Saturday, January 29, 2000,
Chandigarh, India



Unending Pak proxy war

THIS refers to the late T.N. Kaul’s article, “Unending Pak proxy war: people longing for peace in J&K” (Jan 17). Pakistan in its programme against India has successfully kept military forces in the background of its foreign policies. The military regime in Pakistan will only function in its military capacity. They do not purport to be judges of economics or of world opinion. They also do not attempt to take account of possibilities that reside in moral forces. They do not claim to understand organisations like the United Nations, and the intangible but powerful influences that radiate from them. They are in an actual state of dictatorship.

In India, except when there is actual war, the system puts the generals into a secondary position. We need to make our military a more obvious partner in the post-war policy making. The words of Joint Chiefs of Staff must be given full consideration as they are specialists in their job.

  In any area, the police and the military are a small minority as compared to the civilians. They cannot do much about preserving order unless they have their community’s overwhelming support. This moral support is being sought to be crushed by Pakistan through terrorism. Making concessions or altering our position because of our hostile neighbour’s promises or merely because we want a facade of agreement, irrespective of reality behind it, is a negative policy.

Nevertheless, it would be risky to put the safety of our nation upon the accuracy of what, at best are educated guesses. Lahore bus service is one such example. It is not safe to assume that our type of reasoning will guide future action of Pakistan.

It is imperative that our government should get good military advice and stay in constant dialogue with the Joint Chiefs of Staff, so as action is taken on time. Our officers are the most competent and most patriotic in the world. We can and we must have peace and for that it may be necessary to take some chances for peace. Indeed, history suggests that only those who are willing to take some chances for peace have a good chance of winning total war. The answer is in the words of George Jacques Danton: “To dare and again dare, and forever dare so as I may, I ought, I will, and I can do what my country needs from me”.


Parent and progeny

The write-up “The Parent and the Progeny” by J. L. Gupta evokes soul searching. It reminded me of a line I had once read in an article. “First we die for them — then we die because of them.” This whole parenthood obsession is something we have to rethink.

It is but natural for the parents to give their unconditional love and support to their offsprings and it is also a fact that the children in return take it as a routine part of their upbringing. Parents after investing their prime in the healthy upbringing of their children, look forward for the support from their loved ones when the age starts telling on them. The children absorbed in their own families, coping with their financial and professional stresses, normally take it as an additional responsibility to look after their ageing parents.

Who is to blame for this not so recent, changed family scenario? Yes, maybe the children. But it is also for the parents to rethink their priorities for the old age. To co-exist with their children, they need not sacrifice their economic independence. Nor should they withdraw from their personal social interactions. This will only help them maintain their dignity and respect they have earned through all these years.




National days

This is regarding celebrations of national days. In our younger days these days were celebrated by the people themselves or by the political parties. It is unfortunate that now our people have become absolutely isolated from these celebrations. This celebrations have been taken over by the government and in such celebrations the problems of the common man are not brought forward. Since the common man is not associated at all the political parties don’t show any interest in celebrating the days and problems of the people remain neglected. It is time political parties stopped holding their political meetings on religious days and observe these days.

In 1995 I was in Portland (USA), on July 4. The people went almost mad in enjoying their national holiday but they did not forget to hoist their national flag before their respective houses. Political workers went around their respective areas and planted the national flags of small sizes in front of the houses where they found the residents were missing. It was a heartwarming scene. On August 15 of the same year on the Indian Independence Day the Indian community gathered together on the river front and held a meeting for about three hours. Besides speeches the programme included patriotic songs and dance items such as kathak, oddissi and of course the ubiquitous bhangra. There were about 5000 Indians and everyone seemed to be enjoying the event to his fill.

It is suggested that people may be encouraged at least to hoist National Flag on their houses on national days.


Master Nand Lal

G.S. Aujla has in his article “Founding Fathers” (Jan 22) stated that Master Nand Lal was born at Jhang Mighiana village in Jaranwala district, now in Pakistan. Jhang Mighiana was not a village but a town and was a part of Jhang district. Jaranwala was not a district but was one of the tehsils of Layallpur district now christened Faislabad by the Pakistan Government.



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