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Wednesday, January 6, 1999
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Double standard on social vices

  WE speak day and night against bad habits like drinking, gambling, smoking, etc. But we glorify all these through TV advertisements, films and other media. This double standard is difficult to understand. If we condemn something, we must do it whole-heartedly and follow it in practice.

The authorities would never impose a ban on drinking, gambling and smoking since they themselves are partners in these malpractices with a view to making easy money. For example, the government itself has been publicising state lotteries for four decades now, which promotes the habit of gambling. How can it expect people to earn money by dint of hard work when it itself is indulging in double standards?

Film themes, TV advertisements, songs and music are all right if they abide by our moral standards and promote our social values. But, amazingly, semi-nude postures have become the order of the day even when the products are not relevant. Film-wallas, TV-wallas, music-wallas and the businessmen concerned want to bolster their bank balances overnight through this tempting technique, even at the cost of our rich culture. They completely forget what our children would become in the process.

Will the authorities pay due attention to this aspect to save the future generations? Is the Censor Board doing its duty in right earnest?


* * * *

A double-edged weapon

No technology is bad in itself. What is bad is the end use to which it is put to. Nuclear technology can be used to generate power and also to make nuclear bombs. Similarly, the “Terminated gene technology”, if incorporated, in crop plants, will make farmers subservient to the seed companies producing these seeds, and will infringe upon their natural rights.

I give a new idea and exhort the biotechnologists of India and the world to work steadfastly and honestly by incorporating the “Terminator Genes” in a wide variety of menacing weeds like phalaris minor (Gulli-Danda) or small canary grass, the congress weed (parthenium hysterophorus), bhang (Canabis sativa) and Lantana camara (in the hilly tracts of U.P.), etc, and make their biocontrol and eradication possible.

This would earn the scientists the gratitude of the farming community and the nation as a whole.

Former Extension Specialist (Field Crops),
Punjab Agricultural University,

* * * *

“Maharana Pratap”

At present “Shoorveer Maharana Pratap” TV serial is being telecast on DD-1 from 10.30 p.m. to 11.30 p.m. on every Monday. This is the time when everyone, especially the children, are asleep.

We have been observing from the very beginning that the serial is being given a shabby treatment by Doordarshan. First, it was telecast with pomp and show on Thursday at 10.30 p.m., depicting the life and valour of the Rajput King Maharana Sangha. After the battle of Khanwa, the serial was abandoned without any intimation to the viewers. After some time the same episodes were re-telecast and stopped. Thereafter the serial was rescheduled for telecast on Monday and at the same time. It is now being telecast giving a number of onward episodes.

With the end of “Main Delhi Hoon” and reshuffling of “Om Namo Shivay” and “Jai Hanuman”, it was expected that “Shoorveer Maharana Pratap” would be telecast at the prime time of 9.30 p.m. on Monday or any other day, but it has remained relegated behind serial “Chandrakanta” for 10.35 p.m.

This amply proves the intention of the authorities concerned. They seem to be under pressure not to telecast it properly and at the prime time.

If the Doordarshan authorities can’t telecast the serial at the prime time of 9.30 p.m., they should better discontinue it instead of giving a shabby treatment to a national hero.

JAI PADAM and many others

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50 years on indian independence

Extra-constitutional powers

I have no interest in the ongoing Badal-Tohra feud. What interests me, however, is the disturbing news that Mr G.S. Tohra enjoyed extra-constitutional powers of running the government in three districts — Patiala, Ropar and Fatehgarh Sahib. No postings or transfers of district officials could be effected unless recommended by him. The Chief Minister, for whatever compulsions, had allowed this to go on.

Similar situation exists in some other states too. Close relations of the powers that be consider it their birthright to issue orders to the administration at will. In due course, through awe and fear, they start commanding respect and authority, in some cases even more than the actual rulers. The “helpless” Chief Minister may derive comfort from the fact that the phenomenon is not new, nor is it confined to states only. We have before us a ready example of a Prime Minister’s son, in the mid-seventies, enjoying all sorts of powers without authority.

Is there no remedy? Yes, there is one. Amend the Constitution to legalise extra-constitutional centres of power so that their “lawful” activities do not hurt our conscience any more!

Wg. Cdr. C.L. SEHGAL (retd)


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