Letters to the editor

Published : Jul 06, 2016 13:00 IST


SUCCESSIVE governments at the Centre and the States have tinkered with the education system without seeing beyond their noses (Cover Story, July 8). While the number of educational facilities has inarguably increased, learning outcomes and social equity have taken a back seat. Private players in the education sector are having a field day charging exorbitant fees and collecting “compulsory donations”, which make these institutions out of bounds for the economically deprived.

Ayyasseri Raveendranath, Aranmula, Kerala

THE “school topper” drama in Bihar is a matter of grave concern. Such incidents portray the Indian education system in a negative light. The Cover Story was timely. One needs to ponder seriously why the education system is failing and why such scams happen. Major changes must be made to the current education policy as soon as possible. For example, an education system based on the CBSE/ICSE pattern could be adopted for the entire country. One can only hope that such a move would help provide quality education for all sections of Indians.

Neeraj Kumar Jha, Hariharpur, Bihar

IN a landmark judgment in 2015, the Allahabad High Court ruled that all State government employees should send their children to primary schools under the State education board or face penalties. The court saw this as a way to ensure that these schools were given priority over elite or semi-elite schools. In this connection, it should be stated that people with low incomes are falling into the trap of admitting their children in private English-medium schools. The Right to Education Act has failed to achieve its objectives.

The light at the end of the tunnel seems to be the student protests in nationally reputed institutions such as JNU against the implementation of the Hindu fundamentalist agenda.

S. Murali, Vellore, Tamil Nadu

WE should welcome the recommendations of the panel on the New Education Policy. Playing politics inside and outside educational institutions does not solve problems, rather it aggravates them.

S.R. Devaprakash, Tumakuru, Karnataka

THIS is with reference to the article on schoolchildren being punished for not paying attention in class by having burning camphor put on them by a teacher (“Fortnight”, “‘Camphor treatment’ in primary school”, July 8). If children live with criticism, they learn to condemn. Similarly, if they live in shame, they learn guilt; if they live in hostility, they learn to fight; and if they live with ridicule, they learn only shyness. Further, schoolchildren get tired because they have to carry school bags full of books. This can be avoided if the use of loose papers are encouraged in all schools. These can be filed safely once the children return from school. Children will be less tired and be able to pay attention in class.

Similar to the Railways’ slogan of “less luggage, more comfort”, school authorities should follow the slogan of “less books, more knowledge” and also “less punishment, more encouragement”.

A.J. Rangarajan, Chennai

Gujarat pogrom

THE book “Gujarat Files” authored by the intrepid writer Rana Ayyub is an excellent piece of investigative journalism (“On the trail of the real culprits”, July 8). In light of the recent judgment on Gulberg Society massacre case and the insights provided in this book, aspects of the Gujarat riots and Amit Shah’s role in encounter killings need a fresh look. Not surprisingly, the book is not available in Ahmedabad or elsewhere in Gujarat.

N.C. Sreedharan, Kannur, Kerala

Censor board

THE Bombay High Court’s ruling in the case relating to the film “Udta Punjab” is welcome (“On a cutting spree”, July 8). The ruling was a slap in the face of CBFC Chairman Pahlaj Nihalani for acting like a one-man army trying to curb creativity. The court’s ruling sets a good precedent and is a stark reminder to the CBFC that its job is to certify films and categorise them, not censor them.

K.R. Srinivasan, Secunderabad, Telangana

NOW that the Bombay High Court has cleared “Udta Punjab” with just one cut, should not Nihalani, who had recommended as many as 86 cuts in the movie, resign? At a time when the content of movies made in India is maturing and many movies are being made with clear-cut messages for society, the censor board should not be a tool of the Central government.

Bal Govind, Noida, Uttar Pradesh


THE death of more than 20 people after violence in Mathura over land encroachment is tragic (“Deadly devotion”, July 8). Land-grabbers, whether poor or rich, are lawbreakers and must be evicted. The government often plays vote-bank politics and regularises unauthorised colonies, which only encourages more encroachment.

M. Kumar, New Delhi


IT is good that many eminent writers called for a boycott of the Jaipur Literature Festival in London as it was sponsored by Vedanta, a company with a dubious role in human and environmental tragedies in India, Africa and Australia (“The hurt runs deep”, June 24). Hansda Shekar has first-hand knowledge of the devastation caused by this mining company to the Dongria Kondh tribal community in Niyamgiri, Odisha. Vedanta’s reply that it has adequately compensated and rehabilitated the displaced tribal people is not convincing.

One knows that displaced people mostly end up as migrant labourers in cities and lead a miserable life. Hansda is right when he says that writers should step down from their ivory towers and come out in the open to protest injustices done to the weaker sections of society.

P. Vijayakumar, Madurai, Tamil Nadu

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