned strategy by anti-social and seditious elements to disturb peace in the state for their own ulterior motives. The government must deal with this misadventure with an iron hand. Separatists want to take advantage by spreading venom between communities and take back the border state to the old period of turmoil and jeopardise hard-earned peace. The new CM, instead of selling the Delhi model, should focus on his own state. There are geographical and cultural differences between the two states. It is impossible to weigh both on the same measure. Instead of freebies, we want prosperity in the state and revival of the agriculture and industrial sectors, for which Punjab was once known as a trailblazer.

Deepak, by mail

Ready to defend

Reference to ‘High operational readiness top priority, says Army Chief’; in light of the pivotal changes in the geopolitical world, the words of the new Chief strike the right chord. India is in a precarious situation with border conflicts as well as turmoil in its neighbouring countries. It would be in our best national interest to ramp up operational preparedness to protect our sovereignty.

Mayank Pathak, Shimla

Same code for all

Apropos of ‘Sarma: Uniform Civil Code will ensure Muslim women’s honour’, enactment of the triple talaq law provided relief to Muslim women only to some extent. They would feel honoured only when a uniform code comes into existence. A country can be called democratic only when all its citizens enjoy the same rights, irrespective of caste, creed or religion. If a section of society suffers discrimination on the basis of religion, it means there are some flaws in the basic concepts of the Constitution. The Centre should arrive at a consensus after consultations with all concerned.

Vijaya Sharma, by mail

Why action so late?

Reference to the demolition of jhuggis; it is strange that the Chandigarh estate office has woken up after 20-odd years. Why did it turn a blind eye to the unauthorised activity all along? What were the officials and the corporator of that area doing? They are equally to blame. The jhuggis have power connections and running water. How did it happen? Alternative accommodation should be planned to rehabilitate the dwellers. I have also read with dismay that the UT is planning a shortcut to the airport. Most airports abroad take nothing less than 45 minutes to an hour. Instead of this wasteful expenditure, the funds can be utilised in a better way for the welfare of the downtrodden.

Wg Cdr DPS Dhillon (retd), 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

Hindu-Sikh amity Other

May 02, 2022

Refer to ‘Curfew in Patiala as groups clash, leaving 4 injured’; it is unfortunate that communal clashes have taken place in Patiala. Those involved in the melee should know that the relationship between Hindus and Sikhs is seamless. Sikhs originated from a Hindu background and many Hindus still have the tradition of making their firstborn a Sikh. There are countless cases of marriages between these communities. Instead of indulging in a blame game, all political parties should help people maintain communal harmony, which is the hallmark of Punjab.

Balbir Singh Kakkar, Jalandhar

Measure of peace

The move by the Centre is in the right direction in view of the improving law and order and insurgency situation in NE areas (‘Time’s up for AFSPA’). The decision, however, should be solely guided by national interest and the actual ground situation rather than any emotional or political pressure. All agencies having a stake in ensuring peace in the disturbed areas should be party to this major peace initiative which has the potential to go down well with the local populace clamouring for it for long. The onus will then shift to the people to honour their word and seek solutions to their problems and fulfilment of their aspirations through democratic and peaceful means within the Constitution. Strong-arm tactics, violence and arbitrariness don’t pay any dividends.


Pawar’s doublespeak

Refer to ‘Sedition law’; it was interesting to learn that NCP chief Sharad Pawar has added his name to the long list of those seeking repeal of the sedition law. Constitutional validity of Section 124A of the IPC is to be taken up for final hearing by the Supreme Court next week. He also holds the view that the UAPA is sufficient for protecting national integrity. But how is it that the NCP chief did not think it wise to prevent Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray from invoking such dreaded provisions in case of the Rana couple, who threatened to protest and recite Hanuman Chalisa in front of Uddhav’s residence? Pawar should speak up on that sensitive matter too.

Kumar Gupt, New Delhi

Global warming warning

Generally only financial aspects of environmental degradation are discussed, but financial loss is collateral damage compared to more dangerous repercussions of climate change (‘Crippling heatwave’). Governments should rise above political narratives. We will not be able to save ourselves if the ozone layer is allowed to be gnawed by the hour. We will not be able to drain water from low-lying waterlogged countries if the Arctic region starts melting due to continuously rising temperatures. Many crops will disappear. We may be able to keep zoonotic virus at bay, but will not be able to reverse environmental degradation. The Environment Ministry should not only devise policies, but also implement them sternly.

Rajesh Goyal, by mail

Early summer break

Punjab CM Bhagwant Mann’s decision to start summer vacation in government schools early from May 15 is a welcome decision. The sudden heatwave engulfing the North is detrimental to the health of schoolchildren as it puts them at a risk of dehydration and heat stroke. The government should also consider the well-being of students who will be taking their board exams in this sweltering heat.

Simran Saini, Patiala

Groundwater quality

Apropos of ‘Groundwater harder than canal water in Karnal: Report’, to the groundwater quality experts, there is nothing shocking in this report. Canal water is always better than groundwater vis-à-vis their chemical quality. The Western Yamuna Canal and Bhakra Canal receive water from glaciers and flow long distances to reach Haryana and Punjab. On the other hand, groundwater acquires salt contents from the soil. About two-third of the geographical area of Haryana is underlain by marginal to saline groundwater. However, the Karnal area is better than that located in the saline water belt areas of Jind, Rohtak, Bhiwani, Hisar, etc. Proper management of groundwater, with respect to quantity and quality, is a necessity.

NK Rana, Kurukshetra

Turning to India

Reference to ‘Strategic shift in Europe’s ties with India’; India sincerely wants the Russia-Ukraine conflict to end with immediate effect. The killing of innocent people should be stopped without any delay. The recent inclination of the UK and Europe towards India is with a purpose. They want to fill up their trade gap due to the war and curbs on Russia. India should not miss this opportunity. At the same time, it should make them realise that just as the Ukraine conflict is deplorable, China’s hostility and Pakistan’s proxy war should be equally unacceptable.

Surinder Kumar Mahna, Karnal

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