Tuesday, August 28, 2001, Chandigarh, India



Of Vice-Chancellors and politics

This has reference to Mr D.P. Singh Mor’s letter “Of Vice-Chancellors and politics” (Aug 9). Mr Mor is entitled to have an opinion of his own, however, pessimistic or cynical it might be. But one thought that when a private view is expressed from a public platform, it has to be adequately supported by facts and the circumstances of the facts. Unfortunately, he has shown scant respect for facts, and in the process has been grossly unfair, particularly to me.

Using the broom of cynicism indiscriminately, Mr Mor writes: “The Haryana CM has earlier appointed his election-in-charge to be the VC of GJU and thereafter he was elevated to the post of Chairman of a state selection commission. I think it is high time to curb this menace..... before higher education completely goes to dogs.”

It is very obvious that he is either ignorant of the facts or, has been so possessed by cynicism that he has not cared to go through them. For the record, let me reiterate that I have never been the election-in-charge of the CM nor ever been duly appointed the VC of GJU, as stated by him. How the facts of my hard-earned academic achievements have come to be so distorted as to reduce them to that of an election agent, only Mr Mor can explain.


But, for his information, in particular and that of the readers of this column in general, I did my M.Sc. (Soil Sci.) from HAU in 1981, and then joined HAU as Asstt. Scientist. I earned my Ph.D. in 1991 from one of the famous universities of the world i.e. University of Reading and Rothamsted Experimental Station, (UK), specialising in the field of soil ecology and pollution after winning various international competitions e.g. Commonwealth, JSRS and AVH. In the meantime, I continued to work and teach at HAU, Hisar, and became a senior scientist in 1999. The same year I was appointed Adviser (Science and Technology), Government of Haryana, before becoming Pro-Vice-Chancellor, a post which I held till appointed Chairman of the HPSC in August, 2000. However, since the post of VC was vacant during my tenure as PVC, I did perform the job of an officiating VC.

For the first time since the HPSC came into existence in 1966, an academician has been made its Chairman. After having spent so many years in the field of teaching and practical work, both at the national and international level, my elevation has instilled justifiable sense of pride among the teachers. However, the aspersions cast by Mr Mor have hurt the feelings of a dedicated scientist who believes in certain ethics as a teacher.

Dr K. C. BANGER, Chairman, HPSC, Chandigarh

Blunders galore

One must learn from others’ mistakes, but our leaders do not learn from their own mistakes. Nehru’s idealism led to the Kashmir problem. Shastri gave in to the pressure of Russians at Tashkent. He could not explain the ceasefire and died in harness.

Indira Gandhi could not withstand the manipulation of the big powers and in the Shimla Pact India lost whatever strategical advantage it had after the 1971 war. By allowing the possession of areas of Chhamb to Pakistan, India allowed Pakistan to bring its defences along Chhamb Tawi. Thus we have brought long-range Pak guns closer to our populated area such as Jaurian, Palanwala and Akhnoor. This has resulted in a great loss of life of civilians and their property. Handing over of 93,000 PoWs without amicably solving the Kashmir problem and getting war damages from Pakistan was the greatest blunder of our times.

By dismissing the legitimate government of Dr Farooq Abdullah in 1984, Indira Gandhi compounded her mistakes on Kashmir. We lost the goodwill of the patriotic Kashmiri people. When Pakistan was preparing a road-map of a proxy war and terrorism in Kashmir, Rajiv Gandhi, the then Prime Minister, was totally lulled by Zia’s visit to see a cricket match in India. Thereafter, terrorism started in Kashmir and we handled the situation ineptly.

All leaders who made mistakes irrespective of their status must be blamed for the Kashmir imbroglio. The present leadership must learn from those blunders. We must hit hard at our enemy and win the hearts of Kashmiris by ensuring their security, socio-economic well-being and religious freedom.

Col MAKHAN SINGH (retd), Mohali

Discard soft state image: India has tried soft words with Pakistani rulers from Gen Ayub Khan down to Gen Pervez Musharraf for nearly five decades, but to no avail. A time has now come that we discard the soft state image.

The Indian attack on terrorist bases in PoK and Pakistan may be resorted to under the principle of “hot pursuit”. Before that we should go in for photographs of Pakistani terrorist camps with the aid of high-flying MIG-25 planes, or else have the pictures commercially from the French Spot satellite or the Russian Surveillance Satellite. These photographs may be given wide publicity in the world media. Nothing short of this would save the situation.

S. S. JAIN, Chandigarh

One more Shatabdi

This refers to the news items “Special Shatabdi from Aug 25” and “And now cockroaches on Shatabdi” (Aug 15). One does not understand the justification of a train which carries 400 passengers on an average, as compared to trains that carry more than 2,000 passengers. The running cost of a Shatabdi is many times more than that of an ordinary mail/express train. The Shatabdi may not be generating more revenue than an ordinary train. So will it not be better if an ordinary train is introduced in place of Shatabdi with fewer complaints of cockroaches.


Fast trains: The authorities should introduce affordable fast rains on the pattern of Himgiri/Geetanjali trains between Chandigarh and New Delhi. Such trains could be ordinary trains but equally fast with one or no stoppage en route. The fare in this case may be more, say 25 per cent, than the ordinary train to make these financially viable.

There are two trains, apart from Shatabdi, on the Chandigarh-New Delhi route: Kalka Mail and Himalayan Queen. The timings of both trains are odd and inconvenient. One starts at midnight and the other reaches around midnight.

R. P. MALHOTRA, Panchkula


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