Wednesday, July 25, 2001,
Chandigarh, India



Security triangle and USA

IT was a news item which attracted the attention of international news watchers. On the one hand, the Chinese Premiere vocalised the three-year-old proposal to set up a "security triangle" involving India, China and Russia. On the other, the US Chief of Defence Staff arrived in India.

If we join the triangle we will continue to get defence help but it won't help our economy. Russia can't afford to buy Indian goods. China will flood India with products we already manufacture. Sanctions from the USA can be expected more often.

The USA as our defence partner has its positives and negatives. Obviously, neither China nor Russia would be too amused. Our stature in the community of nations would be up. US intelligence gathering techniques are much more sophisticated which we need against terrorism. Chances of getting soft loans from the IMF and other lending agencies are brighter. We may also get an opening in its multibillion dollar market in return for buying its costly defence equipment. We can also be sure that after a few decades it will help us in getting a permanent seat in the UN (If we support its agenda in international fora).

Well, we hope our policy-makers would make the best choice. By supporting the USA's missile shield programme (and surprising many, including the USA), I think our policy makers have hinted at what is coming.

J.S. JOLLY, Pathankot


Abdominal hysterectomy

The letter on abdominal hysterectomy shows how ignorant people in India really are about health and related issues.

I agree that an increasing number of women in their child-bearing age are getting operated due to some sort of cysts or fibroid but to blame it on family planning methods is sheer ignorance. I would like to stress that most of the family planning methods being advocated by our government are completely safe barring a few which may have certain undesirable side-effects in a very few number of people.

Also the notion that women in earlier days were not very prone to cysts & fibroids is not true & this can be explained with the fact that earlier on such sophisticated diagnostic techniques like the ultrasound were not available & such diagnosis were difficult to make so many cases went unnoticed. Also even if a diagnosis was made there was lack of data to support because of improper documentation of cases in those days which is not the case now.

This is not the case only with cysts or hysterectomies but with all diseases. I hear people complain everyday that earlier days were better; people had few diseases & I agree to some extent that newer diseases are emerging due to changing lifestyles & pollution but most of us overlook the fact that revolution in the field of medical science with new & sophisticated diagnostic techniques has led to the diagnosis of a number of pre-existing diseases. In earlier days if somebody used to die it was said to be God's will but now we can find a cause & people wrongly interpret it to increasing number of diseases.

Also a hysterectomy is done only when the gravity of the situation indicates such a course of treatment & not indiscriminately to deprive a woman of her right to have a child.

I hope a lot of people read this letter & do not blame family planning methods for every other disease they encounter. We need to control our population, otherwise our healthcare standards will definitely fall due to the sheer number of people to take care of. I advise people not be misled by someone’s ignorance.


When in Paris...

The write-up "When in Paris..." by P. Lal (July 17) was certainly not in good taste. That he could find a way should have made him happy enough but why boast over it? As it is, we Indians are not, much into civic virtues, topping those values with such articles make the situation "stinkier". I know my countrymen are boorish but inking such feasts for the public?


Passport office

People living in the Malwa belt have to go to Chandigarh or Jalandhar for a passport and there is always heavy rush. People have to wait for days together for their turn to submit applications for renewal or new passports. There is an urgent need for a new passport office for the revenue divisions of Ferozepur and Faridkot.


Jat Sikhs backward?

News items often refer to Jats as "backward classes". However, Jat Sikhs are very well-off and getting subsidised electricity and water. Why give them benefits meant for the backward classes?

T. SINGH, Ambala CanttTop

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