Tuesday, October 31, 2000,
Chandigarh, India



Foreign equity in print media

THIS has reference to the news item “Foreign equity not ruled out in print media” (Oct 19).

Print medium plays a crucial role in building the image of the country and also safeguarding its national interests. In the wrong hands, it can lead to the destruction of the nation’s very foundations.

Therefore, decisions which could affect these vital areas have to be taken with extreme caution.

India, ever since the liberalisation of the economy, has been a happy hunting ground for foreign investors in a number of areas such as banks, automobiles, information technology and even communications. No doubt, there has been vast improvement in some of these areas in terms of service and quality.

The entertainment area has also been opened up with mixed results. While it has given us good quality knowledge-based programmes on television, there is a flip side to it also. We are witness to a host of programmes which go against our culture and grain.

No doubt, opening up the print medium to foreign investors will promote competition and our own newspapers and magazines will be forced to improve their quality. On the other hand, the government will have to ensure that foreign players do not play with our own values and jeopardise our security interests. This is a sensitive area which has to be treaded with great circumspection.



Fiasco at Sydney

THIS refers to “Fiasco at Sydney: is IOA responsible” (Oct 22).

The article has exposed the inner functioning and farcical elections to the Indian Olympic Association and defunct Olympic associations and District Hockey Associations which are normally headed by senior civil servants and police officers. Even Sukhvir Grewal has to admit when he says, “Take the case of hockey, where the police rules the roost”.

The bureaucrats have not only monopolised these associations but have also hijacked even rural sports bodies.

Another disease is the widespread and rampant corruption and neoptism in the selection to the sports bodies.

So, in such a situation how can we expect better results?

kuldip singh
Kila Raipur



Wisdom & knowledge

This is with reference to your editorial “Knowledge on sale” (Oct 23). In the mad race by modern youth, “information” has occupied centrestage, relegating time-tested knowledge and wisdom to backstage which has resulted in degradation all around us. It is not sheer exaggeration that knowledge and wisdom have steered us safely through tumultuous periods in our past.

But, unfortunately, the modern values and the present system have resulted in “information explosion” and no demarcation is made among information, knowledge and wisdom. The role of skill has become much larger than it used to be and information has stepped up in place of knowledge.

The programmes like KBC are an offshoot of human craving to get rich fast and as such multiple choice questions in entrance examinations are no better than KBC as these tests are also a combination of information stored in the human brain supplemented by the luck factor, albeit without any helpline.

How truly indeed T.S. Eliot has written:

“Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge, where is the knowledge we have lost in information.”

saroj thakur


Shooting stray dogs

IN the column “From here and there” (Oct 20) I read with great interest the item “Stray dogs”.

The suggestion to control stray dog population by shooting is, perhaps, an attempt to add a new dimension to the cruelty to animals. It has been suggested that the 2.5 lakh stray dogs in Delhi should be shot dead by engaging trained shooters to get rid of these unwanted animals. The suggestion is shocking and disturbing to all feeling humans.

Swami Vivekanand said, “It is diabolical to think that all animals have been created for man, to be killed and used in any way man likes. It is the devil gospel, not God’s”.

There is no doubt that these dogs are a source of nuisance to the public.

The most accepted method to contain dog population is sterilisation and public awareness at the national level on the pattern of family planning.

The Animal Welfare Board is granting hefty amounts to NGOs for dog sterilisation without taking into consideration the equation between dog sterilisation and dog population. Sterilising a few thousand dogs is meaningless as an unsterilised female dog rears successfully four puppies a year.

It is time those accountable to control stray dogs population came out of their slumber to solve this problem.

soshil rattan


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