119 years of Trust M A I L B A G THE TRIBUNE
Saturday , April 10, 1999
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Sunderji — a military genius of India

CAST in Napoleonic mould General Sunderji never failed the nation. Like Napoleon he believed: “Dare always dare and ever dare”. He had “humility in victory but daring in defeat and difficulty”.

He distinguished himself in the UN peacekeeping operations in Congo. Born on April 30, 1928, he was the first and the only Infantry Officer in the Indian Army till date to command an armoured division.

In 1986 he assured the late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi that he can take both India’s then adversaries, China and Pakistan, simultaneously. However, both changed their mind after the reported advice of some Arab statesmen.

He became the Chief of Army Staff in February, 1986. The General’s role in the Indian Peace- keeping operations in Sri Lanka and later the high-visibility Brasstacks exercise and Bofors artillery gun issue elicited some criticism. During his year in service, he laid the foundation for the mechanisation of the infantry and the modernisation of the service as a whole and merged many old battalions. He was an active member of the strategic community and highly respected for his professional acumen and candour, both in India and abroad. A man ahead of his times he was the first Army Chief to recognise that joint military operations were necessary. He earnestly recommended a correction of the imbalance among the three armed forces regarding personnel strength and budgetary allocation — music to the ears of the Navy — the Cinderella service.

General Sunderji’s contribution to the Army and the nation will be long remembered.

New Delhi

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Selfish interests

The IAS and the IPS form the backbone of the administrative structure. Together they are to guide the political government into taking decisions on policy matters in administration as well as law and order. A peaceful coexistence and mutual trust were envisaged between the executive and the legislature, while holding the legislature to be supreme. The executive was supposed to be loyal to the government of the day. The executive is not supposed to look after the political agenda of any party. The welfare of people of India was supreme. The executive and legislature are not supposed to have any selfish interests other than the interest of the general public, with the result that when governments changed there was no mass upheaval of the administrative structure. The same executive structure would start advising the new government on the finer nuances of administration.

The present Rajasthan government has shown political maturity by not juggling around IAS and IPS officers, except those who had completed their term. The top two functionaries, the Chief Secretary and Director General of Police, were left untouched. However this has proved an exception rather than the rule.

Political victimisation of officers has seen worst days during the regimes of Mulayam Singh Yadav and Mayawati. Transfer acquired the status of an industry and officers after being victimised started toeing party lines. Officers were labelled as pro-Congress,pro-BJP, pro-BSP etc. Inefficient and corrupt officers started seeing this as a stepping-stone to success. These officers started crying on the shoulders of MLAs and Ministers about being personally victimised by the previous government. At the same time they would carry exaggerated tales about their colleagues and seniors, leading to their victimisation. Gullible people would take it hook, line and sinker and these inefficient and corrupt officers were given plum and important postings. There they pursue their own agenda, ready to jump on to the next bandwagon when the government changes. But such officers must realise that you can fool some of the people some of the time, some of the people all the time but not all the people all the time. The politicians should also develop the art to see through such people.


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Menace of slums

There is no doubt that the development work at Panchkula has gathered speed, particularly under the new Administrator, Mr Davinder Singh. But there is still laxity on the part of HUDA in development work, particularly in Sector 21 which is at developing stage and needs more attention.

A group of senior citizens of Sector 21 — who are badly affected with unhygienic conditions and the nuisance of slums because of jhuggis occupied by HUDA’s own employees and sitting on the plots allotted to others — met the Administrator recently. Three main issues were discussed.

First, jhuggis may be removed.

Second, a wide stretch of land earmarked for the construction of a primary school, shops, dogs clinic, mosque and church is lying undeveloped and being misused for dumping of garbage, night soil and defecations.

Third, why the construction of primary school building was stopped all of a sudden after digging the foundation?

Regarding stoppage of construction of school building the Administrator apprised them that the work was stopped because the high tension wires were passing over the site of the proposed school building and an untoward incident may happen. But the senior citizens suggested that with a little change in its design and location, the school building could come up here. The school will not only be beneficial to the wards of inhabitants of 21, it will also give some face lift to the area.

On March 18, the Administrator visited the site along with his team of engineers and Estate Officer. The residents of the area along with ladies received the Administrator and placed before him their grievances. After some discussion with the engineers and seeing the blue print, the Administrator assured the residents that the building would come up with some modification in its design and location soon.

Regarding the removal of jhuggis the Administrator said that the matter was subjudice and the judgement to this effect was kept reserved by the High Court. He further told them to knock the door of the High Court. Now the debate among some residents is “Will it be contempt of court if the High Court is addressed to announce the reserved judgement at the earliest so that the law abiding residents may get relief from the menace of slums?”


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50 years on indian independence 50 years on indian independence 50 years on indian independence
50 years on indian independence

Year of the Aged!

Apropos of the letter captioned “1999-the year of the aged” (March 27), there seems to be little regard in India for such a declaration by the UNO.

I retired in September, 1998, as an Officer from Oriental Bank of Commerce. Since then, I have been writing letters about the arrears of my dues, but there is not even an acknowledgement. Their stony silence continues even after my personal meeting and the publication of my complaint in “Tribune Lok Adalat” column.

Some sort of accountability must be fixed for causing mental torture to a senior citizen like me. There must be a provision for not only interest on the delayed payment, but also compensation for harassment.



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