The country’s first woman President, Pratibha Patil, should feel worried over the shocking exposures made by the distraught father and brother of the 14-year-old Chandigarh girl who committed suicide allegedly after being harassed by a top cop. Equally worrisome is the way the family was hounded and tortured because they refused to withdraw the molestation case against the then Haryana Police Director-General S.P.S. Rathore, patronised and shielded by an unholy nexus of politicians, bureaucrats, police functionaries and others.

No less shocking was the smile on the face of the convict who got bail after a token punishment for a crime which allegedly forced the young victim to commit suicide. Despite strong protests in the media and civil society, there is mere lip service by authorities like the National Commission for Women without any concrete action to ensure that the convict is put behind bars.

Apart from re-opening the case by including the charge of abetment to suicide under Section 306 of the Indian Penal Code, a Judicial Commission should be set up to inquire into the role of politicians, bureaucrats, police authorities and others who acted to assist, patronise and shield I-G Rathore. In fact, someone in the higher echelons of the judiciary should have taken suo motu cognisance of the situation as was done in the much talked about Jessica Lal and Priyadarshini Mattoo murder cases to preserve public faith in the country’s judicial system.

Madhu Agrawal,

1775, Kucha Lattushah, Dariba, Chandni Chowk, Delhi – 110 006.

Happy New Year…..

Talk of the New Year and people will jump to tell you where they are going to party. Depending on their means, and desire to show off, many will rush to the already crowded hotels and restaurants. Some will turn their home into a party hub. So come the 31st night and many will drink to glory and dance into the wee hours. And then there will be scuffles, accidents and hangovers. On the first day of the New Year, the party animals would sleep late into the day, wake up with an aching head and an upset stomach. They perhaps would have made more enemies than friends.

Where in all this is the refreshing cheer of the New Year? Is this the way to start the New Year?

No. We need to get over the rituals and see how we can make a bright and cheerful start to 2010. The first day of the year must be pregnant with positive activities and noble thoughts. It should ideally start with a prayer and a visit to a religious place. It must contribute to communal harmony. It should be a day of giving to the under-privileged whatever we can afford — cash or kind. Think of all the poor homeless people who sleep on the pavements shivering in this bitter cold.

It should also be the time to mend fences with our relatives, colleagues and friends, and to reach out to those who have fallen apart. Thereafter we must go to our workplace -- on time for a change. On the way, flash a smile to the traffic policeman, wish the rickshaw puller, and greet the office boy. Whatever job we are assigned, let’s give it our hundred per cent. And for heavens’ sake, let’s not take nor give a bribe on the first day of the year!

Finally, let New Year’s Day end with an evening walk with the family. Talk to the children and laugh with them. Sharing, caring, communicating, and burning calories! Then we can have a peaceful sleep.

Happy New Year!

Colonel R. D. Singh,

44/4, Babyal Road, Ambala Cantt (Haryana) – 133 001.

Traffic tantrums

The Mayur Vihar Phase I market on Patparganj Road in the Capital has come up in a haphazard way. It is the only neighbourhood market to meet the daily needs of the residents of local DDA flats and cooperative group housing societies. Since it is normally crowded in the evenings, I went to the market the other day at around 4 p.m., which is not a busy hour, and parked my car opposite Spencer’s. When I came out of the shop, I was surprised not to find my car.

A rickshaw puller told me that it had been towed away by a traffic policeman.

I rushed to the Mayur Vihar police station and located my car. On enquiring from a constable, I was told to speak to a person standing nearby in civil dress. I asked the plainclothesman why my car had been towed away even as many other cars were parked nearby and there was no “No Parking” signboard anywhere. The reply was that the signboards had been put but had been stolen away! “You pay a penalty of Rs.300 and take away your car,” he said.

I had no other option but to make the payment for which no receipt was issued.

I would like to put the following questions to senior officers of the Delhi Traffic Police:

1. Is it not the responsibility of the police to clearly earmark “No Parking” and “Parking” zones and ensure presence of clearly visible signboards?

2. Why throughout the Mayur Vihar market stretch there is no Police Assistance booth where any enquiry can be made?

3. Why no police personnel in uniform are present in the market who could be approached for any assistance?

Ravi Kumar,

121, Akash Darshan Apartments, Mayur Vihar Phase I, Delhi – 110 091.

Appointments, please

The Union Government has raised the age of retirement for teachers in Central Universities from 62 years to 65. Is this fair and in the interest of the nation? I would certainly say a big ‘NO’.

If a teaching position falls vacant owing to the incumbent’s retirement, then there are chances of new appointments. Nowadays the universities are not appointing new teachers but advertising contractual posts and keeping senior teachers on superannuation.

The Union Ministry of Human Resource Development and higher education authorities like the UGC and the AICTE should think seriously about this.


Assistant Professor, G L A Group of Institutions, Mathura (Uttar Pradesh) – 281406.

For teachers’ sake

I am a teacher at a reputed school for the past three years. I am perturbed over the working conditions that generally exist for teachers in many of our schools. A teacher ideally serves as a potter for the new generation. However, polemics in day-to-day life, favouritism and disregard for dedicated work has forced me to conclude that teaching today is no better than a business.

Moreover, there is no job security for teachers in many of the private sector schools. The Government should intervene in the decision-making process of private schools. A better, healthier environment should be gifted to this noble profession.

Neha Agarwal,

161, Swastik Kunj, Rohini Sector 13, New Delhi.