Fake freedom fighters

The strength of freedom fighters participating in the Quit India movement in 1942 against the Britishers, the Hyderabad Mukti Sangram and, similarly, the Goa Mukti Sangram, popularly known as Goa Satyagraha should have come down in substantial numbers, but even after a lapse of seven and six decades respectively, their strength has not diminished. As of today, the age of those participating freedom fighters must be in the 90-100 years range.  Majority of them might not be in this world. Consequently, their numbers should have come down. But the ground reality is entirely different, which is a matter of grave concern and is deplorable.

The monthly pension scheme for freedom fighters was introduced by the Union Government long ago, which was for the welfare of real freedom fighters.

But lakhs of people all over the country started to take undue advantage of this pension scheme by obtaining bogus certificates from jail authorities and getting endorsement from them as freedom fighters.  It was reported recently that in the Marathwada region of Maharashtra alone, the police detected nearly 300 such fake cases. According to the police, there is a big racket behind this. Therefore drastic legal action should be initiated and these fraudulent cases must be put behind bars and the pension amounts so far paid must be recovered with interest.

Sridhar V Kulkarni

India must not back off

India and its PM are being criticised globally for stalling the WTO agreement in Geneva on July 31. In this connection, I came across a very relevant line in the book ‘Collapse’ by Jared Diamond. He writes “.. when an economically backward, non-industrialised Third World colony unsophisticated at negotiations deals with a First World country sophisticated at exploiting Third World countries, ..”. This should summarise the mindset of the developed countries during the WTO meetings and why India should remain tough — or else it will simply be exploited using sugar-coated language.

Atul Gupta

Dignity for the dhoti

The Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa should be commended for taking up cudgels on behalf of the dhoti-clad people. What did we win freedom for if we don’t even have the right to wear a dress that is quintessentially Indian? The veshti is an innocuous attire, that is simple to wear and easy to handle. Every country must preserve and protect its tradition, customs, culture, language and dress . By denying entry to its own member who turned up in a veshti, the TNCA had committed a human rights violation. The pseudo-Westernised clubs in India should come out of their slavish mentality and treat all people with dignity and respect. In a free India, the citizens should dress in any which way they like without being victimised and subjected to any form of apartheid.

Lakshman Sundar

Mathematics is complex too

 This is with reference to the letter, ‘Too complex for young minds’ (August 7). Justice Dave obviously knows the Constitution of India. What he said was that if he was a dictator – and he is not – he would make the Gita compulsory for school children. He was underlining the importance of the Gita. Mathematics is also complex, yet it is taught right from the primary stage of education! Incidentally, the philosophy of all religions is complex. Lokmanya Tilak and Mahatma Gandhi were guided by the philosophy of the Gita. The ‘secular’ objections to the Gita are biased and one-sided.

 Shreeram Paranjpe

Ugly tweet

With reference to ‘The Buzz on Twitter’ (August 7), I have noted that one ‘udaaspriest’ has tweeted that those wearing veshtis will look ugly. That is not so.  Veshtis give such an elite look to gents, which no other western outfit does.

V Iyer

Land of tainted food

It is very alarming that almost every edible item we buy from the market is adulterated.  From fruits to vegetables, milk, cold drinks, edible oils, ghee and so on, one can’t be sure any food product is pure any more. We have been reading and hearing about artificial ripening of fruits with harmful chemicals like calcium carbide, which are carcinogenic. There are a number of chemicals used as additives in food products, most of which are chemicals harmful for human consumption. It is very disturbing to see the complete indifference shown by the authorities towards checking the menace of adulterated food products. There is no surveillance mechanism for food safety. How often do ministers and top bureaucrats make unannounced visits to food manufacturing units to check if everything is in order? Time is running out and it is high time for more stringent laws by punishing food adulterators with imprisonment and death penalty.

Probir Kumar Bose

Rajaji was right

‘Govt asked to prevent drug firms from fleecing people’ (August 7) concerns all those citizens who use prescription medication. The prices are shooting up so that they have become financially unaffordable. When the package size of tablets is increased from 10 to 15, the price increases by at least Rs 15. I have been using a particular brand of hair oil for the last 25 years.  What I have noticed now is that the 500ml (456g ) bottle, which cost less than Rs. 70 in December 2012,  is now being sold at Rs. 173. So everyone is out to loot the hapless consumer. Senior citizens who do not have monthly pensions and live on retirement funds are suffering the most. I do not think any government will be able to stop this loot, including the BJP. What the first Indian Governor General Rajaji said is becoming a reality — that Indians themselves will loot each other and many will feel that the British Government was better. Many feel so today!

 Marcus Dabre

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