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Sunday, May 9, 1999

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Waging our own time war

THIS refers to the article "Waging our own time war" by Mohinder Singh (April 18). We all are engaged in a mad rat-race. Moving at such a speed to achieve our ambitions we have landed up in a groove of "over-time work culture." We have forgotten our leisurely pace and ability to pause – think and reflect in peace.

The writer, therefore, raises very relevant questions which have an important bearing on our present fast-moving lifestyles – "What’s the big hurry? Where are we going with our high-speed chase? Is this urge, this speed imperative? Is technology to blame?" The writer does well not to provide ready-made answers to this questionaire he doles out to his readers as a home-work!!! I, for one, still have faith in old saying: "Slow and steady wins the race," and would recommend that we must visit this hyperactive culture by engaging in activities – reading and gardening.


Defence studies

This refers to Pritam Bhullar’s "Fauji beat" (April 4). This subject of defence studies should be introduced at the postgraduate level in all the universities and colleges in order to create awareness about ‘defence’.

It should be a structured course backed up by a well-thought-out syllabus, prepared in consultation with retired and serving senior defence officers. It should also be periodically updated. Because of a lack of knowledge about Defence matters and resultant show of disinterest in details of our defence budget and related issues, at all levels — no worthwhile public official debate is ever held on the vital subject of our national security. Our MPs need to under go a capsule course in defence studies to enable them to discuss our defence budget threadbare.


Struggle without pause

The article "Struggle Without a Pause" by Pratibha Chauhan (April 4) provides an in-depth study of what is going on in the name of "religious toleration" by Chinese.

It is high time that Tibetans consolidate their position by acquiring the skill of fighting. China should think in terms of live and let live.

China is a vast as well as powerful country. It should earn the goodwill of its immediate neighbours. It should give freedom to the occupied territory of Tibet. After all how long can the Tibetans live in exile. Atrocities committed on peace-loving Tibetans should end now. The world should persuade China to free Tibet from its clutches.


Do not generalise

Apropos the letter by R.N. Malik (April 25) I am a keen reader of Samvatsara predictions published in your esteemed paper.

Sansar Chandra is a scholar and astrologer of repute. I have always benefitted from his advice.

There are, no-doubt, some quacks as foot-path fortune tellers and homeopaths who have brought discredit to astrology and homeopathy but the sciences of astrology and homeopathy do not deserve to be ridiculed as has been done in the letter under reference. These are positive and correct sciences.


Humility is strength

Taru Bahl’s anecdotal write-up "Humility is strength, too" (March 21) was most readable.

Humility is the crowning quality of well-behaved persons. Gracious people display humility, when they behave in a manner in which all feelings of exaggerated self-esteem or unjustified superiority are abandoned. Ustad Zauq said: Latey hain samar shaakh-e-samarvar ko jhuka kar/Jhuktey hain sakhi waqt-e-karam aur ziaadah (Fruit is picked by bending the branch bearing it. Likewise, munificent people bow more while acting generously).

Gurbani says: Badey badey ahankaariya Nanak garb galey (O’ Nanak! Arrogance brought about the destruction of extremely arrogant persons). During the revolution of 1789, the highly arrogant nobles of France were guillotined by the common people, whom they disdained.

Humility is a virtue. It is no disgrace. In fact, honour lies in humility and not in haughtiness. It is strength, too. Meekness is not weakness. Gandhiji was an embodiment of humility. Yet he had immense willpower.

While the arrogant persons offend the people around them with their supercilious attitude, the unassuming ones hold them in high esteem with their modest behaviour. I am reminded of Khawaja Hali’s verse: Ham ne har adna ko aala kar diya/Khaaksaari apni kaam aai bahut (With our humility, we have made every lowly person a respectable one).


What apathy!

Apropos of Pritam Bhullar’s write up in "Fauji Beat" (April 4), the apathetic attitude of the authorities is the reason why soldiering has become an unattractive profession.

All administrative and financial matters are vested with the civil authority. Whenever less fortunate ex-serviceman approach the civil authority for any welfare issue, they hardly pay any attention to him and ever thing goes awry. Problems related to retirement increase manifold and that is why a majority of the ex-servicemen live a life of misery.

The existing system of rehabilitation of ex-servicemen should be totally revamped. The majority of ex-servicemen, who hail from rural areas, lack awareness about welfare measures taken by government. Medical allowance of Rs 100 with effect from December 1997 and pre-1986 retirees up date pension and arrears are a pipedream. Our parliamentarians are not well informed about the problems of the ex-servicemen will our dream turn into reality? Most of us are in the evening of our lives.


Have mercy!

In the present free for all political climate of chaos and (dis)order, alliances and intrigues, (mis)trust and deceptions —

Mulayam commits ‘Harakiri while Jaya is jittery,
Maya(wati) is elusive and Mamta is fiery;
BJP seethes with impotent fury, Congress depends upon ‘Stree’,
While Lallo eats ‘rabri’, hungry public lets out the cry;
Mercy, mercy, mercy!


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