Monday, May 28, 2001, Chandigarh, India



Why grants to ‘sangharsh yodhas’?

I have read in The Tribune that the Punjab Council of Ministers has decided to grant benefits to the so-called “sangharsh yodhas” who participated in various morchas of the Akali Dal like the ‘Sisganj Gurdwara Morcha’.

I fail to understand the working of the present Government of Punjab. Crores of rupees are being spent and distributed by the CM at “sangat darshans” which have been widely criticised.

Now this decision of the Council of Ministers will put on the government exchequer a severe financial burden.

Mr Badal’s government is setting such bad examples for the coming governments to please their own workers or leaders. If at all, Mr Badal who has a “Council of Yesmen” wants to please his party men or workers, he should donate something from his own big purse or ask the SGPC to grant benefits to the “yodhas”.

The central government and the Election Commission should take a note of such acts and save the public money.

B. S. SHARMA, Amritsar


Padma Vibhushan

Here is an expected question for all aspirants of the Kaun Banega Crorepati (KBC) or “Jeeto Chhappad Phad ke” game shows could be:

Q. Now that PM Vajpayee is all set to get his right knee operated, guess whose name will be included in the list of Padma Vibhushan awardee for the year 2001?

A. None other than Dr Chittranjan Ranawat.

MANAN GUPTA, Kapurthala


Return Koh-i-Noor

Time and again many people have written letters to the Press demanding that Koh-i-Noor be returned to India. Recently, officials of the British High Commission came to Ludhiana to promote economic relations. At that meeting I had raised the issue that the British Government should return Koh-i-Noor to India as a goodwill gesture. Let us see to what extent the British Government responds to this request.

S. R. MITTAL, Ludhiana

Shahpurkandi dam

Apropos T. R. Gupta’s piece “Shahpur barrage hangs fire”, (May 17) it is the “Shahpurkandi dam” instead of the barrage. Already one full working season has been wasted due to inadequate planning at the state and central governments’ levels. On March 3, 2001, while dedicating the RSD project, the Prime Minister had stressed that these hydel projects should be time bound. When will the government start the Shahpurkandi dam?

S.K. MITTAL, Shahpurkandi

Malta boat tragedy

Good governance does not mean that culprits engaged or committing heinous crimes should go scot free during the regime of a popular government.

On the Christmas Day of 1996 some 300 persons seeking employment in foreign lands met their watery graves either due to the negligence of the authorities concerned or due to the connivance of travel agents. Out of these 300 persons more than 170 were Punjabis and 150 of them belonged to the Doaba region.

Nothing has so far been heard about the punishment or the process of punishment meted out either by the Punjab Government or the Government of India to the culprits.


PU & Kargil martyrs

This refers to Panjab University’s decision to exempt tuition fee for the wards of Kargil martyrs.

It is sad that of late our so-called intelligentsia, having a babu’s mindset, have also started behaving like politicians, who are good only at “sloganising” every issue. Kargil was one such issue.

Soon after the Kargil conflict, the Chandigarh Lalit Kala Akademi collected paintings from local artists to be sold and the sale proceed to be donated to the Kargil fund. It certainly was a “hit” idea. However, the cheque of the meagre collection could not be forwarded for more than nine months because the Akademi could not get hold of some VIP who could be given the cheque at some appropriate function, worth reporting in the media.

And may I ask on what particular basis are they distinguishing martyrs? How come an Army personnel laying down his life while combating militants in any other part of the country, whether in Kashmir or Assam, is different from the one who lays down his life in Kargil? Only because Kargil is a handy slogan that politicians have given to the nation in lieu of their own blunder.

Since the number of military martyrs, from Kargil to Assam, would be very large, it might be impractical for the varsity to give such benefits to all their wards. This could easily be sorted out by limiting the benefits only to those martyrs, without being specific about the place of their martyrdom, who have posthumously been decorated with gallantry awards. However whether an awardee or not, every military martyr has a much bigger claim to such benefits than the militancy affected migrants.

It is high time we stop getting “kicks” even out of the troubles of those who remain always ready to lay down their lives to defend us.

BALVINDER, Chandigarh

Dental College

In the Dental College at Sundernager patients are most often treated by junior students without the supervision of doctors. The dentist at the local civil hospital is often not punctual and advises patients to go to the Dental College instead.

CHANDER MOHAN, Sundernagar

Gesture to pensioners

Punjab Government pensioners express their deep gratitude to Capt Kanwaljit Singh, Punjab Finance Minister, for announcing the benefit of old age allowance to the pensioners aged 65 and 75 years. It will benefit more than one lakh pensioners. The fourth Punjab Pay Commission had made this recommendation. The minister is urged to direct the Finance Department to issue the notification in this regard at the earliest.


O. P. Bhagat

I was shocked to learn that veteran journalist O.P. Bhagat is no more. I had met him in Delhi during the last week of March. He was my literary guide, friend and mentor. As a creative writer, he had a wide range of knowledge and could write on anything. After his retirement, he close to be a free-lance writer. His “middles” regularly appeared in The Tribune, and The Times of India.


UGC & B.Ed test dates

We passed M.Sc Chemistry in April, 2000 from Khalsa College, Amritsar and DAV College, Amritsar. We have filled the admission forms for appearing in both UGC and B.Ed entrance tests. Unfortunately the dates for these tests fall on the same day — July 1, 2001.

We request the coordinator of the B.Ed entrance test, Punjabi University, to change the test date.

KIRAN PREET, PAWAN PREET & others, Amritsar

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