|E D I T O R I A L
P A G E
Wednesday, December 30, 1998
against national creed
IN ON BJPS FAILURES
lessons from Desert Fox
Sin against national creed
BATTERED secularism is worse than bigotry. The second socio-religious malaise conforms to a definition and shows the signs of lack of sensible comprehension and negative personal preferences. The first one only indicates the fall of man from a pedestal as a tolerant being untouched by decimating pride and prejudice. Our Constitution gives secularism the status of an ethos. There is as much place for Hinduism in India as there is for Islam, Christianity or any other religion. What is happening in south Gujarat is shameful. The hotheads spawning communalism and causing violence are not Hindus. The Hindu way of life puts them in the category of fanatics, fundamentalists and un-Hindu Indians. The Vishwa Hindu Parishad or the Bajrang Dal is not an organisation of citizens who respect the multi-religious and non-communal nature of the proclaimed statute that seeks to bind the nation together. The anti-Muslim or anti-Christian propaganda mischievously unleashed by self-styled members of "Hindu organisations" is taking society to the precipice. The planned attacks on Muslims and Christians are culpable acts. The state government did have enough information about the trouble-triggering groups and it is a fact that it failed to control the dangerous situation in time. Why did Chief Minister Keshubhai Patel not protect the life, limb and property of the victims of the communal frenzy?
Surat and Dangs are not for burning. There has been more political mischief than bureaucratic lapse in those places. Why does Home Minister L.K. Advani not take to task the government and the "social bodies" which are obviously not beyond the control of his office or his party? Muslims are not mere vote-banks. Christians owe allegiance to the Indian nation from the days of St Thomas. What is happening in Gujarat and elsewhere in the name of religious consciousness is deplorable. Communal cleavages must not be allowed to get sharpened. The matter obviously is not fit for consideration at the forums of the National Minorities Commission or the Human Rights Commission. There was sustained vilification of Nobel laureate Mother Teresa. Now Prof Amartya Sen is not being spared. The likes of Mr Ashok Singhal must be made to realise that they have committed a sin against secularism and the Constitution by defending barbarous acts in U.P, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Gujarat. If any religious group goes berserk, the law of the land must deal with it sternly. If Christians indulge in religious improprieties, they make themselves accountable to the prevailing legal system. But the same standard should apply to the VHP and its units going by various names.
The Constitution contains
provisions which protect the right of religions to run
educational establishments, but in spite of reservation
and other temporary safeguards for certain communities,
the temper of the Constitution is secular. The temper of
society is not so secular. When major religions like
Hinduism, Christianity and Islam had, after tensions and
conflicts, agreed through their leaders on coexistence,
only the hangover of differences of outlook remained.
Secularism as a policy had to be emphasised. That was
what Gandhi and Nehru did. Nehru was not a
religious-minded man and he went further and annotated
the secular outlook to mean the scientific outlook. He
believed in science and spirituality. The VHP's or the
BJP's secularism is not secular enough. We cannot commit
socio-political harakiri. Over to Prime Minister Atal
A trend-setting pact
INDIA has at last shed its inhibitions about forcing its original idea of meaningful economic cooperation on SAARC countries. That is the real significance of the trade treaty with Sri Lanka. For the past 13 years India has made repeated attempts to make trade freer, leading to the elimination of tariff barriers and import controls now nominally set for 2001. But Pakistan, the second biggest economy in South Asia, has blocked the move, fearing serious damage to its nascent industry and evolving market if Indian goods are allowed free entry. For some years this country has been thinking of getting around this obstruction by reaching bilateral arrangements with smaller countries. It has already announced duty concessions for goods from Bangladesh and talks are going on to firm up these in the form of a formal treaty. The agreement with Sri Lanka will obviously be the model. There is already a free trade system with Nepal and Bhutan, outside the SAARC framework that is, both are traditional in nature and long in existence. That leaves the Maldives which has no problem in joining Sri Lanka in moving towards a tariff-free regime by the first decade of the next century. Which makes Pakistan the only country opposing a regional and multilateral accord, even if it too makes some bilateral attempts. Frankly, the absence of free trade between India and Pakistan will rob all these sub-treaties of any meaning and substance.
This is clear from the
size of the two-way trade with Sri Lanka. India exports
to the island republic goods worth $ 560 million, a
fraction of its total exports. Its imports are valued at
$ 47 million. Even if the expected slashing of import
duty by India helps Sri Lanka to increase its sale by as
much as 10 times, the volume will still hover around 1
per cent of this countrys total imports. With
Bangladesh it will be better, but only marginally so.
Further, the accord will formally come into force next
year but India will take three years to implement it in
full. Sri Lanka will have a longer period to reciprocate
eight years. There is another condition. Products
originating in that country will enter without any
hassle, but those from third countries re-exported by Sri
Lanka are entitled to concessional tariff only if at
least 35 per cent of its sale price is added in that
country by way of processing. This precaution is common
to all such pacts. And the aim is to prevent some
countries from using Sri Lanka as a platform for exports
to India, thereby posing a threat to local industry. It
is well-known that during the days of the socialist bloc,
Indian exports under the rupee trade (in reality a form
of barter) account, were routinely re-exported to earn
foreign exchange. That cut into Indias
competitiveness, apart from causing real losses in terms
of export earning. The benefit of such bilateral or even
regional trade arrangements will merge with those which
will flow under the World Trade Organisation convention
when it comes into force in 2012. But then that is a long
More US arrogance
THE fresh airstrikes by the USA and
the UK on parts of Iraq camouflaged as Operation
Northern Watch is yet another proof that the
surviving super power has little respect for the
sentiments of the international community. Besides the
opposition expressed by Russia, China, India, France and
certain other countries against the American method to
end the Iraqi crisis, messages have been coming from
different areas of the globe condemning the use of
violence under all circumstances. In fact, after the
four-day missile attacks on Iraq that ended on December
19 there has been an anti-US polarisation at the
international level. The world community in general has
disapproved of the American approach vis-a-vis Iraq, in
violation of the UN Charter. This polarisation is getting
more pronounced in the Arab countries. Though most of the
Arabs have no sympathy for the regime in Iraq, they now
consider every action against the beleaguered nation as
if directed against all of them. The undescribable
sufferings of the people of Iraq have made them forget
about the irresponsible behaviour of President Saddam
Hussein and his colleagues all these years. They no
longer realise that it is basically Mr Husseins
adventurist course against Kuwait that is the cause of
all that has been happening since 1990. For the Arabs
today every sortie by US or British bombers is an attack
on their self-respect. The countries like Saudi Arabia
and Bahrain, which are still providing support to the
American war managers, have started showing resistance to
the US scheme of things in Iraq. The anti-US speeches
made at the 16-nation Arab Parliamentary Unions
meeting in Amman, the Jordanian capital, on Sunday give a
clear idea of the emerging scenario in that volatile part
of the world. Jordanian representative Prince Hassan did
not mince words when he expressed his countrys
opposition to any plan to divide Iraq on geographical or
ethnic lines. Almost similar viewpoints expressed by
other members of the politically significant grouping
make one believe that the Iraqi situation will acquire a
more complicated nature if there is no check on the
display of American arrogance. The American gameplan,
however, seems to have undergone a little change. If it
does not succeed in implementing its original scheme of
bringing about a geographical division of Iraq to cripple
it forever, the USA appears to be working on a plan to
create a condition for the Kurds in the north and the
Shias in the south to move towards Baghdad to seize power
from Mr Saddam Hussein. The idea is fraught with
dangerous consequences. It can lead to the destruction of
life and property on a very vast scale. But why should
the USA bother about this so long as the result goes to
protect its economic interests in the Gulf region?
Military lessons from Desert
TWO military events in 1998 shook the world. The first was the nuclear tests in South Asia by India and Pakistan and the second was the recent operation Desert Fox. This operation was a 70-hour air assault on Iraq by the USA and UK in which missiles and aircrafts were used to hit sensitive targets both civil and military to inflict heavy damage. Militarily the operation holds important lessons for India. According to US reports, 90 targets were hit and significant damage was inflicted on the targets attacked. The facilities and mechanisms that support Iraqs clandestine efforts to build weapons of mass destruction were the main targets but refineries, command structures and military and security infrastructure were also hit. The main aim was to degrade Saddams military capability and according to President Clinton and Prime Minister Tony Blair, the mission was successfully completed without suffering a single casualty.
On the other hand, Iraq says the overall damage had been light. Besides, few dozen civilian casualties, 62 soldiers have been killed and its military machine has suffered slight damage. It looks an understatement keeping in view the fact that nearly 500 Cruise and Tom Hawk missiles were fired and in addition bombs were dropped by US and UK bombers.
It is very important for India to analyse military implications of this aerial attack where a lot of damage was inflicted upon Iraq and the mission was completed without the use of ground forces. There are important lessons which India can learn from operation Desert Fox. The USA had used missiles against Iraq in 1991 also. But this time the USA used newly developed and better missiles for hitting targets in Iraq as compared to the 1991 war. As a matter of fact, the USA used this opportunity to test the latest versions of Cruise and Tom Hawk missiles. These new versions of the missiles are said to be both more accurate and versatile. Actually these missiles were originally developed to carry nuclear weapons. Later, these were made dual purpose as it was realised that nuclear weapons may not be used except as a last resort. But once the Soviet Union collapsed, the only rival that could challenge the US supremacy disappeared. The USA therefore decided to use Cruise and Tom Hawk missiles with conventional war heads to be used in wars with developing countries who do not possess nuclear weapons or missiles to retaliate. So Iraq was obviously used as a big target for trials of these newly developed missiles, besides of course punishing Iraq and Saddam for standing up against the mighty super power.
It is possible that besides the accuracy, the ranges of these latest missiles may have been improved. The Cruise missiles which can be fired from aircraft as well as from ship can carry warheads up to 1000 pounds with a range of about 1000 km while the ship-borne Tom Hawk missiles are subsonic missiles with a range of 800-1200 km and carry 1000-pound warheads. These can also be launched by aircraft. The weight of the warheads can be varied depending upon range. It is reported that the USA used bombers to launch missiles while the US warships also fired both missiles giving the USA the wide option to use either of the agency. The aircraft need not come closer to the country to attack the target concerned, as the missiles have a range of 1000-1200 km and the aircraft can therefore launch these missiles while still few hundred kilometres away from the country concerned. So the country being attacked can hardly take any retaliatory measures in these circumstances. Its anti-aircraft guns are hardly of any use against such aircraft/ships which are launching these missiles as these are well outside the range of the anti-aircraft guns or beyond the range of ground-to-air missiles.
The USA had developed a new method of navigation for the Cruise and Tom Hawk missiles which were used in this operation. The old method used terrain recognition radar in which the missiles followed a pre-determined path to their targets. But in the latest method, the missiles use the global positioning system in which the satellites play an important role. The satellites programme the missile computers in order to guide them to their targets. This has improved their accuracy and the missiles can now use varying flight paths.
Except for Kuwait no other country in West Asia offered its bases for US or British aircraft in this operation. So the British Tornado bombers operated from Kuwait airfields while the US-52 long-range bombers are reported to have operated from the Diego Garcia airfields. None of the attacking aircraft were destroyed by the Iraqi anti-aircraft guns because the radars had been jammed by effective US electronic devices. Similar situations may be faced by India also one day unless it learns proper lessons from operation Desert Fox and develops a better weapons system. The southern as well as western coastline as well as our coastal regions are in the same condition which was faced by Iraq and it looks that India is in no better condition than Iraq to take any effective action. Our short-range ground-to-air missiles as well as our anti-aircraft guns are unable to deal with attacking aircraft which remain say, 200 km away from our shores, and launch their missiles to hit important targets not only on the South and Western coasts but few hundred kilometres in the hinter land. The Indian Navy possesses old warships and a single aircraft carrier along with older model submarines. Our Naval fleet is good enough for Pakistani/Iranian Navy but is no match at all for the US warships patrolling the Indian Ocean.
In the prevailing conditions what measures can India take to safeguard its national interests? It is essential for India to develop missiles. The present Prithvi missile with limited range of about 350 km is good enough to deal with Pakistan only. Unfortunately it has given many of us false sense of confidence who are fond of comparing Indian capabilities with Pakistan which is one sixth of Indias size. India needs to develop the Agni missile. The USA, Western countries and China are against India for developing Agni missile. The first version of this Intermediate range missile with a range of 1500 km has been test-fired three times. The last government abandoned its development due to outside pressure but the present government has ordered the development of the next phase of Agni which would hopefully have a range of 3000-3500 km, so that it can hit targets in Diego-Garcia area as well as in central China which will give India minimum retaliatory capability.
It is essential for the Indian Navy to possess three nuclear submarines one for each naval command. The nuclear submarines can pose certain amount of threat to the modern navies. The country should develop nuclear submarines if no country is prepared to sell it which seems to be the case at present. India and Russia have signed a long-term defence agreement to co-produce sophisticated weapons system. India should try to get the latest technology in the development of nuclear submarines, long-range missiles as well as Cruise missiles with range up to 1000 km which our naval ships as well as aircraft should be able to fire. In the past, Russia has not kept its word by way of transfer of cryogenic technology. One hopes that our government would emphasise the transfer of latest technology instead of purchasing large number of tanks, guns and fighter aircraft which will not give India any advantage in modern warfare as practised by the USA against Iraq. The capture of territory seems to be losing its importance. The emphasis seems to be on destruction of important targets both military and civil without giving any chance to the developing country like India to retaliate. This seems to be the new strategy of well developed Western countries against the developing countries which include India. Will the newly appointed security council of India care to look into the latest battle scenario which could affect India as much the same way as it affected Iraq a few weeks ago.
CASHING IN ON BJPS FAILURES
INDIA suffers from a fallacy: its system is stable but its politics is not. The country is facing yet another mid-term poll. People are talking about the presidential form of government or having the fixed tenure of five years for the Lok Sabha. There is, however, no consensus. As for people, they do not want elections, as a sample survey held recently has shown. They have had too many, three in the last three years.
Yet the situation, as it prevails today, leaves no other option. The working of the government is like that of a lame-duck administration. The Parliament session showed that it did not want to transact any business, betraying lack of confidence. But when the Congress showed interest in the Bills on insurance and patents, the BJP came alive. As many as four Bills were introduced just a day before the end of the session.
After the reverses in the assembly elections in Delhi, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, the BJP, which leads the coalition at the Centre, has lost credibility. Its allies have also begun to embarrass it by criticising the government openly. They see other possibilities also. It can be argued that the BJP has suffered because of the coalition: the needs of governance could not be reconciled to the demands by the allies on the one hand and the RSS, the BJPs mentor, on the other. Yet the fact remains that the Vajpayee government has failed to administer. Even the BJP members have pointed out its non-performance.
Since the bad governance was the plank, which the Congress adopted in the assembly elections, it believes it would reap more dividends if it were to push the fight further. The pressure is to do it sooner than later. Even the time for fresh elections is being fixed, some time before October next. The party does not want to wait because there are fears that the atmosphere may change to the disadvantage of the Congress.
The argument is valid up to a point but only up to a point. The vote in the assembly elections was not so much for the Congress as was against the BJP. There was no third choice before people. In the Lok Sabha elections, the Congress will have to reckon with the non-BJP parties, which have the same secular, pro-minority and pro-backward appeal. In fact, the way in which they have hammered the BJP in the recent months, has helped the Congress in the assembly elections.
The Congress has yet another problem. Four states Bihar, Tamil Nadu, UP and West Bengal which return some 200 MPs in the 545-member House, have strong regional parties. The Congress has no showing there so far. Assuming that the party is making some headway in Bihar and UP, as Congress President Sonia Gandhi has claimed at the AICC session in Delhi, the gain is not so much as to convince anyone that the party will come to have the upper hand in the next 12 months. It took three elections to decimate the Congress in UP and Bihar. It may not take that much time to destroy Mr Mulayam Singh Yadavs Samajwadi Party in UP and Mr Laloo Prasad Yadavs Rashtriya Janata Dal in Bihar. Still they are no pushovers. If at all, more than one election will be required for the Congress to gain in UP and Bihar, particularly the last where Mr Laloo Yadav has won all the four assembly byelections.
How can the Congress get an outright majority if it wants to go it alone? Mrs Sonia Gandhi is reading too much in the victory in Delhi, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan. The Congress can go up to 200-220 from the 140 seats it has at present. Still it will need 60 or 70 more to have a majority in the House. On the one hand, it wants to cash in on the atmosphere and, on the other, it does not want to depend on any other party. The two are contradictory. There is yet no polarisation in the country as Mrs Sonia Gandhi sees it.
There is no doubt that Muslims, who constitute 14 per cent of the electorate, are returning to the Congress, which was their refuge from Partition to the end of the eighties. Then they found themselves insecure in the atmosphere where the party began to mix secularism with communalism to placate the Hindus. Mrs Sonia Gandhi has sent the right message to them through her speeches. She has been able to recapture their attention. But they have neither forgotten nor forgiven the demolition of the Babri Masjid, which took place at the time when the Congress was at the helm at the Centre.
The main advantage of the Congress is that there is no all-India alternative to it. The BJP and the communist parties are strong in only certain states. In such a situation, the recovery of the Congress is more negative than positive. This happened in 1980 when Indira Gandhi returned to power. Although she had committed untold excesses during the Emergency (1975-77), the non-performance of the Janata government had pushed her misdeeds to the background. There was no other party to which people could turn. The re-emergence of the Congress is primarily because of the BJP failure to govern.
True, the BJP did not pursue its agenda of building the Ram temple at the site where the Babri Masjid stood once. But the partys image remains soiled, thanks to Human Resource Development Minister Murli Manohar Joshi on the one hand and the alliance partner Bal Thakeray of the Shiv Sena on the other. Both have not allowed the BJP to live down its old image of a purely communal outfit.
Mr L.K. Advani, a hard-core leader has done less harm to the party than Mr Joshi, who has further alienated the Hindu intelligentsia and the minorities through his fiats in the fields of education and culture. But he has beaten Mr Advani in popularity with the RSS for his staunch Hindu stance. Mr Joshi is, however, not to be blamed for commending the patriotic song of Vande Mataram, even though the UP government withdrew the order. A fatwa by Muslim theologist, Ali Mian against the song smacked of fundamentalism, which looks like contaminating more and more Muslims.
The Congress moves to win back not only the Muslims but also women (33 per cent reservations) and Dalits (20 per cent reservations) indicate that the party is seriously trying to rectify its mistake of alienating them. But if the party does not change its habit of playing court, it is bound to come a cropper once again. The AICC session has evoked the same old fears: the durbari atmosphere of sycophancy. Speaker after speaker sang Mrs Sonia Gandhis praises. Not even once did she object to the adjectives they used. Flattery was the undoing of Indira Gandhi and her son, Rajiv Gandhi. Mrs Sonia Gandhi should know this.
Just as power got concentrated in Indira Gandhi, it has happened so in the case of Mrs Sonia Gandhi. She is the one who nominated the Congress leaders of legislatures in Delhi, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan. There was no meaningful election to find out who had the majority of members behind him or her. The AICC has authorised her to select persons for the partys bodies, whether in a state, district or city. Even Indira Gandhi said no to such a responsibility.
The AICC session has at
least ended the ambiguity about who will be the Prime
Minister if and when the party comes to power. It was
argued earlier that because of her Italian background,
she would nominate either Dr Manmohan Singh or former
Speaker P.A. Sangma. Now it is clear that she wants to be
the Prime Minister. Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister,
Digvijay Singh has even set the year: 1999! Whatever
message it may convey, humility is not the one.
Air pollution threatens life
A RECENT UN report on the environment and health says that nearly four million children die annually of acute respiratory infections from air pollution, and asthma disease has been rising in the industrial world by 50 per cent during the last 20 years.
A study by the Centre for Science and Environment has revealed that air pollution in India has been killing nearly 52,000 people in 36 cities every year prematurely nearly 10,000 in Delhi and 26 million people are hospitalised. The urban population in Delhi has been choking where the levels of suspended particulate matter (SPM) have increased to 410.5 microgram per cubic metre of air in 1995 from 367.9 microgram in 1991, nearly seven times the average critical limit of 60 microgram prescribed by the World Health Organisation (WHO). Kanpur tops in the level of SPM, having 470.9 microgram. Ten other major Indian cities also have critical SPM levels (more than 210 microgram).
A World Bank report says that Indian cities are choking with industrial and vehicular pollution. The number of deaths in 1995-96 due to air pollution has increased by 28 per cent from about 40,000 in 1991-92. Vehicles, thermal power plants and industrial units in Delhi are the major toxic air pollutants. Delhi is ranked fourth among the 41 polluted cities of the world monitored for air pollution. Its vehicles numbering over 30 lakh account for 65 per cent of air pollution with noxious emissions, and their contribution in Mumbai is 52 per cent. Nearly 2,200 metric tonnes of pollutants are belched out in Delhi atmosphere every day, of which the vehicles contribute 1,600 metric tonnes, the rest from power stations and industrial units. The Supreme Court recently directed to curb vehicular pollution in Delhi.
Sewage disposal has equally polluted Delhis environment. Nearly, 18,000 million litres of domestic and industrial waste waters enter the Yamuna, polluting the river water with toxic chemicals, and thereby causing thousands of fish poisonous and dead.
Air pollution is widely common throughout the world, choking many of its cities, and thereby posing a serious challenge to save life on this planet. During the Gulf war in 1991, vast areas surrounding Kuwait were polluted with suspended particulate matter, poisonous gases and toxic substances from the burning of Kuwaiti oil wells, petroleum refineries and the resultant oil slick. The thick black smoke covered most of Asia and caused climatic changes. Iraq became a poisoned desert killing thousands of its children from leukaemia.
The Washington-based World Watch Institute had earlier warned of a beginning of an unprecedented biological collapse worldwide because three-fourths of the worlds bird species are threatened with extinction. A report of the National Institute of Oceanography says that shrimp, prawn and fish yield off the Kerala coast in India has declined by 25 per cent from 1966-67 to 1987-88 due to coastal pollution.
These pollutants have been poisoning the atmosphere, causing a number of diseases like lung cancer, asthma and bronchitis. A study of the Institute for Research in Reproduction (Mumbai) says that the sperm count of Indian males has significantly declined from 60 million per millilitre earlier to just 20 million due to the environmental toxins effect. This is largely responsible for infertility and abnormal babies.
Delhi is at the top in respect of lung diseases with 30 per cent of its population suffering from respiratory problems due to pollution by poisonous gases. Many people in the affluent residential areas of Bombay have been suffering from bronchitis, asthma and lung cancer.
The developed countries account for 70 per cent of the atmospheric pollution in the world. Mexico City is described as the most polluted one. The concentration of carcinogenous substance benzol in Mexico Citys atmosphere is reported to be 150 microgram per cubic metre of air, which is 10 times higher than that in Berlin. The concentration of carbon monoxide is five times higher than that in Berlin. London, New York and Tokyo have the least air pollution, a WHO report says.
The increasing consumption of renewal and non-renewable resources particularly in Asia has been causing a faster degradation of the environment because of increasing demand for water and arable land for food and energy. To meet the challenge for survival, the world bodies have proposed to impose taxes and levies on the industrial units causing pollution. It is reported that neem tree saplings should be planted in cities to help in checking pollution caused by vehicular and industrial emission.
OF late, Ive been thinking: why are daughter(s) made to forsake their parental home after marriage? Customary! May I ask: are customs infallible and irrevocable?
Opinions differ; temperaments disagree; people look at things through different coloured glasses. The answer to a question is, therefore, seldom unanimous. I know that it would be a cry in the wilderness if I declare at the top of my voice from the tops of houses that somewhere in the South (Palakkat in Kerala, to be exact), housewives continue to stay at their ancestral abode even after matrimony. And who doesnt know that Kerala is the most literate state of Mera Bharat Mahan. The husbands visits to the duly wedded wifes place are periodical since he too continues to stay with his parents/workplace, that is, no ghar jamai business. Equitable, indeed!
I dont mean that wife would never go to her husbands home. She would occasionally but purely as a visitor/guest. Wont off and on change of water.... (aab-o-hawa) do good to both?
Concomitantly, the son-in-laws visit to wifehouse would be welcomed with open arms (hail fellow well met) by the aged parents of the flower of the home. Besides, doesnt short separation (s) sharpen the pangs of love/longing? Moreover, there wont be (any) stink (stale fish-like) at either end. The dictum too says: lesser familiarity: lesser contempt/contention (no bones).
So, let there be no Shakespearean sea change in the tenderhalfs life, that is, no rebirth after conjugal alliance. It wont make her feel (in some cases) like a kitten on a hot oven or a round peg in a square hole, nay, a square peg in a round hole due to environmental/changed set-up (scenario) after matrimonial bliss.
No jolt of separation would be experienced either by the daughter or her parents at the time of the formers departure for pastures new after saat pheray. Personally, I did experience such tremors twice. Thank God, no hattrick chance is there.
An added advantage: mother-in-law (the so-called gainer) wont lose her peace of mind, rather feel easy since her offspring wont set up a separate home at the behest of his newly acquired wife.
The up and coming generation of daughters is, by and large, well equipped to face the onslaughts of life since the fair sex is brimming with self-confidence, grit and determination, fortitude and forbearance, and, to cap it all, is highly educated-cum-self-supporting (economically).
Finally, the daughters continued stay with her parents would be a source of comfort and solace for them. To me, it appears that daughters are primarily the Bard of Avons Cordelias and not Gonerils, Regans and company/coterie, etc.
With due apologies to
domineering mother-in-laws (a la late Lalita Pawar of the
silver screen) since she would be deprived of
brow-beating, burning, trampling, etc, the komal kali
blossoming/sprouting in her garden (not Eden)
bald or green.
Why communal conferences
UNDER the present restrictions regarding the expression of public opinion in India, no one expects that the use of platform or the character of public speaking will be satisfactory. It is doubtless easier to write well than to speak well on public platforms, and for this reason probably we have more good writers than speakers.
The press in India, though subjected to the severe restraints of the authorities, has been a more useful and better developed means of public education than the platform and public speaking.
Since the unfortunate proceedings of 1906-10, there have been very rare instances of public speaking except at some of our annual conferences and non-political platforms. But this state of affairs cannot continue long because public activity will not stop and public interests are bound to suffer by neglect.
A remarkable example of
this neglect will be seen in the attitude of the educated
Mahomedans. For some time past they were not very
particular in discussing all public questions, except
those relating to their education. A few years ago they
started the All-India Muslim League where they discussed
a variety of topics from the communal point of view.
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