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Saturday, August 7, 1999
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Kargil is not the only issue to be debated

APROPOS of the loud and shrill demand by the Congress and some other Opposition parties for a parliamentary debate and what not to punish the party or person or persons responsible for allowing or failing to notice the infiltration of Kargil etc by Pak forces and its mercenaries, which has resulted in the sacrifice of so many valuable lives of service personnel, I would request someone to enlighten the country about the following:

The withdrawal of troops, who under the command of General Thimayya, were seeking two days for retrieving the Pak-held part of Kashmir in 1948 and were asked to retreat 18 miles to a point later called LoC. This has cost India a continuous expenditure of civilian and military lives and is a drain on our national exchequer. The cancer has been there for more than half a century and may perhaps never be cured.

Likewise, who will enlighten the country as to who was responsible for handing over Tibet in 1958 on a silver platter to Chou-in-Lai, P.M. of China?

India’s debacle against the onslaught of Chinese in 1962, when our forces were ordered not to fire on the enemy until Delhi (i.e. the Defence Minister, Mr V.K. Krishna Menon) gave the “Hukkum”. The “Hukkum” was never given and consequently a whole brigade was mowed down. The Chinese came up to Tezpur and showed India its thumb, saying “You can’t throw us out — we are going back ourselves”.

The Kargil trouble is not yet over. The blatant exhibition of severe breakdown of “unity” shown by the nation in the early days of Kargil trouble has encouraged the Pak sponsored militants to step up their nefarious activities in all parts of India. But are the political parties feeling any concern about that—entirely blinded by self-interest. Cleavages (if any) in the nation must not be so exhibited to the world.

May some real wisdom dawn upon the politicians so that activities of discussing Kargil is postponed by them till conclusion of the Kargil trouble so that the morale of the forces is not adversely affected. Mere sweet words for the forces are not enough.


An Appeal

This is an appeal to the Prime Minister. The other day you assured your nation that, “Intruders will be flushed out of Kargil — there will be no compromise on that” Congratulations, Sir, you kept and delivered your assurance. Intruders have been flushed out successfully.

Now, please, give another assurance on your behalf, on your party’s behalf, and on behalf of others who care to join hands with you in the service of this great country, that you will give India a clean, honest, and corruption-free governance. Turn the tide, Sir. India is one of the highly corrupt countries. The whole world knows it.

Your jawans as demonstrated in Kargil, will keep India free of foreign domination. You now, keep India clean and free of corruption. I know, in present Indian context, it is a tough call. But you are the only and last hope to meet and deliver this assurance. Nobody else can. Not the Congress, not the Janata Dal (S), and of course, for obvious reasons, not the Indian Communists.

Sir, from all us, who live outside India and appreciate clean, honest, and corruption-free governance, best of luck.


Blood donation

Through this letter, I would like to suggest some methods to make the voluntary blood donation movement a mass movement and dispel the myths prevailing in the minds of people regarding donating blood. Even educated people are shackled in myths and superstitions about blood donation.

The voluntary blood donation movement would get much needed impetus if the people are motivated through awareness programmes. The NGOs associated with this movement should hold special awareness programmes and educate the people. The most common myths associated with blood donation are physical weakness, losing potency and contracting any infection. Regarding this, I would like to share the following facts with the readers:

(i) One can safely part with 8 ml of blood per kg of body weight.

(ii) One can donate blood at regular intervals of 90 days without causing any danger to life.

(iii) The donor’s blood volume begins to be restored immediately and complete restoration of body fluids comes within 24 hours. Full replacement of blood cells takes place in a couple of weeks.

(iv) There is absolutely no risk of contracting any infection in the process of donating blood as all the equipment used is sterile and disposable.

One of the important factors in promoting voluntary blood donation movement is the recognition given to those who give blood altruistically. The appreciation must be warm and meaningful. After all, a blood donor is an asset to society.

Further, the follow-up exercise by Blood Bank Society or Red Cross should include personal contact with donors, sending letters to them on days of national significance and on their personal anniversaries.

Moreover, to further strengthen this noble cause, Red Cross should insure the blood donors for certain amount, everytime a donor donates blood, subject to a maximum of four times in a year. This policy has already been initiated by the Karnataka Government.

In the end, I would urge the readers to donate blood voluntarily and give the gift of life as this is the biggest service to mankind.


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Rewarding Pak

After Kargil, there has been some talk of converting the LoC into an international border. Any such move must be strongly opposed as it will be tantamount to rewarding aggression. There is no guarantee that Pakistan will respect an international border any more than the LoC. Indeed, the original boundary of Kashmir was an international border when it was invaded by Pakistan-backed raiders. As the massive intrusion across the LoC is a gross violation of the ceasefire, India would be fully justified in marching across the LoC to liberate Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.



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