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Thursday, October 15, 1998
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Reservation policy must go

A long debate on the reservation policy has again started following the publication of Mr M.R. Sharma's article in The Tribune of September 28, 1998. I have gone through the article and the letters carried on the subject very carefully, and find myself of the opinion that it is time to say goodbye to the reservation policy.

We, the people of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes, may rise to any level but will continue to carry the label of "SC/ST" on our foreheads which still declares us "outcastes" in society. The contempt for us is evident though no instances can be quoted as nothing is said openly. The promotions, admissions and selections granted to us through the reservation policy are cheaper than the social cost we pay.

What is the use of acquiring a high rank or tons of money when you are not acceptable to society in which you are living? I can see a fake mask of "regards" on the faces of my subordinates. In reality they have no respect for me because they always think that I am in the present position owing to the reservation policy and not talent or merit. I can put in any amount of hard work but it will have no meaning.

It is time to remove this label of SC and ST and make the "dalits" as part of the larger society rather than have the benefits of reservations. The tragedy is that the Scheduled Caste leaders will never agree to do away with the reservation policy as they fear that their vote banks will be washed away.

Superintending Engineer, PSEB

"Ten past ten"

In the age of science, technological innovations make headway at a fast pace, as a result of which new products enter the market everyday. This obviously necessitates appropriate exposure of the products to ensure its acceptability among the masses through various modes. The publicity ads are designed keeping in mind the state of mind of the average probable user/buyer, so as to be successful in capturing the clientele.

For instance, whenever we see a publicity ad for watches, irrespective of the brand or the company, the figure of the watch is invariably shown at "ten past ten" as the time. This being so, it leads us to search as to why the watch is invariably shown to be set with its arms to say "ten past ten". The experts in the field of publicity feel that a watch showing "ten past ten" is the best placement of the two arms of the watch and it makes the appearance of the watch very elegant and in a state of equilibrium.

From the aesthetic angle, the anth- ropologists explain this setting of the watch as a face symbolic of gleeful reception which gives cheers to a viewer/reader. The two arms of the watch equally stretched divergently upwards symbolise receiving a person warmly with open arms. That is why the watch is invariably shown "ten past ten".

In the ad the reader gets drawn towards it and, being eye to eye with the figure of the watch at "ten past ten", feels warmly attracted towards it.

As against this, if the watch shows "12’O clock", the bigger arm absents the lower arm which eludes the full face of the watch from being viewed. Similar shall be the case if the watch shows "3.15 and 8.45".

Further, if the watch is shown to be displaying "8.20 a.m., p.m.," it symbolises the arms stretched divergently though yet being downwards. It is comparable to cold reception being accorded to the viewers.

Conclusively thus, "ten past ten" is the ideal state of the arms of a watch shown in the publicity material as it draws the attention of the reader very warmly. This fulfils the core purpose for which the advertisement is released by the promotors.


Crime against women

The Jhabua rape case is the most heinous, barbaric and beastly crime. It is a blot on the nation’s face. The nuns are the most innocent and defenceless women involved in acts of charity and services to the poor and the neglected, in the far-flung areas. Strictest possible action is called for against the culprits. In fact, the law should be amended to incorporate capital punishment for such ghastly crimes. The earlier, the better. The state government should take urgent steps to nab the criminals.

One word for the women organisations. A few months ago certain cases of rape were reported from Rajasthan and a group of women led by Mrs Mohini Giri and Brinda Karat were very vocal, rather aggressive, against the Rajasthan government and talked of agitations and dharnas, and truly so. I was impressed by their concern for the wronged women.

But I was disappointed when these respected women, not to talk of visiting the place, had no time to condemn the shameful incident in Madhya Pradesh and a similar case in Bihar.


Eye donation

Through the columns of The Tribune I would like to appreciate the pioneering service being done in the field of eye donation and subsequent transplantation by the Punjab State Eye Donation Society, Patiala.

On October 6, 1998, at 3.45 a.m. in the morning, our family decided to donate the eyes of a family member who had expired minutes before. All our attempts to persuade the authorities at the Mission Hospital, Ambala City, and the Eye Department, PGI, Chandigarh, proved futile. In fact, two of the doctors of the PGI Eye Department, whom I personally contacted on the phone between 4 a.m. and 5 a.m., expressed their helplessness and refused to respond to the situation.

After getting a cue from the Director’s residence of Mission Hospital, Ambala City, I contacted Dr D.C. Bansal, Secretary, Punjab State Eye Donation Society, Patiala, on the phone. The staff there was extremely quick to respond and by 7.30 they had left our residence at Ambala after doing the needful. I have now received a letter of thanks, which also informs me that the eyes have been successfully put to therapeutic purposes giving sight to two deserving blind persons.

In spite of all the noise made by the media, some of our big hospitals are still not fully equipped to handle emergency situations such as the one mentioned above. Certainly, social service is not everybody’s cup of tea!

Ambala Cantt


One woman asks another: What is the meaning of management?
Answer: How to manage men!


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