With reference to my letter , “India: More federalism a better option” which appeared in this column on Sep 14 2019 one sentence should have read as, “One day the Khasi community shall strive that in terms of quality  we will do away with reservation” and not as published.

Yours etc.,

Michael N Syiem,

Via email

JCBs shouldn’t ply on public roads


The dismantling of the bumpers with steel pipes is to be appreciated. On this another  more dangerous and more serious problem is the JCB’s plying on public roads. To get to the idea of bumper, Webster dictionary defines a bumper as a guard on the front and the rear of an automobile to attenuate the impact on collision. JCB’s have no bumpers of yielding property. Instead they have a 7.5 ton steel blade with 2ft protruding sideways with respect to front tyres span. The rear of the JCB’s is another vertical three ton steel. It has no conventional lights of dim red, bright red, back light of white and amber for direction as well as emergency situation. These are the reasons why JCBs are not supported by Road Tax as they are never allowed to ply on public roads. Any collision would cause loss of many precious lives. In other states JCB’s are transported by carriers with landing mechanism of trailers for loading and unloading.

In view of the above, I sincerely request the DTO to kindly hear my arguments and henceforth apply orders for transportation of JCBs on trailers pulled by trucks of sufficient horse power as per rule of law.

Yours etc.,

W Passah

Ex H.O.D Electronics

St Edmund’s College

Absurd remark by BJP minister 


It is with some shame that the people of North India have received the shocking statement of the Union Labour Minister Santosh Kumar Gangwar. The Minister said that recruiters visiting North India had complained of lack of ‘quality people’ in that region to fill up vacancies. Undoubtedly, the statement has bled the hearts of the people of North India. The Minister should have used the term ‘skilled or trained people’ in place of ‘quality people’ when he wanted to convey the problem of unavailability of ‘skilled or trained people’ in North India for the recruiters.

Basically, people are not born inferior or superior in quality (intelligence). The amount of intelligence in every person is equal, and the only exception is that of a mentally retarded person, which is a deformity. The dynamic aspect of human nature is that anybody can become a somebody and it is a salient feature as far as humans are concerned. So what is intelligence? To put it briefly, it is the grasping power, memory power and thinking power. These three parts constitute intelligence. Everybody has the ability to grasp, memorise and think. Is there anyone among us that does not have either of these qualities? Then why the difference in ability between humans?

There is an external criterion called ‘knowledge’ which can be purely acquired. So, acquisition of knowledge among people makes them different. Knowledge can be of different types: practical knowledge, knowledge derived from learning, knowledge derived from intuition, knowledge derived supernaturally, knowledge derived from various ways from our environment, knowledge derived from family, friends, society and from the universe, etc., which make one person different from another. It may be remembered that everyone is liable to get information consciously or subconsciously as one interacts with his/her environment.

Here, the Minister meant knowledge-based quality that can be simply ‘acquired’. So, the people in the North are not necessarily meant to be unequal or unintelligent. Why are people of North India not competent enough to be qualified? It reflects the poor performance of the government. It is the government which has to implement various programs to boost the knowledge of the people including providing good education from primary level. Government also must spend a good amount of money for the education of people especially in villages. In the past successive governments did nothing to enhance the quality of the people or boost their standard of education. Negligence on the part of government alone should be attributed to the backwardness of people in acquiring knowledge.

Anyway, it is unwise to cry over spilt milk. All the state governments in the north must take this issue seriously and start doing something to enhance the skills and educational standards of the people. The governments must focus their attention mainly on the rural areas wherein lie the basic problems of development. Without every village being developed, India cannot develop. So, the mantra for India’s development lies in the development of villages. Development of village means providing people the basic needs-potable water, electricity, good houses, income-generating occupations to the people throughout the year. Only then will they be able to feed themselves and stay away from poverty. Healthy people are indeed the wealth of the nation. Leaders and administrators should always work for the welfare of the people without prejudiced minds. In doing so, all the problems besetting India will vanish, and India will become a great nation.

Yours etc.,

TK Nandanan,

Via email

Kudos Kerala police! 


Kudos to the Kerala police for an initiative  to help senior citizens. The Kerala state police is about to come out with a ‘ senior citizens handbook’  that will contain all the important details  on how to contact the Police in an emergency, besides a list of other aids like medical contact,  utility service providers contact  such as masons, carpenters, electricians, plumbers, sewage workers, laundry men, taxi drivers and even coconut tree climbers! The handbook brought out by the Thiruvananthapuram city police  received an overwhelming response from the senior citizens and the state-wide book will be modelled on the former.

As the handbook is prepared by the police department itself and as the police takes  all efforts to be accurate there is no way of senior citizens getting into any confusion or getting cheated and exploited. Especially at a time when crime on senior citizens are on the rise and in states like Kerala where there  is a presence of   large number of senior citizens who are living alone as their wards are abroad, the elderly can definitely get help from the most reliable department-the police. The initiative can be followed by the other states too.

Yours etc.,

M Pradyu,


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