Saturday, April 28, 2001, Chandigarh, India



Adieu, brave soldiers

Join the Army! Be a patriot!
No Sir, join the Army or any other service, get tortured and become a martyr.

One month later, no one will remember you. But the fact remains that you died a martyr. So what if you were tortured till you screamed for death, what if you were dissected alive, what if boiling water was poured on your sliced body!

You must not complain even in your death, otherwise it might sour international relations and diplomacy! At least your decomposed and tortured body was returned to your motherland, not to your mother, at dusk, when the light is weak and eyes cannot see much!

Good time for maintaining cordial neighbourly relations, wouldn’t you say? We must not get into the way of their forthcoming elections, just more than a dozen bodies or so.

Let this torture go on. It’s the brave soldiers who have to depart for the heavenly abode. They haven’t spent much time on this earth but it doesn’t matter really. They must sacrifice their lives for their great political commanders, who may just be in their 70s and 80s, who must live on to rule this country.


Men in uniform are rather unfortunate. They die for reasons “best not known to them.”

No one cares if they die!

No one cares how they die!

No one cares why they die!

No sir, what is a chopped leg or two? A gouged-out eye, no big deal! Torture by one neighbour or the other, life for the brave soldiers doesn’t change one bit, neither does death!

It is the governance that matters in the end. The political arena where the lions fight fiercely for Numero Uno, while the public watches with detached and weary eyes.

Well, come what may, life at the top must go on smoothly, without a hitch! Adieu, brave soldiers and three cheers!

SONALI MISRA, Chandigarh

Golden Temple in disrepair

Recently, I visited Harimandar Sahib after a gap of 45 years.

I was shocked to see the state of disrepair of the main building. Going to the top floor, you will find the stairs in a state of sheer neglect. The plaster is falling off, bare bricks are seen as the cement has disappeared, the paint is peeling off and the paintings have been discoloured. It can only be called passive sacrilege of the holy gurudwara by those who control it.

The managers should not just run to get the repairs done by local masons with locally available cement. It calls for an expert examination by reputed architects, builders and painters.


Reallocation of colleges

The issue of reallocation of colleges among the three universities in Punjab is a burning issue these days. Before it gets a final shape, intellectuals, principals, parents and students have come forward with various suggestions, giving justifications in their favour.

In fact, at the time of setting up of two new universities, allocation should have been the top-most factor. It is not the question of demand for reallocation of colleges. In fact it is the geographical factor that matters so far as the jurisdiction of the universities is concerned.

What I feel is that it hardly makes any difference to the reallocation of colleges. The only requirement is that the facilities should be made available, equivalent to those of Panjab University which has an overall outstanding status regarding higher studies and also with the consultants engaging the highly qualified personnel. It will only be possible with the cooperation of the university. Authorities to maintain the standard and provide the required academic facilities to the students. Rather, the Council of Ministers, while issuing the final notification, should make it a point to ensure uniformity of courses in all the three universities to facilitate interchange of students on account of transfer of parents or otherwise shifting from one place to another.

HARISH K., Ferozepur City

Democracy in peril

We are proud of being the largest democracy in the world. At the time of the demise of democracy in our neighbourhood, we were greatly shocked and have not been able to come to terms with the military rule there.

Now we are ashamed that our democratic system is moving in the direction of total failure. The Congress Party is tarnishing its image by creating a shouting brigade in Parliament which shows that this oldest national party that ruled the country for more than 40 years has lost the ability to discuss matters efficiently and logically.

It is time the sanctity of Parliament is maintained. We have already caused it sufficient harm: Shouting in Parliament should be banned at all costs, otherwise the people will abandon their right to vote because no purposeful debate takes place in the two Houses of Parliament. Even budgets are passed in five minutes without any discussion. What a shame.



Hasina’s words

During the Kargil conflict, six of our soldiers in Pakistan’s custody were subjected to barbaric torture and mutilation. But the unprovoked inhuman treatment meted out to our BSF Jawans by the BDR is much more horrendous and in flagrant violation of the Geneva Convention.

Addressing the world millennium summit at the UN in September last year, Sheikh Hasina had said that Bangladesh had not forgotten the atrocities committed by Pakistan Army during her struggle for freedom in 1971. She said that the vanquished forces killed her father and members of his family and that her first child was born in captivity. “May humanity be spared such experiences”, she had said.

Since she has personally experienced the shock of brutal killing of her kith and kin, it is hoped that she will realise the agony of the families of the BSF Jawans gruesomely killed by the BDR and take strict action against the guilty. The dispute regarding the demarcation of the border between the two countries can be settled amicably.


Small projects

The decision of the Himachal Pradesh Government to promote small dams is a step in the right direction. The problems created by large hydro-electric projects have outweighed their achievements. In Himachal Pradesh the Pong Dam and Bhakra Dam oustees have not so far been properly resettled. The Nathpa-Jhakri project is way behind its schedule. The expectations of earning revenue and generating employment in the hill state have not been fulfilled.

Opposition to Tehri and Sardar Sarovar projects also have raised doubts about the future of mega projects. The possibility of large reservoirs causing seismic activity has raised an alarm.

The HP Government should be appreciated for inviting the private sector in the field of power generation in mini and micro-mini hydro-projects. The country is watching this experiment with hope. The success of these projects will begin an era of small dams and help in establishing the much needed co-operation between the public and private sectors.

The Himachal Government has to ensure that bureaucratic bottlenecks are removed to facilitate speedy implementation of these small projects.


Errors on AIR

This refers to Mr Bhagwan Singh’s letter, “Akashvani’s faux pas” (April 23). Many years ago, after the death of Giani Gurmukh Singh “Musafir” in the news bulletin broadcast by Akashvani, the news reader named Giani Zail Singh, who was President at the time. Astonishingly, the reader did not say a word of regret while correcting the blunder.

The use of singular noun or verbs instead of plural is not unusual in news bulletins. In the news broadcast from Delhi at 8 a.m. on April 23, the newscaster said ‘do naujawan’ in place of ‘nau jawanon’ (plural) while referring to two injured BSF jawans, who together with the body of the 16th BSF man, was handed over by the Bangladesh Rifles to the BSF.

Another error which I have noticed in the recent past is the use of the Urdu word ‘halaatan’ even though ‘halaat’ itself is the plural of ‘halat’ (condition, situation). Very often Akashvani newscasters use incorrect Hindi and Punjabi words in announcements and provincial news bulletins.

R. S. DUTTA, Chandigarh

FMD in India

It is a pity that in a developed country like Britain the foot and mouth disease in domestic animals is shaking the polity of the nation, but in India, where a majority of the population lives in villages and the economy of the nation is predominantly agrarian, such epidemics evoke the least reaction from the ruling elite. This disease takes a heavy toll of our livestock every year but our governments have failed to check this menace. Year after year, this epidemic inflicts painful blows to our livestock farmers and to the animals. Even after 50 years of independence we have not been able to check this disease which can easily be prevented by biennial vaccination of the livestock.

The Government should launch a massive campaign to immunise the susceptible animal population on the lines of the pulse polio programme so that this disease is completely eradicated. This can save the nation about Rs 5000 crore every year which we are losing because of this problem.

K. K. SHARMA, DharamsalaTop

Home | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Editorial |
Business | Sport | World | Mailbag | In Spotlight | Chandigarh Tribune | Ludhiana Tribune
50 years of Independence | Tercentenary Celebrations |
121 Years of Trust | Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |