The Tribune India : Letters to the editor

Join Whatsapp Channel

Letters to the editor

Stop kowtowing to US-led West

Oct 31, 2023

Refer to ‘India’s abstention’; India’s argument that it did not endorse the UNGA resolution on the Gaza ceasefire due to the absence of an unequivocal condemnation of Hamas is unconvincing. The question is: Did the Hamas attack Israel on behalf of Palestine? The fact is that India’s decision was driven by a desire to align with the US and its allies, possibly to facilitate trade expansion and acquire advanced technology to counter China’s growing influence. Retreating from a humanitarian stance casts India in an unfavourable light. Rather than succumbing to the influence of the US-led West, India should reassess its position on the conflict to underscore its commitment to protecting civilians from the ongoing violence.

CS Mann, Una

Unfair to punish all

Apropos of ‘Gaza needs equitable, long-term solution’; global opinion on the Israel-Hamas conflict is becoming increasingly polarised, with Israel losing sympathy and moral standing due to its relentless retaliatory actions. The unprovoked terror attacks by Hamas are undeniably condemnable, but the continued senseless killing of innocent Palestinians in Gaza by an enraged Israel raises questions about how long it can be justified. Domestic political considerations, international interests and other pressures should not overshadow the loss of innocent lives and the severe humanitarian crisis. This conflict risks drawing more nations into the maelstrom, fuelled by religious and ethnic tensions.

GP CAPT JS Boparai (Retd), Bhadsali

Religious terrorism

Refer to ‘2 dead, 45 hurt in blasts at prayer meet in Kerala’; the blast was a heinous act of religious terrorism. The perpetrator, a former member of Jehovah’s Witnesses, cited the group’s ‘seditious’ and ‘anti-national’ teachings as the motive for the attack. This is a blatant violation of the constitutional rights to freedom of religion and expression. It also serves as a troubling indicator of the growing intolerance and hatred propagated by certain elements, who aim to impose their narrow and rigid views on others. We must condemn this act of violence and call upon the authorities to swiftly and decisively act against the perpetrator and his accomplices.

Navjot, Kangra

Governor-CM spat

Refer to ‘As state moves SC, Purohit says ready to examine 3 Bills on merit’; this appears to be a frank acknowledgment that, up to this point, external factors rather than merit have influenced decision-making. Constitutionally, the Governor has the authority to grant assent or send a Bill back for Cabinet reconsideration. However, the practice of indefinitely delaying a Bill through inaction should be addressed. Those in constitutional positions should exercise their responsibilities and authority based on merit rather than personal or political considerations. This shift is essential to eliminate disputes between Chief Ministers and Governors and ensure a constructive and harmonious relationship.

Lalit Bharadwaj, Panchkula

Don’t exploit travellers

Apropos of ‘Flight seat pricing’; with the aviation industry reduced to a duopoly, it is essential to address consumer complaints in a fair and amicable manner. A count of 10,000 complaints in a year is not trivial. While the airlines have the right to price tickets based on their commercial considerations, transparency is a necessity. They faced their worst phase during the Covid pandemic, incurring huge losses, and now they are keen to recover as the travel sector rebounds. However, it’s crucial for them not to take undue advantage of travellers. Ethical ways to generate revenue need to be followed.

Bal Govind, Noida

Questions on Qatar verdict

Refer to ‘Qatar shocker’; there are questions surrounding the Qatar verdict, as the charges against eight former Indian Navy officers have not been made public. This presents a significant challenge for Indian diplomacy. The Ministry of External Affairs has rightly expressed concern and is awaiting the detailed judgment. The outcome of this case is poised to test India’s relations with the West Asian state, even as the government has activated diplomatic channels at multiple levels to secure the release of Indian citizens.

Lajwant Singh, by mail

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

Help small farmers

Oct 30, 2023

Refer to ‘Let farmers make hay and money too’ (Nous Indica); in Punjab, big farmers possess sufficient manpower and machinery to effectively plough the paddy stubble back into the fields. However, small farmers in Haryana and Punjab face difficulties in doing so. The author’s suggestion to utilise rented combine harvesters in conjunction with hay balers for stubble removal is rational and feasible. It is imperative to provide assistance to the economically disadvantaged farmers to help them shun stubble burning. Additionally, there should be a mechanism in place to procure paddy straw at the farmgate at a reasonable price. The primary focus should be on encouraging and persuading farmers rather than imposing harsh penalties.

Raj Bahadur Yadav, Fatehabad

No respite from farm fires

Apropos of ‘Let farmers make hay and money too’ (Nous Indica); despite a statewide ban, farmers continue to set the crop residue on fire to prepare their fields for the next planting season. Between September 15 and October 24, Punjab alone reported 2,306 farm fires. This clearly shows a lack of concern within the farming community regarding the potential consequences of these irresponsible actions. It is crucial for the National Green Tribunal and the Supreme Court to take decisive and exemplary measures against those who violate the ban as merely imposing a financial penalty has not proved effective in curbing this menace.

Kumar Gupt, by mail

Provide harvesting machines

The government has been unable to effectively address stubble burning, which has significantly affected air quality not only in Punjab but also in the National Capital Region (Nous Indica). Farmers have cited labour shortage as a reason for resorting to stubble burning, with manual harvesting producing a lesser amount of residue. To mitigate this problem and its adverse effects on health, the government should consider providing machinery to all farmers to eliminate the practice of stubble burning.

Abhilasha Gupta, Mohali

Qatar verdict shocking

Refer to ‘Qatar shocker’; it is shocking for India that the naval experts, who were called for training, have been indicted on the charges of spying for Israel after completing their assignment. It seems implausible that the entire Indian team would be involved, even if the charges are true. Something doesn’t add up. These individuals had completed training for the Qatar navy and were preparing to return. However, they had acquired knowledge about Qatar’s ships and submarines. It seems that Qatar accused them of spying for Israel in order to negate a security risk. India should not take this matter lightly.

Ashok Kumar Goel, Panchkula

Innocents suffer in conflicts

Apropos of ‘End Gaza misery’; in any conflict, it is often those who have nothing to do with it who tend to suffer the most. Hamas has blundered by provoking the Israelis, but Israel has overreacted, turning the entire region into a conflict zone. Since much of the world’s supply of crude oil comes through this region, the effect of this conflict on the global economy is going to be considerable. The Western world must exert influence to end the conflict. The cries of the children must prompt the world to sit up and contemplate how nationalism is causing humanity to take a back seat in international conflicts.

Anthony Henriques, Mumbai

Use ‘Bharat’ in textbooks

The NCERT panel’s recommendation to replace ‘India’ with ‘Bharat’ in textbooks is a significant step in reaffirming our cultural and historical identity. ‘Bharat’ carries deep historical and cultural significance, tracing its roots to ancient texts like the Vedas. It reflects the unity in diversity that defines our nation and encourages an appreciation of our linguistic and regional distinctions. This change goes beyond mere semantics; it is a tribute to the sacrifices made during the struggle for independence. By incorporating ‘Bharat’ in our textbooks, we can instil a greater sense of national pride and unity in the younger generation.

Anisha Gupta, Lucknow

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]

US mass shootings

Oct 28, 2023

Refer to ‘Maine mayhem’; mass shootings are unfortunately a recurring and distressing phenomenon in the US. These incidents have garnered significant attention and raised concerns about gun violence and public safety in the country. The fact that there have been over 560 mass shootings across the US this year is truly alarming. Despite US President Joe Biden’s commitment to addressing gun culture, the ground reality does not inspire confidence. If such barbaric laws were in place in any other country, the US would have been at the forefront of an aggressive campaign, delivering sermons on morality and ethics.

Bidyut Kumar Chatterjee, Faridabad

Establish robust mechanism

Apropos of ‘Crypto surge’; cryptocurrency is gaining prominence in the global market, and India is keeping pace with a rapid growth in its share of this virtual currency. However, as this digital currency comes with its share of downsides and has witnessed frauds in India, it’s essential to establish a robust mechanism for regulating cryptocurrency transactions. To combat scams effectively, an impeccable regulatory framework and monitoring system are the need of the hour. Considering the potential for cryptocurrency to become the future currency of the global market, it’s imperative to develop a comprehensive roadmap for addressing its potential negative impact on a global scale.

Ravi Sharma, Dhariwal

Ensure Indians’ safety

Refer to ‘Qatar awards death penalty to 8 retired Indian Navy men for alleged espionage’; the lack of transparency surrounding the charges against these men, who were employed by a private company, raises serious questions. The Indian Government’s assertion of attaching high importance to this case is not merely rhetoric; it represents the need for justice and due process. The trial of these former Navy officials has been shrouded in mystery. With over 8,00,000 Indian citizens living and working in Qatar, it is essential to ensure their safety and rights.

Gaganpreet Singh, Mohali

‘Bharat vs India’ debate

Apropos of ‘NCERT committee for replacing India with Bharat in textbooks’; the proposal to replace ‘India’ with ‘Bharat’ in school textbooks merits thoughtful consideration. Language plays a crucial role in shaping identity, and ‘Bharat’ holds deep historical and cultural significance. However, it’s equally important to strike a balance between tradition and modernity. While we must honour our rich history, any decision regarding this change should be made thoughtfully, taking into account the diverse linguistic and cultural landscape of our nation. A broader discussion is essential before implementing such a change, ensuring that it genuinely reflects the values and aspirations of modern India.

Shivansh Bhan, Bengaluru

Will create confusion

Refer to ‘NCERT committee for replacing India with Bharat in textbooks’; the controversial move is likely to cause confusion in academic circles, leading to an unproductive debate. Firstly, the privilege of naming a country should be exercised with the consent of all sections of society — no political party is authorised to unilaterally change the nation’s name. The country is governed on the basis of the Constitution, which serves as the ultimate authority on this matter. The government should refrain from pursuing such actions until the Constitution is amended in accordance with established procedures.

Jagdish Chander, Jalandhar

Stop hounding Mahua

Refer to ‘Appear on Oct 31, ethics panel tells TMC’s Moitra’; everyone seems to be after Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra. What has she done to be treated with malice? She asked questions in Parliament on behalf of someone. Many MPs do that. And what is wrong if they charge money for the ‘services rendered’? Let us stop hounding Mahua for that. And let’s not assume that TMC chief Mamata Banerjee has left her to fend for herself. Mamata will come to her rescue at the appropriate time. Both Mamata and Mahua are fighters, capable of hitting back with full force, when the need arises.


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]

Double-edged sword

Oct 27, 2023

Refer to ‘Perils of social media’; it is true that social media is fast assuming alarming proportions. Though it has many positive things to offer, the way it is being used by not only children but also adults is addictive. It’s a double-edged sword and one should weigh its potential benefits against possible hazards. But children cannot differentiate between use and misuse, and that’s why governments should take this matter seriously and seek suggestions from experts to avoid further damage. Our leaders must show immense moral courage and political will to address this issue.

AG Rajmohan, Anantapur (AP)

Social media impact

Apropos of ‘Perils of social media’; the advantages and disadvantages of any technology depend on its use. Social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram are impacting the mental and physical health of children. During the Covid era, when children had no option but to attend virtual classes on smartphones, they were exposed to objectionable content. One cannot but hold parents, schools, educational authorities, local administrations and even governments responsible for this inappropriate exposure of children to social media. But a ban is not the solution. Social media has to be used responsibly.

Dilwar Ali Meerak, TOHANA

Policy of expansionism

Apropos of ‘China-Bhutan amity’; since the days of Mao Zedong and Zhou Enlai, China has pursued a policy of expansionism, which has only intensified over the years, especially under the aggressive nationalistic tendencies of the current supremo, Xi Jinping. In 2017, India may have succeeded in forcing China to drop its plan to build a road close to the Siliguri Corridor, but the recent agreement between China and Bhutan may lead to China gaining control of Doklam, to the detriment of India’s strategic interests. India has every reason to be wary of the China-Bhutan bonhomie. It should proactively reach out to Bhutan to prevent it from falling into the Chinese trap.

Roshan Lal Goel, Ladwa

Waste management

Refer to ‘Troubles set to mount on waste front’; science has a solution to most of our problems and like the West, India must adopt advanced technologies to overcome challenges. This needs scientific temper, as enshrined in our Constitution. We are parochial, traditional people, who succumb to rituals and dogma. This distances us from modern ideas. Waste management needs special infrastructure for segregation, collection and transport. In the West, the waste disposal system is highly streamlined. Man landed on the moon over five decades ago, and we are still struggling with avoidable problems on earth.


Temple politics

Apropos of ‘Feeling blessed: PM on getting Ram temple consecration invite; Cong sees religion card’; the objections of the Congress or any other party notwithstanding, the BJP is sure to use the Ram temple issue to garner votes in the General Election. Nothing is stopping the Opposition from going all out to make voters see reason. Given the standard of politics today, the Ram temple alone is not going to bring ‘Ram Rajya’ in the country. If people do vote in the name of the temple, ignoring their pressing needs for proper education, livelihood and healthcare, they will be opting for a country which will run ‘Ram bharose’.

Hira Sharma, by mail

‘One nation, one poll’ plan

Refer to ‘One nation, one poll: Law commission makes presentation to Kovind panel’; the Law Commission is of the view that Assembly and parliamentary polls could be held together. The Constitution stipulates that the tenure of the Lok Sabha and state assemblies will last five years, unless dissolved earlier. Therefore, the one nation, one election (ONOE) plan raises serious questions: what would happen if the Central or state government collapses mid-tenure? Would elections be held again in every state or will the President’s rule be imposed? The idea of ONOE does not square up with the concept of federalism as it is established on the notion that the entire nation is ‘one’, contradicting the content of Article 1, which envisages India as a Union of States.

Capt Amar Jeet (retd), Kharar

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]

Delhi pollution

Oct 26, 2023

Refer to ‘Delhi’s toxic air’; pollution is a year-round phenomenon, and addressing this issue effectively requires a comprehensive approach with all stakeholders aligned. Otherwise, every year during this time, we will find ourselves embroiled in debates. Regarding the Graded Response Action Plan, our track record shows that although we have commendable initiatives, the implementation has been lacking. When it comes to stubble burning, there is no need to take punitive action against farmers. Instead, the government can guide them to sell it for ethanol production, creating a win-win situation for both farmers and the environment.

Bal Govind, Noida

No end to stubble burning

Refer to ‘Rs 5.5L fine imposed on 215 farmers for stubble burning’; imposing fines, incentivising farmers and providing equipment for stubble management, and developing technologies for use of stubble have not reduced the traditional practice of burning it. Stubble burning is challenging to monitor because it involves millions of farmers across a vast area. Additionally, penalties are frequently low or not imposed at all due to political pressures. There is a pressing need to raise awareness among farmers about the severe pollution caused by burning stubble.

O Prasada Rao, Hyderabad

Election tactics

Refer to ‘Challenge to Hindutva’; before elections, political parties employ various tactics with the sole aim of expanding their voter base. In a recent example, the Karnataka Congress sought the support of certain sections of society and promised to ban Bajrang Dal if elected. However, they failed to take any action after winning the elections. This announcement of a caste-based survey appears to be a similar exercise. Every election brings forth new slogans and themes promising the uplift of weaker sections, yet the percentage of reservations continues to increase without achieving significant progress on the ground. The proposal for a caste census and subsequent actions may create divisions among the population, and leaders should take this into account to protect national unity and strength.

Subhash Vaid, New Delhi

Abide by Vienna Convention

Refer to ‘Diplomatic parity’; India’s insistence on diplomatic parity with Canada, in accordance with the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, as a response to Canada’s continued interference in India’s affairs, is a justifiable stance. Article 11.1 of the Convention empowers the host state to determine the size of a diplomatic mission, making Canada’s objection to India’s request for the reduction of its excessive diplomats in India seem illogical. Despite strained relations, India’s willingness to resume visa services for Canadians underscores its commitment to diplomatic relations, provided the Maple Country ensures the safety of Indian diplomats. Instead of toeing the line of the US and the UK, who are uncritically backing it, Canada should abide by the Vienna Convention to boost bilateral relations.

CS Mann, Una

Timing of Hamas attack

Refer to ‘Israel wrong in banking on military solution’; the author overlooked a significant point — the timing of the Hamas attack. This attack was carried out precisely to derail the ongoing efforts to bring Israel closer to Saudi Arabia and the UAE, at the behest of Iran. Saudi Arabia and Israel being arch-rivals of Iran, their alliance is a troubling development for Iran. A peace agreement was signed between Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat and then Israel PM Yitzhak Rabin in 1993. Additionally, agreements were reached in 1967 and 1948. Despite these pacts, where do we find ourselves today? Nowhere in the world has the problem of terrorism been solved solely through negotiations or sitting across tables.

Suman Kuplish, Ludhiana

Mentored several spinners

Apropos of ‘Death of a cricketer’; for the present generation, 266 Test wickets may not seem like a substantial number, but it’s important to consider the context of the era. Test matches were fewer, and the attitudes of those who represented the nation were different. Bishan Singh Bedi was adept at weaving a web around the world’s best batters. He mentored several spinners, some of whom played for India. Bedi leaves behind a rich legacy. He left an indelible impression in the minds of many, with a character that was truly remarkable.

Anthony Henriques, Mumbai

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]

Diplomatic spat

Oct 25, 2023

Refer to ‘Diplomatic parity’; India took the step of ensuring diplomatic parity by invoking its right, enshrined in the Vienna Convention, to safeguard national interests, which are threatened by anti-national elements settled in Canada. Questioning New Delhi’s action is not justified as it is not India but Canada which has flouted norms of the Vienna Convention with regard to ensuring the safety of foreign diplomats. Diplomatic relations cannot hinge on the outcome of an investigation into a criminal case.

Anil Vinayak, Amritsar

US, UK siding with Canada

Refer to ‘Diplomatic parity’; in the spat between Canada and India, the US and UK have sided with the former despite being fully aware of who is propagating falsehoods. Canada has long been a safe sanctuary for separatists of all hues. India has highlighted this fact time and again. Even then, the US and UK continue to toe the line of Canadian PM Justin Trudeau. Both have been guilty of misleading the world on many occasions in the past. Strangely enough, they always boast of their efforts to promote world peace but continue to send arms to war zones across the world. India should be wary of these tactics and must priorities its interests.

Deepak Taak, Panchkula

Sharif returns ahead of polls

Apropos of ‘Nawaz Sharif returns’; after his medical treatment and self-imposed exile, the former Pakistan Prime Minister has landed in his country with the hope of leading his party to victory in the forthcoming national election. What really matters is the relationship of the former PM with the military top brass. Pakistan has a history of jailing its political leaders, a trend in which the military has been directly or indirectly involved. It has become a routine affair, a fact virtually acceptable to all. If pursued in letter and spirit, Sharif’s intention to establish positive relations with India in order to repair Pakistan’s economy and bring peace and stability to the region will definitely benefit both neighbours.

Rajinder Singh, Patiala

Power centre in Pak

Refer to ‘Nawaz Sharif returns’; Sharif is back in Pakistan with the backing of the Pakistan army. Earlier, Imran Khan, who is now in jail, enjoyed the support of the army. The army chiefs in Pakistan are appointed by the Prime Ministers. Zia-ul-Haq was appointed army chief by then Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. Later, Bhutto got Zia executed. Pervez Musharraf was picked as the Chief of Army Staff by then PM Nawaz Sharif. Later, Musharraf staged a coup and took charge of the government. When army chiefs appointed by PMs destabilise elected governments, there can be no prizes for guessing who controls Pakistan.

Ashok Bahl, Kangra

Colossal loss to nation

Apropos of ‘Legendary spinner, tough taskmaster & heart of gold’; in addition to being a great cricketer, Bishan Singh Bedi was a thorough gentleman. He had the guts to call a spade a spade. He taught young cricketers that only discipline and hard work could lead to success. Bedi’s impressive economy rate speaks volumes about his bowling. Affectionately called the ‘Sardar of Spin’, he was deeply attached to his roots, which is evident from the fact that throughout his life, he remained in touch with his coach Gian Prakash as well as his alma mater, Hindu College, in Amritsar. He was totally against the T20 format as he believed it was not good for the game, and rightly so. This format has commercialised the game. His death is a colossal loss to the country.

Bir Devinder Singh Bedi, Sangrur

King of spin passes away

Refer to ‘Legendary spinner, tough task master & heart of gold’; in the death of Bishan Singh Bedi, India has lost one of its legendary spin bowlers. In the mid-1970s, his popularity was at its peak. Along with Erapalli Prasanna and BS Chandrasekhar, Bedi added a glorious chapter to the history of spin bowling in India. He had a fierce sense of independence as a cricketer and did not mince words. He had a deep love for the game and took a keen interest in grooming Ranji Trophy players for Test cricket.


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]

Eradicate dehumanising practice

Oct 24, 2023

Refer to ‘Manual scavenging’; the Supreme Court has rightly called for the eradication of manual scavenging. The dehumanising practice is a blot on any civilised society. The fact that such a profession exists is a matter of collective shame for India. Manual scavengers suffer from various health problems, including skin diseases and respiratory conditions, due to the exposure to toxic fumes in septic tanks and sewer lines. As many as 347 persons have died cleaning sewers and septic tanks in the last five years. Unfortunately, the profession is inseparable from casteism. Mere compensation is not enough. The court ruling should translate into effective steps to root out the scourge of manual scavenging.

Gregory Fernandes, Mumbai

Forced into manual scavenging

Apropos of ‘Manual scavenging’; the inhuman activity has been banned in India for three decades but it continues unabated. Besides ensuring compensation, we also need to consider that domestic workers, community toilet cleaners and sanitation workers are also part of this vicious cycle. Many a time, they are forced into manual scavenging. Made to perform this dehumanising task, they often experience social isolation. Building proper sanitation infrastructure and training workers professionally can go a long way in curbing this practice.

Tashi Baheti, Ujjain

Upgrade rail infra

Apropos of ‘Namo Bharat rolls out’; the semi-high-speed trains will mark the beginning of a new era of state-of-the-art ultra-modern urban transport in the country. Although the government is working towards introducing high-speed and comfortable trains that can run at a speed of 180 km per hour, it should also look into revamping and upgrading the existing railway infrastructure, which is in dire need of attention. Most of the trains are in a bad condition in terms of facilities and run at low speeds.


Focus on railway safety

Refer to ‘Namo Bharat rolls out’; though semi-high-speed trains will reduce travel time, the Railways must design tracks that can enable trains to run at that pace. In view of recent accidents that have cost many lives, the government should provide more funds for strengthening the safety mechanism rather than launching a number of high-speed trains to impress the public in view of the forthcoming Assembly polls and the General Election next year.

Rajinder Singh, Patiala

Escalating unrest in West Asia

Apropos of ‘Institutions & laws must be re-examined’; the US, which has been talking about ‘world peace’, had dropped atom bombs on Japan during World War II, killing thousands of people. It is following Mao Zedong’s message that ‘war can only be abolished with war’. In the Israel-Hamas conflict, the US is adding fuel to the fire instead of dousing it. By doing this, it is promoting its arms sales and bringing many nations in its fold geopolitically. India is one of the countries under the US’ protective umbrella. Piling up nuclear weapons is not a step towards peace.

BM SINGH, Amritsar

Civilian killings not justified

Refer to ‘Institutions & laws must be re-examined’; over 4,000 Palestinians, including over 1,750 children, have been killed in the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict. The US, Australia, France, Norway, Germany, India, Canada, Poland and the UK should have thought about these consequences before supporting Israel. Killing civilians, especially newborns, is inhuman, to say the least. India supporting Israel but sending tons of medical and disaster relief material for the people of Palestine smacks of duplicity. Is it mandatory for India to follow the US in all matters relating to the Israel-Hamas conflict? History proves that the US uses nations for its own benefits. It’s time India stopped following the country whose only aim is to sell arms and ammunition to war-affected nations to earn profits.


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]

Bloodshed in Gaza

Oct 23, 2023

Apropos of ‘The brown man’s burden of identity wars’ (Nous Indica); the writer rightly points out that the US and the UK should have asked Israel tough questions before offering unconditional support. It is a mistake on the part of US President Biden to endorse Israel’s use of deadly weapons such as rocket bombs and missiles. The entire region has witnessed large-scale bloodshed, and those responsible for the violent conflict are the Israeli Prime Minister, the US President and the UK PM.

Subhash C Taneja, Gurugram

Exploitation of religious identities

Refer to ‘The brown man’s burden of identity wars’ (Nous Indica); the exploitation of religious identities in politics and its natural consequences, such as hatred, mistrust and fear, have historically inflicted suffering upon humanity as a whole, regardless of religious affiliations. Europeans have endured great hardships in the past during religious conflicts, such as those between Catholics and Protestants. Today, imperialist expansionism often manifests itself in economic aggression. Reportedly, American arms manufacturing companies have profited significantly from the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war. Both the American and British economies depend on Arab nations, and to maintain influence over them, they may continue to use the Israeli threat.

HL Sharma, Amritsar

Release adequate funds

The ongoing dispute between the state government and the new office-bearers of the Punjab Olympic Association over a minor issue is regrettable, especially as athletes are gearing up with enthusiasm for the National Games. The state’s reluctance to release adequate funds under its sports promotion policy during this critical time could significantly hinder the contingent’s performance. Instead of tightening its purse strings, the government should rise above the differences and display generosity by providing ample funding. This would motivate the athletes to showcase their abilities and bring honour to the state.

Raj Kumar Kapoor, Ropar

Making of Bhakra Dam

Apropos of ‘Saluting dam-maker Slocum’ and ‘Monument to teamwork’; both articles provide a profound insight into the creation of the Bhakra Dam. We salute the vision and dedication of individuals such as Harvey Slocum, the American dam-building expert, as well as the visionary leadership of our first PM, Jawaharlal Nehru, for presenting this ‘Temple of modern India’ to the nation. It’s truly astonishing that a man who studied only up to Class VIII and lacked formal engineering training astounded the world with this monumental feat through his profound vision, unwavering perseverance and relentless dedication.

Ravi Sharma, Dhariwal

Tricolour at Attari border

Refer to ‘At 418 ft, tallest Tricolour hoisted at Attari border’; Union Minister Nitin Gadkari inaugurated a 418-ft national flag, which is now the tallest in the country, at the Attari border, surpassing Pakistan’s flag by 18 ft. Historically, both countries have engaged in a race to hoist flags taller than the other’s. With India’s Tricolour currently being the tallest, it may only be a matter of time before Pakistan attempts to exceed that height. However, it’s crucial for both countries to recognise that flags erected at such heights are vulnerable to high-velocity winds. Instead of engaging in symbolic and competitive display of hypernationalism, it would be wiser for both nations to agree upon more reasonable heights for their national flags.

Balbir Singh Kakkar, Jalandhar

Encourage diversification

Refer to ‘Beyond MSP hike’; the minimum support price for foodgrains has been a crucial support system for farmers. However, the increase in MSP for foodgrains doesn’t necessarily align with the rising expenditure incurred by farmers each year. The costs of fertilisers, pesticides and seeds have been escalating at a faster rate compared to the MSP. Fixing MSP for pulses and oilseeds may encourage diversification. Diversification can potentially reduce imports of pulses and oils significantly, leading to benefits for the government.

Wg Cdr JS Minhas (retd), Mohali

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

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

Legal backing for MSP

Oct 21, 2023

Refer to ‘Beyond MSP hike’; the minimum support price (MSP) is essential because farmers need this guarantee to shield themselves from market fluctuations. Farming in India is a critical source of livelihood for a vast workforce. The farming community has played a significant role in supporting the economy and preventing the government from going in for excessive imports. The government’s efforts to provide substantial hikes in the MSP are justified. However, this regime requires uniformity across India with a robust legal backing.

Shubham, Jammu

Pre-election gesture

The government’s decision to repeal the three controversial farm laws and establish a committee to provide legal support for MSP was a welcome move. However, over a year has elapsed since then, and both the nation and the farming community are still awaiting tangible progress on this front. The current MSP increment, as is often the case, may seem more like a pre-election gesture than a substantive solution. It’s unfortunate that farmers in India are the only producers worldwide who cannot secure a fair price for their produce. Other producers typically enjoy significant profits from their products.

HMS Nagra, Faridabad

Israel-Hamas war

Refer to ‘India favours direct talks between Israel, Palestine’; a significant amount of damage has already been done due to the Indian Foreign Ministry’s statement, aligning with Israel in the ongoing conflict and the attack by Hamas. The PM displayed unwarranted haste in engaging with Israel PM Benjamin Netanyahu and extending support for military action against Hamas, without adequately acknowledging the hardships faced by civilians residing in Gaza. India has not taken a similar position in the Ukraine-Russia war, where Russia is perceived as the aggressor. The shift in India’s stance is a case of better late than never, signifying a noteworthy change in its approach to this conflict.

Ramphal Kataria, Kurukshetra

Punjab Governor-CM conflict

Refer to ‘Governor calls session illegal, withholds approval to 3 bills’; before issuing his directive, the Governor should have considered the principle that dictates that the Governor is obliged to accept the government advice. Similarly, the government should operate within the parameters set by the Constitution and avoid conflicts with the constitutional head. Both parties should strive to avoid turning every issue into a matter of prestige. The primary concern for both should be the welfare of the state.

Faqir Singh, Dasuya

Delay in justice

Refer to ‘Justice, at last’; thanks to a tattoo and a stolen wireless set, the Delhi Police managed to track down the killers of Soumya Vishwanathan. However, it’s disheartening that it took a staggering 15 years for the case to reach its conclusion. Soumya’s mother is entirely justified in seeking life imprisonment for her daughter’s murderers, as she rightly points out that death is too easy a punishment for their heinous crime. It’s high time the judiciary acknowledged that the extensive delays in delivering justice to the common people are causing significant distress and sorrow. Therefore, they must find ways and means to expedite the legal process.

Bal Govind, Noida

Monitor programmes

Apropos of ‘Food deprivation & hunger remain widespread in India’; food deprivation, stunting, wasting and malnourishment are disturbingly prevalent among both children and the elderly. Rather than pointing fingers at the agencies worldwide that study these issues, it is imperative that we focus on improving the situation. Several programmes aimed at enhancing the nutrition status of children need to be better monitored and made result-oriented. Periodic assessments should be conducted, and the findings should be made public to encourage suggestions and cooperation for effective implementation of such programmes. The policies and programmes of the current government seem to be accelerating the process of creating more billionaires at the expense of providing due support to those in need.

AG Rajmohan, Anantapur (AP)

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]

Attack on Gaza hospital

Oct 20, 2023

The attack on the Al-Ahli hospital in Gaza is a matter of serious concern. The hospital has provided exemplary service to people of all faiths. In addition to treating the sick, it has also offered shelter to Palestinians who have been displaced due to the ongoing conflict. Hospitals were not targeted during the 1973 Yom Kippur War. The same is true for the wars India fought in 1962, 1965, 1971 and 1999. Both sides involved in the conflict should adhere to the international humanitarian law, which mandates the active protection of healthcare facilities.

Ramesh G Jethwani, Bengaluru

Mayhem in Gaza

Refer to ‘Merciless in Gaza’; attacks on hospitals and medical personnel are unequivocally recognised as war crimes under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. However, these humanitarian provisions lose their relevance when the United Nations seems powerless and incapable of brokering peace between warring nations. The tragic loss of around 500 lives in an explosion at the Al-Ahli hospital in Gaza City is an appalling crime. Regrettably, there is a possibility that a genuine investigation to determine accountability may not take place. Instead, we may witness a cycle of accusations and counter-accusations without any clear intention to bring the perpetrators of such a heinous crime to justice.

Roshan Lal Goel, Ladwa

Socially unacceptable

The Supreme Court’s decision on same-sex marriages in India is being welcomed by the majority of the people. Such marriages may not receive widespread societal acceptance in India, as traditional Indian culture often views marriage as a spiritual bond not only between a man and a woman but also between two families. Nevertheless, the decriminalisation of homosexuality by the Supreme Court in 2018 has removed it from the purview of crime, but it’s important to note that homosexuality, while not illegal, may still be considered a sin by some due to the belief that nature has based reproduction on the union between a male and a female.

Krishan Kant Sood, Nangal

Against Indian culture

Same-sex marriage is against Indian culture and ethos. The Bar Council of India had rightly opposed it. Even society will not accept it. Two individuals of the same sex living together for companionship is acceptable without the need for formal marriage sanction. Marriage is a pious social institution and a sacred union between a man and a woman. Let us not debase it. Apart from legal, there are ethical aspects involved that must be kept in mind before arriving at any decision regarding same-sex marriage.


Battle against drugs

The Punjab Government has sought divine intervention to address the drug problem. Perhaps there is hope that the youngest members of society will not only steer clear of narcotics but also serve as catalysts against drug addiction in others. Whether this unique approach will bear fruit or not remains uncertain, and the answer lies in the future. However, one crucial aspect of this initiative is the question of its secular or non-secular nature. The Chief Minister is an elected representative responsible for the entire population of the state, regardless of their religion. He should have also visited the Durgiana Mandir to seek blessings. Such a gesture would have been more inclusive.

Sat Pal Sharma, Bathinda

Complaint against Rizwan

During a match against the Netherlands in the ongoing ICC World Cup, Pakistani cricketer Mohammad Rizwan was observed offering namaz in a stadium, and subsequently, he reportedly dedicated his century in the match against Sri Lanka to the people of Gaza. While Rizwan is certainly entitled to follow any religious or political ideology, displaying these sentiments during a sporting event is questionable. Such actions go beyond the scope of sport, which is meant to teach us tolerance and respect for human rights, regardless of factors like caste, colour, creed, region or religion.

Sheikh Shabir Kulgami, Kashmir

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]

Acknowledge their rights

Oct 19, 2023

Apropos of ‘Same-sex marriages’; every queer and unusual occurrence in society captures public attention. Similarly, the issue of same-sex marriages has hogged the limelight. Society and the law primarily guarantee legal recognition to heterosexuality alone. The presence of individuals who identify themselves as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender is a natural variation and should be met with acceptance. It is important to note that their characteristics are not always a result of their choices. Consequently, society should acknowledge their right to live with respect and dignity, affording them the same recognition as any other human, without discrimination.

Ravi Sharma, Dhariwal

Matter of commitment

Refer to ‘Same-sex marriages’; the apex court has appropriately placed the responsibility on the legislature regarding this contentious issue. It is crucial to understand that the court’s role is not to create laws but to interpret them. This issue poses a challenge to the long-established sacred institution of marriage. The younger generation is notably revolutionary in their approach to social norms and traditions, seeking to find their soulmates through these relationships. While same-sex marriages may appear fashionable and unconventional, they also come with their own set of challenges and disadvantages. Ultimately, it is a matter of maturity and commitment, or the lack thereof, which can either strengthen or weaken a relationship.

Anil Bhatia, Hisar

Nithari serial killings

The news of the Allahabad High Court acquitting domestic help Surendra Koli and his employer Moninder Singh Pandher, who had originally been sentenced to death in the 2006 Nithari serial killings cases, is deeply shocking for the entire nation. Even a life sentence feels insufficient in such horrific murder cases. Only those who have experienced such a tragedy can truly understand the pain suffered by the parents of these young victims. Courts are expected to deliver justice and should not be seen as providing relief to hardcore criminals.

Puneet Mehta, Patiala

Gandhi advocated equal rights

While unveiling the bust of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam, External Affairs Minister Jaishankar highlighted the relevance of Gandhi in our times. Regrettably, a parallel narrative is emerging on social media in India that seeks to undermine his significant contribution to the cause of Independence. More concerning is the impression being propagated by vested interests that Gandhi played a dubious role in the Partition. He consistently advocated for a united nation where all individuals, regardless of their caste, creed or culture, enjoyed equal rights. However, he is now being portrayed in a derogatory light.

Deepak Taak, Panchkula

Drug addiction in Punjab

The Punjab Government appears to have appealed for divine intervention to address the issue of drug addiction. This situation represents a clear failure on the part of the government and law enforcement agencies to curb the drug trade, leaving them to explore alternative approaches. However, it is important to note that initiating prayers and religious interventions may not be a direct function of the government but can be led by the civil society with the government’s support. There is an urgent need for a tough stand against peddlers who supply drugs to the youth.

Wg Cdr JS Minhas (retd), Mohali

Observe traffic rules

Refer to ‘Making roads safer’; it is distressing to learn that there were more than six lakh casualties, including 1.68 lakh deaths, on our roads last year. The current situation indicates that significant improvements are necessary to reduce these fatalities. Highway engineers, automobile manufacturers, licensing authorities, training institutions, road users, and those responsible for implementing driving discipline must put in sincere efforts in this regard. On all highways, especially expressways, overspeeding and drunken driving must be avoided, traffic rules and safety norms should be strictly adhered to and the use of technological gadgets should be considered where staff is insufficient.

Subhash Vaid, New Delhi

Nithari verdict

Oct 18, 2023

Apropos of ‘Nithari shocker’; the Nithari serial killings stunned the nation 16 years ago. Equally shocking is the Allahabad High Court judgment, which acquitted the accused. This verdict raises serious concerns about the role of investigating agencies and, at the same time, undermines the credibility of the judicial system. When one court, based on the available evidence, convicts the accused and imposes the maximum penalty, but a higher court, based on the same evidence, acquits them, it leads to many questions. The law should not merely be a matter of opinion or interpretation, particularly when the lives of the accused or the victims are at stake.

Sanjeev Trikha, Fatehabad

SC verdict commendable

Refer to ‘SC refuses to allow woman to abort 26-wk foetus’; the Supreme Court verdict, which upheld and balanced the rights of the unborn child along with the autonomy of the woman, is commendable. Denying medical termination of a healthy and risk-free foetus that had reached 26 weeks of gestation, while offering the woman who is unwilling to raise the child the option of state adoption, transcends mere reading of the law. In another SC verdict, the refusal to recognise same-sex marriages is in tune with what the Indian culture stands for.

Lalit Bharadwaj, Panchkula

Strengthen human intelligence

Refer to ‘Anti-terror forces should learn lessons from Hamas attack’; the Israel-Palestine conflict provides valuable lessons for anti-terror forces worldwide. Israel, renowned for its defence capabilities, was confronted with challenges during the Hamas attack, underscoring the importance of traditional human intelligence and techniques, which cannot be entirely replaced by surveillance technology. The ongoing political, religious and social crises highlight the need for governments to focus on defence mechanisms and training that emphasise strengthening human intelligence alongside the adoption of new technologies.

Nidhi Dwivedi, Jammu

Hamas-Israel conflict

Refer to ‘West Asia crisis can hit global economy’; the escalation of the Hamas-Israel conflict is likely to have an adverse impact on the markets worldwide. India is particularly concerned about the implications for crude oil prices. As an oil-importing country that sources over 80 per cent of its requirements from overseas, higher crude prices could affect the current account deficit and lead to inflation levels surpassing the recent estimates by the RBI. Additionally, the conflict may also impact the recently announced India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor.

Lal Singh, Amritsar

Impose heavy penalty

Apropos of ‘Making roads safer’; it is disheartening to observe a 9 per cent increase in the fatality rate compared to the last year. In addition to violations like rash driving, wrong parking and overspeeding, drunken driving stands out as a major contributor to the rising rate of fatalities. The role of the traffic police is crucial in curbing these offences, but it is often found that they are not effectively enforcing traffic rules. In some cases, violations occur right in front of traffic police personnel on duty, either due to their connivance or blatant negligence. There is a pressing need to respond to every traffic rule violation with substantial penalties.

MD Sharma, Shimla

Maintain roads

Apropos of ‘Making roads safer’; a scientific road design and regular maintenance are crucial for ensuring road safety. Unfortunately, many roads are riddled with potholes and often receive attention only in an election year. The construction of flyovers takes years, leaving the roads beside and under the bridges in a dismal condition. The problems are exacerbated by violations such as overspeeding and driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, all of which contribute to road accidents. In Himachal Pradesh, roads are carved out of steep cliffs without the provision of parapets or steel crash barriers. This often leads to accidents.

KR Bharti, 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]

Prioritise civilians’ safety

Oct 17, 2023

Refer to ‘Israel delays Gaza ground assault as Arab nations decry civilian killings’; Israel’s decision to postpone a ground assault in response to increasing criticism from Arab nations is a commendable step towards minimising harm to innocent lives. It is imperative for all parties to prioritise the safety of civilians and pursue a diplomatic resolution. The international community must play an active role in brokering peace and providing humanitarian aid to those affected. Dialogue and empathy are essential to ending the cycle of violence. A peaceful and just resolution remains the only path forward in this long-standing conflict.

Ganga Arora, by mail

Need to reform CAG

Apropos of ‘Empowered CAG’; the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India is being labelled as a government tool due to recent questions raised about the Ayushman Bharat and Bharatmala schemes. If the CAG were genuinely empowered, it could significantly reform the operations of our government and bureaucracy. There is a pressing need to amend the audit Act. Empowering the CAG is crucial for the daily functioning of the government, the effective implementation of policies and the auditing of funds.

Ojasva Vyas, Jammu

CAG helps uncover frauds

The impact and importance of the CAG in our nation’s governance cannot be overstated. Regardless of whether CAG’s reports are used as tools by the Opposition or not, one undeniable fact remains — the authority plays a pivotal role in unearthing scams. In the instance where the CAG has refuted allegations that three officials were transferred for flagging irregularities in Bharatmala and Ayushman Bharat schemes, we should assume that what the CAG states is true. By scrutinising government actions and expenditures, the CAG enables citizens to make informed judgments about their elected representatives and government policies.

Bal Govind, Noida

Gill’s contribution

While former Chief Election Commissioner TN Seshan is celebrated for introducing the Model Code of Conduct and voter ID cards as pivotal reforms in the country’s electoral process, MS Gill will be remembered for spearheading the introduction of electronic voting machines (EVMs), a change that has significantly contributed to curbing polling malpractices in the nation. The Padma Vibhushan awardee dedicated his life to serving the nation in various capacities.

Krishan Kant Sood, Nangal

Punjab Agniveer’s funeral

Many political parties and prominent persons, including Army veterans, expressed their displeasure over the absence of military honours at the cremation of Agniveer Amritpal Singh. Notably, the reasons for this decision were not officially communicated by the Army’s Public Relations Officer or the district Sainik Board’s welfare officer, leaving room for speculation. Finally, the Army issued a clarification, stating that the death was the result of a self-inflicted bullet injury, and in such cases, military honours were not authorised. However, the JCO and the four soldiers who accompanied the deceased’s remains should have shared this information with the family to prevent confusion.

Subhash Vaid, New Delhi

Sparsh no good

The decades-old, well-established pension disbursement system for armed forces veterans has been replaced by Sparsh, and this transition has caused significant issues. No one faced any problem in the previous system. However, Sparsh has led to not only financial losses but also mental and financial hardships for veterans. The Sparsh centres are unable to resolve pension-related issues faced by individuals. When attempts are made to contact the pension cell centre, the response is consistently unhelpful, with the automated message stating, ‘All our agents are busy at the moment.’ We request the authorities to revert to the old system for all veterans.

Lt Col Ram Lal Arora (Retd), Jalandhar

Difficult time for BJP

Oct 16, 2023

Apropos of ‘No easy pickings for the BJP’ (Nous Indica); the BJP has reached a point of no return. It capitalised on the Balakot airstrikes in the last General Election. However, in the upcoming five Assembly elections, the BJP may encounter challenges due to some of its own missteps, including neglecting several party stalwarts. Both the BJP in general and the Prime Minister in particular recognise that making baseless allegations against the Opposition will not be effective. In a democracy, no matter how powerful a political party may be, when its mismanagement is exposed, the people tend to reject it.

Capt Amar Jeet (Retd), Kharar

Media must help voters

Refer to ‘No easy pickings for the BJP’ (Nous Indica); the write-up, besides being informative and educative, is politically relevant and timely. The article effectively holds up a mirror to the BJP trio of PM Modi, Amit Shah and JP Nadda. The notion that the ends justifies the means has unfortunately become the bane of today’s electoral politics, and it appears that no party is immune to this trend. Easy gains and opportunism often dictate poll strategies, leading to alliances, defections and betrayals. It is incumbent on the media to help voters distinguish between genuine commitment and empty promises.

Lalit Bharadwaj, Panchkula

Israel must heed calls for restraint

Refer to ‘Exercise restraint’; war is a synonym for human suffering, yet it continues to erupt frequently. Despite its extensively discussed counter-terror capabilities, Israel failed to take pre-emptive measures against terror attacks by Hamas militants. Israel has ordered Palestinians in northern Gaza to evacuate for their safety, but will Hamas allow this to happen? Bombarding vulnerable people, who may already be suffering due to a lack of essential resources like food, water and fuel, would be tantamount to committing war crimes. Israel should heed the calls for restraint from the US and the UN and consider the humanitarian consequences of its actions.

HL Sharma, Amritsar

Crisis in Gaza

The crisis in Gaza demands a swift and just resolution. Israel’s decision to maintain the Gaza siege until hostages are freed is understandable, but the repercussions of such actions are severe. The US, as a global leader, must urgently advocate for restraint on all sides to prevent escalation. A diplomatic approach that prioritises dialogue over aggression is crucial for fostering peace and stability in the region. It is imperative that the international community works collaboratively to address the root causes of the conflict and find a sustainable resolution that ensures the safety and well-being of all involved.

Navneet Kaur, Jamshedpur

Launch more Poshan schemes

Refer to ‘Hunger pangs’; the Global Hunger Index report, ranking India 111th out of 125 countries, is deeply concerning. The government’s attempt to discredit the report’s methodology lacks conviction, particularly when the National Family Health Survey also reveals a significant increase in the neonatal mortality rate. Furthermore, the Poshan Tracker paints a grim picture of the numerous malnourished children in the country. It is both ironic and shameful that a self-sufficient, food-surplus nation like ours is grappling with hunger and malnutrition, ranking below countries such as Pakistan and Nepal. The government should prioritise launching initiatives like the Poshan Abhiyaan to ensure access to nutritious food, clean water and sanitation for all.

CS Mann, Una

Spectre of Khalistan

Refer to ‘The bogey of Khalistan must be put to rest once and for all’; the spectre of Khalistan must be decisively addressed. However, articles in the press continue to keep the issue alive. The writer feels that the government doesn’t treat the minorities well, and he points to the farmers’ agitation as an example. However, he has forgotten that the agitation received support from Khalistanis abroad. Sikhs have held prominent positions in India; this serves as substantial evidence that there is no discrimination against minorities. Khalistan finds no support in India and mainly exists in media narratives.

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: [email protected]

Construction in green belts

Oct 14, 2023

Refer to ‘No way, Himachal’; Himachal Pradesh witnessed great devastation during the recent monsoon. Many roads and bridges are still awaiting repairs. The state government’s decision to permit construction in green belts is not justified at all. Research shows that the tourist destinations in the hills have exceeded their carrying capacity due to excessive construction. Finding parking space in hill stations has become a difficult task. Enhancing the quality of tourism could significantly boost revenue without resorting to haphazard construction. While it may take a few years for the state to return to normalcy, going ahead with green-belt construction projects could complicate the situation.

Wg Cdr JS Minhas (retd), Mohali

Hunger index ranking

Refer to ‘India 111th on hunger index; erroneous: Govt’; India’s low ranking on the Global Hunger Index, where it ranks just behind Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka among 125 countries, is deplorable. Many other countries, especially in Africa, are also grappling with food shortage. The Government of India should consider contesting the criteria used for assigning a low ranking to our developing economy, especially considering its high GDP growth rate. Additionally, it’s worth noting that a significant percentage of our children are reported to be obese.

NPS Sohal, Chandigarh

Reminder to secessionists

Apropos of ‘The bogey of Khalistan must be put to rest once and for all’; the article is insightful and serves as a warning to the troublemakers. It is a reminder to secessionists operating from Canada and the UK that they are no longer Indian citizens and do not have the right to interfere in the politics of India. The Sikh secessionist cause is virtually non-existent in India. Even in Canada and the UK, the number of people who support it is minimal. The diasporic secessionists were not compelled to leave India following the events of 1947 and 1984; instead, they chose to migrate in pursuit of better opportunities.

Roshan Lal Goel, Ladwa

Big salute to doctors

Apropos of ‘Narrow escape at PGI’; the evacuation of patients after a fire broke out at PGI’s Nehru Hospital demonstrated the dedication and commitment of doctors and other staff at the institution. The way even senior doctors, without caring for their own lives, daringly participated in the rescue operation deserves the highest level of appreciation. The doctors used a ‘hydraulic lift’ to rescue patients. In our society, a doctor is considered second only to God, and this has been proven by the fire incident. The entire PGI medical community, along with the support staff, deserves a big salute.

VK Anand, Chandigarh

Improve air quality

Air pollution is a perennial problem in the National Capital Region. Several factors contribute to the deteriorating air quality, and stubble burning is recognised as a significant contributor to the problem. As October and November approach, this issue gains prominent attention, prompting the authorities to focus on it. With the apex court seeking a report from the Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM), this is a good opportunity to comprehensively address the challenging problem. Taking all stakeholders on board is also the need of the hour. Given that poor air quality poses a serious health hazard, it is a matter of great concern for everyone and necessitates collective efforts to bring it within permissible limits.

Ravi Sharma, Dhariwal

Court verdict on divorce

Refer to ‘SC declines divorce to 89-year-old man’; the apex court’s decision to uphold the sanctity of marriage is commendable, as it is deemed to be a sacred bond between husband and wife in Indian society. However, a 27-year-long legal battle highlights that this bond has already been irreparably broken, and a court verdict cannot reunite two individuals whom the sacred vow of ‘till death do us part’ could not keep together.

DV Sharma, Mukerian

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] 

Distressing trend

Oct 13, 2023

Refer to ‘Battleground Gaza’; the tensions that have emerged from conflicts such as the Ukraine-Russia war and the Hamas attack on Israel reflect a distressing trend. These incidents, marked by cruelties and hostilities, threaten to erode civility and push humankind further away from peaceful coexistence. There is no justification for animalistic behaviour. If all religions teach peace, why is it that all religions cannot achieve peace? There is no other planet where humans can live, so let us stop raising arms against each other. World leaders must consider measures to stop all this to make our planet a better place to live.

K Kumar, Panchkula

Killers have no right to humanity

Refer to ‘Humanitarian crisis in Gaza Strip after incessant Israeli airstrikes’; Israel’s ruthless response to the attack by Hamas, the militant group in the Gaza Strip, has triggered a humanitarian crisis. Nobody should engage in self-destructive activities. Israel has upheld a policy of ‘live and let live’ since the 1967 war. The Gaza Strip residents have been allowed to coexist peacefully alongside their Israeli neighbours for the past 45 years. However, the Gaza leadership hasn’t embraced coexistence. Recently, on an Israeli festival, there were brutal attacks by militants that resulted in the deaths of many residents in border villages. This goes against the principles of humanity. Those who sponsor such acts of violence cannot expect to receive humane treatment themselves.

Ashok Kumar Goel, Panchkula

Take stringent action

Refer to ‘Curbing air pollution’; the fundamental right to live in a pollution-free environment is being disregarded, as farmers continue to burn stubble, which poses significant health hazards. Indeed, our governments bear responsibility as they cannot take forceful measures due to the fragile state of politics, fearing potential electoral setbacks. Consequently, farmers continue to burn paddy residue in the fields without apprehension. If the politicians are really serious about curbing this menace, they will have to serve selflessly and take stringent action against the violators.

Raj Kumar Kapoor, Ropar

End Khalistan issue

Refer to ‘The bogey of Khalistan must be put to rest once and for all’; kudos to the writer for articulating the sentiments of Indian Sikh nationals who aspire to live a peaceful life, whether in India or abroad. The views of a handful of secessionists, who are financially secure, should not be regarded as representative of the entire community. I didn’t witness 1947, but I did experience 1984. It’s possible that some of those who sought asylum in foreign countries were individuals who were being pursued in their home country for alleged wrongdoings. Let us not malign the teachings of our revered gurus.

Manveen Mann, Jalandhar

Assembly polls in 5 states

Refer to ‘Poll bugle sounded’; while the results of the five Assembly elections may offer insights into the voters’ mood, it’s not guaranteed that the outcomes in these states will be a decisive indicator for the 2024 Lok Sabha polls. In 2018, the Congress won three of five state Assemblies, but the BJP-led NDA formed the government at the Centre. Nonetheless, the outcomes of the Assembly elections will be closely examined to discern what they reveal about the prospects of the NDA and INDIA groups. Following the wins in Himachal and Karnataka, this will also represent another significant test for the leadership of the Congress, especially in terms of their ability to effectively manage internal differences, particularly in Rajasthan.

MS Khokhar, by mail

Watering garden therapeutic

Refer to ‘The joys of watering the garden’; the writer portrayed a picturesque vision of nature. For those residing in urban India, the concept of a personal garden is likely foreign. The only gardens they are familiar with are public ones managed by the municipal authorities. While there is undoubtedly joy in tending to a garden, only a small fraction of the privileged few can actually enjoy such a luxury. Watering a garden can be therapeutic and serve as an excellent remedy for various psychological conditions. However, as demonstrated by characters like Lord Emsworth of Blandings Castle, gardening can also become an all-consuming obsession for some.

Anthony Henriques, Mumbai

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]

Shortage of judges

Oct 12, 2023

Apropos of ‘Centrally tardy’; almost all courts in India are facing a shortage of judges. The abnormal delay by the Law Ministry in clearing the names of judges recommended by the SC Collegium cannot be justified. Over five crore cases are pending in our courts. The sanctioned strength of judges has not been reviewed for a long time. Even though our population has reached 140 crore, nothing has been done to increase the strength of judges. Courts are the only means of justice in our country after the failure of the political and administrative pillars of democracy.

Wg Cdr JS Minhas (retd), Mohali

Judicial vacancies

Refer to ‘Centrally tardy’; the enormous vacancies in judiciary in the backdrop of over five crore cases underline the callous attitude of the ruling dispensation, irrespective of the party in power. Vacancies should be filled at the earliest before people who have been longing for justice for years lose confidence in the system. It is sad to learn that a few judges listed for appointment have already withdrawn their consent. Perhaps this is what the government desires, to exclude those who may not toe its line. It should be remembered that a sound judiciary with an ability to function independently can alone keep democracy alive.

AG Rajmohan, Anantapur (ap)

Women in labour markets

Apropos of ‘Gender pay parity’; over a hundred years ago, most women in the US were not part of the workforce. Prof Claudia Goldin’s Nobel Prize is timely, as ending gender discrimination is a primary goal for policymakers across the globe. A lot of resources are spent on the promotion of girls’ education. However, this doesn't ensure that they join the labour force effectively. Some drop out mid-career and many face some form of discrimination. This is a global story and Prof Goldin has shown that gender disparity will not reduce with economic development, as shortcomings exist in several economies. Economic growth doesn’t always improve labour market results for women.


Gender pay gap

Apropos of ‘Gender pay parity’; Prof Claudia Goldin has been honoured for highlighting the plight of women in a men’s world. She has delved deep into the wide-ranging pay disparities that exist. She has noted with details the role played by women in the labour market. Typically, it is said that women are essentially home-makers, but it must not be forgotten that they make up for nearly half of the humanity. One gender can’t do without the other. By conferring the Nobel Prize on her, the Nobel Committee has rightly honoured her efforts to bring the attention back to women and how they deserve to get much more than they actually do.

Deepak Taak, Panchkula

Enduring bond between India, Israel

Refer to ‘India with Israel in difficult hour: PM as Netanyahu briefs him on conflict’; the recent briefing by Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu to our PM underscores the enduring bond between India and Israel. Amid the conflict in West Asia, India’s show of solidarity is a testament to the strength of our diplomatic ties. India and Israel share democratic values and innovative prowess, forming the basis of our robust relationship. As we navigate geopolitical complexities, it is crucial to promote dialogue and peace. India can play a pivotal role in facilitating conversations that lead to lasting solutions. This display of support not only fortifies our bilateral relations but also contributes to regional stability.

Anisha Gupta, Lucknow

Air pollution in NCR

Apropos of ‘SC to panel: List steps to check pollution in NCR’; the Supreme Court (SC) has sought a report from the Commission for Air Quality Management on the measures taken to curb pollution in the National Capital Region, which is a crucial step towards addressing one of the most pressing challenges facing our region. It is imperative that all stakeholders, including government bodies, environmental experts and civil society, come together to devise comprehensive strategies to combat pollution effectively. The SC’s guidance is an opportunity for us to rethink and redefine our approach to environmental conservation and public health.

Varshita bhura, Chandigarh

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

Clash of ideologies

Oct 11, 2023

Refer to ‘Poll bugle sounded’; it is apt to say that the forthcoming elections will indicate the mood of the nation. If the INDIA bloc, an alliance of parties with different ideologies, comes to power next year, it is likely to cause chaos in the country. It will be a repeat of the 1977 situation, when Opposition outfits came together to form the Janata Party to pose a challenge to the Congress (I). There will be a power struggle within these parties, which will not be in the nation’s interest.

Shiv Kumar, Bathinda

Downward slide in ties

Apropos of ‘Battleground Gaza’; the terror attack by the Hamas just weeks after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s statement in the UN General Assembly that Israel wanted to normalise ties with Arab states has triggered a series of devastating events. It would not be an exaggeration to say that the attack has caught Israeli intelligence agencies unawares. With Iran by its side, the firepower of the Hamas has grown by leaps and bounds. Israel is right in its retaliation as it has to protect its sovereignty and its people from such horrific attacks. Lebanon joining the war against Israel and Iran’s statement that the attack by the Hamas was an act of self-defence has created a further divide between Israel and the Arab world. Regional conflicts are bound to escalate after this attack.

Bal Govind, Noida

International attention needed

Refer to ‘Israel blockades Gaza as it counters Hamas firepower’; the escalation of violence in the Hamas-Israel conflict demands urgent international attention. Israel’s re-established control over the Gaza border, marked by relentless air raids, underscores the gravity of the situation. This cycle of destruction threatens lives on both sides and portends a broader regional conflict. The audacious and deadly Hamas attack has claimed hundreds of lives and led to a hostage situation, escalating tensions. It is important that the international community intervenes to halt this devastating crisis. We must think about the innocent civilians caught in the crossfire as homes and hospitals are being bombed. Diplomatic efforts must prevail and dialogue should take precedence over violence.

Gurdev Singh, Mohali

Major setback for peace

Refer to ‘Peace in West Asia suffers a body blow’; the Hamas attack on Israel is a major setback for peace in West Asia. The attack has led to large-scale casualties on both sides. It is also likely to delay the signing of a peace accord between Israel and Saudi Arabia. The Hamas attack is a reminder that the Palestinian issue remains unresolved and the region is still volatile. The attack also highlights the growing influence of Iran in the region and its willingness to support extremist groups. The international community must work to de-escalate tensions and bring about a ceasefire. It is also important to find a lasting solution to the Palestinian issue, which is the root cause of the conflict in the region.

Gurpreet Kaur Rosy, Mohali

Rein in cow vigilantes

Apropos of ‘Cow vigilantes ran ‘extortion’ rackets’; it is an irony that some anti-social elements, under the guise of cow vigilantes, extorted money from notorious cattle smugglers for giving them free rein. The arrest of Anil Multhan, one of the eight key accused in the Nasir-Junaid murder case, will help solve the mystery behind the gruesome incident. It will also help investigate the role of Monu Manesar in such activities. The Haryana Police must rein in such vigilantes as their activities tantamount to running a parallel administration.

Upendra Sharma, by mail

Workplace gender inequality

Apropos of ‘Harvard prof wins economics Nobel’; the Nobel prize is a well-deserved recognition of Prof Claudia Goldin’s great work. She meticulously studied 200 years of labour data on women’s participation at the workplace. It is sad that women in offices are still seen as kitchen tools, given more work than men and paid less. There is a need to ensure pay disparity in organised and unorganised sectors.

PV Madhu Nivriti, Secunderabad

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]

Nurture culture of excellence

Oct 10, 2023

Refer to ‘Magnificent 107’; India’s performance at the 19th Asian Games has left everyone awestruck. With 107 medals, 28 of them gold, the performance of our sportspersons surpassed our expectations. Every athlete, coach and staff member deserves our respect and support. The progress is laudable, but we still have a vast gap to cover, especially considering the fact that we have the capability to finish first. China, the host country, stood first with 383 medals. This reflects its dominance and shows that we need to work harder on infrastructural and resource development. That is why we, as a nation, should nurture a culture of sporting excellence and remain competitive globally.

Yashi Navaya, Jammu

Asian Games performance

Apropos of ‘Magnificent 107’; with 107 medals, the Indian contingent in the Asian Games has beaten its previous record of winning 70 medals in 2018. It shows that India’s success rate has improved considerably in just five years. Our players demonstrated their dominance in hockey, athletics, archery and shooting, which augurs well for the Paris Olympics. Winning more than 100 medals bears testimony to the dedication and hard work of our athletes, coaches and the support staff, coupled with the political will of the present dispensation to liberally build requisite infrastructure for them.

MD Sharma, Shimla

Champion of women’s rights

Apropos of ‘Nobel Peace Prize’; a big salute to the invincible Narges Mohammadi on winning the Nobel Prize for her indomitable spirit and her relentless fight for human rights, particularly women’s liberty. Her stand against enforced hijab and the death penalty made her a target of parochial and dogmatic followers of religion in Iran. She is a great inspiration for the suppressed women of the world. Her compatriot Shirin Ebadi had won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2003.

BM SINGH, Amritsar

Gaza unrest & diplomatic efforts

Refer to ‘Israel pounds Gaza as Hezbollah militants join Hamas; 1,100 dead’; the escalation of violence in Gaza is deeply concerning. The loss of lives is tragic and the situation demands immediate international attention. It underscores the urgent need for diplomatic solutions and de-escalation. The international community must prioritise peaceful dialogue and mediation to prevent further suffering and instability in the region. Behind the headlines are real people and communities enduring hardships. It is our moral duty to advocate peace, humanitarian aid and a just resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Lavisha, Hisar

Reforms in Air Force

Refer to ‘Air Force must reform, else it’ll turn irrelevant: IAF Chief’; the IAF must undergo significant reforms to ensure its continued relevance in an ever-changing global security landscape. These reforms are crucial to maintaining the IAF’s effectiveness in safeguarding India’s sovereignty and interests. As emphasised by the IAF Chief, adapting to emerging technologies, enhancing operational capabilities and modernising its fleet are crucial steps that must be taken to pre-empt potential threats and challenges. By embracing reform, the IAF can remain a formidable force and a key pillar of India’s national defence strategy.

Shruti Jain, Ghaziabad

Duties towards children

Apropos of ‘An upright office’s tragic story’; in pursuit of earning the appreciation of seniors, climbing the professional ladder faster or making a quick buck, many parents often forget that raising children into good and respectable citizens is also their bounden duty. They claim they are doing it for the family and children, but this is a big fallacy. The interests of children do not lie in doing for them but doing with them. If one is upright but does not spend time with his children, his qualities will not be transferred to them automatically. There is nothing wrong in doing one’s best on the professional front, but taking care of one’s family is no less important.

Ravinder Mittal, Ludhiana

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

All in the name of power

Oct 09, 2023

Apropos of ‘Political hypocrisy vs social idealism’ (Nous Indica); one agrees with the author that CM Nitish Kumar’s grand idea may face challenges in Bihar itself when it comes to representation. It would be naive to expect Nitish to resign to make way for the most ‘qualified’ candidate, as determined by the survey’s results. Even more worrisome is the stand of the Congress, considering its questionable track record in this regard. How can INDIA, the bloc of Opposition parties, be permitted to engage in divisive caste-based politics under the guise of the Bihar survey?

Kumar Gupt, by mail

Nitish’s caste survey

Refer to ‘Political hypocrisy vs social idealism’ (Nous Indica); with the elections to five state Assemblies on the horizon and the General Election scheduled for next year, both the ruling and Opposition parties are making concerted efforts to woo voters. Nitish Kumar, along with his deputy, is actively using caste-based strategies. The author rightly highlights that the caste survey can serve as a political tool only if Nitish resigns and hands over the leadership of his government to a member of an extremely backward caste or a Yadav. Undoubtedly, it’s a risky move, but it may be deemed essential.

Subhash C Taneja, Gurugram

Remarkable achievement

India crossed the remarkable milestone of 100 medals at the Asian Games, a testament to the power of dreams, dedication and teamwork among our athletes. India’s performance in the Asian Games demonstrates that with political determination and the collective efforts of our athletes, anything is achievable. This reflects the genuine hard work of our players who are winning medals on the international stage and making our country proud. The credit goes to the Government of India for taking initiatives to encourage youngsters to pursue sports as a career. May this superb achievement serve as an inspiration for generations to come.

Rukma Sharma, Jalandhar

Tremendous victory

The Indian men’s hockey team recorded a tremendous victory in the Asian Games at Hangzhou. Team India not only defeated defending champions Japan 5-1 to win the gold medal but also secured a spot in next year’s Paris Olympics. All medal winners serve as an inspiration for young athletes who are preparing for competitions like the Olympics. New India is building a powerful global image, not only in space technology, where ISRO set a benchmark with the successful landing of Chandrayaan-3 on the lunar south pole, but also in the field of sports.

Deepak Kumar, Purana Shalla

Stress among military personnel

Apropos of ‘Rajouri firing’; armed forces personnel endure mental stress, not only due to their demanding tasks and living conditions, but also because of the highly competitive environments within the forces. The prospect of missing out on career advancement opportunities creates tensions. Short-service officers and Agniveers are concerned about their employment prospects, while regular soldiers are frustrated at being passed over for promotions. Course correction is undoubtedly needed. Implementing an accessible grievance redressal mechanism would help alleviate stress. Providing career avenues to Agniveers and short-service officers would also make a big difference.

Lt Col GS Bedi (Retd), Mohali

Dismal state of education

Refer to ‘Poor state of colleges’; education is a subject that can’t be taken lightly. It deserves seriousness and dedication from all stakeholders. Often, colleges are established without necessary infrastructure and sufficient teaching staff. It’s distressing that the Himachal college in question is being run from a private building without adequate faculty. This is a mockery of the education system and a cruel joke on the student community. The fact that 90 per cent of the students flunked the exams speaks volumes about the dismal state of education. This is tantamount to jeopardising their careers.

Ravi Sharma, Dhariwal

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