Sad times for Sonia

This refers to the article, "Sad times for Sonia: And the party has run out of ideas," by Mr H.K. Dua (Editor's Column, Dec 10). The defeat of the Congress in three states foretells the events to come. In Chhatisgarh, the Congress has been defeated due to the division of votes between the Congress and the NCP.

The Shuklas had a traditional hold in the Raipur belt. Mr V.C. Shukla has shown to Ms Sonia Gandhi that she cannot ignore the old Congressmen and win the election, too. A united Congress could have done better in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan as well. The defeat of the Congress has doomed the future of Ms Sonia Gandhi. Those who were projecting her as the future Prime Minister might now think of uniting the Congress and the NCP for a better future in the next year's poll.

If the two Congress parties unite and project Mr Sharad Pawar as the future Prime Minister, it may not be very difficult to dislodge the NDA at the Centre. In Punjab, the Akali Dal should be thankful to the policies of the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, which have brought them near the victory podium. If the Congress high command doesn't bring drastic changes in the state leadership, the party will have a poor future.


So much for the soldier

December 7 was the Armed Forces Flag Day and the significance of this day needs no explanation. It's customary for the Governors of various states to insert a message-cum-appeal in the papers on this day. However, this year, no messages were seen from the Governors of Punjab and Haryana. A message from the Governor of Himachal Pradesh did appear and there was one more message along with a photograph, but it couldn't be made out from whom it was and whose photograph had been carried.


The apathy on part of the Punjab and Haryana Governments, both of which states have a huge percentage of their population in the armed forces, could not be understood. Such incidents show how much these governments really care for the soldiers and expose the hollowness of their words spoken from time to time regarding concern and welfare of the soldiers.

Lt Col BHAGWANT SINGH (retd), Mohali

Tun Tun (Uma Devi)—a tribute 

In the tribute paid to Tun Tun (Uma Devi) ("Hindi cinema's first-ever comedienne", December 7), Devinder Bir Kaur has stated that Uma Devi sang "Afsana Likh Rahi Hoon Dil-e-Bekrar Ka" for Suraiya. In fact, she sang this song for Munawar Sultana in A.R. Kardar's production, Dard, released in 1947. Uma Devi sang not only this song, but also two other riveting numbers—"Aaj Machi Hai Dhoom Jhoom Khushi Se Jhoom" and "Yeh Kaun Chala Meri Aankhon Mein Sama Kar" for Munawar Sultana.

With Suraiya, Uma sang a duet, "Betaabhai Dil Dard-e-Mohabat Ke Asar So". Suraiya rendered her own songs—"Dil Dharke Aankh Meri Farke", "Chaley Dil Ki Duniyan Ko Barbad Kar Ke", and "Hum The Tumhare Tum The Hamare Woh Bhi Zamana Yaad Karo". A Pakistani gentleman was so enamoured by the song "Afsana Likh Rahi Hoon" that he married Uma Devi and did not return to Pakistan. He died in 1992. Uma called him Mohan.

M.L. DHAWAN, Chandigarh

Drugs everywhere

This has reference to Amar Chandel's article, "Drug, liquor, opium, everywhere" (Dec 3). the writer has presented a critical assessment of drug addiction in Punjab. The menace is not confined to villages only. It is also seen in the colleges of our cities.

Various NGOs should come forward and temperance camps should be arranged at the village level with the help of panchayats. However, smuggling from the neighbouring states should be checked forcefully.

CHARANJIT NOHRA, Nouhra village, Nabha

The bridge too far

Recently, a bridge was inaugurated first by Vinod Khanna, MP from Gurdaspur, and soon after, the same bridge was inaugurated (opened to traffic) by the Punjab Chief Minister. The Shalla Pattan bridge has linked Gurdaspur and Mukerian and shortened the distance by more than by 50 km. This was a welcome step on part of the politicians and a great gift for the people of this area.

I happened to travel by car on this road (from Gurdaspur to Mukerian). To my dismay, I found the road totally unfit for traffic. It is full of potholes. Unfortunately, only the bridge is traffic worthy. Those sitting at a distance must be happy about constructing this bridge, but in actuality, the government has done less than half its share of responsibility. No road construction work is going on. Had this road been made properly, this would have proved to be a blessing; this has not been done.

The government should take serious note of the state of this road. Mr Bajwa, who is the minister concerned, belongs to this area. He should take up the case with the appropriate authorities and accomplish the half-done work.


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