A matter of law and order

In the article “Goings-on in the name of God” (Saturday Extra, December 4), what an irony that Khushwant Singh laments “the principle that the law must take its course has become a cliche more observed in breach than in observance.” He himself had rushed to condemn Operation Bluestar, despite the law and order aspect. Khushwant Singh’s piece exposes yet again the hypocrisy and doublespeak of the people working against the nation behind the veneer of “secularism.”

Before talking about law, “secularists” must realise that a law is only law if it is enforced without any discrimination.


Melodies from the past

M.L. Dhawan’s write-up “Melodies from the past come alive” (Spectrum November, 14) was quite informative. Hats off to director-producer Yash Chopra for showing courage of conviction in Madan Mohan’s musical prowess.

It is amazing to hear Lata Mangeshkar’s rendition which sounds both young and touching. Of special mention is the song Hum to bhai jaise hain waise rahengey, which sounds like a sweet 16-year-old girl. I was disappointed to find that numbers like Yeh hum aa gaye hain kahan and Yeh hawa aaj kyon gaa rahee hai sung by Lata and Udit Narayan and Lata Mangeshkar and Sonu Nigam respectively have been deleted from the film. Since masala films are faring badly at the box office, I am sure this remarkable film will be a blockbuster.



I missed Mohammed Rafi and Talat Mahmud, favourite singers of Madan Mohan. Gurdas Mann, Sonu Nigam, Udit Narayan and Roop Kumar Rathore have also done justice to their compositions in the film.

LALIT JAIN, Panchkula


Apropos of M.L. Dhawan’s “Melodies from the past come alive”, (November 14) there is no denying that the late Madan Mohan will always be remembered by music lovers for his lilting, soulful melodies. The writer has failed to note some important points. One, Lata Mangeshkar’s voice leaves much to be desired in rendition of songs; the effort to sink the quiver, due to old age, can be felt.

It is high time she realises that it is a sin to mar the chances of so many talented singers waiting in the queue. The verse of the qawwali Aaya tere dar par diwana is a poor copy of Sahir’s Tere dar pe aaya hoon from Laila Majnu. Javed Akhtar is repeating himself in Ye hum aa gaye hain kahan. Remember that beauty from Silsila in Ye kahaan aa gaye hum, yunhi saath chalte chalte. Yes Main yahan hoon... by Udit Narayan appeals and is pick of the album.


Lamp for literacy

I am indeed impressed with the grand work being done at Kanya Sanskrit Mahavidyalaya, Gurukul, Kharal in Narwana to transform the lives of underprivileged girls. I simply wish the write-up had a mention about Swami Dayanand Saraswati, the founder of Arya Samaj and Swami Shradhanand. They are the inspiration and driving force behind all such institutions for girls and other underprivileged classes, in different parts of the country.

In the 19th century, when the condition of women in India had become pitiable, it was Swami Dayanand Saraswati, who gave voice to woman and her need for progress.

Of late, many learned people and intellectuals have withdrawn from the Arya Samaj after being disgusted with the manner in which the affairs of Arya Samaj are being run. Why forget the great selfless Dayanand Saraswati? His contribution to improve the lot of women and backward classes has no parallel.

NEELA SOOD, Chandigarh

Stranger than fiction

Darshan Singh Maini’s “Fury of tormented poet” (Spectrum November 28) encapsulates the intense life and passionate poetry of Sylvia Plath. Tormented by the unpardonable betrayal of her poet-husband Ted Hughes whom she loved “too much but not wisely”, one fatal morning she gassed herself to death by placing her head in the oven. Life indeed is sometimes stranger than fiction, a woman, her husband had forsaken also found dead in exactly the same manner as Plath. The following lines in her poem Lady Lazarus can be taken as a forewarning to all this:

“Beware/Beware/out of the ash I rise with my red hair/And I eat men like air”.


Incorrect verses

The verse quoted by Narindra Khosla as “from an unknown poet,’’ in his letter “Refreshing couplets,” (October 10) actually reads as Museebat aur lambi zindagaani/ Buzurgon kee dua ney maar daala. Its author is Muztar Khairabadi.

The Urdu verse quoted by Kedar Nath sharma in his letter “Memories of Lahore” (October 17) is, in fact, Din ko bhee yahaan shab kee siyaahi ka samaan hai/ Kaihtey hain ye aaram-gahe Noor Jahan hai. The poet is Tilak Chand Mahroom.

Bhagwan Singh, Qadian

Women’s power

I support the views expressed by Chanchal Sarkar  in “Democracy with a difference” (Dec 26) about the power of women whose spirits are upbeat while working in the barren fields to grow Arjun trees, rear silk worms and weave tussore.

I would like to point out that women, if organised properly and made aware of the strength of unity, can create wonders. The organised women can take care of 33 million hectare wastelands lying in the country for growing medicinal plants and other useful herbs for their livelihood.  Self Employed Women Association (SEWA) and SEWA Bank in Gujarat is the example of women’s power and empowerment.

The women in Gujrat have made the “operation flood” a success. But we need Elaben and V. Kuriens to guide them.

Puran Singh, Nilokheri

Sahir lives on

"Sahir: The Poet lives on,” by M.L. Dhawan (Spectrum October 24) was extremely interesting.

Sahir was influenced by his senior and contemporary Faiz Ahmed Faiz. The latter’s poetry appealed to the head, the former’s moved the heart. He was emotionally attached to Amrita Pritam, the great Punjabi poetess, who has acknowledged it in her autobiography.

Sahir belonged to the Progressive Writers Movement and for some time edited Preet Lari founded by Gurbax Singh Preet Lari.

During the college days in the late 1994s, I read Sahir’s famous book Talkhian and became his ardent fan. I happened to meet him at a mushaira held at New Delhi’s Chelmsford club where he recited his freshly composed poem on the first space satellite piloted by Yuri Gagarin.

After receiving a thunderous applause, he proceeded towards the refreshment counter. I followed him and on getting close greeted him with adaab which he graciously acknowledged. Without waiting further, I burst out, ‘Sir! I have read Talkhiyan and liked it. You recite the first line of any poem and I will complete it.’ Sahir’s eyes brightened with joy. Instead of responding to my challenge, he embraced me. That was the happiest moment of my life and I cherish it to this day.

V.K. RANGRA, Delhi


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