Friday, May 26, 2000,
Chandigarh, India



Globalisation and nuclear weapons

THE Heads of Government gathering for the UN’s Millennium Summit in September, 2000, will consider how to make the Security Council and major economic forums “broad based”, so that they could effectively deal with the impact of globalisation.

The agenda for the summit has been laid down by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan in a report titled, “We the Peoples: The Role of the United Nations in the 21st Century”. The report was released by the UN Information Centre in New Delhi on April 4, 2000.

Expressing concern that the benefits of globalisation had not reached all, Mr Annan said the Security Council did not “reflect the broad realities of our times”. Its composition did not fully represent either the character or the needs of the globalised world.

Stating that the UN must also adapt itself to the changing times, he said the Security Council’s reform was a critical area.

To improve the security environment, Mr Annan has asked the UN members to consider not only steps to check the illicit traffic in small arms but also consider convening “a major international conference” that would help identify ways of eliminating nuclear dangers.



Dealing with a neighbour

Since a neighbour — even if it is a belligerent one — is always a neighbour, it has to be dealt with cautiously to create a degree of mutual trust and confidence to build bridges of sincere friendship, but without the melodrama like the Lahore bus ride by Prime Minister Vajpayee.

It is necessary to identify the neighbour’s misapprehensions and prejudices against India. So long as a complete state of mental understanding is not reached, the chances of repetition of mischief will not disappear. Therefore, it is absolutely necessary to start with a clear understanding that both countries are to mutually promote the following: (1) the cause of security; (2) economic development and progress; (3) control on ever-expanding population, unemployment, illiteracy; (4) and terrorism and crime.

A decrease in population, unemployment and illiteracy is to be achieved through a common mechanism in a phased and well-defined programme.

Common research projects in agriculture, irrigation, electric generation, etc, are also to be worked out and implemented in a well-defined and regulated schedule jointly.

Such steps alone may destroy mutual distrust and hatred, and create a feeling of constructive cooperation on a lasting basis to improve the general standard of living in both countries simultaneously.


Politics & civic amenities

It is an admitted fact that there is a shadow of politics in every walk of life. Since the counting of votes in corporation elections is done boothwise instead of mixing up of a whole ward’s votes, the winner candidate easily comes to know from where he was a loser and where winner.

After that the winner councillor, though with minority votes, starts discrimination in providing civic amenities on political considerations. In the streets where his opponents reside no care is taken for lights, cleanliness and sewerage, etc.

Here in New Janta Nagar, Gill Road, Street No 5, 6, and 7 are left out without laying out of water pipes despite the fact that the corporation sent a reply in December, 1999, to the Local Bodies Government, Chandigarh, that water supply pipes will be laid very shortly. But by this day nothing has been done whereas water supply in all area began to be available last year.

This is at the whims of the councillor, as in the Corporation Act, councillors have been given more powers to dictate the executives, thus messing up the day-to-day working of the executives. This needs to be checked by the government.


Obsession with trivia

I SHARE Ms Tavleen Singh’s concern that all and sundry in this country — the State, society and the media — would take more interest in projecting India’s achievement in the field of beauty pageants than in the harsh realities that stare us in the face. We have had a crop of Miss Universe and Miss World — Sushmita Sen, Aishwarya Rai, Yukta Mookhey and now Lara Dutta. I feel aghast that our national newspapers wrote editorials on them. Is the beauty that their figures radiated really a national achievement?

We have forgotten all about the drought across the country. The media does not bother about highlighting the drinking water problem, poverty and illiteracy. Media people are lost in the glitter of beauties. Lara Dutta won the crown around the Kargil war’s first anniversary. It would have been “more appropriate to remember those who died”, as rightly held by the writer; should our media have not highlighted the rising tide of dowry deaths — 13,612 in 1998-99.



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