Tuesday, August 21, 2001, Chandigarh, India



Arrogance of Flying Sikh Milkha Singh

THE rejection of the Arjuna Award by Milkha Singh is a disgrace of his achievements. Whatever he has achieved has benefited him and his family only. The rise in his fortunes this way can be described as phenomenal. He seems to have forgotten those days when he could not make both ends meet.

Recruited as a cook in the Army, Milkha Singh was, on showing potential in sports, provided all benefits like special diet, coaching, practice and guidance in sports without assigning any duty whatsoever. He was looked after like a race horse. It was his parental organisation (Army) which polished his talent and brought him at this level without any benefit to the parental organisation in any manner, whom he has never ever showed any loyalty or gratitude.

His sudden rise on the national level/international fora did not bring any humility but outright arrogance. He was given out of turn promotions up to the rank of junior commissioned officer as a special case, but this did not satisfy his ego. He tried blackmailing his organisation by a threat of leaving the service for greener pastures elsewhere as he was virtually shunted from the Army. His demand for making him a commissioned officer was outrightly rejected and he was given the marching order from the organisation. Had he not been released from the Army, he would have been making “chapaties” for the unit comrades. He should be thankful to the army authorities.


Wooed by Maharaja Yadavindra Singh and Mr Ashwini Kumar, IPS, the arrogant gentleman did not remain loyal even to them. Accusing the late Maharaja of going back on his promise, he himself very recently went back on his words denying the award announced by him to Paramjit Singh for breaking his long-held record on the pretext that his timings were hand-held and were possibly superior to the challenger’s, not realising that hand-held timings could be false.

He is an egoist, braggart and a great show-off. With his attitude, arrogance and slight to the PMO’s secretariat, he should be taught a lesson by stripping him of Padma Shree and all other privileges and brought to the level he normally should have been — to that of class IV employee. Some people learn only the hard way.

KDR VOHRA, Morena (Gwalior)

Arjuna Award: I have gone through the press conference of Milkha Singh, who has brought so many laurels for India. He represented 80 times in international events and won 70 times, which is thrilling. The feelings expressed by him are absolutely correct. The awards are actually not given to the right sports persons but to the near and dears of politicians.

So I feel that Milkha Singh should be given some awards which should be above the Arjuna Award and the services of Milkha Singh should be used for the betterment of sports in India.

JAGDISH CHANDER, Vancouver (Canada)

Fake encounters

I read the news item on fake encounters with interest. The people who committed atrocities in the name of justice must be held accountable. The role of the police in any society is to protect the rights of the public. There are those who say let’s forget about it. It happened in the dark days. It was the very acts of a few bad individuals in the law enforcement which forced honest people to take the wrong path and therefore prolonged the disruption.

Without doubt, there are excellent officers in the Punjab Police who are committed to protecting the rights of individuals. It is in the interest of these very officers to make sure the bad elements are brought to justice.




Biased interpretation

The editorial “For whose welfare is it?” (August 11) makes a biased interpretation of the announcement of Mr Sarwan Singh Phillaur, Welfare Minister, Punjab. It gives an impression to the reader that the existing condition of securing minimum 40 per cent marks in the PMET (entrance test) by the SC/BC students (or 50 per cent by the general category students) has been removed with effect from the 2001 session. This inference is totally erroneous. The reality is that the SC and BC students were required to secure 40 per cent and general category students 50 per cent aggregate marks in four compulsory subjects of chemistry, physics, biology and English in the 10+2 or equivalent qualifying examination to become eligible for appearing in the PMET. Thereafter on the basis of the result of the PMET only two separate merit lists were prepared for the reserved and general category students. From those merit lists the students were allowed admission on seniority wise in the MBBS, BDS etc courses.

This practice is followed in the medical institutions all over India, including the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, Armed Forces Medical College, Pune, Panjab University (Medical College, UT, Chandigarh) under the guidelines of the Medical Council/Dental Council of India.

Haryana and Himachal Pradesh have all along been following these norms. It is prescribed quite unambiguously by the medical councils that the bench mark for the merit of a student should be determined either in the qualifying examination or entrance test. Obviously not in both.

To call this order of the Punjab government a populist measure of the Welfare Minister, Punjab, to woo the electorate is unfortunate.

I entirely agree with the writer that incompetence and negligence have no place in the medical profession that deals with the life and death of human beings. But the observation or belief of the writer that SC doctors would be incompetent or would be of doubtful competence is again shocking and unfortunate. The writer would appreciate that allowing admission with some relaxation and competence of the doctor coming out of the medical colleges after completing their study cannot obviously be interlinked.

A good number of NRI students are being allowed admission without securing the minimum marks in the qualifying examination and without appearing in the entrance test.


Nominal relief: Students belonging to the Scheduled Castes at the time of admission are given only nominal relief but are never afforded any relaxation at the time of passing their final examination. They are treated on a par with their colleagues in the general category. Hence, there is no room in declaring them inferior to the general category doctors.


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