Friday, January 14, 2000,
Chandigarh, India



Gaps in crisis management

THIS has reference to Mr Hari Jaisingh’s article of January 7 “Gaps in crisis management: time for honest post-mortem”. From 4-50 p.m. on black Friday when IC-814 was abducted till 6-33 p.m. on Monday when our team of negotiators reached Kandahar, one may be forgiven for thinking that instead of the Crisis Management Group (CMG) led by the Prime Minister, petty officials were commissioned to bring the plane and its passengers back to safety. Loss of nerve? Inexperience? Incompetence? Complacency accompanied by the hope that somehow things will sort themselves out? All of the above?

The full tale of folly, fingers crossed, will unfold shortly, but what the country glimpsed was a government fumbling and griping at a time when cool heads and sound judgement were needed. That the hostages, save one, survived must be put down to prayer and providence rather than to the wisdom of those assigned to arrange their freedom.

  The hijacking of IC-814 is an integral part of the stepped up violence in Kashmir during the post-Kargil phase. However, with the electronic media projecting an image of confusion and helplessness on the part of the authorities, the psychological impact on the situation in J&K could be considerable. The major concessions granted to the hijackers will be like pure oxygen to the militancy. This is what happened in early 1990 when Mufti’s daughter was released in exchange for five terrorists. If, on the other hand, the authorities had been able to ensure what the hijacking ended satisfactorily, it would have struck a body blow to militancy in J&K.


World-state as a remedy: I think all kinds of terrorism can be brought to an end through the establishment of a world-state. Where there is no America, Russia, India or Pakistan. There will be only one nation — the world itself.

When duty is performed not for a nation-state as done at present but for the world as a whole we shall eschew all hatred and contempt for other nations and races. When the cruel and corrupt institutions of capitalism and nationalism will not be supported, they shall all themselves perish paving the way for a world-state.


Dealing with Pakistan: India needs to give a new fresh look to its crisis management system. It is full of gaps and hole, from end to end. Pakistan is a rogue terrorist State and has to be dealt with as such firmly and will determination, grit and firm nation.

Mr Jaisingh has rightly held: “Instead of looking to the USA all the while we have to set our own house on order”, to defend the nefarious design of our treacherous neighbour.

We have to be fully alive to the post-Kandahar situation and the consequences of the Islamabad-Kabul nexus. Why a pat for Talibans? Indian Prime Minister Vajpayee trekked of peace in Lahore when Islamabad was planning Kargil. General Musharraf can feel some people for all the time, all the people for some time, but not all the people for all the time. Time has come for all the service chiefs and political parties to act in unison to save India’s unity and integrity.



Plight of children

The editorial on child labour in The Tribune of January 5 shows your deep concern for the unfortunate children. The situation, however, is very clear. The new millennium sun has emerged but the future of these children continues to be engulfed by dense fog. And the chances of any improvement in the weather being faced by them are remote!

Different research groups have estimated the number of these children ranging from 1.4 crore to 6 crore in India. Fireworks and construction industries have a high incidence of child labour. Match, diamond polish, glass and brassware, lock-making, slate and carpet industries and a few others having child labour. Child labour prohibition and regulation of 1986 have not proved effective in pulling the children out of these hazardous occupations. The message is clear. Unless we provide these children with the minimum basic needs, they will continue to work for their own survival.

Education and bringing quality in life are far-fetched things for these children. One can think of these only if the belly is filled. The first step for the government and voluntary institutions is, therefore, to ensure their survival by providing them with food, cloth and shelter.

One question remains. Even if the government earmarks substantial funds for the welfare of these children, how can we be sure of their reaching the children when so many “fund, food and fodder eaters” are sitting en route?




The crisis at MDU

I read the write-up “A year of chaos at MDU” by Mr Jatinder Sharma, published in The Tribune, on January 5. From the caption, the story tends to make us believe that it provides an objective assessment of the situation prevailing on the university campus for the last one year. But a careful reading suggests that the motive has been to project that the present Vice-Chancellor is responsible for all the mess.

The “facts” have been geared to establish this point. The writer appears to have connived with vested interests.

In February 1997, when the present Vice-Chancellor was appointed, the M.D. University campus was in the grip of a fear psychosis. There was an atmosphere of terror: some faculty members and the previous Vice-Chancellor were assaulted on the university campus. The academic atmosphere was completely vitiated.

On a writ petition filed by the previous VC, the Punjab and Haryana High Court had ordered a CBI enquiry. It goes to the credit of the present VC that normalcy on the campus was restored and efforts were made to built a healthy academic atmosphere. Later, vested interests, through a sustained disinformation campaign, were successful in creating a wedge between the Chancellor and the Vice-Chancellor which led to a chain-reaction culminating in a writ petition in the High Court by the present VC to protect his reputation.

The moot question is: “why, since the inception of the university in 1976, not even a single VC could complete his term with honour and had to pocket humiliation or had to leave mid-way? Obviously, malice is deeper than being the case of some individual as a VC. The real issues are the mode and the considerations in the appointment of the VC, the Pro-VC and the Registrar of the university, insulating the university from political and bureaucratic interference in the day-to-day functioning and ensuring academic autonomy whereby a congenial academic atmosphere can be created.

Professor & Head, Department of Economics, MDU

Unjustified criticism

The hijacking of Indian Airlines Airbus IC-814 and the big demands of the hijackers have been much in discussion these days. Mostly the well-wishers of the hostages have criticised the Indian government.

Opposition parties, on the other hand, are also criticising the government . However, the government had no alternative than what it did to resolve this crisis. It had to secure the passengers’ release. The Opposition is not justified in criticising the government for its handling of the hijacking crisis.

Ambala Cantt


Guess as to what the Americans want the USA to mean for the rest of the world?

Answer: Under Supremacy of America!



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