Monday, May 21, 2018

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Opinion » Letters to the Editor

Posted at: May 21, 2018, 12:41 AM; last updated: May 21, 2018, 12:41 AM (IST)

Power drama

ONE feels deep anguish over the way our democracy is challenged and mauled day in and day out. Earlier it was in Goa and Manipur, and now, the drama is being enacted in Karnataka by the powers that be. It is shocking how elected leaders apprehended change of party affiliation overnight. Leaders of various parties fall easy prey to greed, temptation and power, throwing claims of morality and ‘principled’ politics to the winds. Alas! those who sacrificed their lives for the country and those who framed healthy democratic conventions must be turning in their graves. 

PR Chaswal, Ambala 

Joke’s on voters

This is with reference to ‘Laughter in courtroom as judge cracks witty joke’ (May 19). It is a matter of serious concern that even after the results have been declared, the people of Karnataka are still in a fix and at the mercy of political parties to try their stunts to gain the numbers to prove majority. How does it help the electorate that gave its valuable vote to respective parties? If power game is in the number game, the resort owner in the joke has a valid claim. It is alarming; we must ponder over the chain of events. In the whole bargain, citizens become the laughing stock in political hands. 

Shashi, by mail

All not lost

The writer has done well to touch upon the changing ecosystem in India, though the scene may not be that bad (‘The Grand Disconnect’, May 19). Even these days, we have children from all stratas and all schools joining the IAS, PCS, professorship, etc. There have been two major changes: the Internet has reduced the gap between urban and rural students, and secondly, in all competitive examinations, written test weightage has been pushed up to 85 per cent or more. Therefore, only studious children are coming for interviews, which is permitted in any regional language. A lot of students who have topped exams have not been to coaching centres. As PPSC Chairman, I have not seen even 2 per cent children of the elite making it to the interview. English or coaching centres alone are unlikely to help anyone become KR Narayanan, if he does not possess adequate intelligence and is not willing to work hard.  

Lt Gen NPS Hira (retd), Patiala

The great divide

In the article ‘The Grand Disconnect’ (May 19), the writer has plainly penned the reality of today’s highly divided India that surpasses even the British divide. It is the so-called intellectual class which is solely responsible for the fall. This super-pseudo class has, for long, considered itself the all-know class and the masses, which are the actual king-makers, as untouchables. Since the sad divide suits the current political crop, will there ever re-emerge the Nehruvian nationalism in our lifetime? 

Balvinder, Chandigarh

Impose hefty fines

Refer to ‘Molasses spill in Beas kills fish’ (May 18); the tragic incident shows the callous attitude of sugar mill owners towards natural resources. Such irresponsible drainage of molasses into the river needs to be checked. Nutrient-loaded molasses leads to the growth of marine algae and stimulates an increase in harmful bacteria. The fish, thus, are unable to breathe. Unlike oil spills, it is even more tough to clean it as it tends to dissolve and settles on the riverbed. The impact of such negative externalities should be taken into account when industries are sanctioned in the first place. Environmental laws should be implemented strictly and heavy fines imposed to compensate for the vast damage to aquatic life. Such disasters defeat the purpose of steps like reintroduction of gharials and conservation works for endangered dolphins. The Punjab Pollution Control Board should be given more autonomy to handle such cases. Inspections of industrial cities should be carried out regularly. 

Neha Singh, Gurugram

Board lacks will

The editorial ‘River of death’ (May 19) is a strong and timely effort to highlight the pollution of water bodies in Punjab. Pollution of all kinds has become a vital public health issue. The Pollution Control Board has failed to curb it mainly because of corruption, petty vote politics, lack of political will, commitment and deficient concerted efforts of stakeholders. The board is efficient in regular inspection of hospitals, publishing the list of defaulters and taking prompt action against doctors, but when it comes to the inspection of industrial units or other polluting establishments, it has failed to do its duty. The recent incident of a sugar factory dumping molasses into the Beas, killing fishes, exposes the inefficiency of the board. The government should initiate long-term efforts to check pollution.

Vitull K Gupta, Bathinda 

Best to talk it out 

Refer to ‘J-K truce might hold longer than expected’ (May 18); the writer has hit the nail on the head. Right from the Simla Agreement and the hanging of Bhutto, whenever efforts have been made to initiate a dialogue, the Pakistan army has resorted to some militant action. India-Pakistan talks will only succeed if the real power centre in Pakistan — the Pakistan army — is also involved in the process. It is also looking for credit if the talks succeed. The first step should be to ensure peace at the border. Talks can start with the meeting of DGMOs of both sides. The army chiefs and NSAs can also meet to develop a sturdy mechanism to maintain cease-fire. Thereafter, both governments can take the negotiations forward. The issue has to be settled through talks, even if you fight a hundred wars. Why not start with talks to avoid all the bloodshed?

Lt Col DS Mankotia (Retd), Kangra

School session too early

Various state educational boards are busy declaring results, but the session starts from April 1. Either students of Class 10 have to wait for the result or take provisional admission. After exams, students want to relax before the next class. During vacation, the evaluation of answer sheets and preparation of results may be completed. The session should start in the first week of July. Teachers exempted from evaluation work may be assigned work for the improvement of education. They should be imparted training, refreshing courses, notes preparation, plan excursion for students to important historical, scientific and manufacturing units, etc. 

Dilbar Ali Meerak, by mail

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