Friday, April 25, 2003, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi



The bully of Baghdad

Apropos of your editorial "Saddam is history" (April 11), I share your observation that few tears would be shed on the fall of "the bully of Baghdad". Saddam Hussein was a ruthless dictator whose removal was bound to bring joy to most Iraqis. The Western media has been trying hard to convince the world of the soundness of the American action by dishing out frame after frame of the Saddam statue demolition and the subsequent trampling of it by jubilant crowds.

Subduing a country ruled by a regime that was highly unpopular among the neighbouring states was not a heroic deed. So no cheers are heard for Mr Bush. He has only tried to shock and terrorise the peace-loving people of the world by caring two hoots for the sentiments of the civilised world as expressed through the UN. In this, the hero (!) and the villain of the sordid drama exhibit a marked affinity.

Mr George W. Bush has scripted a post-modern text that subverts itself. Peace has not been established but seems threatened further, since any lasting peace requires a modicum of justice and fair play. The stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons said to be in the possession of Iraq are nowhere to be found. Saddam Hussein is likely to remain as elusive as Osama bin Laden. The popularity which Mr George Bush had envisioned for himself seems to be receding like a mirage.



50 years of US imperialism

This refers to the article Fifty years of US imperialism (April 11). I beg to differ with the writer in his insinuation labelling the US as an imperialist country. The historical background quoted by him to give his views on the Iraq war does not fit into the reality of US liberal policies on the global geo-political situation. The US has helped East European and Balkan countries to get rid of dictators and rabid communism and today they are proud democratic nations.

The reference that American society at heart had all along been a violent society is not correct. If the number of firearms held by individual Americans were allowed in our country, then there would have been total anarchy and unprecedented violence. The author refers to the so-called heroic fight of Iraqis for their motherland, or shall we say conversely, no serious fight was given to the US coalition forces so that to allow them to liberate the Iraqi people from self-aggrandisement of Saddam and his cruelties.

As for the UN, if the big powers trio of Russia, France and Germany had forcefully helped the US in the passage of its resolution in the Security Council warning Saddam to quit, probably there would have been no war and under pressure from these countries, Saddam would have capitulated and taken refuse in Russia and Syria. There would have been no war and no loss of life and property in Iraq.

Why should the US sacrifice the lives of its soldiers fighting in Iraq or Afghanistan? They have liberated the Iraqis with their blood and once the dust settles down and the coalition forces stabilise Iraq and hands over the reigns of power to the elected people to run their nation, the US must sign a peace treaty to keep a sizeable force in Iraq so that it has not to offer billions of dollars to Turkey to fight another terrorist state. No doubt, the reconstruction of Iraq must be through the UN, but the US has a right to play a key role.

Col. MAKHAN SINGH (retd), Mohali


Ghalib’s couplet

This refers to Dr S.S. Bhatti’s letter Ghalib’s couplet (April 12).

I do not know ’urooz (the science of versification and metrical structure). I am happy that Dr Bhatti has enlightened the lovers of Urdu poetry on the importance of “wazn” (metre).

I had written “Shah” (not Shaah) because the word was spelled with “sheen” and “he” of Urdu alphabets in the relevant couplet. Dr H.K. Lall, who has taught Urdu for years together, had also written “Shah” and “vagarnah”. A prosodist has told me that although “he” (h) has to be written at the end of these words, it has not to be taken into consideration while doing “taqtee” (scanning). Since I do not know ‘urooz I am unable to comment on his opinion.

Incidentally, Dr Bhatti has written ‘urooz and wazn and mentor as ‘arooz, wazan and menter respectively. This is not to belittle his erudition, but to say that some minor mistakes do occur even though someone writes something very carefully.

Josh Malihabadi has rightly said: “Qadam insaan ka raah-e-dahr mein tharra hee jaata hai/Chaley kitna sanbhal kar koee thokar kha hee jaata hai.” A person ignorant of prosodical rules may read last “n” of “insaan” in this couplet as dental “noon” and not as “noon-e ghunnah”, i.e., nasal “n”. Dr Bhatti deserves thanks for his valuable comments.


Unkind words

Apropos “Ghalib’s couplet” by Dr S.S. Bhatti. It does not behove a scholar like Dr Bhatti to use such unkind and sarcastic words as“ .... he has little knowledge of prosody” and “...he always has the last word on Urdu poetry” for an elderly man and scholar like Mr Bhagwan Singh, who himself is a model of humility which is reflected in his letters frequently appearing in The Tribune, including the one appearing in the same issue.



The Punjab Government suffers an annual loss of Rs 500 crore due to the under valuation of properties transferred through sale deeds registered in the offices of Sub Registrar. A nexus of document writers and Sub Registrars is behind the scandal. As a document writer, I am being victimised for exposing the scandal.


Water problem

Narwana in Jind district is a junction station, but the drinking water available at the railway station is salty and unfit for drinking. We have written several letters to the railway authorities, but to no avail. The summer season is on and to help passengers the authorities should take immediate steps in this regard.

Dr UTTAM SINGH, President, Senior Citizens Council, Narwana

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