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THE TRIBUNEsaturday plus
Saturday, July 3, 1999

Regional Vignettes


A clash of interests, aspirations...

APROPOS of Surubhi Kalra’s "A clash of interests, aspirations ..."(June 12), there has always been a confrontation, implicit or explicit, between the old and the young. The elderly persons having seen more years are proud of their wisdom and experience and consider it their right to dictate to the young. The young, on the other hand, find it difficult to accept the proposition that there is some transcendental merit in years.

If it is accepted — there is no reason why it should not be because it is logical — that nobody past his 30th year deserves to be called a youth, it will also have to be accepted that those under 30 have always been a force to reckon with. In the fight for freedom from the British rule, the youth played a significant role. The trouble started only after India became free because with Independence, the youth increasingly felt that their relevance to the destiny of free India was diminishing. According to a survey, 90 per cent of the youth in India do not have free access to education and 80 per cent of them remain untouched by government plans and policies. This is enough for the youth to revolt and to coddle them into the belief that they have no place in the society in which they live and that, therefore, they should dismantle it.

If treated with respect and proper understanding, the youth can contribute a great deal to the progress of the nation as well as to their own welfare.


Distressed students

This refers to Renee Ranchan’s write-up "Panic that results set in ..." (June 19). As the Class X and Class XII results pour in there are disturbing reports of some dejected and frightened students making attempts to take their lives. The writer unfolds the pressure and panic being experienced by students and their parents. Indifferent coaching, parental pressure, the competitive urge and a basic fear that the exam is the student’s ‘one shot’ at life — something that could make or mar his or her career —are the major reasons for the tension-filled days when results are announced. The real problem is our education system that values results more than learning. What has happened to our overdue education reforms? Why are our politicians not concerned about the foreign origin of our education system? It is a pity that the ordeal continues in a system in which marks alone matter. Why do not our educationists take it up as a challenge and suggest reforms. Helpline volunteers have a limited role to play. Let us get rid of an education system which is the legacy of Thomas Babington Macaulay and his blinkered successors.


Coping with grief

Apropos of I.M. Soni’s article "Coping with grief" (June 19). The writer has analysed the psychological aspects of grief. The medical science has also delved into the effects of grief on human beings. Grief is usually experienced by some unhappy event such as failure in exam, losing one’s business or perhaps the death of some loved one in the family. When something like this happens, most people pass through a few days or weeks of sadness and then try to carry on as best as they can. However, a person with ‘reactive depression’ seems unable to do this. His grief lasts a long time and he may feel so disturbed as to be unable to do his normal work.

When some loved one dies, it is perfectly natural to weep. Failure to grieve may indicate some personality disturbance. These peculiar mixed or ambivalent feelings are often a sign that all is not well. A normal amount of grief is nature’s way of releasing tensions.

Psychotherapy is advisable in all cases of depressions caused due to grief. It has been rightly said; If some great sorrow or sadness like a mighty river flow through your life and your dearest things in life are swept away for ever; say to yourself in this trying hour, ‘This too, shall pass away’."


Among the Badals

This refers to the column "This Above All" by Khushwant Singh under the title "Among the Badals-II" (May 29). While narrating details of his journey from Badal village to Rajasthan via Muktsar, Khushwant Singh wrote about this historic town as under:

"Muktsar is hallowed by its association with Guru Gobind Singh and his 40 followers who had deserted him".

This importance of Muktsar given by the author leaves a wrong impression on the minds of the readers about the greatness of the Guru and patriotism of his 40 followers. The narration conveys the message that the 40 followers were disloyal to their great master.

The 40 followers deserted the Guru at Anandpur Sahib but rejoined the Guru’s army under the dynamic leadership of Mata Bhago. The brave followers laid down their lives in the battle fought between the Guru’s army and the Mughals at Khadrana di Dhab. As they got mukti from worldly life, the place was named Muktsar.


Giani Kartar Singh

This is in connection with a write-up, entitled "He left an impact on Punjab: (June 12). Giani Kartar Singh also played a significant role in setting up Punjab Agriculture University, Ludhiana and Punjabi University, Patiala. The late Giani Kartar Singh, not only helped needy students, to get higher education, but he also patronised Milkha Singh. Giani Kartar Singh gave parties in his honour, when he came back after winning gold medals in the Asian Games held at Tokyo in 1958 and the Commonwealth Games at Cardiff in 1958. He observed economy measures in public spending. He used to walk to Punjab Civil Secretariat in Sector 1 from his residence in Sector 2.

He also played a significant role in the freedom struggle of our country. The Government of India should bring out a postage stamp in his honour.


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