Journalists’ lot

It is an irony that journalists, who spend their lives writing about others, seldom find mention when they die.

A recent case is that of R. Vasudevan, ex- News Editor of Hindustan Times and a working journalist till his death at the age of 66. Vasudevan, who was cremated at Beriwala Bagh on July 18, was the man who started the Internet service in his former paper and introduced other modern technology before he began working for a magazine published from South Delhi and another one from Chennai. He also freelanced for other news outlets.

A tall, well-built, soft-spoken man, Vasu succumbed to kidney, liver and other complications despite a kidney transplant, the donor being his wife. He is survived by two daughters, besides his wife, having lost his parents 10 years ago. The RWA of Vatika Apartments, Mayapuri, where he stayed, condoled the death of one of its long-time residents.

In bygone days, even stern Chief Sub-Editors like A.V. Ramana, so particular about conserving news space, made it a point to concede a few inches for departed journalists. But, alas, that time is long past. No one now salutes the setting sun. The Hindu may be an exception.

R.V. Smith


New Delhi.


A case for

lingua franca

Rajnath Singh was slammed mercilessly for his anti-English statement in a recent speech, which he later reversed. He had expressed solidarity with Hindi and the Sanskrit language. In the wake of globalisation and evolution of technology, Hindi has undoubtedly suffered. People must realise that preservation of our mother tongue is extremely important. The rich lingual heritage of India, encompassing not just Hindi but other regional languages, should be conserved and maintained. So that the adage ‘unity in diversity’, which India proudly boasts, can remain true.

Sugandha Singh

Jagriti Vihar,


Need for better,

not more schools

The opening of 2,500 Rashtriya Adarsh Vidyalayas across the country in the public-private partnership mode is expected to exhaust a sizeable part of the State exchequer. I cannot understand the need to open such schools when we already have a large number of Kendriya Vidyalayas, Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas and a good network of State-run schools. It would be better if the government instead comes out with an effective plan to strengthen and revamp the existing senior secondary schools. By using minimum resources, these schools can be easily upgraded and become centres of excellence.  


Arun Kumar Sharma

SAS Nagar,


Test case

Recently, the Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan advertised for teachers’ posts. To the surprise of candidates, it will be conducting tests for it. When the CTET is mandatory for appointment as teachers in every CBSE-affiliated school across the country, where is the need for another test? Like the UGC holds interviews based on the NET scores alone, KVS should shortlist candidates for interviews based on CTET scores.

Secondly, KVS should also lower the examination fee to be paid with the application by the general category candidates from the current Rs.750. In contrast, UGC conducts its tests at just Rs.450 for this category, while the UPSC charges a meagre Rs.100.

Mohammad Shamim Afzal

Jamia Nagar,

New Delhi.

Judicial intervention inevitable

The latest Supreme Court directions make a minimum compensation payment of Rs.3 lakh to acid attack victims mandatory. Critics label such moves as judicial overreach. But why do governments, which are supposed to frame a victim compensation policy, adopt a lackadaisical attitude so as to prompt the higher judiciary to step in? 

For years, the casual approach of various governments has resulted in free sale and misuse of acid and allied substances by miscreants leading to a spurt in such heinous attacks. Although the recent Criminal Law Amendment Act provides for compensation in addition to a reasonable fine, but the fixing of the compensation amount was left to the wisdom of the State governments. Sadly, the amount was never arrived at.

Hemant Kumar

Advocate, Punjab & Haryana High Court, Chandigarh, Ambala City, Haryana.