Friday, August 11, 2000,
Chandigarh, India



Politics of talks and the gun

THIS has reference to Mr Hari Jaisingh’s article, “Enter Hizbul Mujahideen: politics of talks and the gun” (The Tribune, August 4). The Hizbul Mujahideen was not persuaded by the Government of India to come to the negotiating table abandoning its militant frame of mind. There seems to be a discord of sorts between the Hizb and the Pakistani authorities.

It was expectedly clear that the other militant groups disenchanted with the Hizb will strike at every possible soft target on the latter’s offer for talks. The security forces should have been alerted to meet the eventual threat. What has happened, has happened. India must learn a lesson from the recent mass killings in the valley.

Holding prolonged talks with any militant group is a useless exercise. This unnecessarily enhances the significance of that group. There is neither reason nor rhyme in militants’ waging a proxy war in the valley. While sitting for talks across the table to resolve the irritants the other day with the Indian team headed by the Union Home Secretary, Mr Kamal Pandey, two members of the Hizb team were wearing masks on their faces. It presented a vulgar scene. This is both sad and strange.

Bijhari (Hamirpur)


NO SOLUTION: There is no doubt that Kashmir has become a bloody problem today. The government has never bothered to have a complete solution to the problem.

After Punjab, it seems it is the turn of Jammu and Kashmir. Everyday terrorists are killing many innocent people and creating terror. The government is working silently.

It is very strange that when an incident of bomb blast or firing is reported, the government is ready for talks. But as the issue grows old there is complete silence again on the government’s part. Such incidents have been noticed for many years but no solution has been found as yet.


Remembering Sardar Jafri

After battling against a brain tumour, Ali Sardar Jafri, the undisputed doyen of Urdu poetry, finally lost the fight and breathed his last.

A journalist-patriot — like Hasrat Mohani, Mohammad Ali Jauhar, Kishan Chand Zeba, Mela Ram Wafa and Gopi Nath Aman — Sardar Jafri belonged to the progressive school, which stood for Asian awakening, and which flashed across a message of the working class and the peasantry.

Progressivism was the first organised movement in literature, after the Aligarh movement, and was likewise motivated by social and political objectives. It expected of the writers that they would so attire the word. the imagery and the form as to reflect realistically the changes taking place in our national life, and to bring literature closer to the aspirations of the people by manipulating the theme of cultural, social and political backwardness that plagued the Indian scene, so as to infuse a revolutionary fervour.

As a student, Sardar Jafri was rusticated from Aligarh for his political views. This made him to move to Lucknow. He was elected Secretary of the University Union. Later, he was arrested for participating in the national movement.

Earlier in his career, Jafri tried his hands at short stories, which were later brought out in a collection, “Manzil” (1938). Along with Sibte Hasan and Majaz, he edited a monthly, Naya Adab, and a weekly Parcham, from Lucknow. Finally, he moved to Bombay (now Mumbai) where he had a brush with films. He also edited a quarterly, Guftagu, and wrote a series of poetic collections,

Jafri began on a romantic note under the pseudonym, Hazin, but soon outgrew it and became a votary of the Marxian realism. He made his mark as a poet with Parvaz in 1943, and rose to become the third recipient of the country’s highest literary award, Jnanpith, after Firaq Gorakhpuri and Qurratullain Haider.

His sincerity and courage ring through his poems in “Khun ki Lakir”, “Asia Jaag Utha”, “Amn ka Sitara”, “Pathar ki Deewar”, “Ek Haath Aur”, and “Parvaz”. He has also published a masnavi (narrative poem), “Nai Duniya ko Salaam”. According to Dr Ejaz Husain, Jafri picked up from where Josh had left, of course, with an individualistic style, as is evident from poems like “Saal-e-Nau” and “Toota Hua Sitarah”.


The role of DC

Apropos of the report “DCs told to be people-oriented” (August 8), Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal’s reported advice/directive to the Deputy Commissioners (DCs) in the state to make official business at the cutting edge transparent, people-centred and corruption-free hardly comes a day too soon. I fully share Mr Badal’s viewpoint on the subject.

The pregnant advice seems to hold good in the case of Himachal Pradesh as well. I do hope that the DCs in the state would not only heed the advice but also scrupulously act on it. Indeed, the DCs today must abjure the obnoxious/anachronistic “mai-baap culture/attitude” imbibed assiduously by the key functionaries during the alien British raj to be in tune with the mood and temper of democratic times.

Quite pertinently, the DC is the key figure of the district administration under the obtaining scheme of things. He must not only oversee the general administration but also — and more importantly — act as a friend, philosopher and guide to the other officers at the district level so as to effectively deliver the desired goods. Obviously, therefore, the incumbent must necessarily be a person of reasonable maturity and experience, well-conversant with the art of man-management, failing which the desideratum generally proves elusive.

To my mind, the state government would be well advised to review the existing policy of posting raw/young officers as the chief functionaries in the districts in the larger public interest. Let me hope that the powers that be are listening.

Ambota (Una)

Life’s ethical aspect

The publication of articles touching the ethical and spiritual aspects of life by eminent and enlightened writers under “Of Life Sublime” is a good beginning and is a source of enlightenment and inspiration for the readers. Since the ethical values and the Divine Name, which should always be the source of human inspiration, have been relegated to the background in view of the constant pursuit of material advancement for having the maximum sensual pleasures and comforts, the brief writings on spiritualism would certainly motivate the readers to adopt and pursue the right path which, in turn, would contribute to mitigating their sorrows and sufferings.

Although happiness lies in reflection, contentment and peace alone, everybody, caught in the whirlpool of lust, anger, greed, attachment and ego, is going farther and farther from the ultimate truth — God — which is the main cause of loss of our peace.

Since there is no other work nobler than the dissemination of spiritual knowledge to humanity, I wish you would continue your efforts.



What is common between two MPs — malaria parasite and member of Parliament?

Answer: Both are difficult to find!



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