Thursday, January 11, 2001,
Chandigarh, India



Moral values and corruption

THIS has reference to justice H.R. Khanna’s write-up ‘Moral values still hold sway’ (Tribune, Jan 4). I agree that bulk of the Indians are wedded to basic moral values as expounded by the sages and religious literature. But our tragedy is that our leadership has failed us miserably. Political corruption and black money have led to criminalisation of politics. The common man has lost confidence in the leaders and the police who have converted the rule of law into a rule of the jungle. Also, there exists a strong nexus between the politicians, corrupt bureaucrats, demoralised capitalists and the ruling clique adopts a callous and casual attitude towards the problems of poverty, unemployment, illiteracy and backwardness.

All this has caused frustration among the youth, the backbone of the nation. But our youth must not go astray. They must rise to the occasion by adopting a positive and constructive approach. They should come to the forefront and mobilise public opinion against the mess which the politicians have created. A vigilant public, a public-spirited judiciary, and an alert press must act as watchdogs to oversee the rulers who must be made accountable and transparent.

The Prime Minister’s ‘musings’ provide enough scope for heart-searching on the part of the politicians. If our top leadership acts decisively, we can certainly make the twenty-first century India’s century. But to bring such a transformation , Mr Vajpayee needs a committed, dedicated and tireless team that holds value-based politics in high esteem. The principle of simple living and high thinking should be adhered to as a way of life and not used as a vote-catching device.



Iqbal on Ram

No poetic composition can be rendered into another language without losing much of its beauty and sweetness. However, one should try to make a translation as true to the original as possible.

The translation of Allama Iqbal’s beautiful poem “Ram”, in the Prime Minister’s “musings” is rather inexact. The original is:

Is desh mein huey hain hazaaron malak-sirisht.

Mashhoor jin key dam sey hai duniya mein naam-e-hind

Hai Ram Key vujood pe hindustaan ko naaz.

Aihl-e-nazar samajhtey hain us ko imaam-e-hind.

Talvaar ka dhani tha shujaat mein fard tha.

Pakeezagi mein josh-e-mohabbat mein fard tha.

There is no line in the poem, that could be translated as “he cared for the poorest of the poor”. I would translate this piece as under:

There have been thousands of personages of angelic qualities in this land.

Because of them India’s name is famous in the world.

India prides herself on Rama. The discerning ones regard him as her spiritual leader.

He was an accomplished swordsman, unmatched in valour.

He was unrivaled in piety and ardent love.

bhagwan singh



 Intelligence network

More than anything else it is the quality of the work done by our intelligence agencies that will prove crucial in curbing the Pakistan-based terrorists and fanatics who indulge in acts of violence in Jammu and Kashmir and elsewhere. An intelligence network constitutes the outermost ring of concentric circles of security around a 'target' to be protected. On another plane, it monitors the activities of the hostile groups engaged in clandestinely promoting socio-political disharmony, distrust and demoralisation among the people.

No effort should be spared to commission highly skilled and motivated professionals, state-of-the-art gadgetry and resources for obtaining reliable intelligence, its critical analysis and dissemination to the agencies concerned for prompt follow-up action. We should also seriously consider stepping out of our self-imposed confines for projecting a more pro-active punitive version of the secret service outfits than the ones we have had so far. The armed forces need to be intimately associated with the formulation and implementation of the policy governing national security at various levels.

India can greatly profit from consultations and coordination with countries that possess experience and expertise of tackling terrorism. We should have no qualms to take help from any source to protect our integrity, honour and the precious lives of our citizens and soldiers.




PM's musings

The series of articles written by Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee has a sense of purpose and sincerity which our present-day politicians sadly lack. The musings show that he has at least the courage to try and give peace a chance in Jammu and Kashmir. His anguish over the unfortunate happenings at Ayodhya, gives vent to the general feelings of an average Indian, who wants to live in peace in a country which believes in co-existence of all religions and beliefs. The India which he wants to shape can usher in a modern society, while preserving the glorious past.

I only hope that God gives health and strength to this poet politician to fight the ills of Indian society and improve the life of the average Indian.




 Following the West

This has reference to Mr M.S.N. Menon's article, "To follow or to lead: that's the question" (Tribune Jan 5). India has a rich cultural and religious heritage. But centuries of alien rule have molded our outlook towards things "foreign".

What is strange is that instead of the West following us, we have started following the West. Leave alone spiritual matters, even in our day-to-day life, we crave for imported things. The Swadeshi Movement in India has failed to make any headway. Either we produce substandard goods or our products are costlier than the imported foreign goods.

Quality should be the main concern of producers and manufacturers. This being so, globalisation will not have any adverse effect on our economy. Moreover, the countrymen need to have respect for the nation's glorious past. Only then we can have a secure and bright future. Only then we can hope to lead the world than to be led by.



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