The Tribune - Spectrum


Sunday, January 14, 2001

The vistas ahead

This refers to the article "Extraordinary vistas ahead" by Hari Jaisingh (December 31) in which the writer carries the reader along on the wave of his astute observations.

The biggest challenges we face today have been summed up concisely and eloquently, along with the to-the-point solutions that hold great potential. That we must look out lest too much technological advancement should transform us into robots, that globalisation should get a human face, that scientific achievements must not be used for mutual annihilation and that petty thinking, double standards and hypocrisy must give way to the great concept of "live and let live" that we are fast forgetting, are all precious observations and need to be absorbed and imbibed by one and all in the world of today.


Eggs-asperating facts

"Eggs-asperating facts" (December 24) by Roshni Johar was a diverting piece of writing. The writer meticulously brought out the myths, beliefs, legends and superstitions connected with eggs. Besides its nutritive value the egg has been the cause of many conflicts. Leo Tolstoy explains how a quarrel began between two good neighbours on a very trivial matter of an egg and led to the ruin of two families in A Spark Neglected Burns The House. Also a war broke out between the imaginary kingdoms of Lilliput and Blefuscu on an insignificant question of whether an egg should be broken at the bigger end or at the samller one.

Whatever the beliefs related with the egg, it is an important part of food and doctors recommend it should be eaten daily. But some say that consumption of eggs increases the level of cholesterol in human body, causing cardiac problems. Maneka Gandhi absolutely forbids its use. Leaving aside its plus and minus points, people have been eating eggs since time immemorial and will continue to do so. Boon or bane, it is universally accepted as a rich source of protein.

Tarsem S. Bumrah


Happy homes

Apropos of I.M. Soni’s write up, "How to make your home a happy place" (December 24), a happy home should be the heritage of every person who comes into this world. No child should be allowed to remain long in an unhappy home, for unhappiness can soon cause illness of both mind and body. Almost all the problems that afflict the human race can be traced to wrong environment during childhood and youth. Proper home training helps develop a balanced personality.

Happiness does not depend upon the money one possesses, but rather on a wholesome personality. To build a happy home, both parents must be prepared to get along well with each other. Their personalities must blend together. Each must respect the rights of the other, and both must be prepared to work out their problems without quarrelling. Neither parent can expect to be right all the time. Each must be willing to give in to the other. Defects in one’s own disposition or habits may have to be corrected in order to build a successful and well-adjusted family as also a happy home.

Jealously has no place in a happy home. A jealous person tends to be insecure. He/she is never sure of himself/herself. A happy home cannot be built by a person whose feelings are easily injured. Real happy homes are built on love that endures, not on feelings that fade away under the shadow of trouble or criticism.

O.P. Sharma

Unfriendly neighbours

Chanchal Sarkar, in his article titled "Lack of interest in our neighbours" (December 17) has cited happenings in the post-liberation regime of Bangladesh and advocated greater involvement of our country in our neighbours’ affairs in order to protect the interest of minority communities residing there. To a certain extent, the learned writer is right. But he seems to have forgotten the fall out of such an approach followed by India in the past. The amount of interest and the extent of our involvement in Sri Lanka’s affairs and its consequences are known to every Indian. A good number of our soldiers lost their lives in Sri Lanka’s war with the LTTE.

Will it not be a sound policy if we exercise restraint and neutrality while dealing with our neighbours?

Surinder Kumar Marwaha
New Delhi

Passions of the mind

Apropos Kuldip Dhiman’s article "Understanding the passions of the mind" (December 3). Despite remarkable advances in the field of neuroscience in the last a few decades, the concept of what the mind is, how it works and why it works the way it does still remains obscure, controversial and impossible to define. But keeping in mind what philosphers and scientists have all tried to tell us, we would agree that it is an interplay of thoughts, emotions and the intellect.

It is in this context that the classic hypothesis of id, ego and superego by Freud is quite significant. In a sense, the psyche of a person depends on the functioning of his ego, id and superego.

Human relationships in society are seen as the means by which man’s basic instincts and nature are repressed. Here, Freud aptly argued that such forms of repression or suppression were essential for the existence of society. In a sense, basic drives are repressed, diverted and developed in such a way that an individual comes to act in accordance with the structural needs of the society in which he lives. These socially patterned drives are often completely fastened within the unconcious areas of the ego and an individual is not aware of them. As such man is not free and social codes determine his actions.

Whether the psychoanalytic theory as propounded by Frend qualifies as scientific theory or not is a matter of debate, but one thing stands above all and that is its basic principle that "the sickness of the individual is ultimately caused and sustained by the sickness of his civilisation (society). Psycho-analytic therapy aims at curing the individual so that he can function as a part of sick civilisation without surrendering to it altogether. It has not been refuted convincingly by any one. One may differ with some ideas of Freud, but one can’t ignore his contribution as social scientist.

P.L. Sethi

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