Tuesday, January 14, 2003, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi



Teachers on contract: link wages to performance

THIS has reference to the emerging controversy “Regular and contract teachers.” Prof Sucha Singh Gill has demolished the concept of contract teachers. We have another piece by Prof Virendra Kumar which cogently analyses the issues involved, including the cost-benefit aspect.

The readers might have noticed an important letter from a reader on several universities getting 5-star status, which is certainly a result of doling out excellent stay arrangements, gifts and an understanding “I give you, you give me”. All this gives a vivid picture of what is going on in our universities.

I have had the opportunity of working in many teaching departments for almost 32 years and I can vouch for the reduction in value and changes in the attitudes registered during these years. Professor Kumar has experienced both the old and the new values and hence is in a position to enlighten us with his comments. During those days, I have never heard a teacher enquiring whether the next instalment of DA had been sanctioned and what would be the monetary benefits he/she was going to get or reminding the office of his/her annual increment to be due in the next two or three months or considering a dharna, strike etc.


In the changed scenario it is necessary to devise some mechanism by which the wages are linked to performance. There is a minus point if the regular appointments are dispensed with. The little research, that too in the shape of duplication or replication, that is going on is likely to be the first casualty. Since money has become the first consideration, the teachers will go on shopping around lecturing in colleges and universities earning wages based on the number of lectures they deliver.

ARAVIND, Chandigarh

SGPC affairs

This refers to the letter “SGPC and Jathedars” by Bhai Aridaman Singh Jhabal of Amritsar.

In the Sikh religious scheme, historically we do not find any evidence of the permanent existence of the office of Jathedar of Akal Takhat. This position came into being during the 17th century when the Sikhs started the practice of holding regular Panthic congregations at Akal Takhat to discuss the programmes and policies to be pursued by the Panth during that crucial period. But each time whenever the congregation was held, a Sikh leader was named to conduct the proceedings and he acted as Jathedar.

In fact, it was the British Government which gave importance to the head priest of Akal Takhat, then called Pujari, to got some clarifications/hukamnamahs issued by him to their liking. The Gurdwara Act of 1925 gave this position the designation of “Head Minister” along with the Head Granthi of Harmandar Sahib with a special status as ex-officio members of the SGPC. This step in my opinion divested the Jathedar of Akal Takhat and Head Granthi of the Harmandar Sahib of the special status and position that he had enjoyed earlier and reduced them to the position of the employees of the SGPC and priests. Since then, we no longer find men like Akali Phoola Singh and Giani Sant Singh occupying these places and enjoying the confidence of the entire community.

It is wrong to aver that the idea of having an All India Gurdwara Act is of recent origin. The move originated when the Gurdwara Reform Movement was vigorously being pursued. The consideration in this regard has always been to bring about uniform Gur Maryada and to eradicate the observance of Brahminical rituals wherever they had crept in the Sikh shrines outside Punjab e.g. at places like Nanded (Hazur Sahib) and Patna. The opposition to this move has always been there, only from those quarters who have resented the idea of a distinct Sikh identity. The present opposition is purely political or from those vested interests who wish to use the historical Sikh shrines of Patna and Hazur Sahib as sources of power of patronage and to have clout with the powers-that-be at Delhi. The religious interests of the community demand emotional integration of the Sikh community with the enforcement of uniform Gur Maryada divested of all rituals at all the shrines.

The Gurdwara Act has no provision where from the SGPC can claim any right to control the local gurdwaras. The mushroom growth of gurdwaras is a new phenomenon coming to the fore because of the present-day fractured Sikh polity and local Sikh politicians seeking to use such new gurdwaras as spring-boards to advance their political ambitions. It is also this fractured Sikh polity that is freely using the Jathedars and thus vitiating the Sikh political scenario and degenerating the Sikh value system as enunciated by the Sikh Gurus.

Over the years the S.G.P.C. has done good service by seeking to standardise the publication of Sri Guru Granth Sahib based on Kartarpuri Bir. This positive contribution of the S.G.P.C. need not be belittled only to espouse the cause of the private publishers.


Grooming daughters-in-law

I refer to the write-up “Grooming daughters-in-law” by Rohit Ghosh (Dec 30). The school under reference is, indeed, unique in its functioning, but I’m baffled by the concept of teaching values and culture at such a mature age.

To lead a healthy married life, basic instincts and basic values inculcated right from the beginning prove to be helpful. Any school or coaching can just act as a catalyst. If the girl isn’t sensible at all, what to talk of three months’ course, even three years’ course won’t matter.

Children imitate their parents. The relation shared by their parents influences them a lot. If the parents always quarrel, their kids will face many difficulties in making their life happy and prosperous. If the parents are sincerely cooperative, only then they can teach their children right values.

I’ve come across certain families where both partners are not ready to alter a bit. They just want the things to happen on their own. Recently, I came to know of a rich person, who had got his daughter married in an affluent family. The girl was pampered a lot by her parents. She wasn’t taught even to fetch a glass of water for herself. Just two months after marriage, the couple got separated...because the father of the girl told her in-laws: “Hamari betiyaan tu jeans pehnti hain, Esteem chalati hain, voh guests ko paani nahin pilati..voh husband ke jaane ke baad gate nahin band karti”. I feel no school can be of any help in such cases. It’s the foremost duty of the parents to teach their kids the right things and not encourage them in their wrong practices, whichever strata of society they may belong to.

There are many cases where undue interference by parents results in divorce. Certain parents, being overpossessive, forget that until and unless they cease to be a Peeping Tom, their daughters won’t be able to adapt themselves to the new environment. They should make their daughters strong enough so as to brave the odds themselves. But if the girl has landed herself in a soup, her parents must come to her rescue. When I got married, my dad told me in a plain simple manner, “whenever you face a problem, whenever you get into a tussle, resolve it yourself. Don’t come to me unless you are in a great mess”.

No doubt, women’s role is greater in creating a paradise, but men should also do their bit. A biased approach that only the girls should adjust may work disaster, rather than wonders.




Gallantry awards

It was quite heartening to read a news item “Punjab hikes gallantry cash awards” (Nov 7) saying the Punjab Government had decided to enhance the one-time cash awards for future winners of the gallantry awards. The Punjab Government will do a good job if it includes at least those gallantry awardees whose names were announced on August 15, 2002, and have yet to receive the medals for their gallantry acts. It will be a step in the right direction and will boost the morale of brave officers, JCOs and other ranks.

The Punjab Government should also consider sympathetically the substantial enhancement in the monthly allowances being granted to the previous gallantry awardees so that they do not feel the disparity due to the enhancement of one-time gallantry cash awards.

Lt Col J.S. KOHLI (retd), Mohali

Dual citizenship

I am an NRI who has had a Green Card since 1981. Unlike most Indians I am still an Indian citizen and have always opposed dual citizenship especially for people like V.S. Naipaul, who were not born nor lived in India. You simply cannot have dual loyalties. It is as simple as that!

Having lived in the USA since 1970, I am well aware of the attitude of Indians towards India. The Indians who were clamouring most for dual citizenship did not hesitate to give up their Indian citizenship as soon as they became eligible for the citizenship of their adopted country. For them a foreign citizenship was a grand prize. They never regretted giving up their Indian citizenship. With time, however, as they found living in white race countries not emotionally quite what they had dreamed about, they started getting desperate for their lost identity. My attitude has always been “too bad”. You cannot have it both ways.

It is disgraceful that the Indian government has decided to grant dual citizenship. The NRIs are essentially useless when it comes to helping India. The PIO card is the best solution for broken-hearted Indians who never want to live permanently in India anyway. But all that the BJP cares for is money.


Gurdwaras in Afghanistan

We understand from news reports that almost all gurdwaras in Afghanistan have been destroyed either during the Taliban movement or American shelling. In fact total responsibility for the destruction of the Afghanistan gurdwaras lies with the U.S.A. It would be appreciated if the U.S. government decides to undertake repairs, renovation or rebuilding of Sikh places of worship destroyed recently in the U.S. attack on Afghanistan.


Home | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Editorial |
Business | Sport | World | Mailbag | In Spotlight | Chandigarh Tribune | Ludhiana Tribune
50 years of Independence | Tercentenary Celebrations |
122 Years of Trust | Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |