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THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
L E T T E R S    T O    T H E    E D I T O R

Taliban outrage against Sikhs is despicable

The editorial “A Taliban outrage” (May 2) has aptly condemned the demolition of houses belonging to the Sikhs in the Aurakzai tribal region by the Taliban because of their inability to pay “jaziya”. This reprehensible act on the part of the Taliban reveals the hideous face of religious fundamentalism. Their highhandedness is shocking, though not unexpected, given the fact that the Pakistan Government is not taking the religious fanatics head on because of its own political compulsions. The Taliban is having a free run in the Swat valley.

All religions stand for piety, tolerance and love. So does Islam. Targeting and singling out Sikhs because of their faith and ethnicity militates against the concept of universal brotherhood and equality. This wilful act betokens their insanity and insularity. Such men are a blot on the civil society.

Most countries in the world are multi-religious and multi-ethnic. If the discrimination and persecution of the people on the basis of religion and creed is tolerated, there will be chaos and anarchy. The international community, therefore, must wake up to the monster called the Taliban that is threatening peace in the world. The Pakistan government must stop the harassment of religious minorities.

HEMA, Langeri, Hoshiarpur



II

The plight of the hapless Sikhs in the troubled tribal areas of Pakistan cannot be ignored. The infinitesimally small Sikh minority of the restive region is akin to sitting ducks. The Sikh community of that region should be rescued by the Pakistan forces and brought to India for rehabilitation. In future, they will never be safe, particularly in that region of Pakistan. This is a humanitarian issue and India cannot turn a blind eye to it.

HARJAP SINGH AUJLA, New Jersey, USA

Political cases

Col RD Singh (Letters to the Editor, May 2) and renowned advocate Fali S Nariman in his article, “Polls: It is wiser for judges to defer cases with political overtones” (April 29) have made valid observations in the light of recent political overtones in important pronouncements and actions. Actions like the CBI’s decision on Mr Quattrocchi, re-opening of Gujarat riots and few cases against some heavyweight politicians may not go down well with the public. Let us for the time being ignore petty cases of revenge or insinuations by one party against the other that may be termed as “essential part of the election propaganda”.

VINOD TULI, New Delhi

II

Why does the learned advocate want the apex court to defer the cases having political overtones? Ordering a probe against the Gujarat Chief Minister, Mr Narendra Modi, during whose tenure Gujarat riots took place is not unjustified. Several politicians are indirectly involved in riots. Certain Congress leaders were involved in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots. Such leaders are unfit to govern. Though the writer has given examples of how certain cases were motivated by political gains, all cases involving political leaders should be dealt with promptly. Let the truth be told, as fast as possible.

SHER SINGH, Ludhiana





To vote or not

For months the media blitzkrieg “vote and vote for the right candidate” has been going on. While in service, I could not vote due to the exigencies of service. After retirement, I promised to vote. In the last two elections I refrained from voting, for I could not find the person or political party who could represent me in the state assembly or Parliament.

Given the din of ‘must vote – vote right’, once again the call of duty welled up in me. I found that manifestos neither have ideological content nor the solution to the country’s mammoth problems. In terms of candidates, political parties are prisoners of money-muscle ‘vote bank’ politics. The same old people who stalled Lok Sabha proceedings, led violent public demonstrations, spread communal hatred and amassed illegal wealth were back in the fray.

Despite the Election Commission’s code of conduct, candidates and parties bribe voters. Many prospective voters, too, have learnt the art of ‘extorting incentives’. Sadly, the Indian Ex-Servicemen Movement, too, falls in this category of voters. It has sent an advisory to its members to vote for a particular political party because the party has promised to meet IESM’s segmented (fully justified, though) demands.

Once again, I feel cheated. “Must vote and vote right” has been denied to me by not enabling me to push the button reading ‘Do not vote for any candidate’ and for such a vote to count for something.

MAJ-GEN K KHORANA (retd), Panchkula

 





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