Wednesday, September 26, 2001, Chandigarh, India



Hounded heroes or killers?

Mr Jatinder Hayer (Hounded heroes or killers? Sept 8) seems to have had only a cursory glance at my article. May I draw his attention towards the part of it: “That was the time when three-fourth of the Punjab police was amassing wealth under the shelter of terrorism”. The police in this country has a foul reputation and some of it is justified. I hold no brief for such policemen. In fact, many of this kind were not only drawing salary from the state, they were on the payroll of some terrorist group also. Unfortunately, they are not being targeted by the human rights activists. Perhaps our society has come to a pass where extortion and bribe are not considered crimes worthy of attention.

My concern is about the remaining policeman who faced the bullets of the terrorists while spurning the offers to become corrupt. They risked their lives and those of their families to save society from the depredations of the terrorists who were working at the behest of an enemy country and of those who were comfortably ensconced in Europe, the USA and Canada, and inflaming the passions of their community back home. I am aware that in a war mistakes are made and collateral damage is an accepted proposition. I have myself noted in the article that these heroes fought to save society from the terrorists “even if it meant jumping across the thin line sitting behind which some of the arm-chair proponents of human rights proclaimed human rights only for terrorists.”

May I put a question to Mr Hayer and those of his kind sermonising from a safe distance. What was the choice before patriotic policemen? They did not take the path of least resistance and you seek to punish them for it. What message are we sending to the brave soldiers shedding their blood in Kashmir today, fighting the terrorists sponsored by the same enemy that had sponsored Punjab terrorism? Should they expect to be tried a decade from now for the sacrifices they are making today because those who are keeping their mouth shut at the atrocities being committed by terrorists today will open it big and wide when our valiant soldiers would have peace for the valley.

R. N. PRASHER, IAS, Commissioner & Secretary,
Transport Department, Haryana, Chandigarh.


Clueless on economy

The editorial "Clueless to economy" is timely. Every learned author is speaking the same thing clothed in different phraseology i.e downsizing officialdom, reforming of the state electricity boards, improving of infrastructure, cutting of unproductive expenditure, hastening of disinvestment, changing labour laws etc. The PM's 14-point programme spelt out at the National Development Council meeting contained the same prescription.

Still things are going from bad to worse. It will be better if the government and the Press find out why the remedies are not working rather than teasing the government in editorials like this. In my humble opinion, the basic causes of this malady are three i.e (i) the import of petroleum products (Rs 75,000 crore per year) is sapping the economy (ii) surplus food is rotting in godowns (iii) power supply to industrial consumers is at unaffordable rates.

The government should build an adequate number of dams to generate one lakh MW of cheap hydro power and export surplus food to African countries.


Sardar Sobha Singh

It is heartening to learn that a postage stamp on Sardar Sobha Singh is being released by the Union Ministry of Communication on his birth anniversary in November this year. The credit for this goes to Himachal Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal. At last, the government has given due recognition and bestowed honour and the eminent Himachali artist.

It is, however, a matter of great regret and shame that not a single painting of the renowned artist who settled and worked in the lovely valley of Kangra till his death, is seen in the Government museums at Shimla, Chamba and Dharamsala. This clearly shows the indifferent and apathetic attitude of the Art and Cultural Department. The Himachal Government and the curators of the three Government museums which did not consider it worthwhile to adore the museum galleries with Sobha Singh works.

Will the present Government acquire a few works of this artist for display in all its museums?

Convener, Indian National Trust for Art & Cultural Heritage (Chamba Chapter), Chamba

Public schools

Apropos of “The privileged culture of colonial schooling” (Sept 2), the students who study in our public schools are responsible and are made strong enough to stand for the “hard right against the easy wrong”. Many students actually try to follow public school mottos like “Never give in” and “Overcome evil with good” in their lives.

People who know what good public school students (say from The Lawrence School, Sanawar, The Doon School, Dehra Dun, Welham Boys or Girls, Sherwood, Nainital, St Paul’s, Darjeeling or Bishop Cotton School, Shimla, to name a few) are all about, know that leaders are not born, but are made.

We do not want to brag about our schools, but please do not judge the quality of the students of public schools by quoting insignificant examples which show the narrow mindedness of the writer. I am sorry Mr Shelley Walia, but your approach towards public schools is somewhat naive.

TIRATH GREWAL, Bishop Cotton School, ShimlaTop

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