Wednesday, July 30, 2003, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi



Our leaders’ patience is limitless

Mr H.K. Dua’s edit “Limits to patience” (July 24) is thought-provoking and timely. The killing of Brigadier V.K. Govil and seven jawans at Akhnoor and six Vaishno Devi pilgrims at Ban Ganga, near Katra, seemed to have still not stirred the conscience of Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Deputy Prime Minister Lal Krishan Advani and Defence Minister George Fernandes. Their patience seems to be limitless.

How long our leaders would keep on harping about peace instead of taking stern action to put an end to crossborder terrorism and insurgency? Killing of how many more people would stir their conscience?

Israel, for instance, would have acted on its own to put an end to the insurgency, instead of looking towards the US and the western countries. Mr Advani's assertion in the Lok Sabha that terrorists attacked the army camp mainly to disrupt peace efforts in the sub-continent is absurd. So is the statement of Mr Fernandes in Jammu that the peace process between India and Pakistan should not be allowed to be derailed due to terrorist incidents in Jammu and Kashmir and elsewhere.

D.P. Sharma, Chandigarh


I endorse Mr H.K. Dua’s view that General Musharraf should realise India’s limits to patience. Clearly, India has been lenient towards Pakistan all along even though it has been facing terrorism for past two decades. Theodore Roosevelt said: “Don’t hit at all if it is honourably possible to avoid hitting, but never hit soft.” Surely, we should not be lenient towards Pakistan.


If Pakistan threatens to give us a “fitting reply”, India should reply in the words of Bismark: “When I deal with a friend, I am a friend and a half; when I deal with a crook, I am a crook and a half.”

D.V. JOSHI, Bartana (Zirakpur)


We expect General Musharraf to see reason, listen to the voice of sanity and fulfil his commitment that he would not allow subversive outfits to carry on terrorist-related activities against India from the Pakistani soil. The peace process should not be derailed while offensive operations against the terrorists should be redoubled.

At this hour of trial, we cannot depend on the US to pressurise Islamabad to behave. We shall have to act on our own with a strong political will.

Prof K.L. Batra, Yamuna Nagar

Factual errors on Kargil war

This has reference to Air Marshal Vinod Patney’s article “Kargil: Did we play our cards properly?” (July 26). There are several factual errors in this article on the processing, decision-making and employment of the Indian Air Force during the Kargil war.

These facts are well known to my then colleagues of the Chiefs of Staff Committee, Admiral Sushil Kumar (Chief of Naval Staff), Air Chief Marshal A.Y. Tipnis (Chief of Air Staff) and our senior operational staff.

General V.P. Malik (retd), Former Chief of Army Staff, Panchkula

Recovery of loans

This has reference to the report “Banks recover only 440 cr” (July 22). True, the public sector banks have recovered a small amount of Rs.440 crore by March 31,2003 as against the outstanding amount of Rs 1,00,000. In fact, the banks are not serious to recover the public money. Most of the bad loans are accounted for by corporate sector.

The Ludhiana industry has looted the banks and the investors. The All-India Bank Employees’ Association had published a list of bank loan defaulters of Punjab and Chandigarh. The names of public sector, private banks, foreign banks and financial institutions have been given from where the loans were taken. The bad loans up to March 31, 2001, estimated above Rs.80,000 crore, now cross Rs.1,00,000 crore. The public sector units have a major portion of such loans. These are called non-performing assets (NPA). If the interest is added, this figure touches the 1,50,000-crore mark.

The banks have surplus money and they are in a race to provide loans to people under various schemes. But loan recovery is very slow. Most of the banks have now started providing credit card facilities to people.They give interest-free credit up to 50 days, free accident insurance, no transaction fee on petrol pumps, low annual fee, lower rate of interest etc. Most of its members do not give payments and banks cannot take any action. Ultimately, they post letters for the money but credit card holders do not bother to return the money. It is not known why banks are going for policies, putting crores of public money in such a gamble. Have the banks learnt any lesson?

M.L.Garg, Chandigarh

Disservice to jawans

Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh has done a great disservice to serving and retired defence personnel by imposing 50 per cent tax on CSD canteen items (July 18). It is surprising that a financially sound state like Punjab should go in for such a step to augment its financial resources.

Shyam Sunder Airi, Kapurthala

Fake institutions

There are a good number of fake universities and other bogus institutions. Occasionally, the University Grants Commission releases a list of some of them. This, however, has not had the desired results.

It is, therefore, suggested that the UGC file an FIR against them with the police and pursue the matter to its logical end. Meanwhile, schools and colleges should prominently display the names of such cheating operators on their notice boards.

Chaman Lal Korpal, Amritsar

Costlier seats

The Dayanand Medical College and Hospital (DMC&H) at Ludhiana has 70 MBBS seats per year. Up to 2002, the general category seats were 41. It has arbitrarily reduced the seats to 32 and increased NRI seats from 11 to 15 so as to collect Rs 1.5 crore annually in addition to the collection of Rs 4 crore annually from NRI students.

The maximum seats allowed for NRI students by the Supreme Court are 15 per cent i.e. 10.5 seats each year. The DMC&H has created three seats for the wards of hospital staff and cutting the share of merit students. It has increased fee from Rs 13,500 per year to Rs 4 lakh per year.

I may further add that the fee in Punjab is already more than the neighbouring states like Haryana (Rs 5,000 per year) and Rajasthan (Rs 1,000 per year). The DMC&H has increased fee for postgraduate course from Rs 66,000 to Rs 15 lakh, thereby closing the doors for meritorious students in Punjab.

Dr Raj Kumar Garg, Kotkapura

Nip it in the bud

It is commendable that the authorities in Amritsar have caught red-handed some people while selling blood. The exploitation of poor donors by middlemen should be checked forthwith. It is only because of this racket that AIDS is spreading fast.

The nursing homes should ensure that healthy and tested blood is used for all the patients. This should be approved by the Blood Banks. District Health authorities and Drug Inspectors should be answerable if any killer trade is noticed in the district. The government should nip it in the bud.

Jasbir Singh, Hoshiarpur

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