Thursday, November 9,
  Chandigarh, India



The temple controversy

This refers to the news item headlined “BJP warns VHP on temple” (Nov 1).

BJP President Bangaru Laxman has warned the Vishwa Hindu Parishad against its reported plan to construct the Ram temple at Ayodhya. Earlier, Mr L.K. Advani too had repeatedly assured that the status quo would be maintained at the disputed site. Such assurances fail to satisfy not only the opposition and the BJP’s own partners in the ruling coalition but also the general public. It is because the BJP’s credibility in this particular matter is not above reproach.

It is not only that the Sangh Parivar, of which the BJP is a member, tends to speak in several voices on this issue, it does not always seem that one wing of the Parivar is aware of what another may be planning. The fear voiced by impartial observers, therefore, that the VHP may suddenly put together a large prefabricated temple at the sight of the present temporary one may not be baseless.

But whatever the game plan of its opponents, the BJP will have to do much more than make promises if it wants to allay all apprehensions. The country has already paid a heavy price in terms of damage to communal relations because of the Ayodhya episode and there is no room for any complacency or doublespeak in this matter.



Prices of petroleum products

The price of petrol in Bathinda is Rs 29.53 per litre. But the government has not issued two, three or 10 paisa coins. So the consumers have to pay Rs 29.75. The price of petroleum products is not the same throughout India, but the retail prices of petroleum products exist in fractions. The government should increase the price of petroleum products either to the next whole number or it should be a multiple of 25 paise.

By this price increase, the consumers will not have to suffer, but it can greatly add to the revenue accounts of the government and this money can be utilised in the greater interests of the public.


KBC and tax

Considering the huge prize-money distributed by the popular TV programme “Kaun Banega Crorepati” (KBC) of Star Plus, and reports of many such forthcoming mega-prize programmes announced by the various TV channels, the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) should extend the provision of “Tax deducted at source (TDS)” to the prize-money given by TV networks and others.

Such a provision will be beneficial to all concerned, including the tax-payers and the Income Tax Department.

Rather the provision of TDS should be applicable to payments made by more and more categories in a manner that the extra revenue earnings so made may be utilised to abolish surcharge on income tax.


The season of harmony

I chanced to hear the song “Patjhad sawan, basant bahar ..... ek baras ke mausam char ...” on the radio today and felt hmmm.. winters are approaching. The scorching and hurting rays of sun will now seem to us as beautiful and golden. Warm and cosy inside... pleasant ... cool .... chilly outside.

It made me think about the cycle of seasons nature brings for us year after year. Summer, winter, autmn, spring ... and it goes on ... each of them having its own beauty and charm. And through the years we all develop a liking or disliking for them.

There are some people who do not mind the sunny summer days, but cannot face the chilly winter winds, which they say seems to be slapping their faces. Others say these chilly winds fill them with a new vitality, freshness and romance and they get recharged after the sleepy summer days. Still there are others who love “sawan” and “sawan” alone. These “mast” kinds say that they can enjoy more and also work better with greater freshness and zeal on a rainy day.

But there are others who say that work comes to a total standstill in the rainy season others may be lovers of spring. The reasons are obvious. It is pleasant, beautiful and fresh. And the story will go on and on, for each one of us is a separate individual, with a separate bent of mind, separate likes, dislikes and tastes.

Life is very simple and beautiful. It is we who make it complicated. The challenge is to get back in touch with harmonious seasons once again.


Treachery by cricketers

The CBI report indicting Azharuddin, Jadeja, Mongia, Ajay Sharma and Manoj Prabhakar for their involvement in the betting scandal is truly shocking for the cricket lovers in the country.

Till the other day, these cricketers were heroes to the thousands of young aspirants of the game. Particularly, youth from schools and colleges follow the game keenly, even at the cost of their studies.

Now by their greed for money “these heroes” have committed no less than treachery to their loyal followers.

The least they can do to make amends is to publicly plead for pardon and donate the ill-gotten money for charity or for coaching poor youth with cricketing talents.

Cricket will never be the same again in India, at least for quite some time to come.

It will be a herculean task to restore cricket to its original dignity.

S.S. Vasan
New Delhi



Diary writing

This has reference to the article “How beneficial can diary writing be” (Oct 15) by Mr Mohinder Singh. The article is of immense interest, inspiring and valuable.

Diary writing is historical record too and much valuable for historians. I quote an example of Mr G.R. Elasmie, a British officer. When he was the Deputy Commissioner in Punjab, he used to maintain a diary of events in Punjab. He retired as Commissioner. On his arrival in London, he found that his mother was no more, but his letters written from India were kept by her chronologically. He decided to use these letters to bring out a book titled “My Thirty-Five Years in Punjab”.

Palbhu (HP)

Conquer your desires

The article captioned “overcome your desires” under the column “Of life sublime” by Mr J.L. Gupta (Oct. 26) is a source of inspiration and enlightenment to the seekers of truth, peace and tranquillity.

Although every human mortal craves for peaceful existence, in the vortex of endless desires, which are the root cause of our sorrows. heartache and suffering, our objective remains a distant reality. The only way to conquer our desires is to accept the fact that nothing is ours.


Good gesture

Ex-servicemen are happy and thankful to the Chandigarh Administration in general and Lt-Gen JFR Jacob in particular for giving flats to widows who lost their husbands in war or in action against terrorists. Many seriously injured personnel have also been given flats for their services to the nation.

The widows and the seriously injured personnel were given these flats out of the discretionary quota of the Governor. This was a very thoughtful and wise decision on his part.

Not only the army, but the deserving cases of para-military and police forces were also allotted the flats. This step, I hope, will be followed by the administration in future.

Maj-Gen RAJENDRA NATH (retd)

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