119 years of Trust M A I L B A G THE TRIBUNE
Monday, May 10, 1999
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Exposing American hypocrisy

THE ongoing bombing of Serbia has provoked various kinds of reactions all over the world. All major non-NATO countries denounce the action of NATO and the USA. The US has declared Serbia as a terrorist state, but I think the USA itself is the largest terrorist state in the world. Recent reports in the newspapers revealed that America is the biggest manufacturer and exporter of arms to the world and who knows where these arms land — in the hands of armies or terrorist organisations in Kosovo, Kashmir, Sri Lanka, etc. They talk of capping of all missile and nuclear programmes but it is America that is helping in the proliferation of nuclear arms to other countries like China either directly or through espionage networks (and then it asks us to sign the NPT).

The recent killing of students at Columbine High School in USA indicates the type of psyche of the American people. I think Americans know nothing more than about arms and sex. There are millions of gun owners, both legal and illegal, in America. Most of the American movies are based on violence and sex. This American culture is affecting the whole world very badly.

American media plays its own role in this game which the Americans are playing with the rest of the world. It all starts with propaganda, two to three months ahead, about the country the American leader choose to target and bomb upon. This is done to generate and mould the opinion of the Americans and also of the rest of the world. The reports are purely one-sided, with hidden facts. This can be clearly seen in the documentaries on Kosovo on CNN.

I think all the nations should wake up to the reality and resist the suppression by America otherwise the day is not very far when we will see NATO forces attacking our own borders.


No dependable allies

INDIAN democracy symbolises a very simple and yet stable system. It has behind it millions of hard-working, trustworthy and truthful people. They take consensus decisions and abide by them.

The Indian parliamentary system, the main function of which is to help in the formation of a clean and stable government at the Centre, is, however, totally a shambles. Most of the parliamentarians behave in an abhorrent manner, completely bypassing the borders of national behaviour, in the pursuit of power. They become allies not because of similar ideologies. What was common between the communists and the Congress except that they had a common enemy in the BJP?

The modus operandi of all politicians is to look for personal advantages. Parliamentarians with such sinister modus operandi have been succeeding in pulling down the governments. Mr Sitaram Kesri of the Congress ousted the Deve Gowda-led government of the United Front and then got rid of Mr Gujral as Prime Minister. The latest in the list is the BJP-led government pulled down by the AIADMK. It is a matter of shame for which nobody is to blame except the parliamentarians.

Is there no way out to get rid of political parasites? What has happened to the people like Mr Laloo Yadav and Ms Jayalalitha? Why can’t the investigating agencies be pulled up, and why can’t the judiciary be made accountable for the inordinate delays in deciding these cases?

The BJP-led government has been a failure because of its to much dependence on its allies whose demands it could not meet. The BJP has not learnt the lesson and will, therefore, fail again and yet again, so long as it cannot find dependable allies. The same will truly apply to the Congress also as all allies are alike. Let it be understood once and for all that all Independents or would-be allies must merge in a national party of their choice before the announcement of the election programme by the Election Commission.


Wrong employment

Brig (retd) A.S. Brar in his letter (May 6) on my article, “Casualties in Army operations” (April 29) says: “Of late, uncalled for and unsavoury observations have been made about the quality of our young officers”. This is totally out of context, for neither this point nor the standard of training of young officers has been touched upon in the article. On the contrary, they have been rightly praised for their bravery because they are the ones who are virtually bearing the brunt of the counter-insurgency operations.

What has been brought under question is their faulty employment. Imagine the morale of a sub-unit whose commander (major) gets killed in the first go. Does Brigadier Brar know that we got five officers killed in less than three weeks recently? In no other Army of the world officers’ casualties are so high.

Majors should not be committed at a level which is two to three times lower than theirs. At this rate we will soon run short of officers.

What is required more than “follow me” is motivation. If we keep on bragging of “follow me” bravedo, then a stage will come when the buck will stop only at the Maj-Generals level.


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Hospitalisation charges

The report “Patient inflow falls after hike in charges” (May 4) explains the difficulties being faced by poor patients in certain government-run hospitals of Amritsar, particularly after the increase in hospital charges.

It is mentioned that Mrs Luxmi Kanta Chawla, a ruling party MLA, while criticising the increase in hospitalisation charges, alleged that except for a few life-saving medicines, the TB hospital (at Amritsar) had not been getting medicines for the past four years.

It, indeed, looks quite odd that a ruling party legislator should “criticise” the government and point out drawbacks in a government-run hospital. Actually, being a part of the government, she should share the blame for such a sorry state of affairs. Instead of criticising this thing, she should apologise to the people for her failure to get them their due. She should also have explained as to what she proposed to do to set the things right, and what step would she take in case her efforts failed to bear fruit.


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Insecure students

This is to draw your attention to the overwhelming life-threatening situation we Indian students at the Irkutsk State Medical University are faced with.

Cases of violence against Indian students are on the increase day by day to such an extent that life in the hostel for foreign students is greatly insecure. There are no security arrangements in our hostel. Moreover, since last month the university authorities have opened a bar in the hostel. Now all types of hooligans enter the hostel without hindrance. As a result there have been a number of cases of violence and robbery. One of our friends is already lying with a leg fracture. Now he will not be able to take the forthcoming exams, and has to repeat his fifth year paying another $ 2,000 to the university.

For some time we have got many life-threatening warnings. Our attempts to lure the attention of university officials and the police have not led to any results. Requests to post police guards have also been neglected.

So, we request you to use your influence in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of India and that of Russia for due action in the enforcement of security of Indian students here.

Irkutsk (Russia)

(Received in response to the Internet edition).

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Crime against the aged

I fully agree with the views of Mr Avtar Singh on the problem of increasing crime against the aged as published in The Tribune dated 5-5-99.

In many cases, the greedy disowned sons and their spouses with bloated egos do not hesitate even to liquidate their aged parents by fair means or foul, just to grab their self-acquired property.

It is hoped the government authorities would take concrete steps and help the aged at the fag-end of their life.



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