Thursday, May 10, 2001,
 Chandigarh, India



Row over Tara Singh

Recently, there has been a controversy over two observations made by the late S. Kapur Singh in his book SACHI SAKHI. The first one relates to the money sent by Master Tara Singh to Dr B.R. Ambedkar, which did not reach him. This incident took place in 1936. The second incident relates to the advice given by Kapur Singh to Master Tara Singh at the time of Partition to join Pakistan. The detractors of Master Tara Singh believe that he committed a blunder by not joining Pakistan.

I read the book 25 years ago. Nowhere it is mentioned in the book that the money was misappropriated by Master Tara Singh.

Master Tara Singh dominated Punjab politics for nearly half a century. During this period no one ever doubted his integrity.

Regarding the second issue, it can be safely said that had Master Tara Singh accepted the suggestion it is not difficult to imagine what would have been the fate of Sikhs in Pakistan. Many would have been butchered, and others would have fled to India. The fate of the womenfolk is not difficult to imagine. Those who advocate the theory of joining Pakistan forget the fate of Muhajirs, Kadianis and Shia Muslims in Pakistan.

The contribution of Master Tara Singh in the fight for the self-respect of the Sikhs was immense. After the Partition, he ensured that Sikh refugees were settled mostly in the western part of Punjab to ensure their concentration in the area. This strategy resulted, at a latter stage, in the creation of Punjabi Suba.

The controversy over these issues is nothing but mischievous.

Maj. Narinder Singh Jallo (retd), Kapurthala


Kapurthala’s palace

I am an ex-student of the only Sainik School in Punjab at Kapurthala, and had the privilege of being in the first batch which was started in 1961. It has pained me to read that the royal building is crumbling for want of funds. All our memories are linked with this palace which was once the abode of Maharaja Jagatjit Singh. As a nine-year-old, I was thrown by my parents into this school. The qualities of leadership, confidence, public speaking, all-round interest in games etc that this school gave us could not have been easily obtained elsewhere.

I appeal to all ex-Saikapians of Kapurthala to contribute their mite so that the great old heritage is saved. The Government of Punjab should also give liberal grants to the school so that the building in which we used to have our morning prayer does not crumble. I shall be happy to receive correspondence in this regard from fellow ex-students at 119-D Rajguru Nagar, Ludhiana.

Rajiv Bakshi, Ludhiana


Flying coffins

While motor vehicles that are more than 15 years old are being taken off the road, overworked MiG-21 aircraft which are more than 30 years old and which have earned the dubious name of ‘flying coffins’ are still in active service with the Indian Air Force. MiG-21 crashes have taken the lives of a number of our brave pilots, besides putting the security of the country in jeopardy. It is time for the authorities concerned to sit up, think and take appropriate decision.

G. S. Anand, Panchkula

Unhealthy attitude

An uncomfortably large number of MiG crashes have resulted in the untimely demise of brave young men trained at enormous cost to the nation, not to mention the irredeemable loss to their families. This is sad, but what must cause concern is the fact that many senior officers either do not let their sons opt to be fighter pilots or manage to pull strings to get them transferred to other areas like air transport etc.

Is this attitude healthy for the Air Force? Either these death traps should be replaced with safer alternatives or the pilots should be trained abroad under better and safer conditions.

Vivek Khanna, PanchkulaTop


Jaya as future CM

Ms Jayalalitha has committed certain crimes and a competent court has passed a sentence against her. When she is given a filmi-type welcome, it surprises the people of India. The alliance is projecting her as the future Chief Minister. Political parties must not project as the future Chief Minister a person who is disqualified to be a member of the legislature. If there is some lacuna in the law, that should be ignored.

Dalip Singh Wasan, Patiala

Thefts in Shimla

Recently, there have been many cases theft in Shimla. This shows a serious decline in the law and order situation in the state capital.

Burglars break into locked houses at will and since the police has not been able to apprehend any of these culprits, there is a feeling of insecurity and panic among the residents of the city. The Government should not remain indifferent to the sorry state of law and order in the capital.

D. S. Thakur, Shimla


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