119 years of Trust M A I L B A G THE TRIBUNE
Friday, April 16, 1999
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Living tradition of Gurus

THIS refers to Mr Hari Jaisingh’s article, “Beyond 300 years: living tradition of Gurus’ (April 9). The occasion of tercentenary of the Khalsa Panth has provided an opportunity to judge whether Prime Minister Vajpayee ought to do more to build on the foundation of his neutral approach of secularism and cry halt to “mandir politics” to ensure that the religious minority groups do not have any insecurity problem.

Guided by the wisdom of the Gurus and India’s ancient traditions, Mr Vajpayee has successfully generated a new awakening among the public that has been long ravaged by casteism and communalism. It can be described as a great miracle.


Towards classless society: What was there in the mind of Guru Gobind Singh while creating the Khalsa? The then society was strongly divided into four castes. The Khalsa was created as a conglomerate of all the four castes.

The Guru gave him the sword which was supposed to be wielded only by the Kshatriyas. The Khalsa was asked to draw it out of its sheath to help the poor and the oppressed.

The Guru never asked the Khalsa to renounce the world. He should continue to be associated with his profession or occupation.

Service at the gurdwaras — cleaning utensils, fanning the sangat, sweeping the floor and all that was required to be done by the Shudras — was ordained to be performed by the Khalsa. Thus Guruji formed a classless society to bring unity in its structure. It was the army of the Divine Master to serve humanity at large.


DEFINING KHALSA: It is unfortunate that Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra questions the inaugural ceremony performed by Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee at the Anandpur Sahib celebrations. As rightly stated by Mr Jaisingh, “he forgets some of the basic tenets of the Gurus’ teachings”.

Pronouncements of Guru Nanak and his spiritual successors and of three saints whose teachings were approved for inclusion in the scriptures of the Sikh faith — Kabir, Namdev and Farid — contain clear adjurations to the people to discover the essence, the spiritual and moral core behind the existing creeds.

“Strife is evil; vain disputation leads to spiritual death. Without true devotion, man’s life is a shame, in the grip of falsehood.... The blasphemer against this truth shall burn in hell-fire” (Majh: Page 142).

Guru Gobind Singh defined a Khalsa as the one “who is pure of heart, compassionate, devotee of one God and treats humanity as one”. Punjab needs peace, and development, and not mayhem and murder, not terrorism and militancy, not ambition-ridden Tohras, but saints, seers and sages — the true followers of the Gurus.


ABUSING RELIGION: The article succinctly brings out that religion has been abused by politicians to serve their personal interests.

The Sikh faith’s message is human brotherhood and love for mankind. It leaves no quarter for division and subdivision on caste and communal lines.


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Students in trouble

A large number of students are undergoing a phase of mental trauma at present. They just have no option other than going on preparing for their exams without knowing when the exams will be held. The situation has been created by the ongoing boycott of exams by college teachers.

A large number of B.Com students are going to appear for the CA foundation test. There is an apprehension that the new datesheet might clash with the test dates.

The date for the CA foundation test are May 7, 8, 10 & 11.

The Guru Nanak Dev University authorities are requested to keep the above dates in mind while finalising the datesheet for the final exams.


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Killer roads

Accident on hilly roads are very common which often result in a heavy loss of life and property, although suitable design standards have been laid for all type of roads.

The roads in hill areas must have been constructed as per design standards, but the condition changes due to landslides and washing away of berms in the rains. The width of most of the roads has been reduced at places.

To check the growing number of accidents on such roads it has become necessary that a survey of the existing hill area roads should be done, and these should be redesigned and brought to the current design standards, one by one, considering the importance of the roads.

To start with, every sub-division should be given one road for a resurvey, redesigning and bringing it to the prevailing standards. There is sufficient qualified staff and a task force available for this.

At least the Superintending Engineer of the area should be made responsible to certify that the roads have been brought to the design standards which should be based on the completion plant.

Some new roads are constructed every year and opened to traffic. For these roads also the Superintending Engineer concerned should certify that these have been constructed as per the design standards, and this should be based on the completion plan of the road.

If this practice is adopted, it will bring a qualitative change not only in new roads but also in the old roads in due course of time. This will reduce road accidents considerably.


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50 years on indian independence


After passing my matriculation examination, I went to my Bhuaji. My uncle, the son of my grandfather’s brother, met me. I told him that I have done matriculation.

“Last year you were in the 7th class?”

“Yes Chaachaji. After Partition, I could not join school. So my teacher advised me to appear in the matriculation examination as a private candidate to make up for the loss in years. I left the school, and had been preparing privately. Now I have passed the examination in the first division.”

My uncle said, “You should have a look at your matriculation certificate. It is just a piece of paper. It would not work.”

Chaachaji did not congratulate me nor did he give me his blessings. When I told all this story to my mother, she said, “Sao chaacha ik pio, sao daaroo ik ghio”.



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