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Letters to the editor

Time not ripe for UCC Other

Jun 30, 2023

The Uniform Civil Code (UCC) is essentially desirable in the interests of unity and integrity of India. But perhaps, this is not the right time to implement it. On the one hand, the government is trying to legislate uniform personal laws for the unification of India; but on the other, it is not taking any stand for Manipur, where the minority community is struggling for its rights. The situation there is worsening day by day. Thus, the Centre should rethink its UCC move and instead take an unambiguous stand on current issues.

Asha Rani, Yamunanagar

Consult all stakeholders

Refer to ‘PM’s push for UCC’; Article 44 of the Constitution provides for a common code throughout India. However, the BJP's plan to implement the UCC and complete the Ram Mandir before the General Election betrays its intention to polarise voters. Hence, the common code should be implemented after consulting all stakeholders in tune with the spirit of Article 25, which guarantees the freedom of religion.


Detailed discussions a must

Refer to the editorial ‘PM’s push for UCC’; our Constitution calls upon the State to implement UCC to uphold the principle of ‘one nation, one law’, irrespective of caste or religion. It also exhorts the government to ensure that people of all religions have the liberty to practise their religion freely. At a cursory glance, the two precepts seem contradictory. In such a scenario, implementing the UCC would entail walking a tightrope. While drafting it, only those practices of a religion need to be picked which are regressive and their abrogation is in the interests of society. The UCC needs detailed discussions among all sections of society so that no one from any religion feels wronged and social harmony is not compromised.

Yoginder Singhal, Ladwa

Poll-centric move

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is keen to implement the UCC across the country. Considering the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, the government wants to capture votes on the basis of the UCC as it has no other poll plank. The UCC will be a problem for our country as well as the people of various religions living here. It is prudent to keep the UCC issue in abeyance in the national interest so that peace and tranquillity prevail throughout India.

Jahangir Ali, Mumbai

Unenviable rankings

Apropos of ‘Slip in rankings’; IITs are regarded as the top institutes in the country and their entrance exam is considered to be among the toughest in the world. If only one IIT features in the global top 150, and that too at the 149th place, it shows us the grim reality. The less said about other institutes the better. It is not for nothing that Indian Inc keeps complaining about the poor quality of our graduates and their unemployability. What is alarming is that Chinese universities are gaining in stature on the basis of their greater focus on research and innovation. It is not about whether a Rs 50,000-crore fund is enough for the National Research Foundation; it all boils down to judicious utilisation of that money.

Bal Govind, Noida

Tax deduction for Divyangjan

It is disappointing that tax deduction under Sections 80U and 80DD, which was available for Divyangjan under the old tax regime, has been discontinued under the new one. Efforts are being made by the government to bring Divyangjan into the mainstream, but a lot more needs to be done. Separate tax deduction for Divyangjan should be introduced under the new tax regime too so that they are able to save a part of their hard-earned money for a dignified future. This matter should be considered earnestly.

Nishant Gupta, Mansa

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

Misplaced priorities

Jun 29, 2023

Prime Minister Modi is rooting for the Uniform Civil Code (UCC) at a time when the situation in Manipur is getting out of hand. This raises questions about the BJP government’s commitment to restore normalcy in the strife-torn northeastern state. Nationwide problems such as unemployment, poverty and inflation cannot be solved by the implementation of the UCC. Nor can this be done by building a temple. Milking an issue for electoral gains is the norm in Indian politics rather than fighting elections on burning issues. Who bothers about the poor?

Muzakkir Khan, Mumbai

Gangsters on the loose

Refer to ‘Gang culture’; the ambitions of these gangsters are getting bigger and bolder. Besides Goldy Brar and Lawrence Bishnoi, there are many gangsters who are thriving on crime, especially extortion. The police of various states seem unable to crack down on these criminals. Gangsters are also making money from gambling, prostitution and drug trafficking. It is impossible to curb gang culture without strictly enforcing the law.

Sikandar Bansal, Shimla

Unviable Vande Bharat train

The PM flagged off the Indore-Bhopal Vande Bharat train on Tuesday. There is an inter-city train running between Indore and Bhopal for the past many years. It departs from Indore at 6:35 am and reaches Bhopal at 10 am; its fare starts from Rs 100. The Vande Bharat train has a minimum fare of Rs 910, while the travel time saved is only 45-50 minutes. There is also a Volvo bus service between the two cities; the fare is Rs 400 and the bus takes about three hours to reach its destination. The Vande Bharat service would not be viable. This is a ‘penny wise, pound foolish’ approach.

Capt Amar Jeet Kumar (Retd), by mail

Unrest in Pakistan

The editorial ‘Pak military purge’ brings to the fore the pre-election unrest in India’s neighbourhood. Pakistan’s General Election is significant for South Asia. A multi-pronged strategy is being adopted by various stakeholders to achieve their political ends. The elections are an opportunity for the people of Pakistan to show the world that democratic values are still alive in their country.

Jagvinder Singh Brar, Patiala

Sharif govt on the defensive

It is shocking to learn that the Pakistan army has sacked three officers, including a Lt General, and taken disciplinary action against three Major Generals and seven Brigadiers for allegedly failing to discharge their duties when former Prime Minister Imran Khan’s supporters went on the rampage after his arrest last month. Imran has alleged that his party’s workers are being harassed. It seems that some army officers have been helping Imran. This rift within the army has put the government headed by PM Shehbaz Sharif on the defensive.

Subhash C Taneja, Gurugram

Save banks from privatisation

Under the Bank Bachao, Desh Bachao slogan, bank employees will start a campaign against the privatisation of public sector banks. They will stage protests across the country. Once these banks are privatised, the safety of bank deposits will be compromised and it will also lead to squeezing of credit flow to farmers, small businessmen and those belonging to the weaker sections of society. The move will hit the public hard.

MT Farooqi, Hyderabad

Media freedom a sham

Refer to ‘Unacceptable, says White House after trolls target scribe who put query to Modi’; the trolling of a US journalist who put a question to PM Modi during the joint press conference with US President Joe Biden should not be a surprise to those who stand for the freedom of the Fourth Estate, widely recognised as an essential pillar of democracy. In India, the powers that be claim that they are committed to media freedom, but those who have dared to call a spade a spade have not been spared. As a result, India’s ranking on the World Index of Press Freedom is rather low.

Prem Dahiya, Rohtak

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

Commodification of education Other

Jun 28, 2023

Refer to 'Science, humanities and market forces'; the writer has rightly expressed concern regarding the commodification of education and the stepmotherly attitude of engineering/medical colleges towards humanities. Treating students as mere products that have a market value in terms of the salary packages offered is utterly disgraceful. Such an attitude undermines the very purpose of learning. At a time when more and more students are showing keen interest in studying arts and social sciences, it would be unfair on the parents' part to force them into the much-hyped and lucrative engineering/medical courses. Let us not divorce science from humanities for the sake of market interests if we truly wish to foster critical thinking, acquisition of knowledge and holistic development among the youth.


Teaching shops running riot

Apropos of ‘Science, humanities and the market forces’; gone are the days when education and healthcare were regarded as noble professions. Today, every sector of the economy, including education, has become commercialised. In this highly competitive world, profiteering has become the main motive. Teaching shops’ advertisements are aimed at luring gullible students. They promise greener pastures and charge exorbitant fees. Captivated by these market-driven advertisements, parents spend their life savings on their children’s education. Commercialisation of education is certainly a cause for concern and not good for the future of our youth, society and the nation.


Restore normalcy in Manipur

After holding a high-level meeting, Union Home Minister Amit Shah has assured various political parties that the Union government is committed to ending violence in Manipur. However, the Centre needs to do much more to restore the rule of law and start the reconciliation process so that normalcy returns to the north-eastern state as early as possible.

Mohd Ismayeel, Mumbai

End free-for-all

Apropos of ‘Visa fraud’; in Canada and other western countries, a property dealer/adviser or even a barber/cobbler has to obtain a licence from the government to ply his trade. This certifies the professional and financial worthiness of the licensee. In our country, everything is just the opposite, with exceptions being rare. Even a grocery shop owner can start operations as a property dealer or an immigration/visa adviser with impunity. There are no mandatory regulations for such businesses; thus, young aspirants and their parents end up being exploited. This can be stopped if the government enforces checks and balances and does not allow agents to function without a licence.


Making India drug-free

Realising the vision of a drug-free India requires concerted efforts by the government and civil society. While the task is formidable, the Modi government’s commitment to root out this menace is a step in the right direction. By implementing stringent laws, raising awareness, providing rehabilitation, strengthening law enforcement and fostering international cooperation, India can create an environment conducive to the eradication of drug abuse. Let’s unite as a nation for a drug-free India, which is not just a slogan but a shared responsibility.

Mahi Khandelwal, Ujjain

Wagner mutiny

Apropos of ‘Wagner uprising’ and ‘Chinks in the Russian armour’, the tremors caused by the mutiny led by Yevgeny Prigozhin, a military oligarch and head of the Wagner Group, have exposed Russian frailties and undermined the supremacy of President Putin. Though a compromise between Prigozhin and Putin has been struck with the mediation of Belarus, the developments have put Russia on the defensive. Prigozhin was unhappy with the Defence Minister and the Chief of the General Staff for not providing adequate supplies and ammunition to the Wagner troops during the Battle of Bakhmut.

Roshan Lal Goel, Ladwa

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

Congress strikes discordant note Other

Jun 27, 2023

Refer to ‘Towards a united front’; the meeting in Patna is a step towards building a strong Opposition, which is vital for democracy. A united front is needed to challenge the BJP, which has all the resources and tricks of the trade at its disposal. However, the Congress, which does not tire of calling the BJP government’s decisions unconstitutional, has struck a discordant note by not supporting AAP on the Centre’s ordinance. Do Congress leaders consider the ordinance, which seeks to snatch powers of the duly elected Delhi government by nullifying the decision of a Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court, constitutional and as per the spirit of federalism?

HL Sharma, Amritsar

Democratic alternative

Refer to the editorial, ‘Towards a united front’, the unity efforts of Opposition parties for the Lok Sabha elections have sent a strong message to the BJP. There are ideological differences and leadership issues to be resolved, but the initiative has raised hopes of a democratic alternative for the voters. Amendments to the Constitution and passage of ordinances without any debate have undermined democracy. Autocratic political decisions may put the nation’s integrity in danger.

Wg Cdr JS Minhas (retd), Mohali

MSP remains elusive

Reference to ‘Govt moong purchase slides by 77% in Punjab’, farmers are compelled to sell their produce to private traders as inadequate infrastructure at mandis has resulted in lesser purchase by government agencies. Stringent quality norms also impede purchase at the MSP. Under these circumstances, farmers are left high and dry. They are keen on crop diversification, but they need government support and guidance, besides access to quality seeds, fertilisers and chemicals. A policy to compensate farmers for losses suffered during natural calamities is a must. All this will help achieve the desired results.

Darshan Singh Bhathal, Nangal

Onus on govt to bail out farmers

Refer to ‘Govt moong purchase slides by 77% in Punjab’, this is disheartening news for farmers who have followed the state government’s guidelines for crop diversification and groundwater conservation. The government must purchase the entire produce at the MSP without any precondition. Otherwise, the farmers will feel let down. This will widen the trust deficit as the farmers are already sceptical of the government's strategy to reform the agriculture sector in the state.

Jagdish Chander, Jalandhar

A tragedy in the making

It is shocking that the construction of high-rise buildings goes on unabated in McLeodganj, Himachal Pradesh. Though geologists have repeatedly expressed concern regarding the issue, the authorities seem to be in deep slumber. What is even more surprising is that despite the increase in the area under the local body as well as the population of the town, the government has not sanctioned additional posts in the Municipal Corporation. The MC is unaware of the number of buildings which have violated bylaws in McLeodganj as no survey has been conducted in this regard. The situation is precarious as Dharamsala falls in seismic zone V, which is the highest-risk zone as per the earthquake hazard zoning map of India. There is a dire need to curb unauthorised construction in the fragile hills. The authorities concerned must act sternly against the offenders.

Bir Devinder Singh Bedi, Sangrur

Key takeaway from Modi’s US visit

Apropos of ‘Giant leap of faith in India-US ties’ (Nous Indica), PM Modi’s state visit to the US has offered an opportunity to take stock of a partnership that is in between a transactional relationship and an alliance, and that has arguably never been stronger. A strategic partnership is one with high levels of defence collaboration and intelligence-sharing, multifaceted dimensions of cooperation, broad-based political support and stability. During Modi’s visit, defence technology transfer and military-to-military cooperation deals were inked. This will prove to be a major foreign policy success story for both India and the US.

SK PANESAR, 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

Equal partnership a must Other

Jun 26, 2023

Refer to ‘Giant leap of faith in India-US ties’(Nous Indica); the author has examined the India-US relationship vis-à-vis PM Modi’s state visit to the US. Rather than going overboard on the India-US defence partnership and transfer of technology, India needs to understand that at heart, the US is a ‘businessman’ and will never strike a bad bargain. In 2005, the India-US civil nuclear deal opened the floodgates for US companies to make huge profits; India got little in return. Instead of kowtowing to the US, India must insist on equality in all areas of the partnership, while keeping cordiality with its all-time friend Russia intact.

CS Mann, Una

India-US ties

Refer to ‘Giant leap of faith in India-US ties’; this is not a new-found love between the two countries. The roots of the Indo-American ties are deep. Political and economic exigencies of the present times have only helped cement the ties because the democratic aspirations of both nations hold the key to a peaceful and prosperous world. Some irritants cannot undermine the deep-rooted trust in India-America relations.

DV Sharma, Mukerian

US not a reliable ally

Big Tech companies of the US have reaped huge profits by dominating the Indian digital business spectrum, and various American companies have exploited the vast Indian market to the hilt (Nous Indica). Besides, the US had stood by Pakistan during the 1971 war, and has always been critical of India over ‘atrocities’ against minorities. With such a backdrop, one wonders how PM Modi’s visit has been a game-changer. We should always remember that Americans do nothing that doesn’t further their national interests. It is a partnership between two unequal powers. The US has never been a reliable friend in the past and only time will tell whether it will be so in future.

Roshan Lal Goel, Ladwa

Will enhance job opportunities

Refer to ‘Chip deal’; US chipmaker Micron Technology has announced to invest $825 million in Gujarat to set up a semiconductor assembly and test facility. This investment will play a key role in making India a semiconductor hub. It will speed up the testing of indigenously manufactured silicon products. It will also enhance employment opportunities in the semiconductor industry. It will strengthen relations between the US and India. While the two countries have had strained relations at times, they have gradually moved towards becoming close partners. With this deal, India’s dependency on China for silicon products will be reduced. The decision will also encourage investments from other countries.

Asha Rani, Yamunanagar

Rape cases increasing

Refer to ‘Man arrested for raping teenager’; it is unfortunate that a rape case is reported every other day in our country. Urgent and effective action is required to ensure justice to the victims and curb crimes against women. Sexual violence is a cause for concern. India continues to face challenges in effectively tackling such crimes even over 75 years after Independence. The 2012 Delhi rape-murder jolted India, forcing the government to take stringent steps. However, lax law enforcement, shoddy investigation and tardy trial are the major stumbling blocks.

Raj Kumar Kapoor, Ropar

Dams are the nation’s pride

Apropos of ‘Homage to our dams, the modern temples’; dams play a significant role in a country’s all-round progress, providing various benefits that contribute to economic, social and environmental development. The vision and leadership of our first PM, Jawaharlal Nehru, played a significant role in the development of major dams in the country, including the Bhakra Dam. He recognised the importance of harnessing water resources for agricultural development and the overall progress of India. India definitely needs more such modern ‘temples’ to rein in floodwaters and harness natural resources for people’s benefit. These dams are India’s pride.

Ravi Sharma, Dhariwal

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

PM Modi in US Other

Jun 24, 2023

Prime Minister Modi’s visit to the US holds great significance as it marks an important diplomatic engagement between India and America. The visit also provided an opportunity to engage with the Indian diaspora in the US. The Indian-American community has made significant contributions to various sectors and has been a bridge between the two nations. The visit served as a platform to connect with the community, acknowledge its achievements, and recognise its role in strengthening the relationship between the two nations. Overall, the visit is expected to pave the way for enhanced collaboration and cooperation in various fields, benefitting both India and the US in the long run.

Hamza Qasmi, Mumbai

Manipur violence

Refer to ‘Manipur deadlock’; the state government, even with the Centre’s help, has been unable to quell the violence or find a solution to the Manipur crisis. The Union Ministry of Home Affairs calling for an all-party meeting on Manipur may help break the deadlock. The Kuki-Zomi movement for separate administration is a long-standing struggle. To end the continuing violence in Manipur and deepening ethnic schisms, it calls for all parties to rise above partisan interests and work together to rebuild trust among the warring communities. The all-party meeting may persuade the estranged ethnic groups to talk and find a solution to the problem.

MS Khokhar, by mail

UN must intervene

Refer to ‘China’s petty tactics’; it is not at all shocking to see China blocking yet another proposal to designate Sajid Mir as a global terrorist at the UN, because Mir is the fifth terrorist to be protected by China. All those big talks against terrorism at international forums are just an eyewash and nothing else. Indeed, it is about time for the United Nations to sit and do course correction about its way of working. China’s petty politics is on full display and the UN will have to show much-needed political will to handle such issues.

Bal Govind, Noida

Commercialisation of cricket

Refer to ‘Balance to retain dignity of cricket & players needed’; by offering themselves for auction, the cricketers have brought shame to themselves and the game. The practice has lowered the dignity of cricket. The worth of a cricket player today is not known by how many runs he makes or how many wickets he takes, but by how much money he fetches in the auction. It is strange that this shameful spectacle is going unchecked. Cricket has become a highly commercialised sport, with the growth of franchise-based leagues like the IPL. All cricket lovers should come forward to protest this nefarious practice and even threaten to boycott the game if sale/purchase of cricketers is not stopped.

Wg Cdr CL SEHGAL (Retd), Jalandhar

Shopian case

Refer to ‘Two J&K doctors sacked over false autopsy report’; it is saddening to see how doctors, who hold an important position in society and play a significant role in healthcare, misused their position to create panic and unrest in the Valley. Their vested interests kept the security and investigating agencies on tenterhooks for years, leading to loss of time and money. In this era, where there are so many techniques to verify the truth, how were they so confident that their vicious act would not be exposed? They have brought shame to a noble profession.

Gian P Kansal, Ambala

Shimla’s woes

Apropos of ‘Shimla in danger’; rapid urbanisation, tourism and migration from rural areas have contributed to the strain on the city’s infrastructure and resources. Shimla was already facing parking woes due to haphazard construction, and this decision would further aggravate the problem. The number of cars has increased manifold, but the parking space hasn’t increased. The town faces an acute water shortage every summer. The local municipal authorities lack the necessary infrastructure to effectively respond to incidents such as fires, landslides and other emergencies. Illegal constructions have gobbled up vast stretches of lush green belts.

Ramesh Gupta, Narwana

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

Manipur chaos

Jun 23, 2023

Refer to ‘The Centre’s intriguing silence on burning issue’; religious divide and bias towards excesses committed by a majority community have put Manipur on the boil. Curtailing land rights of a tribal community has further worsened the situation. Besides, the authorities’ silence on such a serious issue has led to a free-for-all situation in the state. A Central minister and a retired Army officer from the state have marked the seriousness of the situation. But nothing has been done till date even after a lapse of two months. People seek development, education facilities, health infrastructure and employment from the government, and not riots. The status of being a world power or ‘Vishwa Guru’ cannot be achieved with such an internal situation.

Wg Cdr JS Minhas (retd), mohali

Restore OPS

Refer to ‘Under NPS, pension up to 45% of last salary likely’; in view of the impending elections in some states and the 2024 General Election, the government seems to have come out with this offer. However, there is no comparison between the National Pension System (NPS) and the Old Pension Scheme (OPS). The latter is better than the former or any other scheme. The Central government employees want the government to switch to OPS at the earliest. The OPS offers fixed pension to employees after retirement, while NPS is an investment-cum-pension scheme. NPS contributions are invested in securities. Thus, it does not guarantee fixed pensions, but provides high returns in the long term.

Roop Singh Negi, solan

Yoga Day at UN

Led by PM Modi, the International Day of Yoga celebrations at the UN Headquarters in New York sent a message of peace around the world. The day reminded the world of India’s traditional values of non-violence and tolerance, despite its immense diversity. In his first speech at the UN General Assembly in 2014, PM Modi highlighted the significance of yoga and referred to it as a ‘gift to humankind’. The promotion of yoga has been one of the significant achievements of the Modi government, especially in terms of bringing attention to India’s cultural heritage.

Sheikh Shabir Kulgami, kashmir

Reverse unwise decision

Refer to ‘Shimla in danger’; why can’t humans respect Mother Nature as much as they respect their own mother? It’s disheartening to learn that the Himachal Government has given the green light to construction in Shimla’s 17 green belts. The ‘Queen of Hills’ is already plagued by water scarcity, traffic chaos and haphazard construction. This unwise decision would strip Shimla of its precious deodar cover. The entire ecosystem, including biodiversity, has been under significant stress for a long time. Human activities such as deforestation, habitat destruction, pollution, and climate change have put immense pressure on natural systems. Policymakers are requested to reverse their unwarranted decision at the earliest.

Upant Sharma, una

Revive the lost glory of Shimla

Refer to ‘Shimla in danger’; a few years ago, Shimla used to be a popular summer destination for its natural beauty, pleasant weather and lush green surroundings. However, in recent years, the town has experienced rapid and haphazard expansion that has impacted its appeal. Trees, which were the main attraction, are being felled indiscriminately. Effective planning and governance are essential to revive and maintain the lost glory of Shimla. The government has a crucial role to play in ensuring sustainable development, preserving natural resources, and maintaining the beauty and charm of the region. It would be prudent to go for construction, if at all needed, away from the green belts.

Raj Kumar Kapoor, ropar

Enforce new regulation

Refer to ‘Regulating buildings’; haphazard and illegal construction along the Kalka-Shimla National Highway has already caused incalculable damage to the environment and ecology. Unscientific cutting of hills has resulted in frequent landslides, causing further damage to property. Owners of several unauthorised constructions across Himachal are waiting for the retention policy for regularisation of their illegal buildings. It is time the government strictly enforced the regulation and kept the retention policy on hold.

Maheshwer Sharma, by mail

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

These should be cogently written and can be sent by e-mail to: Letters@tribunemail.com

PM Modi’s US visit Other

Jun 22, 2023

Apropos of ‘Modi’s state visit’; the Indian diaspora in the US is one of the largest and most successful immigrant communities in the country. With a population of nearly five million, Indian-Americans have made significant contributions to various fields. Their achievements and integration into the American society have undoubtedly strengthened the bond between the two democracies. The Indian diaspora has also played an active role in promoting people-to-people connections and facilitating exchange programmes between the two nations. After nearly two decades, the bilateral ties have developed a strategic track. China’s assertive behaviour in the Indo-Pacific region has been one of the catalysts for strengthening ties between the US and India.

SK Singh, by mail

Strategic partnership

Prime Minister Modi’s state visit to the US signifies a momentous occasion for strengthening strategic partnerships. The US and India are the world’s largest democracies, and they share a commitment to democratic principles, individual freedoms and the rule of law. This common foundation provides a strong basis for cooperation and collaboration in promoting democratic ideals globally. The PM has transformed India from a third-world country into a global superpower. The economic relationship between the two nations has grown significantly over the years, which would strengthen with this visit.

Ramesh Gupta, Narwana

Biden’s clout diminishing

Washington has rolled out the red carpet for PM Modi as President Joe Biden, whose clout is shrinking, wants to use India against China. The Indo-Pacific is where the US possibly needs India’s influence more than anywhere else. The US has long viewed India as a counterbalance to China’s growing influence in the region. But, India must follow a policy of strategic autonomy, which involves engaging with multiple countries. It should remain equidistant from both; it shouldn’t antagonise China to please the US as the latter is not very reliable.

Bhartendu Sood, Chandigarh

Mitigating landslides

Refer to ‘Regulating buildings’; the Himachal government’s decision to regulate construction of buildings along four-lane highways is definitely a good step and will hopefully go a long way in mitigating the perennial problem of landslides. Illegal constructions lead to erosion of soil in already-fragile hills, making areas more prone to landslides. The problem of landsides is not exclusive to HP and states with hilly terrains may emulate this policy. This right step would definitely put a break on road accidents, caused by landslides.

Ravi Sharma, Dhariwal

No more a hill station

Refer to ‘Shimla’s lungs to give way to concrete’; now it is inappropriate to call Shimla a popular hill station. Shimla is situated in a mountainous region. Mountainous areas cannot bear the weight of population and any kind of infrastructure beyond their capacity. As many as 1.51 crore tourists visited Shimla in 2022. Instead of increasing infrastructure in Shimla to promote tourism, the government should fix tourist inflow and improve existing amenities. If the government has given nod to construction in 17 green belts, suitable compensating measures, such as massive afforestation, are required to restore the ecology and environment of Shimla.

O Prasada Rao, by mail

Follow the path of spirituality

Apropos of ‘Spiritual wellness is important for holistic health’; indeed, there is a direct correlation between good and noble traits and physical and mental wellbeing of a human being. Qualities like punctuality, politeness, patience, charity and forgiveness have a direct bearing on the wellness of body and mind. Unfortunately, till date no empirical study has been done on the correlation between a healthy body and uprightness of any individual or a group. Even the best indexing international services have no reference on this subject. At a time when stress, anxiety and depression have become common in Indian households, and hypertension/diabetes seem to be part of normal life, the mantra of ‘spirituality’ can do wonders towards a disease-free and healthy society.

VK Anand, Chandigarh

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

These should be cogently written and can be sent by e-mail to: Letters@tribunemail.com

Wake-up call for UP govt Other

Jun 21, 2023

Refer to ‘UP hospital deaths’; what is shocking is the fact that people died even before getting the much-needed medical attention at the hospital. It means that after admission, they did not receive proper care and attention either due to lack of doctors or sheer negligence. While the UP government is making all efforts to improve the law and order situation in the state, it hasn’t done much to upgrade the health infrastructure. The Ballia incident should act as a wake-up call for the Yogi government.

Bal Govind, Noida

Prohibit discrimination

People dying in hospitals for want of treatment is not new to UP. Poor people often face significant challenges when seeking admission to hospitals. Medical professionals should provide unbiased and equal treatment to all patients, regardless of their social class or status. Every individual deserves to receive appropriate medical care and attention. Governments must invest in expanding healthcare infrastructure, particularly in underserved areas where access to hospitals and clinics may be limited. Every state should have laws that prohibit discrimination in healthcare based on social class or status. Had the doctor provided timely and appropriate medical care, several patients could have been saved. Besides, equipment in hospitals is either outdated or not maintained properly.

Suber Singh Parihar, Nadaun

Strategic partnership with US

Refer to ‘Eyeing stronger defence ties India, US to lay roadmap for co-production, trade’; PM Modi during his visit to the US is expected to take the ties between New Delhi and Washington to a new high. Besides other engagements, he will address a joint session of the US Congress. During his earlier address to the US Congress seven years ago, Modi had underlined his commitment to building a solid strategic partnership with the US, which is expected to be reinforced with this visit. The US and India have been working towards strengthening their defence ties in recent years. Both countries have recognised the potential benefits of closer cooperation in defence and security matters.

Lajwant Singh, by mail

Need a strong ally

Apropos of ‘Learn from way Pak, China handled US’; India is in dire need of a strong and reliable ally to thwart strategically ill-intentioned neighbours, who desperately want to stall our development. India and the US are natural and politically balanced partners. India has a significant diaspora in the US, which forms an important bridge between the two countries. The Indian diaspora contributes to economic ties, cultural exchanges and people-to-people connections. Recent aggressive initiatives in defence, trade and transfer of technology from the US will help us become self-reliant.

BM Singh, Amritsar

Bengal famine

Refer to ‘80 years of the Bengal famine’ (Spectrum); kudos to The Tribune for highlighting the true facts of the 1943 Bengal famine, which happened due to the British government’s policy failures. Policy lapses such as stopping rice imports and not declaring Bengal famine-hit were among the factors that led to the tragedy of such magnitude. It should be an eye-opener to short-sighted promoters of the ongoing unwise campaign ‘Dhaan Chhode Kisan’ in Haryana and other parts of India. Rice cultivation plays a vital role in ensuring food security in India and providing economic security to farmers. There is a consistent market demand for rice, both domestically and internationally.

Virender Singh Lather, Karnal

NSA’s claim unfounded

National Security Adviser Ajit Doval has claimed that India would not have been partitioned if Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose were alive then. Doval should know that the Partition was the brainchild of Savarkar-Jinnah collusion, more popularly known as the Hindu Mahasabha and Muslim League alliance. The concept of two nations, first proposed by the then president of the Hindu Mahasabha, Savarkar, was passed as a resolution of the Mahasabha in 1937. Three years later, the All-India Muslim League, led by Jinnah, adopted the concept in its Lahore session. This took place many years before Netaji passed away. The NSA holds a significant and crucial role in a country’s government. He should study history before making any statement.

HK Isha’ati, Mumbai

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Manipur mayhem Other

Jun 20, 2023

Refer to ‘Manipur remains tense’; the grave situation in Manipur continues to haunt the communal peace in the state. Since May 3, when ethnic clashes first erupted in the north-eastern state, over 100 people have died, many have been injured and some 60,000 have had to flee their homes. However, the Central government is silent on the issue. The mayhem caused and the total breakdown of the law and order is concerning. Mishandling of the situation by the BJP-led state and Central governments has cost people their lives. The authorities must resolve the situation; ignoring it is no solution.

Arshnoor, mohali

Offer attractive remuneration

Refer to ‘Rural healthcare’; the National Medical Commission’s initiative to make ‘family adoption programme’ a part of MBBS training curriculum is praiseworthy. Under this, medical students will be exposed to the social and emotional aspects of adoption, helping them develop a more holistic approach to healthcare. This exposure can foster empathy and understanding towards the unique needs and challenges faced by rural populace. The effectiveness and success of such a programme would depend on its implementation. However, curative healthcare will not be possible without strengthening the primary healthcare facilities. Offering competitive and attractive remuneration packages is essential to motivate young doctors to work in rural areas.

Vitull K Gupta, by mail

Constructive initiative

The constructive initiative taken by the NMC may go a long way in understanding the health issues faced by the rural population. This will also help improve healthcare services in rural regions. Providing incentives, support and opportunities for professional growth can motivate doctors to voluntarily choose rural practice. Coercive measures may lead to dissatisfaction and limited effectiveness in the long run. By placing medical students in rural dispensaries and primary health centres, they gain first-hand practical experience in providing healthcare in rural settings. Besides, adoption of rural families should not become only an attendance for availing MBBS degree.

Wg Cdr JS Minhas (retd), mohali

Technology is imperative

Refer to ‘Technology spurring growth in India-US ties’; sharing of technology is imperative for India’s growth. This aspect will occupy an important place in our relations with the US and PM Modi should accord priority to full technology transfer during his visit. Ifs and buts in the agreements need to be avoided. Close cooperation and coordination with the US is in the interest of both nations. Mutual support will be useful in many spheres, including Indo-Pacific region.

Subhash Vaid, new delhi

Avoid over-automation

Refer to ‘Eyeing automated firing against enemy missiles, IAF to integrate all radars’; after automation, will there be no need to have professional manpower? Will it be rendered surplus? Will robots replace men? Will the just-introduced weapon systems branch also become irrelevant? If the professional manpower remains out of touch, will it be able to step in if a technical glitch occurs in the automated system? Or should manpower also remain active along with automation? Won’t it be duplication of work? How do we propose to meet exigencies then? Many questions arise. The IAF must have thought of all that. But it is better to be forewarned. The old belief that lays stress on the importance of man behind the machine cannot be overlooked. Let us have a judicious mix of both. Automation is necessary, but avoid over-automation.

Wg cdr cl sehgal (retd), jalandhar

Make fruits part of diet

Apropos of ‘A fruitful lifestyle makes a difference’; fruits are a wonderful gift from nature, offering a variety of health benefits and essential nutrients. They are rich in vitamins, minerals, fibre and antioxidants, making them an important component of a healthy diet. It is important to include a variety of fruits in your diet to benefit from their unique nutritional profiles. Consuming a colourful array of fruits ensures a diverse range of nutrients. Regular fruit consumption has been associated with a lower risk of chronic diseases, including heart disease, certain cancers and neurodegenerative disorders. Therefore, there is an urgent need to make fruits an indispensable part of one’s diet.

Ravi Sharma, Dhariwal

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Vande Bharat’s journey Other

Jun 19, 2023

Refer to ‘Vande Bharat’s rollercoaster ride’ (Nous Indica); the article brings to light the apathy of people occupying public offices. A promising project can be sabotaged at the altar of personal insecurity. If that cannot be done, there are other ways of crushing the dreamer and the creator. Finally, all that matters is who gets to stick the proverbial feather in the cap. Behind the dazzling flashbulbs and flower showers, the harassed worker wipes sweat from his brow and recedes into the darkness. A common citizen is left to wonder how much is being lost when a lot is possible.

Mridula Sharma, Panchkula

Give credit to deserving people

Apropos of ‘Vande Bharat’s rollercoaster ride’; sycophancy, intrigue, evading responsibility and taking undeserved credit for an achievement are very common not just in the Railways but in all government-run departments. What else can be expected from government services which are highly politicised and where there is reservation in matters of recruitments and promotions? In such circumstances, if a success story like Vande Bharat is scripted, it is highly commendable. Crediting people for their work not only acknowledges their efforts but also motivates them to continue their efforts and strive for greater achievements.

Ashok Bahl, Kangra

Sycophants rule the roost

Refer to ‘Vande Bharat’s rollercoaster ride’; this article underscores the bitter truth that manipulators, sycophants and unscrupulous elements rule the roost and even steal credit for other’s work. Vande Bharat’s success story illustrates this sad reality. Sudhanshu Mani and his team conceptualised, designed and built Vande Bharat, but they got embroiled in a conspiracy hatched against them to deny them the fruits of their marvellous feat. What a cruel turn of events that those who designed and manufactured this wonderful train are nowhere in the picture!

Roshan Lal Goel, Ladwa

Hope for justice

Refer to ‘Holes in chargesheet’; even though the minor has withdrawn her sexual harassment allegations against WFI chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, there’s still hope for justice for the protesting wrestlers. If the minor’s original statement had been included in the chargesheet, the WFI chief’s arrest would have been certain. It can be safely assumed that the minor’s family has been pressured to change the original statement to help the BJP MP. Now that the needle has finally moved on the case, the legal process must be insulated from political pressure. Kudos to our wrestlers who have shown that they will not give up or back down under pressure.

MS Khokhar, by mail

Manipur in turmoil

Refer to ‘Save Manipur’; Manipur is burning for the past one and a half months and PM Modi is silent. Most of the media channels are also not reporting the real picture. The other day, a mob of 50 persons set afire the house of Union Minister RK Ranjan Singh. Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s recent visit also couldn’t defuse the situation. The ‘double-engine sarkar’ has failed the people of Manipur and they are left to fend for themselves.

Bhupinder Kochhar, Panchkula

Give free hand to scientists

Researchers at the University of Cambridge and California Institute of Technology deserve appreciation for developing the first synthetic human embryo model from embryonic stem cells. Scientific advancements and the capabilities of laboratories have reached remarkable levels. It’s a huge leap by the scientific research community and it needs to be praised and supported by one and all. The questions about its legal and ethical aspects indeed cannot be ignored, but science should be given a free hand so that it empowers researchers to push the boundaries of knowledge and make a significant contribution to society.

Pardeep Kumar Joshi, by mail

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Weak chargesheet Other

Jun 17, 2023

Refer to ‘Holes in chargesheet’; the Delhi Police have deliberately filed such a chargesheet that would save WFI chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh from immediate arrest, which has been the wrestlers’ main demand. They made the case so weak that the BJP MP may even go scot-free. First of all, why didn’t the police arrest the accused after the registration of the FIRs, as is done in other cases? Now, the police will not resolve the case and keep dilly-dallying till the 2024 General Election. The complainants may not get justice, unless the top court takes cognisance of the whole episode and completes the trial on priority.

Wg Cdr JS Minhas (retd), Mohali

Police going soft on accused

It is now amply clear that the Delhi Police have been going soft on the accused and harsh on the aggrieved complainants. An offence falling under Section 10 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act is non-bailable. However, the police didn’t arrest the accused earlier and now they have recommended withdrawal of charges under the Act. Meanwhile, the wrestlers, who were protesting to seek justice, were unjustifiably booked for rioting. Now, the question is whether the statement of the minor before a magistrate under Section 164 of the CrPC can be changed, and will it be investigated whether the minor’s statement was changed under duress?

HL Sharma, amritsar

Curb honour killings

Refer to ‘House of Chamba murder accused set ablaze’; an increase in the frequency of honour killings is worrisome; it is a threat to social peace and harmony. Extensive efforts must be made to arrest the trend of honour killings and attacks on women by jilted lovers. The authorities must strengthen the legal framework and ensure that laws are in place to protect individuals from such attacks. Elders and prominent citizens, with the help of NGOs and the local administration, should find an amicable solution to the problem so that innocent lives are not lost. Necessary reforms should be undertaken and implemented on priority.

Subhash Vaid, new Delhi

No operational freedom

Refer to ‘When a CM kept an officer waiting’; the article has exposed the nexus between politicians and gangsters. The biggest issue plaguing the police force is political interference. Political affiliations play a large role in departmental inquiries and penal proceedings against officials. Nowadays, politicians are influencing the way in which performance appraisals and awards are given to officers. The police officers yield to the wishes of their political masters, fearing a ‘punishment’ posting if they show intransigence. When most of the colleagues are seen to be toeing the line of the corrupt and dishonest bosses, one or two swallows don’t make a summer.

Chaman Arora, Ferozepur City

Promote brotherhood

Refer to ‘Punjab needs an initiative for reconciliation’; whatever happened in 1984 can never be forgotten by any Punjabi. Countless families had suffered during that time and their wounds are still fresh. Truly, we need something like the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of South Africa, which was set up to look into human rights violations during the apartheid years. It was successful in South Africa because of a strong political will, which is missing in India. Even the two World Wars ended in treaties on the negotiating table. So, there is a dire need for dialogue to end hatred and promote brotherhood.

Bir Devinder Singh Bedi, Sangrur

Uniform Civil Code a must

The Law Commission’s notice inviting public feedback on the Uniform Civil Code (UCC) is a step in the right direction. There is fear among the minorities that the UCC will overlook their interests, but their apprehensions are unfounded. The UCC will not interfere in anyone’s religious beliefs. It is a step to promote unity among communities to build a strong and united India. The UCC will in no way impinge upon the citizens’ right to freedom of expression, enshrined in the Constitution.

Anil Vinayak, Amritsar

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Wrestlers’ case

Jun 16, 2023

Apropos of ‘SC should’ve monitored probe into wrestlers’ case, says former judge’; the apex court, which is considered to be the custodian of justice, should have monitored the case after FIRs were registered against Brij Bhushan by the Delhi Police. The wrestlers, including a minor, had made allegations of sexual harassment against the WFI chief. In such a case, the accused should have been arrested immediately and an investigation conducted promptly. The government and its ministers should have had no role in the matter.

Jagdish Chander, Jalandhar

Shoddy investigation

Refer to ‘Best Bakery case’; the outcome of a criminal case and whether an accused will be convicted or acquitted depends significantly on the diligence of the investigation team and the impartiality of the prosecution. A judge’s role is to assess the evidential material presented before him or her by the prosecution and make a decision based on the facts and the law. In both the 1984 anti-Sikh riots and 2002 post-Godhra riots, most of the accused were exonerated in the lower court or high court because of shoddy investigations conducted by the police, perhaps to please their political masters whose sympathy in both cases lay with the accused. The police and the prosecution need to be sternly dealt with if they are found wanting in discharging their responsibility to bring the guilty to book.

Roshan Lal Goel, ladwa

Hold dialogue with farmers

Refer to ‘Fair price promised’; it’s good that the government finally realised that farmers’ demand for MSP of Rs 6,400 per quintal for sunflower seeds was genuine and, thus, accepted it. Had the government approached the issue with the right attitude earlier, all stakeholders — farmers, public and government officials — would have been saved from the inconvenience of protests. In future, the government must take proactive steps to initiate dialogue with farmers. Frequent protests and blocking of highways is not in anybody’s interest. Governments need to ensure that farmers get fair price for their produce.

Ravi Sharma, Dhariwal

Address underlying issues

Apropos of ‘Fair price promised’; farmers frequently resort to protests when they feel that their grievances are not being addressed. The growing agrarian distress and the hollowness of the proclaimed measures towards this vital but economically vulnerable segment of the Indian populace are all too apparent. Low profitability, vagaries of the weather and exploitation at the hands of middlemen force farmers to take to the streets. Cosmetic changes and tokenism may not work for long. It is crucial for policymakers, agricultural experts and stakeholders to collaborate and engage in a meaningful dialogue with farmers to better understand their challenges and develop appropriate solutions.

Gp Capt JS Boparai (Retd), Bhadsali

Pakistan in the doldrums

Apropos of ‘No let-up in Pakistan’s fiscal woes’; Pakistan has been in the doldrums ever since its birth. Pakistan today presents the picture of a nation at war with itself. Over the years, institutions have been destroyed by successive rulers to such an extent that achieving power has little to do with governing effectively. This breakdown began early in Pakistan’s brief history, and has now virtually paralysed the entire system. Had Jinnah lived a few more years after Independence, Pakistan would have had a stable democracy like that of Turkey, which too is a Muslim-majority nation. Pakistan is in dire straits politically and economically because of wrong policies.

BM Singh, Amritsar

Senior citizens’ abuse

Refer to ‘28% of Chandigarh’s older women face physical abuse: Study’; the abuse of senior citizens is gravely concerning and reflects poorly on society and the government’s ability to protect its vulnerable population. Given the projected increase in the number of older individuals in the future, urgent attention is required to address this issue. One effective approach could be reducing their financial dependence by providing pension schemes and tailored employment opportunities. Besides, establishing specialised and free care facilities that address their physical and mental needs is the need of the hour.

K Kumar, Panchkula

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Take criticism positively Other

Jun 15, 2023

Refer to ‘Twitter faced shutdown threat, says ex-CEO’; former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey disclosed that the Indian government had pressured the social media giant to restrict accounts of farmer leaders, activists and journalists criticising the government during the farmers’ agitation. It is disheartening to observe that the Centre is afraid of criticism and threatens companies and individuals who condemn the government. The powers that be should know that criticism strengthens, not weakens, democracy. The government should take criticism in a positive spirit.

HK Isha’ati, Mumbai

Dorsey’s allegation frivolous

Why didn’t former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey speak out when the government allegedly threatened to shut the platform down if it didn’t comply with the Centre’s diktats? He was audacious enough to ridicule democracy and freedom of expression in India. To ensure compliance with the law cannot be called coercion. Freedom of expression is not absolute as per Article 19(2) of the Constitution. It is certainly not a coincidence that Dorsey came out with outlandish charges at a time when the PM is about to embark on a state visit to the US. Dorsey may pose as a victim of government oppression, but he has little credibility.

Sunil Kumar Bedi, Chamba

Protect personal information

Apropos of ‘Data protection’; in a major ‘data breach’, information of hundreds of thousands of Indians who received the Covid vaccine was leaked on a Telegram channel. This is undoubtedly a serious matter as the CoWIN portal was used by most of the beneficiaries of the Covid vaccination programme. Although the government has denied any breach, questions are being raised about the safety of information that citizens share with the government. Transparency and accountability can only be achieved if data guardians, especially the government, fulfil their responsibility towards citizens. The first crucial step in achieving this is to conduct a thorough probe, followed by coming up with an action plan to ensure data security.

Sanjay Chopra, Mohali

China’s mediation

Refer to ‘Peacemaker China’; a recent survey revealed that the majority of the Palestinians view China and not the US as a potentially effective mediator for their peace talks with Israel. A few months ago, Iran and Saudi Arabia surprised the world by agreeing to resume diplomatic relations. The deal was mediated by China. The thaw in Saudi-Iranian ties has impacted the Gulf region and beyond. The power of China’s mediation will be proved beyond doubt if it is able to bring about a swift and peaceful resolution to the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

Gregory Fernandes, Mumbai

Farmers’ protest

It is unfortunate that farmers often have to resort to protests and demonstrations, including taking to the streets, to draw the government’s attention to their grievances and to demand fair treatment, especially during the crop procurement season. Haryana is an agricultural state. The government makes announcements on MSPs and procurement plans by state agencies, but it appears that these are not implemented, which is why farmers resort to protests. It seems that there is a communication gap between the departments/ministries concerned and the state leadership. Farmers deserve better deals to ensure the profitability and respectability of the agricultural profession.

Ravi Bhushan, Kurukshetra

Long power cuts

The AAP government has miserably failed on all fronts, including good governance, uninterrupted power supply and good roads. The state has been witnessing long power cuts. Power cuts during the night trouble poor labourers who need a good night’s sleep after working hard throughout the day. Lack of access to electricity disrupts their daily lives and affects their well-being. Considering the shutdowns, the ruling party has merely befooled the people by not charging them for a few hundred units of electricity every month. The freebie has proved to be a political gimmick. Moreover, it is not economically sustainable.

Col GS Bhullar (retd), Jalandhar Cantt

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

Immigration system at fault Other

Jun 14, 2023

Refer to ‘Respite for students’; the Canadian immigration system is at fault. Canadian embassy officials should have checked the authenticity of the admission offer letters from the universities/colleges concerned before granting visas to students. Astonishingly, the Canadian government initiated action against Indian students, but has not taken to task its own officials. Indians have not only been filling the coffers of Canada, but also fulfilling the latter’s low-cost labour requirement. Migration to foreign countries has become a status symbol in Punjab. Lack of jobs, poor quality of education and easy availability of loans drive students overseas. The government has not made any roadmap to stop this trend. Punjab is fast losing its youth to this lure of migration.

Wg Cdr JS Minhas (retd), Mohali

Private jobs insecure

Refer to ‘Retaining talent’; it is undoubtedly a matter of concern that IIT and IIM passouts, instead of pursuing their technical profession, chase jobs not related to their courses. It may be due to lack of opportunities in their particular field or insecurity. Private sector jobs are now more insecure with contractual appointments and hire-and-fire provisions. The number of engineering graduates taking the UPSC exams is increasing year by year. Our society glorifies an IAS officer more than a technical professional as power and influence are associated with the bureaucracy. In a way, the UPSC itself lures scientific talent by adding technical subjects to the list of optional ones offered for the civil services examinations.

KR Bharti, Shimla

Kohinoor’s repatriation

Refer to ‘Working on getting Kohinoor back: Govt’; it is highly laudable that the government has not given up its claim on the Kohinoor even though the chances of its repatriation are remote. It adorns the crown of the country’s longest reigning monarch — the late Queen Elizabeth II. Legend has it that the precious stone should only be worn by a woman; to a man who dares wear it, it will only bring bad luck. But it is said that the one who owns the Kohinoor will own the world and, so, for centuries, kings have fought over its possession. Perhaps, UK PM Rishi Sunak can persuade King Charles to return the Kohinoor to its rightful owner.

Gian P Kansal, Ambala

Elect men of letters

Apropos of ‘Beyond facade of new Parliament House’; our new Parliament House should be an epitome of democratic functioning rather than autocratic governance. Let’s hope that only MPs of an impeccable character get elected, not the likes of Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, who has been accused of sexually harassing wrestlers who brought name and fame to the country. All political parties should honour their commitment of not allotting ticket to candidates with criminal antecedents. Let’s hope that the MPs will take part in constructive discussions rather than boycotting Parliament sessions.

Maheshwer Sharma, by mail

Manipur mayhem

Refer to ‘Denial of justice at the core of Manipur mayhem’; violence, which erupted after a court order, has reflected the state’s sharp geographical divide. Ethnic unrest was brewing for some time in Manipur. When a group consistently feels that its rights are being disregarded, grievances not addressed and it is being denied equal treatment, this can engender a sense of exclusion and marginalisation. This alienation can have significant consequences, including violence. The faultlines have become sharper than ever with both communities (Kukis and Meiteis) expressing mistrust, anger and hate against each other.

Roshan Lal Goel, Ladwa

Promote gender equality

Refer to ‘A bicycle for the bridegroom’; it is crucial to continue challenging the perception of dowry and promote gender equality and education and economic empowerment of women. When women are economically independent, they are less likely to be subjected to dowry demands. We must eradicate the practice of dowry and ensure a more equitable and just society. Eliminating this menace requires sustained efforts over time. It involves changing deeply entrenched social norms and attitudes.

Ekta Khosla, Batala

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WFI chief’s confidence Other

Jun 13, 2023

Refer to ‘Unfazed by charges, WFI chief firm on contesting next LS poll’; Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh’s arrogance and confidence, unfortunately, may not be misplaced as he knows that because of his political clout, the BJP and its government at the Centre will shield him in view of the 2024 General Election. Besides his own win, he also predicted a win for the BJP in the Lok Sabha polls. This is in tune with the BJP’s confidence in its winning mantra of divisive politics backed by money/media power and Modi’s charisma. But, if public opinion prevails, which should be the case in a mature democracy, the humiliating treatment meted out to our champion women wrestlers by the rulers of the nation and the state’s inaction against the accused would have a bearing on the outcome of the elections.

Hira Sharma, by mail

Accused moving freely

Ace wrestler Vinesh Phogat has questioned PM Modi’s silence on the allegations of sexual harassment against the WFI chief. The accused is meeting and addressing people, holding rallies, but he is not being arrested, even as wrestlers had complained to the PM about him during a meeting in 2021. If wrestlers who brought laurels to the country are being treated like this, what would be the fate of the common man? Why is the Centre indifferent towards the dignity of women wrestlers? The government should provide justice to the wrestlers without further delay.

Jahangir Ali, Mumbai

Tech giants must pay

Refer to ‘Paying for news’; Big Tech must share revenue with digital news publishers, who majorly depend on income from advertisements. News publishers invest resources in producing quality journalism and should be fairly remunerated for their work. Tech giants use content owned by publishers and directly or indirectly monetise the resulting traffic while the publisher gets little or inadequate share. The transition from the radio to the Internet era has brought about significant advancements in communication and information dissemination, but the digital media lacks the credibility, authenticity and reliability that the print media still enjoys.

Lalit Bharadwaj, Panchkula

Hindus in Pakistan

Apropos of ‘Converted Hindu Pak girl not allowed to go with parents’; a Hindu girl in Pakistan was forcibly converted to Islam and married off to a Muslim man. This is not an isolated case but a common happening in Pakistan. Hindus living there are under perpetual fear of forced conversion to Islam. But are our daughters safe in India? In the recent past, some Hindu girls were lured into marriage, converted to Islam and when they resisted, they were murdered. Most political parties do not come forward to condemn these crimes for fear of losing Muslim votes. Should we keep our daughters locked in our houses? The culprits should be meted out severe punishment so that it acts as a deterrent.

Wg Cdr CL Sehgal (retd), Jalandhar

Need a reliable friend

Apropos of ‘India needs cutting-edge technology to counter China’; in politics, there are no permanent friends or enemies. During Nehru’s era, India was more close to the USSR than the US. In today’s times, no nation can win a war if it depends on arms imports. Relying heavily on arms imports can pose challenges in terms of supply chain vulnerabilities, geopolitical risks and potential disruptions in the event of embargoes or conflicts. Besides, China is nearly five times militarily stronger than us. One needs a committed friend who can stand by one’s side through thick and thin. India and the US are the biggest democracies, whereas autocratic states such as Russia, China and North Korea are a threat to world peace.

BM Singh, Amritsar

Promote physical activity

Refer to ‘Diabetes burden up’; diabetes can lead to various complications and comorbidities. According to an ICMR study, India now has more than 10 crore people living with diabetes. Rapid urbanisation, changes in dietary patterns, lack of physical activity and genetic predisposition are some factors contributing to the rise in diabetes cases. Encouraging regular physical activity, promoting a balanced and nutritious diet and discouraging sedentary behaviour can contribute to diabetes prevention and control. So, stick to the basics and keep diabetes away.

Virender Sharma, Shimla

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Learn from US, Europe Other

Jun 12, 2023

Apropos of ‘Pamper the farmers, make them rich’ (Nous Indica); India, Europe and the US by and large follow the same model of agriculture. And yet, Indian farmers are either dying by suicide or living in distress. Both the US and Europe have implemented various measures to protect and support their farmers. These measures are designed to address challenges faced by farmers and ensure the stability and viability of the agricultural sector. Both provide financial assistance to farmers through subsidies and direct payments. These help stabilise farm incomes, support agricultural production and offset market fluctuations and price volatility.

Sanjay Chopra, Mohali

Middlemen exploit farmers

Farmers are referred to as annadatas (food providers). However, unfortunately, they often face challenges and difficulties when it comes to selling their produce in the market (Nous Indica). They rely on middlemen or intermediaries, who exploit them by offering low prices and unfair deals. Besides, inadequate infrastructure, such as poor transportation and storage facilities, hinders farmers’ ability to access markets and sell their produce at a profit. Recently, Haryana’s farmers were forced to sell sunflower seed to private buyers at rates as low as Rs 4,000 per quintal as the government was not buying their produce at the MSP. Farmers sell their produce for a pittance, even as customers pay exorbitant prices.

Raj Bahadur Yadav, Fatehabad

Legal guarantee to MSP

Refer to ‘Pamper the farmers, make them rich’ (Nous Indica); the need of the hour is to make farmers prosperous by providing legal guarantee of the MSP on farm produce. It’s unfortunate that in order to get remunerative prices for their crops, farmers often have to stage protests and face police wrath. The farmers, who are the backbone of the agricultural sector and contribute significantly to ensuring food security, have to struggle to get a fair price for their produce — which they should get naturally as a matter of right. It is important to recognise and appreciate the vital role that farmers play in society.

Ravi Sharma, Dhariwal

Spread peace, not hate

Refer to ‘Brampton parade’; as if Operation Blue Star and its aftermath were not enough, the politics being played by certain sections of the Indian diaspora, based in Canada and the UK, is regrettable. Every peace-loving person detests such events. Punjabis have moved on and favour peace. However, certain elements based in the West have intentionally kept those memories alive, with the tacit support of their adopted countries. In the name of freedom of expression, western nations allow nefarious activities on their soil. Despite the Indian Government’s clear stand on the issue, these events are allowed to take place. Hate should have no place in any society.

Deepak Taak, Panchkula

Trump indicted again

Refer to ‘Trump indicted for federal crime’; describing his conduct as disgraceful would be an understatement. It is clear that former US President Donald Trump is rapidly going down the hill. Earlier, he was indicted in the hush money case and now it is for mishandling classified documents. More charges would follow. Though he would fight the cases in court, the damage has been done. Now, he would cry foul and play the victim card and his supporters would be on roads to play along. So, the Biden administration must gear up to handle potential chaos in the country.

Bal Govind, Noida

Not a wise decision

Refer to ‘No more non-EV two-wheeler registration from July in Chandigarh’; the decision will hit the common man as electric vehicles are still relatively expensive, and not everyone can afford them. There is a big market for non-electric two-wheelers; a blanket ban is not a viable solution to curb pollution. These vehicles need to be phased out, but there should be ample opportunities for consumers. People connected directly or indirectly to the business will be affected by the move. The authorities should not impose the decision on the people, but encourage them through attractive schemes so that they voluntarily buy electric vehicles.

MPS Chadha, Mohali

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Strengthen institution of marriage Other

Jun 10, 2023

Refer to ‘Man chops, roasts body parts of live-in partner’; this horrific crime reminded us of the Shraddha Walkar case that stunned the country last year. Increasing crime in live-in relationships should serve as a wake-up call for the nation. It is a serious issue that needs to be addressed. Live-in relationships in India do not have the same level of social recognition or societal expectations as traditional marriages. In a marriage, there are often legal and social obligations, as well as the involvement of families and communities. Lack of legal and societal recognition of such relationships can make individuals vulnerable to abuse and violence. The institution of marriage should be strengthened.

Muzakkir Khan, Mumbai

Breakthrough brings hope

Apropos of ‘Wrestlers suspend stir’; protesters suspending their stir is a welcome development after months of logjam between the government and the grapplers. Had the Centre listened to their demands earlier, it could have avoided the painful scenes the nation witnessed on May 28, when Vinesh Phogat, Sakshi Malik and Bajrang Punia were dragged on the streets as they attempted to march to the new Parliament. It is not easy for a woman to demand police action against a powerful man. Now, the Centre must ensure that the law is allowed to take its course so that wrestlers’ faith in the system is restored.

MS Khokhar, by mail

Delay was planned

The aggrieved grapplers called off their four-month-long stir after an assurance from the government. The unwanted and planned delay to bring them to the table for talks was the motive of the people in power. How many people accused of sexual harassment get reprieve of inquiry before arrest in India? The case is being weakened by coercive means to minimise punishment for the accused. Now, it is up to the government to provide justice to humiliated Olympians. The government softened its stance to avert a backlash. Given what is happening with women players today, girls will avoid wrestling as a career. The future of junior players is bleak in India.

Wg Cdr JS Minhas (retd), Mohali

Legal guarantee to MSP

Refer to ‘MSP hike’; the government should have granted legal guarantee to MSP on farm produce. This illogically small hike in the MSP of various kharif crops is as good as giving a banana to an elephant. The government should either address the gap between the MSP and the cost of farm inputs or give incentives to the farmers who are forced to sell their produce much below the MSP. The MSP must be fixed as per the Swaminathan report. Why are owners of sugar mills not arrested when they fail to pay the farmers? The rates of sugar are increased every year, but not of sugarcane. The farmers are becoming poorer despite producing a bumper harvest and traders are becoming richer.

Capt Amar Jeet (Retd), Kharar

Shun freebie culture

Refer to ‘AAP promises free power, quality education’; providing quality education is a good concept, but giving free electricity is not. The trend set by political parties to promise freebies to lure voters is dangerous for the democracy as freebies drain limited resources of state and Central governments and retards various development works. Providing essential resources such as fuel, power and water at concessional rates can be an alternative approach to offering freebies. Short-term freebies can divert attention and resources away from critical long-term challenges such as healthcare that need sustained investment.

Roop Singh Negi, Solan

Enhance prospects

Apropos of ‘Prioritise education to become globally competitive’; a large number of students choose to pursue higher education abroad, and one of the motivations behind this decision is the perception of better opportunities and the possibility of settling abroad. Middle-class families often take huge loans to support their children’s education abroad. Students believe that acquiring an international degree can enhance their career prospects and open doors to global job opportunities, leading to higher salaries and better standards of living. Unfortunately, a lot needs to be done to improve the quality of education in India.

Anthony Henriques, Mumbai

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Wrestlers’ protest Other

Jun 09, 2023

Refer to ‘Wrestlers suspend stir till June 15 as govt sets deadline for chargesheet, WFI poll’; the government has agreed to most of the demands made by the wrestlers. All credit goes to the wrestlers who spoke up about the alleged sexual misconduct and blatant misuse of power by Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh. They raised an issue which is not new to society. Sexual harassment can have a serious and lasting effect on its victims, and it is crucial to create a society that is safe for everyone. ‘Swachh Bharat’ encompasses broader connotations beyond just physical cleanliness. Swachhta is a prerequisite for the development and progress of institutions.

Jagvinder Singh Brar, Patiala

Criminal act

Refer to ‘Dam catastrophe’; the conflict has already seen significant destruction of infrastructure. Acts of violence and destruction escalate tensions. With the Kherson dam’s destruction, the plight of Ukrainian people will only get worse. Unfortunately, both countries are blaming each other as civilians on both sides suffer. Normally, major infrastructure such as dams have historically been considered off-limits in armed conflicts due to their significant impact on civilian population, the environment and neighbouring regions. However, this convention has been broken by the warring nations. It is a criminal act.

Gregory Fernandes, Mumbai

Ecological disaster

The dam collapse has sparked fears of an ecological catastrophe. Russia is now doing everything possible to win the war. It attacked Ukraine, thinking it would be a cakewalk, but the neighbour has demonstrated unbelievable resilience. The Ukrainian armed forces have engaged in active defence and worked to protect their territories from further encroachment. World bodies have miserably failed to bring both parties to the negotiating table. The world must remember the words of Albert Einstein, ‘I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.’

Sudershan Walia, Amritsar

NCB operation praiseworthy

Refer to ‘Busting drug cartels’; it is a matter of great satisfaction that the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) has busted a pan-India cartel operating on the darknet. The fight against drugs is becoming challenging due to advancements in technology that enable sophisticated methods of production, distribution and online sale. When law enforcement authorities effectively address this issue, it demonstrates their commitment to public safety. The operation will act as a deterrent for individuals keen on undertaking such activities.

Subhash C Taneja, Gurugram

BSNL package

Refer to ‘Rs 89,047 cr revival package for BSNL gets Cabinet nod’; it is baffling to learn that the Centre has agreed to provide a third revival package to BSNL. It seems that the government has not learnt any lesson from the Air India fiasco. PM Modi had said the government had ‘no business to be in business’. BSNL, which took nearly a decade to roll out 4G services, would not be able to utilise this opportunity. It lost its market share to Airtel and Jio only because it was not able to keep pace with private telecom players. This move is another example of throwing good money after bad.

Bal Govind, Noida

Introduce AI in banking

Refer to ‘Easier banking’; implementing the existing policies will build a strong case for making banking easier. Financial institutions will be able to cater to a vast customer base and addressing users’ grievances by exploiting technology’s potential to the fullest. Banks should adopt robust technology, such as blockchain, to reduce frauds. Collaborating with platforms such as WhatsApp, financial institutions can ease access to various services and reduce manual intervention. By introducing artificial intelligence (AI) applications, banks can delegate staff to solve customers’ queries. Combining human intelligence with AI will work wonders to bridge the gap between customers and banks.

Himanshu Chopra, Chandigarh

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India-US cooperation

Jun 08, 2023

Apropos of ‘Indo-US defence ties’; defence cooperation has been a critical element of India-US friendship as they have shared strategic and economic interests. India and the US have finalised an ambitious roadmap for defence industrial cooperation to fast-track technology tie-ups. Nevertheless, a deeper relationship is needed between the two countries to counter the ever-aggressive China. A significant contribution to the ‘Make in India’ programme can play a crucial role in strengthening bilateral cooperation. To forge a stronger partnership, India and the US need to prioritise reliability in their manufacturing processes.

Krishan Kant Sood, nangal

Defence ties

The finalisation of a plan for defence industrial cooperation between India and the US will boost India’s military might. The defence ties between the two have witnessed significant growth. While the formal defence relationship between the two countries may not be very old, several key agreements have played a crucial role in strengthening these ties. Increasing arms supply to India, ensuring easy transfer of technology and boosting indigenous production capacity of India can go a long way in forging strategic defence ties between the two countries.

CS Mann, una

Prioritise customer satisfaction

Refer to ‘Easier banking’; imposing penalties and enforcing regulations can help financial institutions improve their customer support services. This is a significant step towards safeguarding consumer rights. Robust regulations ensure that financial institutions prioritise customer satisfaction and transparency. Transparent communication is vital to ensure that customers have a complete understanding of various financial products and services. Centralised Public Grievance Redress and Monitoring System (CPGRAMS) is an example of a customer-support initiative introduced by the government. We must tap its potential with regard to ease of doing business.

Kushagar Bansal, by mail

Give psychological help

Refer to ‘Rescuers facing loss of appetite, hallucinations’; the rescue staff must get proper psychological help and counselling from experts. National Disaster Response Force personnel must undergo mental stability courses as the Odisha train tragedy has affected them adversely. Such courses can help build psychological resilience, enabling them to better cope with the demands of their work and bounce back from difficult experiences. The mental well-being of these personnel is crucial as they are the ones who have been relentlessly working and saving the lives of many people.

Aayushi Chopra, Faridkot

Just concern, no action

Refer to ‘Farm suicides’; losses caused by climate change have led to a rise in the number of suicides among agricultural workers. The increase in the count indicates that despite widespread concern, both society and the government have failed to address this critical issue effectively. Farmers face numerous challenges, including the absence of a stable and substantial income. Additionally, they often have to contend with crop diseases, droughts, floods and financial burden imposed by banks and money lenders. Ironically, political parties often portray themselves as champions of farmers’ rights while in the Opposition, but fail to take significant action when they assume power. It is disheartening to observe that even rich states such as Maharashtra and Karnataka are among the worst affected.

K Kumar, panchkula

Bureaucratic choices

Refer to ‘Bright spot in the bureaucracy’; all bureaucrats are professionally trained in efficient governance, administration and management of projects for the welfare of the people. Thereafter, during field postings, they reveal their true colours. Some officers become subservient to their political bosses for their vested interests, while others serve the public with honesty. The well-being of citizens should be the primary focus and top priority of bureaucrats.

Subhash Vaid, New Delhi

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Help farmers Other

Jun 07, 2023

Refer to ‘Farm suicides’; prevalent market forces and other conditions affect both farm income and agricultural practices. The agricultural sector plays a critical role in ensuring food security, rural livelihood, economic stability and environmental sustainability. Hence, the sector deserves undivided attention for its genuine development and progress. It is important to provide farmers access to credit, infrastructure, modern technology and training. Implementing supportive policies, promoting research and innovation and fostering partnerships between farmers, the government and the private sector are crucial for the sustainable development of agriculture.

Jagvinder Singh Brar, Patiala

Increase MSP

Farmers’ suicides are a matter of great concern. Why are farmers compelled to take loans when they are given subsidies on seeds, power and water? The real culprits are loan sharks, commission agents and middlemen who force gullible farmers to take loans on their unreasonable terms. The government must increase the minimum support price (MSP) for crops to help farmers get better returns on their investment. If farmers receive fair prices for their produce, it will reduce their vulnerability to financial distress and discourage them from turning to loan sharks or falling into the debt trap.

Lal Singh, Amritsar

Adopt no-plastic policy

Apropos of ‘Pollution crisis’; the theme for this year’s World Environment Day was plastic pollution. In a bid to phase out single-use plastic items, the Union Government had announced a ban on the manufacture, import, stocking, distribution, sale and use of selected single-use plastic items. The adverse impact of littered single-use plastic items on terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems has drawn global attention. Addressing the pollution caused by single-use plastics has become a crucial environmental challenge worldwide. However, it’s the prime responsibility of every citizen of the country to adopt a no-plastic policy in one’s life.

Sanjay Chopra, Mohali

People are democracy

Refer to ‘Modi regime has made poll campaigns bigger than democracy’; not much has changed since the time of Roman emperors, who used spectacles and entertainment to distract citizens from real issues. Not just poll campaigns, all that Prime Minister Narendra Modi does has an element of a spectacle about it, designed to reinforce a larger-than-life image of the PM. The mainstream media, instead of trying to prick this balloon, is guilty of inflating it. People, too, have forgotten their power in a democracy; they should seek accountability and not let a single person become too big.

Anthony Henriques, Mumbai

Drug smuggling

Refer to ‘Rs 46-cr heroin seized from two in Fazilka’; the district is vulnerable as it shares its boundary with Pakistan. During the past six months, 130 kg of narcotics worth Rs 650 crore have been seized in this sector. This seizure appears to be huge, but it is only the tip of the iceberg. Drug smuggling and addiction have far-reaching economic, political and social consequences which eat into the vitals of society. Therefore, it is high time that the Central and state governments took strict measures to curb drug smuggling.

Beant Singh Bedi, Mohali

Promote rational thinking

Refer to ‘Now, periodic table off Class X syllabi’; one cannot deny the fact that excessive information is detrimental to a young mind. It is important to approach education in a balanced and thoughtful manner. However, the deletion of several significant topics from NCERT textbooks has is worrisome. The inculcation of a scientific temper is important to counter pseudoscience and obscurantism. The spirit of enquiry should be encouraged among students. Science academies should develop a long-term blueprint to encourage the propagation of the scientific spirit at the school level, debunk superstitions and myths, promote rational thinking and bring science closer to the people.

Paramjeet Singh, Ropar

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Prioritise safety Other

Jun 06, 2023

Refer to ‘Safety first’; those taking pride in the indigenous anti-train collision system Kavach and the modern Vande Bharat trains have been shocked by the Balasore accident, one of the deadliest in the history of the Railways. One lesson that we can learn from this mishap is that we must prioritise safety over modernisation of the Railways. Overcrowding can pose risks. In tightly packed compartments, there is a higher chance of accidents, falls and injuries. Let the Railways ensure a safe and comfortable journey for every Indian. VVIPs must avoid rushing to the sites of such mishaps so that experts can carry on with the rescue and relief work without any distraction or hindrance.

HL Sharma, Amritsar

Modernise Railways

The Balasore train tragedy has jolted the nation. Though India has made significant advancements in technology, safety on trains has always been a concern. Railway accidents, such as derailments and collisions, have occurred in the past too, resulting in loss of lives and damage to infrastructure. Now, the Ministry of Railways should take a serious note and modernise its safety equipment, otherwise the common man will lose faith in the Railways in terms of their safety. The government must ensure a reliable, safe and sustainable railway network that caters to the growing transportation needs of the country.

Himanshu Goyal, Kaithal

Privatise rail sector

Trains are the most widely used means of travel for the masses in India. The Indian rail network is one of the largest in the world, catering to millions of passengers. However, like all other government-controlled departments, the Railways lacks professionalism and accountability. Whenever any attempt is made to privatise the Railways, it is opposed by trade unions and Opposition parties. The horrific train accident at Balasore should be an eye-opener for all, irrespective of their political leanings. Privatisation of the Railways is the only solution.

Ashok Bahl, Kangra

Judicial probe needed

Refer to ‘Indian womanhood getting demeaned’ (Nous Indica); women wrestlers seem to have a strong case against the WFI president, but there is always another side to the story. Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh contends that he is ready to face any punishment if charges against him are proved. It is not easy to provide proof in such cases and the courts rely only on evidence. To bring out the whole truth, the matter should be probed by a Supreme Court or High Court judge, instead of the police, to preclude the possibility of interference by anyone.

Wg Cdr CL Sehgal (Retd), Jalandhar

Slope stabilisation a must

Refer to ‘Preventing landslips’; finally, the National Highways Authority of India has woken up from its deep slumber and floated tenders to undertake slope stabilisation on the Parwanoo-Solan stretch. Though the four-laning of the section was completed in 2021, recurring landslides pose a grave threat to motorists. The project was executed apparently in a hurry without deeply studying the geology of the area. This has resulted in frequent landslides on the highway, especially during the rainy season, thereby putting the commuters’ lives at risk. Hopefully, this time whichever company is allotted the work will do meticulous planning before executing the stabilisation process.

Bir Devinder Singh Bedi, Sangrur

The inimitable Shakuni

Actor Gufi Paintal, who played Shakuni Mama in TV serial Mahabharat, passed away on Monday. He will be remembered for his exceptional performances and how he brought characters to life on the screen. His epic dialogue, ‘Arre bhanje, tum mein bas yahi kami hai, tum sunte nahin ho...’ is unforgettable. His talent and dedication to his art were deeply admired. With his distinctive acting skills and remarkable screen presence, he became a household name. The character of Shakuni will live on in our minds and hearts forever. Paintal’s work will continue to inspire aspiring actors.

Jasvinder Singh Humsafar, Maloudh

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No deadline to finish probe Other

Jun 05, 2023

Apropos of ‘Indian womanhood getting demeaned’ (Nous Indica); the case of Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, who has been accused of sexual harassment by women wrestlers, has proved that there are two sets of laws in India — one for the influential and the other for the common people. Despite countrywide protests and clamour for action against the WFI chief, the PM has maintained stoic silence on the issue. The so-called police inquiry is moving at a snail’s pace. Why has the government not fixed any deadline for the completion of the probe? The authorities seem to be least bothered about the emotional and psychological trauma that the wrestlers have been undergoing.

NK Gosain, Bathinda

Hold impartial probe

The whole world is watching in consternation how the government is protecting the WFI chief (Nous Indica). Holding such a key post, Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh was supposed to groom, nurture and inspire young wrestlers and not harass them. The moment allegations of sexual misconduct were levelled against him, he should have resigned till the investigation proved him innocent. Finding no help from the ruling dispensation, the wrestlers were left with no option other than to welcome support from other quarters — be it politicians or khap leaders. If this case is not handled with impartiality, the BJP government’s image will be severely impacted.

Roshan Lal Goel, Ladwa

Step up morally

Indian women are excelling in every field, but men have not adapted to this change. Women athletes have brought laurels to the country in various sports disciplines. Furthermore, the increased presence of women in professional fields such as banking, post offices, and other public positions is a positive development. While India has made significant strides in various areas of development, there are indeed challenges that the country faces on domestic and social levels. A society’s development is always measured by the way it treats its women. We need to step up morally.

MPS Chadha, Mohali

Odisha train crash

The Odisha train crash is one of the nation’s worst rail disasters. Advancements in technology, including the use of geo-stationary satellites and drones with high-resolution cameras, can play a significant role in real-time monitoring of tracks and identifying potential risks. Passengers’ safety is top priority; it cannot be compromised at any cost. Identifying gaps in the implementation of safety devices is essential for the Railways to take corrective actions and improve safety standards. This may involve conducting audits, strengthening training programmes for the staff, and implementing stricter monitoring mechanisms.

Deepak, by mail

Improve safety standards

A devastating incident took place in Balasore, Odisha, on Friday where a collision involving three trains resulted in a significant loss of life and injuries. Accidents of this nature are distressing and often have far-reaching effects on the lives of those involved. Incidents like these serve as reminders to prioritise safety and continuously work towards improving transportation infrastructure. Additionally, efforts should be made to investigate the accident thoroughly to determine its causes and prevent similar incidents from occurring in the future. As the Indian Railways continues to modernise its services and introduce new technologies, it should simultaneously focus on enhancing safety standards.

Subhranshu Roy, Patna

Dropping of chapters

Refer to ‘Now, periodic table off Class X syllabi’; dropping of a chapter on the pretext of lowering a student’s burden raises many questions. Such topics provide the foundational knowledge necessary for understanding the basic principles of chemistry and the composition of various elements. Having a strong understanding of fundamental scientific concepts, regardless of one’s academic stream, is important for well-rounded education. While individuals in non-science streams may not delve as deeply into scientific concepts as those in science-related fields, it is still valuable for them to have a basic understanding of key scientific principles.

Navreet Kaur, by mail

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Inaction emboldening WFI chief Other

Jun 03, 2023

WFI chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh is no saint. Then why is the ruling party not taking action against him? He enjoys immense political clout, for sure. The government’s inaction is only emboldening him. It’s high time the PM intervened. Is it not the government’s duty to protect the country’s women? The PM’s silence has proved that inviting women wrestlers to his residence and calling them a part of the family when they win medals on international platforms is nothing but a photo opportunity to gain political mileage. It is unfortunate that women have to be on the warpath to get justice in this country.

Beant Singh Bedi, Mohali

Defeat Centre’s ordinance

Refer to ‘Much ado about the inauguration’; though the PM went ahead with the Parliament building’s inauguration, disregarding protocol and tradition, the Opposition parties should now try to ensure the defeat of the ordinance that the Centre has promulgated to nullify the SC judgment on the Delhi government’s powers in the Rajya Sabha. The President was the right dignitary for the inauguration instead of the PM. The inauguration coincided with the birth anniversary of Hindutva ideologue Savarkar, underlining the BJP’s push for Hindu Rashtra.

Ravinder Singh, Jalandhar

Foodgrain storage

Refer to ‘Grain storage’; the Union Cabinet’s plan to build foodgrain godowns in every block is a significant step towards improving storage infrastructure. However, it is crucial to acknowledge the challenges associated with the preservation of foodgrains by Primary Agricultural Credit Societies (PACS). One of the major concerns is the lack of trained manpower within PACS to prevent grain damage. Even the FCI and state procurement agencies, which have a trained workforce, have struggled to minimise post-harvest losses.

Surjit Singh Bhatoa, by mail

Middlemen take the profit

Refer to ‘Strong steps needed to tame zooming retail profits from farm produce’; there is a huge gap between what a farmer gets for his produce and what the consumer pays. This is the main problem in agriculture. The profits are clearly made by the middlemen. It is no good wishing them away because they are an essential cog in the marketing machine. The corporate sector in developed nations may be faulted for excessive profits, but compared to its Indian counterpart, it seems to be benevolent. Is there any other country which has such a high suicide rate of farmers?

Anthony Henriques, Mumbai

Prevent cruelty to animals

Apropos of ‘Stray dog menace’; while stray dogs can be a nuisance and occasionally pose a risk to public safety, it’s important to approach this issue from a balanced perspective and consider humane and effective solutions. Every day, thousands of pets are abandoned by their owners. The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act and Animal Birth Control Rules should promote responsible animal care, thus controlling the stray animal population, preventing zoonotic diseases and addressing cases of animal cruelty. These efforts can create a safer environment for both animals and humans. If left to the local bodies, the problem may become more serious in the days to come.

Ramesh Gupta, Narwana

Construct dog shelters

Managing stray dogs is one of the biggest challenges we face nowadays. Dog-bite cases are frequently reported, but not much has been done to tackle the menace. It has become difficult to go out for morning or evening walks because of the presence of stray dogs in the neighbourhood. Even children playing in parks are at risk. One of the most effective ways to address the stray dog problem is to conduct a sterilisation programme. Besides, dog shelters should be constructed so that streets are free from the canine menace. Vaccination programmes can help control the spread of diseases and protect the dogs as well as local residents.

Sumita Kanwar, Yamunanagar

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POCSO norms violated

Jun 02, 2023

Refer to ‘POCSO, sexual harassment norms violated for WFI chief’; the ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’ campaign and government schemes for women’s empowerment are meant to deceive the countrymen. Normally, the police immediately arrest the accused in a POCSO case. But in this case, the accused has not been arrested even after a month of filing the FIR. Who will trust such government policies in future? What’s shocking is that Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh continues to make statements which are clearly aimed at intimidating the witnesses. A democratically elected government is acting in an autocratic manner. The shameful handling of the case by the government has tarnished the nation’s image.

Wg Cdr JS Minhas (retd), Mohali

Tardy probe despite evidence

A youth brutally murdered a 16-year-old girl in Delhi. The incident, which occurred on May 28, was caught on CCTV cameras. It showed the accused, Sahil, stab and kick the victim several times. The footage also showed several pedestrians walking by without intervening. Even the accused confessed his crime. However, the police investigation is still in progress and a Delhi court has extended Sahil’s police remand. The eyewitnesses can lie, but cameras can’t. The probe should be completed without delay.

Navneet Singh Kushwah, Ujjain

Abysmal doctor-patient ratio

Refer to ‘NMC clampdown’; at a time when India’s doctor-patient ratio is poor, derecognising medical colleges is a huge setback. However, quality cannot be compromised to make up the numbers. Even some government colleges do not have the requisite staff and are running at almost half strength. Though the disruption will upset students and their families, they need to understand that passing out from a derecognised college serves no purpose. Hence, the Centre must intervene and provide financial support to colleges to safeguard careers of thousands of students.

Bal Govind, Noida

Upgrade facilities

The National Medical Commission has done a commendable job by derecognising 40 medical colleges for not meeting the stipulated standards. India needs far more doctors for its ever-increasing population. The government should take steps to upgrade facilities in medical colleges in order to improve the healthcare infrastructure in the country. It can explore partnerships with private healthcare organisations or corporations to upgrade infrastructure. It is only when the medical education improves that the health sector can improve as a whole, thus changing society for the better.

Daisy Mangla, Kaithal

Uniform assessment initiative

Apropos of ‘Uniform evaluation’; the Education Ministry’s decision to establish a uniform system of assessment for students appearing in various board exams can be seen as a positive step forward. However, it is important to acknowledge that implementing such a system will come with its share of challenges. A uniform system of assessment can bring greater standardisation and consistency to the evaluation process across different boards, and ensure that students are evaluated on one pattern, reducing disparities and promoting fairness. Besides, students and parents will have a clearer understanding of the evaluation criteria. This can reduce confusion and provide a more transparent and streamlined process. Special stress needs to be laid on quality instead of quantity.

Ravi Sharma, Dhariwal

Don’t tarnish India’s image

Refer to ‘PM Modi assumes he knows more than God: Rahul in US’; sadly, the former Congress president remains oblivious to the fact that attacking PM Modi’s persona and his proud Indian way of life, even when speaking to the Indian diaspora, hurts many Indians. Instead of seeking recognition abroad, Rahul should concentrate on regaining the trust of the Congress cadres and the electorate at home. Tarnishing anything Indian abroad is tantamount to denigrating the nation’s body politic.

Lalit Bharadwaj, Panchkula

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Shameless bystanders

Jun 01, 2023

Refer to ‘Delhi’s shame’; while nothing less than the death penalty to the culprit will ensure justice for the 16-year-old girl who was brutally murdered in Delhi, shameless bystanders should also be taken to task. Watching a crime being committed and not intervening to save the victim amounts to being a party to the crime. If no law exists to punish such people, an ordinance should be issued with immediate effect. They should be arrested and dealt with severely. There is a lesson here for parents too, who should remain vigilant and closely monitor their children’s activities.

Wg Cdr CL Sehgal (Retd), Jalandhar

Minor’s murder

The minor’s murder in Delhi is shocking. But what is equally chilling is the indifference of the passersby who didn’t intervene. Is humanity no longer alive? The gruesome attack not only raises questions about the 20-year-old boy’s aggressive behaviour but also shows the callousness of people. No one tried to save the girl when she was being stabbed by the accused. The appalling behaviour of the passersby has exposed our apathy. Such behaviour is deeply troubling and indicative of larger societal issues. The incident shows that there is a lack of emotional quotient in our society.

Aayushi Chopra, Kotkapura

Dejected wrestlers

Wrestlers protesting against WFI president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh have issued a five-day ultimatum to the authorities to act against the BJP MP. Earlier, they stopped short of throwing their medals in the Ganga. They have earned these medals with hard work and dedication. BKU chief Naresh Tikait, who convinced them to not throw the medals in the holy river, has saved the country from a huge embarrassment. The PM, who once termed female wrestlers his ‘daughters’, never showed concern for them. Instead, he welcomed their ‘oppressor’ to the opening of the new Parliament building.

Taukir Rahmani, Mumbai

India-Turkiye ties

Refer to ‘Erdogan extends rule’; Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s victory in Turkiye’s runoff presidential election speaks volumes about his popularity among the masses. However, Erdogan’s win has dashed the hopes of the West and the US regarding Sweden’s NATO membership to geopolitically isolate Russia. Erdogan’s proximity to China and Pakistan is a cause for concern for India. Earlier this year, Turkiye raked up the Kashmir issue at the UNHRC, drawing condemnation from India. Instead of maintaining distance, both India and Turkiye should boost their relations so that they could benefit from each other economically as well as strategically.

CS Mann, Una

Treat animals with respect

Refer to ‘Cow vigilantes’; illegal activities are a threat to law and order’; many states have laws banning cow slaughter. However, the variation in laws in different states can lead to legal inconsistencies, creating a constitutional conundrum. These inconsistencies may arise when people face different legal consequences for the same action depending on the state they are in. The law was framed with the intention of preserving cattle and promoting animal husbandry rather than being solely based on Hindu sentiments. By promoting animal welfare initiatives, we can work towards creating a more ethical and sustainable agriculture industry where animals, including cows, are treated with the respect and care they deserve.

Tashi Baheti, Ujjain

Cheap gimmicks

Apropos of ‘Make info public on graft charge against nephew by May 31: Mann to Channi’; one fails to understand that if there is a definite case of graft against Channi’s nephew, why give him a deadline to prove his innocence? Why not hand over this case immediately to the authorities concerned? Besides, there was no need for Channi to go to a gurdwara to prove his innocence. Apparently, he wants to strike an emotional chord and make it look like a case of political vendetta. It doesn’t behove the current as well as past CMs to indulge in such cheap gimmicks.

Balbir Singh Kakkar, Jalandhar

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