Wednesday, October 11, 2000,
Chandigarh, India



One billion people & a bronze

WHEN someone writes the history of Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, India with one billion people can boast of having given birth to a wonderful woman, K Maleswari, for winning us a bronze medal for at least hiding our false and polluted pride.

I am reminded of a centuries old story that once a king asked his General as to what type of an army he would like to choose. The General replied, “Your excellency, I would prefer to have a fighting force of one thousand sheep led by a lethal lion rather than have an army of one thousand lions led by a sleeping sheep.”

What the General wanted to tell his king was that it was the leadership qualities that win the war as also the games.

Our coaches and corrupt politicians never get tired of making marvellous speeches in favour of our sports standards. But the moment they enter the ground, they remember the speeches and forget to fight to finish, with the result that we, a billion people, are humiliated and humbled before the television camera.


During my tenure in the Indian Navy, we visited an East African port in the early sixties. As usual, the Punjabis settled there came at the jetty and started picking us in their cars for picnic, etc. A young lady teacher in a convent high school invited us to her parents. As we sat for our dinner, she told us: “While I am very proud of our armed forces (Indian armed forces), I am rather depressed and disappointed with the standard of our players.” This, she added, hurt them more in this country.

The words of that beautiful and well-built daughter of a Ludhiana-born Sikh rang in my ears when I found to my frustration that we have won one bronze, and that too because of the efforts of a daughter of this country.

Jalari (Hamirpur)

Remembering Gandhiji

Gandhi Jayanti is given as much respect and importance as Republic Day or Independence Day in our calendar. The present generation may not be knowing how he won freedom for us but DD-1 had been showing a film “Gandhi” for many years.

It used to take us very close to the real life of Gandhiji. Unfortunately, we do not see it any more although the number of movie channels has increased many times. We may have entered the 21st century but we should not forget the contribution made by this great man.



Ill-treating the quota category

This has reference to the write-up “University education — ivory towers despite reservation” by Mr Suresh Kumar in The Tribune dated Sept 30. The author has brought the facts to light regarding the non-implementation of the reservation policy in the recruitment of teachers in universities. This is not limited to the universities. The results in respect of all the higher-level posts are no different at the all-India level.

He has simply enumerated the facts available. There are skeletons in the cupboard, and a lot more below the carpet. I would like to make an addition. The community now labelled the reserved class has been given biased and inhuman treatment for ages. It is an admitted fact that untouchability has ended upto some extent in some parts of the country. But bitterness is coming out in a new shape and that too through intellectuals. After admission in every college/university, students of the reserved category are maltreated/humiliated by teachers during the introductory period.

There are a number of instances to quote, but I have a fresh one. A teacher wasted three periods on three consequent days in delivering a lecture against reservation, but students tolerated it silently. On the third day when the teacher crossed the limit, one student protested. Now see, 50 per cent marks depend on the will of the teacher. What can be expected from him? How will these students have good results and how will they be able to get rid off the reservation label when they are discouraged at every level.



What is the next best number after 1?

Lucky 7, of course — the ranking our team got in hockey at the Sydney Olympics!


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