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Sunday, July 11, 1999

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Kargil remembered

APROPOS of Kuldip Singh Bajwa’s article "Kargil remembered" (June 27), our jawans are fighting Pak intruders in inhospitable terrian, climate and hard conditions, in the Kargil sector. The Telecommunications Department has decided to provide telephone facilities at one-fourth of the normal rates to these jawans. It is suggested that this facility be extended to other sectors in Jammu and Kashmir, where our brave jawans are fighting the enemy in very trying conditions.



This refers to the article "Kargil remembered" by Kuldip Singh Bajwa (June 27 ). A veteran soldier recalls his own experience of taking part in operations in Kargil with the assigned task of capturing Pt. 13620 and Black Rocks, heights way back in 1965. The writer is gracious enough to mention that the recounting of these hard conditions — inhospitable climate and bitter cold is not to build an alibi for failure or a justification for the time being taken at present by our forces to evict the enemy.

He clearly spells out his aim of writing this article — "Looking back at what we did in 1965 holds valuable object lessons for what we have to do now and for the people to understand what their soldiers are facing." Let us pay our full attention to what he wishes to convey to us: "We are now faced with the arduous and costly task of recapturing all the strategic heights that we have lost again due to our complacency, despite our past experience of the psyche of the treachery of Pakistan establishment." Pakistan has been targeting the Kargil sector and the strategic highway to Leh for a considerable time now. While our Army is currently engaged in fighting heroic battles and Operation Vijay is continuing to fully recover our territory, this article under reference raises many questions — Why did we assume Kargil front to be unassailable by the enemy? What happened to our aerial surveillance? What blurred our vision?


Medicine or poison?

"The most interesting incident on earth" by Gur Rattan Pal Singh (June 13) sounded true to its caption. It may further interest the readers to know that the deadly poison hemlock that Socrates drank, is of special significance to homoeopaths. Hemlock is a poisonous spotted unbelliferous plant, known by the medical name: Conium Maculatum. The juice of hemlock, when potentised becomes a health-giving homoeopathic medicine. Plato’s graphic description of the death of Socrates after he took hemlock, indicates characteristic diagnostic symptoms of Conium Mac., which were subsequently confirmed and proven by Dr. Hahnemann, the founder of homoeopathy, towards the end of eighteenth century. Hemlock caused the death of Socrates through paralysis ascending from his feet, legs and rising progressively upwards. Thus his brain remained clear till the end. "In what way are we to bury you?" asked his persecutors while he was approaching death. "As you please, you will be burying my body not the soul, it won’t stay with you," replied Socrates. That he remained mentally alert till his last breath, is evident from his last words, "Crito, I owe a cock to Asciepius, will you remember to pay the debt?".

Conium as poison when taken by a healthy individual produces specific agonising symptoms in him, however when another person suffering from a disease has strikingly similar symptoms, he can quite certainly be cured by ‘potentised’ conium, a homoeopathic preparation. It has thus proved to be a boon to all those patients suffering from paralysis ascending upwards, especially elderly persons with trembling gait, those suffering from a sudden loss of strength while walking as Socrates felt when he was asked to walk after taking hemlock.

Somebody rightly said, "there is a soul of goodness in things evil, would men discerningly distil it out." Hahnemann converted this life squeezing hemlock to health-restoring conium.

SAS Nagar

Predicting events

Apropos of Manjula Dutta’s article "The Science of Past, Present, Future" (June 27) astrology attempts to forecast the future of man and all rich and poor alike go to astrologers. But the irony is that good predictions do not come out to be true. On the other hand, negative predictions cause anxiety despite one’s show of scepticism and tend to materialise often through auto-suggestion. Anxiety about a coming disaster sometimes causes the event by lowering morale.

New Delhi

India and cricket

This refers to Dharminder Kumar’s write-up "India would give up English but not Cricket" (June 20). Every time we fail to win medals at international sports meets there is great consternation in all quarters. Once our parliamentarians went so far as to suggest a temporary ban on the participation of Indian sportspersons in world class tournaments. Our latest taste of humiliation has been witnessed in cricket at the World Cup tournaments.

In spite of all this, there have been some bright patches in our sports history. Cricket, for instance, is one and hockey is another although the story about the latter is less glamorous.

Cricket has blossomed under very special circumstances. It flourished under the patronage of the rulers of some princely states like Patiala, Vizianagram, Pataudi etc. As the rulers themselves were keen cricketers, it lent great respectability to the game. As good cricketers were personally patronised by the princes, it freed them from the worry of earning livelihood and raised their status in society. Also, the princes themselves served as excellent role-models for the aspiring players.

It was above mentioned initial push given to the game that has sustained it in the post Independence era. What has greatly helped this sustenance is the high financial rewards that international cricket fetches for the players. High-profile cricketers like Bedi, Gavaskar, Kapil and now Sachin Tendulkar have very ably substituted the old princes as role models proving thereby that "India would give up English but not cricket."


Cosmos in miniature

This refers to Cosmos in Miniature by Satish K. Kapoor (May 30). Man is the finest creation of God. But most of us either don’t know it or don’t accept it. This state is called vismran which means forgotten and our religions teach us to do simiran which means remembrance. This means to know oneself i.e. to know from where one has come, where one will go and who one is. These are the questions that rarely arise in our mind and if at all they do, we never have definite answer. But this does not mean that one should ignore these questions. One who finds answer to these questions, finds the real purpose of life.


Missing out on fun

APROPOS of Deepti Gupta’s "Where has all the fun gone? (June 20). An excessively materialistic attitude to life has made man a mechanical being. His priorities have become so lop-sided that he does not seem to be sure of any goals except minting more money. The worst sufferers are the adolescent youth. It is their misfortune that they are not free to enjoy even a single moment even during their vacations. A very tight time-schedule leave little scope for fun-filled activities.

Ironically it is not the child who decides the course of his life. Often it is the parents who take decisions about his future career, courses of study and even his likes and dislikes. More often it is the parent’s own thwarted ambitions that are imposed on a child. Naturally not all children can cope with this burden of ambitions and expectations. As a result even a very small disruption in the routine damages one’s tranquillity and peace of mind.

Moreover the problem is not limited just to parents deciding one’s future career, but the major difficulty is that every parent wants his or her child to be an all-rounder — a topper in class, a computer whiz, a good athlete and an expert at dancing, singing or fine-arts. Naturally frustration and mental imbalance are becoming common occurrences in the modern life style.

Only a rational approach to child’s personality development and career path can ensure that our youth become national assets.



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