Saturday, July 8, 2000,
Chandigarh, India



J & K red herring for India and Pak

THE J and K problem appears to be sucking national resources of India and Pakistan into a bottomless pit. We have fought three major wars and a proxy war goes on, which is costly in terms of men and material to both countries. Citizens on both side overtly or covertly are facing the problem of insecurity. In the history of mankind no one has been able to solve the problem through force. The last resort of tackling is the negotiating table.

Where does the answer lie? Politicians on both sides are least interested and they want this problem to be alive so that they can misguide the people and keep the pot boiling by feeding the precious lives into the furnace of violence. It is now high time both countries realised the futility of this exercise. All of us should undertake brainstorming exercises to solve this longstanding issue. The recent example of North and South Korean dialogue and reunification of Germany should be taken as a landmark in settling the issue. India and Pakistan are the creation of our erstwhile British rulers. They had divided the country in such a manner that both countries should be at each other’s throat and leave no breathing space to either side.


Politicians are pastmasters in creating red herrings on both sides to divert the attention of masses. In India autonomy in J and K is a typical example of diverting attention. This question deserves the least attention. Talking of autonomy when the Government of J and K is responsible for misgovernance. Dr Abdullah is talking against the Constitution of India. It is high time a process of reunification was undertaken so that citizens of both countries could think of living in peace. This problem if left to politicians will end in a stalemate as they have crammed a lesson of divide and rule. Now Government organisations have to undertake this difficult task of educating citizens, create awareness amongst masses to understand the gravity of the existing problem. Let us break the barriers created by the politicians and strive to build a better India which shall be rich in culture, tolerant, developed, free from poverty, exploitation, ignorance and hatred. At present citizens on both sides are facing the same problems such as criminalisation of politics, inefficient bureaucracy, misgovernance, lack of accountability, exploitation of emotions by the fundamentalists and corruption. Citizens are without safe drinking water, poor, without roof, unemployment and insecure.

Both countries are fighting over J and K for the last five decades. We have unnecessarily become emotional over this issue. The best solution is to bury this problem by reuniting and divert our resources for education, better health, employment, removing disparity using our resources to improve the common man’s lot. Encourage religious institutions to spread the message of tolerance and international brotherhood. Let not fanatics take the reins and disturb world peace.

If this is not possible, let both countries accept the Line of Control as international boundary so that citizens of both countries can live in peace. Let this problem be on the back burner. Nature has been kind to us and let us enjoy and utilise our resources for the betterment of citizens. We should not forget that India and Pakistan have the same ancestry. 6000 Arabs who came to India did not bring women in their marching columns. They merged into our culture married our women folks and we are the byproduct of the same system. Let both of us exercise restraint and enjoy the fruits of cooperation, better understanding and set an example to the rest of world.

Lt Col IPS SOLENKEY (retd)

Novel suggestion

The Union Civil Aviation Minister has called upon air passengers to give up their “snobbery” and to learn to socialise with each other on flights. They can get suitable lessons in model behaviour if, prior to flights in the departure lounges, the Airports Authority of India (AAI) shows them a rerun of proceedings of legislatures in which our elected representatives socialise with each other by throwing paperweights, microphones, tearing house papers, and freely using the language of the muscle.

The novel suggestion of the minister to pilots and passengers to pool strength and physically fight hijackers would have sent shivers down the spine of all potential hijackers. All passengers who hold karate and other martial art qualifications should accordingly be given 50 per cent fare discount, and for 15 minutes prior to every flight there should be a strategy conference between the pilot and such passengers.

It is said that the twentyfirst century with its shift to knowledge industry belongs to India. Therefore, these and other innovative ideas of our minister should be presented to all airlines of the world at the International Civil Aviation Conference so that a new chapter of safe civil aviation, with passengers oozing with wisdom and love for fellow human beings can be ushered in on a global level.


Corruption has many faces

Mr M.G. Devasahayam has brought into the sharp focus how corruption has eaten into the vitals of the nation over the years (“combating supply-side corruption: effectiveness of C2 principles”, June 26). According to transparency international’s perception index, only six countries — Russia, Pakistan, Azerbaizan, Indonesia, Nigeria and Cameroon — are more corrupt than India.

Politicians are looters, robbers, swindlers. Ex-PM owes a lot of money to the government. Ministers, CMs, legislators are all corrupt. 20 MPs owe Rs 55 lakh to the NDMC as electricity charges with West Bengal PCC Chief Ghani Khan Chowdhary heading the list (Rs 22.32 lakh). Laloo Yadav is the “king” of corruption in Bihar. Jayalalitha is the “queen” of corruption in Tamil Nadu.

Bureaucrats and babus do not lag behind. No file moves unless a currency note is tagged to it. School heads want hefty donations to admit children. Film stars are income tax defaulters. Customs and Central Excise Department is a den of corruption. In PWD, Forest and BDOs’ offices corruption is a routine. Government doctors mint money at residences. Even cricket has tasted the crime of corruption. A big chunk of money that the government sends for fighting drought, floods, cyclone etc is smuggled on way. These are the several faces of corruption.

All is rotten everywhere in this land of Gandhi, Nehru and Jayaparkash Narayan. Who will stem this rot and when?



At a time when the country has overtaken the one-billion mark, how could the contours of the environment remain intact?

We have got surprisingly large number of industrial units, belching out smoke day and night. Another chief agent of pollution is automobile industry, with three other partners — railways, aviation and firewood — in tow. For that matter, can age-old border skirmishes be ignored?

The government marks June 5 as World Environment Day every year with no serious motives and the desideratum. On one hand, it talks tough on this problem, while it allows the backdoor entry of those industries that are great environmental hazard.

As for water, it also is not spared. Not to speak of the arrival of newer water-polluting industries here, even those which have long been issued a closure order still continue running and passing poisonous pollutants into the rivers, ponds, lakes, making the potable water unfit for drinking.



Home | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Editorial |
Business | Sport | World | Mailbag | In Spotlight | Chandigarh Tribune | Ludhiana Tribune
50 years of Independence | Tercentenary Celebrations |
120 Years of Trust | Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |