Friday, October 6, 2000,
Chandigarh, India



India’s security concerns

MR Hari Jaisingh’s “India’s security concerns: US response vital for a new order” (September 29) was an incisive piece. India’s security is threatened by China on the northeast and by Pakistan on the northwest, both rogue neighbours acting in tandem with each other. Pakistan, merely a proxy of China, exports cross-border terrorism to Kashmir and beyond in the name of Jehad. Jehad for what, for whom? No bleeding India white, General Musharraf. Send goodwill instead of terrorism before you talk of talks, General.

Many mistakes have been committed by New Delhi in the past — from Nehru’s halt orders to India’s advancing Army, to Indira Gandhi’s rigged elections, to the installation of dumb, Chief Ministers, to the dismissal of Dr Farooq Abdullah’s government in 1984, etc. All this is costing the nation in a big way.

Indo-US ice-frozen relations are now looking up. A time was when Ms Robin Raphel, a notorious India-baiter, would question Kashmir’s accession to India, calling it a disputed territory. No longer so. Prime Minister Vajpayee’s Lahore bus yatra and Pakistan’s Kargil treachery have opened the eyes of the super power. The USA is today more appreciative of New Delhi’s nuclear needs.


Who doesn’t know that Beijing has been an active collaborator in Islamabad’s nuclear and missile programmes? It’s time New Delhi threw full pressure on Washington to declare Pakistan a full-blown terrorist state. That would bring in, as rightly held by the writer, “a new global order for just social and economic gains.”

Nevertheless, we must not put all our eggs in the US basket, for there is nothing like permanence in politics and diplomacy. New Delhi must make the maximum out of the Russian President Vladimir Putin’s state visit to India. The Centre would also do well to concentrate on the valley’s internal problems more vigorously.


UN’s FAILURE: The United Nations role in tackling the menace of terrorism, wherever it exists, has been lukewarm. Wherever and whenever terrorism raised its fangs, the UN failed to effectively check it.

Often steps taken by countries to fight a common menace have proved to ineffective. What is needed is concrete action — not mere words and contemplation. Pakistan has not succeeded in achieving its nefarious objective to divide our population — Hindus and Muslims on narrow religious lines.

India has a large Muslim population. Indian Muslims are leading a good and more graceful life than their counterparts in Pakistan. In the past, Pakistan failed to destabilise our Punjab through terrorism by driving a wedge between the Hindu and Sikh communities. Neither will its designs succeed in Kashmir. Because our security forces are on high alert.

Militancy and terrorist violence have hit this country in two ways. One, India has suffered a great loss of innocent human lives, in which civilian population is the major victim. Two, this has impeded the nation’s development and economic growth.

India and the USA will have to fight the forces of Talibanisation. These forces are hellbent on upsetting the apple-cart of secularism and democracy all over the world. Terrorism can be checked effectively if we act tough with the terrorists whenever they are caught in an encounter.

Bijhari (Hamirpur)

COLLECTIVE EFFORTS: Indeed there should be no illusion about the reality of the danger faced by us. It is immense. India’s security is a task that requires an effort like the one required to win a great war. The arena is vast. The scene is constantly shifting.

There is no simple formula for peace. Only collective efforts at different levels and at different places will ensure peace. In this respect Indo-US friendship has a vital role to play. We have been concentrating almost exclusively on the preparation for a hot war which may never come.

There is imperative need for an over-all strategy that takes into account all the realities, military and non-military.

My views are rightly expressed in the words of J.R. Lowell:

If you want peace, the thing you have got to do.

Is jes’ to show you are up to fighting too.


Karmapa controversy

As the President of the Karma Triyana Dharmachakra, founded by the 16th Karmapa, and its 40 affiliated Kagyu centres worldwide, I was dismayed to read the article "Karmapa planning escape?" on September 7. The rumour mill is clearly at work. Ugyen Trinley Dorje, the 17th Karmapa, remains at Gyuto Monastery near Dharamsala until issues regarding his resident status and the freedom of movement are finalised by the Government of India.

Neither he nor anyone genuinely associated with him would have considered any action against the accord with the Government of India. The idea of flight by the Karmapa, as described in the write-up, was certainly not a part of the third international Karma Kagyu conference. I can personally confirm that consideration of any such action was simply not part of its deliberations.

In fact, an official delegation from the Kagyu Lineage met Home Minister L.K. Advani in New Delhi on August 31. At that time the conference delegation made a formal request on behalf of the Kagyu Lineage that the Karmapa should be allowed to shift to the monastery of his predecessor at Rumtek, Sikkim.

It is correct that we are seeking a quick resolution to the travel restrictions under which the Karmapa has lived since his escape from Tibet. It was, and is, the Karmapa's intention to live at Rumtek Monastery and to travel to his centres worldwide.

Additionally, the report that Tai Situ Rinpoche, the Karmapa's regent, is "considered close to China", insinuates intrigue that does not exist and is not based on facts. Situ Rinpoche has not even been able to obtain a visa to visit China since 1994, despite his many applications for the purpose of seeing the Karmapa who resided in Tibet until December, 1999. He has not been "banned" as reported. He has rather only been asked to apply for permission to enter Sikkim.

President, Karma Triyana Dharmachakra
Woodstock (New York)


Zoos: no concern for life

This refers to the news items, “Overdose killed lion: Maneka” (The Tribune, September 29, page 8). The death of the lion in transit from Orissa’s Nandankanan Zoo to Visakhapatnam does no credit to those who masterminded the shifting of prestigious animals of the country. The explanation that the lion died due to old age, stress and strain does not sound convincing as this should have been apprehended and guarded.

The power-packed Central Zoo Authority (CZA) in consultation with the state government gave the green signal to the shifting of 12 tigers and 15 lions to various zoos across the country, without taking into consideration the risk involved in the gruelling journey. They have to be kept in arduous quarantine for one month, for health check-up and their adaptability to new surroundings.

The statement of the Additional Inspector-General of Forests (Wildlife) that the lion which died was hybrid and genetically not of much value, is distressing, disappointing and discomforting. It does not exhibit the kind of compassion and respect for life which it is desirable to expect from the top brass of the Wildlife Department.

Now that the cat is out of the bag, the management of zoos in India should not remain contented with the implementation of nominal suggestions from the CZA and investigating committees but concentrate on proper heeding, feeding and breeding. Wildlife Week should be celebrated by taking a significant stride towards making the zoos a congenial and ideal place for wild animals.


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