Saturday, July 28, 2001
M A I L  B O X

A penny for Jagjit Chohan

"A penny for Jagjit Chohan" by Khushwant Singh (July 14) was a thought-provoking article in which he has invited the protagonists of Khalistan to an open debate on the issue.

Chohan was heard saying on a TV channel that he would restore peace in Punjab, serve Punjabis and pursue the goal of Khalistan in a peaceful and democratic manner. It is ridiculous that the ideologue of Khalistan does not know that peace already prevails in Punjab. One wonders whether he has returned to strengthen peace or fan communal passions once again. In spite of knowing that the Punjabis do not want Khalistan, he still harps on a non-issue, presumably to remain in the limelight.



Today no one either in Punjab or in any other part of India wants Khalistan. Chohan has no following, at least in Punjab. The writer has very rightly wondered about the fate of Sikhs residing in other parts of India.

Punjab is today a prosperous state and people are living there in harmony. I fail to understand why Chohan is so keen to change the name of Punjab to Khalistan. Punjab is a broad name, whereas Khalistan is a narrow one. In my opinion, Chohan should work for the betterment of Punjabis, irrespective of where they live.

UJAGAR SINGH, Chandigarh

Importance of bathing

Khushwant Singh in his article, "The importance of bathing"(July 7), has wrongly put ishnan (bath) on a par with naam (prayer) and daan (charity) in Sikhism. He has even misquoted Gurbani and has wrongly interpreted its meaning to prove his point. Actually, though ishnan (bath) is important in Sikhism but is only meant for cleaning the body. While quoting Gurbani he has stated, "Guru Ram Das Sarovar nahatey sub utre paap kamate." He has put the word "Guru" before Ram Das of his own accord. The correct quotation reads: "Ram das sarovar nahatey" and not Guru Ram Das. Thus, Ram das does not refer to Guru Ram Das who made the sarovar of Amritsar. Ram das here means the servants of God.



It requires total suspension of disbelief to agree with the author’s conclusion that "an English bath was far more cleaning......."

In his haste to invent fact, the writer has forgotten that before "pouring water over oneself with a lota" one applies ample quantity of soap to the body. The body is also vigorously rubbed with hands without as well as with the soap lather.

An English style of bath is extremely unsatisfactory. The feeling that one has been wallowing in dirty water is distasteful.



This refers to "Gadar between real and reel history", by Gautam Kaul, (July 7).

Unfortunately, the last few years have witnessed a rise in the incidents of protests against films on one pretext or the other. Some of these include Hey Ram, Water, Mohabbatein and now Gadar. It is really tragic that just about anything becomes an excuse for spewing hatred. It is not only that we are getting more intolerant, the reasons behind such activities are political. No filmmaker ever adopts a storyline or makes a film to hurt the sentiments of a particular section of society. Why only films, violence is seen in every sphere of our lives. With the focus on Kashmir is it not necessary to first clear the air within our own country to feel one, to be one, and then think of establishing better relations with neighbouring countries ?

VINISH GARG, Panchkula

Neharwali Haveli

This refers to the write-up "The President’s itinerary: From siyasat to ziyarat ( July 14), the only real and genuine beneficiary of the recently held Pak-India summit is the Neharwali Haveli in the old city of Delhi —the birthplace of Gen Pervez Musharraf. The prominence which this neglected and forgotten haveli got during Gen Musharraf’s visit has made it the centre of attraction. It can enjoy fame in its dying years in the light of the sudden fame of its former resident-cum-owner.