Saturday, April 15, 2000,
Chandigarh, India



Well-deserved punishment

IN the editorial, “No tears for Nawaz Sharif” (April 7), it has been rightly remarked that India remembers the ousted Pakistan Premier, who has been awarded life imprisonment by an anti-terrorism court, as a co-author of the Kargil intrusion.

Mr Sharif gave a false appearance of reliability on Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee’s visit to Lahore. On the one hand, he gave him a rousing reception and on the other he allowed Pakistani troops to make armed intrusion in Kargil. He withdrew troops only when Pakistan stood isolated at the international level, failed to enlist China’s support and he was sternly exhorted by US President Bill Clinton to do so and resume diplomatic talks set in motion by Mr Vajpayee during his historic Delhi-Lahore bus ride. Still, instead of initiating a process of peace, he threatened to create many more Kargil-like situations. Despite India’s friendly behaviour, he always adopted a belligerent attitude. He never condemned the massacres of innocent people by Pak-trained terrorists in Kashmir.

He is accused of money-laundering, tax evasion, bank frauds and forgery involving crores of dollars.

  Following the US sanctions against Pakistan in the wake of its nuclear tests, Mr Sharif asked the people to face the situation by living on millet and lentils, but pampered himself with hamburgers of an American company.

Being unreasonably proud of his fake democracy an arrogant Sharif used the constitution for his gains. He made the President resign and got the Supreme Court’s Chief Justice removed.

He is now stewing in his own juice. Had not a 13th century English jurist, Henry de Bracton, rightly said that a king may not be under man, but he was certainly under God and the law? The simple-hearted people of his native village, Jatti Umra, in Amritsar district recite “ardas” (invocatory prayer) for his well-being, little realising that “gurbani” clearly says: Jaha beejai so lunai karma sandra khet (As you sow so shall you reap).


Failing magic

Ms Tavleen Singh’s “Waning popularity of Sonia” (April 8) was an eye-opener for the Sonia brigade in the Congress. In the 1999 Lok Sabha polls Ms Sonia Gandhi brought the Congress down from 1984’s 415 to the lowest-ever 112 MPs. The party faced extinction in J&K, Himachal, Haryana, Delhi and A&N Islands. In Punjab it performed very well and in UP it opened its account closed in 1998 — courtesy Mr G.S. Tohra and Mr Kalyan Singh.

The “bahu” of the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty failed miserably once again in working the dynasty’s magic for the Congress. The party has been badly mauled in the four states in the assembly elections. It lost in by-elections in Nawanshahr (Punjab), its stronghold for the last 20 years, and in Solan (HP) despite the presence of a BJP rebel in the fray.

The election results would testify that Sonia Gandhi’s charisma, white skin and tags of Indiraji ki bahu and Rajiv ki biwi all failed at the hustings. She seems to be as ambitious as the Roman emperor Julius Caesar. If the paralysed Congress wants to survive it needs some experienced physiotherapists to massage its limbs. For how long a speech-reading Sonia Gandhi would depend on the speech-writers and party managers as the leader of the country’s main opposition in the Lok Sabha? Nehru-Gandhi dynasty is now a dead letter.

India needs a healthy and well-knit opposition. If the Congress fails, it would forfeit the nation’s trust. Food for thought for Madhavrao Scindias, Rajesh Pilots and Jitendra Prasads of the Congress.



The middle, “Agony and Ecstasy of Freelancing” (April 7), by I.M. Soni was a beautiful piece of writing. The writer has incisively portrayed the plight of freelancers.

Writing articles of publishable standard is no easy task and hence not everybody’s cup of tea. Perfection in writing can be attained with intensive practice. For a good writeup you not only need a suitable theme (idea) and sufficient relevant information but one has to be precise and to the point. Beating about the bush can hardly be tolerated. The sentences should be correct, message-conveying and studded with impressive and appropriate words.

To be a successful writer one has to work rigorously, keeping in mind that “success” is a journey and not a destination. Professional writers do not have a magic wand with which they procure marvellous ideas. They live in the same world in which we live but they pay attention to suitable themes, collect necessary details and strive quite hard to give birth to a useful end-product.

Mr Soni has correctly concluded this write-up by saying that writing even one good and beautiful sentence takes a long time of concentrated effort. One can well imagine how much toil, search, research, patience and perseverance must be required to write one excellent piece.



Not the only one

Mr Laloo Prasad Yadav and his wife Rabri Devi have been charge-sheeted by the CBI in which they have been accused of having assets of a few lakh more than their known sources of income. The way the case has been pursued against them clearly reflects the policy of vindictiveness. It shows as if Mr Laloo Prasad is the only person in this country who is found to be in possession of property a few lakhs in excess of his income and the rest of politicians, bureaucracy and others are living on honest income.

If a true survey is carried out by a judicial commission it might reveal that many politicians and officials working in departments such as customs, central excise, taxation, income tax, PWD, civil supply, drainage, public health revenue, police, urban development, local govt health, transport, power, irrigation and others, may be having property worth crores. The chief of the Central Vigilance Commission has repeatedly requested the government that a law should be enacted under which there should be a provision that illgotten property could be confiscated. But the government is keeping mum.

By taking a vindictive course of action against Mr Laloo Prasad the government had not only lowered itself in the eyes of public, but also created a warlike situation in Bihar.


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