Saturday, August 31, 2002, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi



Democracy of scams and rioting

THIS has reference to the article “Democracy of scams and rioting” by K.F. Rustamji (Aug 17). As a true Indian the writer is concerned with the depressing state of affairs obtaining in the country. Looking at the magnitude of the recent communal carnage in Gujarat, one would agree with him that such a large-scale mayhem could not have been possible without an appreciative pat on the back of the massacres by the state government and a protective umbrella provided to them by the state police.

If we do not want to make communal rioting a regular feature of our democracy, then all politicians and officials who were instrumental in the persecution of the Muslims should be punished, pleads Mr Rustamji. Orders of a state government cannot modify the law of the land. Mr Rustamji is pleading for the punishment of Mr Modi and his team with a government (a government with a difference) which is gloating over his achievement and is coercing the Election Commission to hold elections in Gujarat at the earliest lest the impact of his achievement should fade away with time.

In November 1984, more than 3,000 Sikhs were massacred in three days in Delhi itself right under the nose of the Central Government. The then Home Minister, Mr P.V. Narasimha Rao, as is his wont, kept on sleeping for most of the time; screams of the people being slaughtered around him could not disturb his sleep. Was he labelled as an inefficient minister, not fit to hold any responsible post? No; instead, his party found him as the best person to lead the country as Prime Minister after the death of Rajiv Gandhi. And Rajiv Gandhi, who was expected to punish Mr Rao for his utter failure in discharging his duty, justified the holocaust by saying “the earth shakes when a big tree falls.”

Mr Rustamji, how many Bhagats, Sajjan Kumars, Tytlers and police officials have been punished for their acts against humanity? None. We have evolved a political culture in our country wherein politicians and looters of public funds have made the law of the land their bed-fellows.



Cultural academy

This refers to the establishment of the Haryana Cultural Academy at Kurukshetra after several pronouncements by the Government of Haryana. Exercising discretion in their own unique style, IAS officers left no opportunity to misinform the Chief Minister, who is the chief patron and chairman of the academy and continued to harass the person holding charge of its directorship. First, in violation of the established procedure, the officials created the academy in the form of a fixed-time project and then shifted the responsibility to the district officers at Kurukshetra. The harassed Director of the ill-fated Haryana Cultural Academy has now resigned.

The correct procedure would have been to issue an Ordinance for the establishment of the Haryana Cultural Academy followed by the passing of an Act. It is because of the negative attitudes of the bureaucracy in Haryana that no worthwhile projects or schemes relating to the cultural heritage of the people could be undertaken.

The Department of Culture has failed to do justice to its functions and cannot provide a list or performance budget for the programme and schemes undertaken by it in the last 20 years. Nobody has questioned their performance or output so far. I suggest that a special propriety audit should be immediately ordered by the Chief Minister to enquire into the utilisation of the budget of the Department of Culture.

That was the reason for which the Haryana Cultural Academy was established as a separate, autonomous body. But from the very inception its form and function have been marred by the non-functional bureaucracy.


Speculative report

THE report "ISI propping up ULFA" is based on speculation. The report charges Pakistan's ISI with propping up ULFA (United Liberation Front of Assam) in the North-East again with the purpose of creating further terror and strife in India. This is a serious allegation which is absolutely baseless and contrary to facts. Your correspondent credits his information to unidentified "sources". Sadly, this is the usual recourse of correspondents writing purely speculative reports, which are a figment of their imagination.

KAMRAN ALI KHAN, Pakistan High Commission, New Delhi



Water dispute

G.S. Dhillon’s article “Settling water dispute” (Aug 23) has raised a pertinent question: if Punjab could solve the water problem with Pakistan, why is a solution not possible to the SYL dispute with Haryana?

I have pondered over the problem and the question raised. In my opinion in the previous cases the authority to decide the disputes has been experts/technical agencies, rather than courts.

If an expert agency is to redistribute the surface waters available to the two states, considering them as one state as they existed before November 1, 1966, a solution should not be difficult to find. Will the two states agree to refer the problem to an independent expert agency?


Punjab’s share: I have read with concern the letter "Punjab's share" (Aug 21). Mr S.P. Malhotra has tried to rule out, on the basis of riparian rights, Punjab's share in the Yamuna's water. How can we adopt double standards — one in respect of the Yamuna water and the other in regard to the Ravi-Beas waters? Based on the riparian rights, Haryana is not entitled to any share out of the Ravi-Beas waters.

Nevertheless, prior to the 1966 reorganisation, erstwhile Punjab included the present Haryana and, therefore, Punjab is entitled per se to a share in the Yamuna's water.

G. R. KALRA, Chandigarh

Posers to Badal

The SGPC President is now speaking against Bhaniara, Nurmahalia Ashutosh etc. What action did the SAD government take against them when these anti-Sikh forces flourished during the tenure of Mr P.S. Badal ?

SPO Kuldeep Singh, the prime witness in the case of elimination of a human rights activist, Mr Khalra, many a time in newspapers sought police protection and his monthly salary, but none cared for him. Now SAD (Badal) leaders talk of police atrocities on their activists.

During the Khalsa tercentenary celebrations, what was the need for building big concrete structures when these are not serving any purpose? The maximum gainers were the companies or the persons who got contracts, not the general public. That money could have been used for public utility projects.

When the Akalis are out of power, they talk of problems of Punjab, the Punjabi language etc. What did Mr Badal do during his term as CM for the benefit of the Punjabi language? Did the Education Department make any effort for the promotion of language and history?

When it was known that MLAs and ministers were getting huge bribes, doing narcotics trade and going against the party and Panth's interests, did Mr Badal stop them?


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