Thursday, February 20, 2003, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi



Pitfalls of globalisation

This refers to Mr M.M. Joshi’s article “Pitfalls of globalisation: alternative paradigm needed” (Feb 9). J. Bronowski in his excellent book “The Ascent of Man” has written: “It seems ideas discover man rather than the other way about.” It seems the idea of Global Parivar was already there and in India it has discovered Mr Joshi for furthering itself. Though contrary to Mr Joshi, I see the concept of Global Parivar as a step ahead on our evolutionary journey as a global culture over what he calls globalisation through market forces and not as opposed to it, which from Mr Joshi’s article it seems to be. For after all first we needed a globalisation of any sort to be then able to think of a Global Parivar! Anyway I am saying this not only on the basis of the present article by Mr Joshi but I have in my mind some other related developments and which cover not only India or rather the East but America or rather the West as well. And indeed it should be so when we are talking of the global culture as a whole.

Many people know Mr Joshi to be on the forefront of an education-related movement which for Mr Joshi and his followers is for the inclusion of ancient Indian Vedic wisdom in the school/college curricula and for their opponents “saffronisation of education”. But not many people know that a similar movement is also going on in the West as well. There, it is in the name of inclusion of Creationism based on biblical accounts in the school/college curricula alongside the Darwinian theories of evolution to explain the origin and evolution of species etc, for many deep thinkers like Mr Joshi there feel that the Darwinian theories of evolution have now turned inadequate in explaining the phenomenon of evolution and that we need to go deeper and finally look for some spiritual source for their explanation.


Obviously, as we evolve (in any way) we go deeper and deeper into things and as we go deeper and deeper into things we encounter phenomena which force us to revise our already existing theories in all branches of knowledge. And obviously again, for the people like Mr Joshi for who are in the thick of such (academic) things would know, now we have reached a stage where our already existing “hard” theories have failed to explain so many things, including the phenomenon of evolution.

So for me, two similar pincer-like movements, one from the East and the other from the West are going on which are sort of trying to take us deeper and deeper and perhaps finally to our common spiritual source. Now what this common spiritual source ultimately could be but our God the Father, though many may like to call it One, or even by other so many names? And what all a Parivar, even in the traditional sense, needs to be called so. Again a common father. Obviously to me Mr Joshi is pointing us in the right direction.


Political immaturity

This refers to Congress advertisement (Feb 8) comprising a caricature of Mr Dhumal as CM followed by a question: “Can we trust a corrupt leader?”

Seen from an apolitical independent angle, these insertions are not in good taste! How many Congress men are “doodh ka dhulla” beyond blemish?

If Congress leaders think that they will garner votes better through such provocative and accusative slogans, they are mistaken — to say the least. Instead they should highlight their own strong points and leave the adversary to the electorate’s own assessment. The voter does know his modus of making “doodh ka doodh, pani ka pani.”

In this context Nida Fazali can be quoted: “Dushmani lakh sahi, khatam na kar rishte, Dil mile ya na mile, hath milate rahiye!”

K.L. NOATAY, Shimla

Pension up to age of 75?

Apropos the news item “Move to curb term of pensions unfortunate” (Feb 13). The NDA government at the Centre plans to restrict the term of pensions payable to civil pensioners up to the age of 75.

The news, if authentic, is alarming. Government pensioners are professionals who retired after giving the best years of their lives in public service. As age advances, liabilities towards grandchildren, health problems with the body getting emaciated, keep on increasing. The bank interest rates have been reduced to a despicable low, without provision of liberal social and civic amenities as are available to Senior Citizens abroad.

In countries where politics is not played badly, the governments are keen to keep in touch with the problems of their Senior Citizens. They are allowed concessions in all spheres of life. Malaysia, in 1971, sent a team to enquire about the welfare of its pensioners residing in Punjab. Further, pensions paid in that country are free of income tax. Britain pays to its Senior Citizens social service, old age and departmental pensions, besides other concessions and facilities. Canada is also altruistic towards its Senior Citizens in the payment of old age pensions as also other concessions. In Sri Lanka and Malaysia pension is allowed at the rate of 70 to 90 per cent of the last drawn emoluments. All these countries are members of the Commonwealth.

What is required in this country is the curbing of unwanted and wasteful expenditure and not axing the pensioners, driving them into a stage of penury and throwing them before the wolf, to die hungry, impoverished in a state of nothing short of beggary.

The Directive Principles give guidelines to the country to progress towards a welfare state. Kindly don’t reverse the process perceived by the fathers of the Constitution.

We believe that the statesmen and politicians of this country would not compromise, to any measure, on a retrograde step to cut the benefits of pension earned by the pensioners by the sweat and toil of their brow in the service of this nation.

May wisdom dawn on the NDA government!

V.I.K. SHARMA, S.S. SOHAL, Jalandhar

Davinder Satiarathy

It was really sad to read about the demise of a great poet, Davinder Satiarathy. Persons like Satiarathy are born after a long period of time and strive hard to do something for society — may be at the cost of their families. It sad that a saintly and a plain-speaking poet is no more with us.

It is really unfortunate that people associated with the media do not think it worthwhile to highlight such events. Stories of little academic, scientific or cultural importance find a place in the media but news items associated with our heritage or our achievements in any of such field either are of no or little importance to the media. I think this is one of the reasons for the degradation of our moral character and sincerity.

Dr S.S. KUKAL, Ludhiana

Seva by women

Some things are best left as they are. There are other places where women can assert their rights. Seva in the right sense can be working to clean the parikarma or utensils etc. Not necessarily holding the “Palki Sahib”. The reports of “women” assaulted in the Golden Temple (Feb 15) are damaging and give a wrong impression to the outside world whereas no such thing has ever occurred here before.

The two England-based Sikh women cannot change our setup. They should apologise for their insulting outburst.


Ridiculous challans

How ridiculous and unreasonable it is that if any owner of a vehicle is challaned in Mohali under traffic laws, the challaned person has to go all the way to Kharar to pay the penalty and get the documents released by appearing in the court of the Judicial Magistrate, Kharar.

But if one is challaned in Morinda, whether the challaned person is a resident of Ferozepur, Fazilka, Abohar, Amritsar or any far away place, he has to go all the way to Ropar to pay the penalty and get the documents released by appearing in the C.J.M.’s court.

Are the laws for the conveniences of society or to harass and add to the woes of people? Can something be done to minimise the inconvenience to the travelling public?


Delhi judicial exam

There has been no public announcement of the final results of the Delhi Judicial Services Examination, 2002, even after more than six months of the interviews.

N.K. SINGHAL, Rohtak


Two CMs and their cockfight

Charge-trading and mud-slinging between Capt Amarinder Singh and Prof Dhumal has reached a feverish pitch. The voters will better keep in mind that once the elections are over and the new government is in place, the Himachal CM (from whatever party) will welcome Capt Amarinder and his relatives and his MLAs to have all the land in H.P. to construct their mansions and set up their orchards and the Punjab CM will provide his counterpart in H.P. his relatives and H.P. MLAs with all the facilities they might require to set up their industries in Punjab. In the process the voters will have been fooled and a few supporters might end up with fractured limbs and bandaged heads. People living in H.P. have already forgotten that they were Punjabis in 1947, the rift between Indians in H.P. and the Indians in Punjab is likely to widen a bit more during these elections. Remember Karnataka and T.N.? Divide and rule?

Have the things improved in Punjab? Is Punjab financially better off now? Is Prof Dhumal leaving a financially viable Himachal after his term? How much money can these governments spare for the development and social welfare after the leaders have drawn their pay and perks and paid their employees? Are the states corruption-free and administratively better under either of them than these were while under their predecessors? The fact is that both the states are bankrupt and none of the parties is fighting elections on the issue of improving financial status because it requires brains, education and honesty to do that.

The fault lies with us, the citizens of India, because we herd together to listen to and applause the politicians as they tell lies. In fact, the bigger the lie, the greater the applause. So let us get ready for another five years of poverty under crorepatis with their bagfuls of currency notes. In the meantime, let us enjoy the “tamasha”! After all, it is not everyday that we see a Captain and a Professor cock-fight.

L.R. SHARMA, Jalandhar


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