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

Hypocritical stance on Libya

The news report Gaddafi’s blood money dents image of Indian-origin academics”’ (Mar 9) needs deep pondering and mulling. Now that his countrymen have stood in revolt against him, Gaddafi has suddenly become a pariah in the eyes of the US and other European countries, especially the England. During his halcyon days, he was much sought after by these very countries for his oil and money.

The countries, which now claim to be the repositories of democratic values, seem to have acted like the proverbial Jekyll and Hyde. Most of the European countries had been colonising the poor countries of Asia and Africa against their wishes by hook and crook till the middle of 20th century. They were ultimately driven out by the natives because of their exploitative governance. Why did they do so when in their own countries, they preferred democracy or democratic monarchies?


The overt concern of the US and the European countries about the lack of democratic governance in Libya is hogwash. Libya, like most middle-east countries, is infested with numerous tribes which owe allegiance to their own leaders. It is indeed a tough task to control these tribes and govern them as a nation. The US has failed in enforcing democracy in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The developed countries of Europe resort to varied tactics in laundering money from poor and undeveloped countries. Switzerland is one such example. It brazenly allows black money to pour in its banks and in the process earns huge revenue from this unethical practice. Is it not bad governance on the part of Switzerland in today’s context to entice the bad rulers of alien countries to stash their national wealth in its banks? Why do Europe and the US not raise a voice against this practice?

L R SHARMA, Sundernagar

Remembering Pai

The middle “Uncle Pai” (March 5) by Sai R. Vaidyanathan was a warm tribute to his guru who remained a source of inspiration for him to contribute about 80 episodes of Happiness@work, a weekly column in The Tribune. On his sad demise not only he but also all the comic crazy children and their parents have lost a dear friend who was the creator of the Amar Chitra Katha. Popularly known as Uncle Pai to his young readers, he helped millions of children discover the fascinating world of Indian mythology through his world famous comics.

He was not only a pioneer of comic books, but also a genius who introduced Indian culture, heritage and mythology to the impressionable in his unique way. Initially when most of the publishers were sceptical about his vision it was his persuasion and belief only which led to the launch of the first title ‘Krishna’.

Since then ‘Amar Chitra Katha’ has been one of the most widely read Indian comic series of all times breathing life into characters from the epics such as the Ramayana and the Mahabharta and selling about three million comic books a year in more than 20 different languages.

Even before the advent of computers and the popularisation of modern concepts of education, like the use of stories to teach children, Pai’s books had become tools of intellectual nourishment. Pai’s creations have been translated into many Indian languages and gained acceptability among the vernacular readers as well. In spite of commercial considerations, Pai’s contribution to entertainment and education will be remembered. Like the late cartoonist, Shankar, Pai too will live through his creations.

DILBAG RAI, Chandigarh

Stray dog menace

Palampur which once used to resplendently glitter with beautiful lush tea gardens is now under a serious threat of losing its serenity. As if the problems posed by the monkeys and stray cows were not enough, the menace of stray dogs has started worrying the residents of the area. The population of stray dogs has drastically increased. Groups of canines have entrenched themselves not only around every dhaba, meat shop, fast food joints which discard the leftovers but also every chowk and street of Ghuggar, Aima, Bundla and Lohna Panchayats. With garbage strewn in practically every corner and the stray dog menace fast catching up, the residents are an unhappy lot.

Garbage dumping bins left by the Municipal Council in and around the town attract stray dogs and stray cattle. The most affected are the school going children who play in the evenings. People who commute in the night, especially those who ride two wheelers have to bear with chasing dogs which leads to accidents, often fatal.

According to the Supreme Court directive no stray dog should be culled and only sterilisation is permitted for controlling its population. Unfortunately, there is none to address the fears of the residents. Medical experts say all cases of dog bites have to be given anti-rabies injections. Though it is now possible to take five or six painless injections costing Rs 375 each, for the poor it is still the 14 painful injections around the umbilicus. These cost Rs. 10 each. Despite all these facilities, deaths due to rabies are reported from various places. If the present state of affairs is allowed to continue for some more time, the stray dog population will go beyond control.

K.B. RALHAN, Palampur 



HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Letters | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |