Monday, October 1, 2001, Chandigarh, India



Supreme Court restores supremacy of Constitution

The Supreme Court judgement unseating Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalitha is a landmark ruling as it restores the rule of law and the supremacy of the Constitution. The office of the Governor has suffered a setback. By appointing a disqualified person as the chief minister, Mrs Fathima Beevi, the then Governor had subverted the Constitution. The Governor had set a bad precedent which was also contrary to the provisions of the Constitution.

The Supreme Court has now ruled that the Constitution is above the people’s court and that the people’s manadate will prevail only if it is in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution.

Mrs Fathima Beevi had taken the line of least resistance in swearing in Ms Jayalalitha. The apex court has restored the sanctity of the Constitution. The implications of this verdict hold salutary lesson for politicians indulging in scams and scandals to loot public money and, even after conviction, aspiring for high public office.

The Jayalalitha episode provides a good reason for the Constitutional Review Commission to remove grey areas in the Constitution relating to the powers of the Governor and other relevant provisions so that more Jayalalithas do not hijack exalted political offices.

K.L. BATRA, Yamunanagar


Some tips on how to overcome stress

I have been interacting with many people in my professional life as a doctor for over 47 years. For the benefit of your readers, I would like to offer some valuable tips on how to cope with stress. There is no one who does not have stress. This depends on the nature of the person which is either inherited or circumstantial. One of the remedies is to keep oneself busy. Work is a great stress-reliever. Work is like worship. Then if the work is to do good to some person or institution, it would be all the more rewarding. This will give you peace and some special satisfaction.

To remove stress, you should divert your mind by exercise, walking, yoga, some outdoor or indoor game and swimming. Prayer too helps.

Working for the good of others will help a great deal. It will give you peace of mind. Helping somebody in alleviating his/her misery will give you great peace.

Try to control your anger which is the cause of destruction. When you are angry, delay action, count hundred, move away and get involved in some distraction like exercise, brisk walk, listening to music, gardening and so on.

These tips will help keep your mental and physical health intact, These, in turn, will help you to lead a happy and pleasant life.

We should always spread the message of love. Love is a great healer. Some have gone to the extent of declaring that love can cure cancer; if not, it can at least improve the tolerance level of the patient and reduce pain.



Joint strategy

This has the reference to the front-page editorial by Mr Hari Jaisingh "It’s now or never" (Sept 13) and his subsequent article on terrorism "Crushing terrorism globally" (Sept 14). Mr Hari Jaisingh has nicely brought out that terrorism has neither religion nor has any boundaries. The peace-loving people get killed and the civilised society gets into panic because they cannot do anything to save themselves against the determined terrorist attacks. It is time all right-thinking democracies got together to formulate a joint global strategy to crush global terrorism.

It is unfortunate that though India has endorsed its support to the USA to fight terrorism, it is not prepared to absorb the shock of possible backlash. In case of any counter-attack by missile/bomb falling on any Indian city on retaliation of the terrorist, our citizens are neither trained nor are mentally prepared to face the calamity. They have to be trained in civil defence like fire-fighting drills, action on fire alarms, first-aid training and evacuation of people. Even our armed forces are not fully prepared because there is an acute shortage of officers in the armed forces and the off road state of aircraft, armoured vehicles and other equipment is colossal due to non-availability of spares from Russia.

We must first get ourselves prepared to fight terrorism before we endorse action against the terrorists.

Col UDAI KATOCH (retd), Kulu

IN SHARP FOCUS: In his article "Perspectives on global terrorism" (Sept 21), Mr Hari Jaisingh has brought into sharp focus how Kashmir became an issue. There has been a series of blunders right from the days of Jawaharlal Nehru. He created a PoK, an LoC. Indira Gandhi traded the gains of a decidely-won war of 1971 with Zulfikar Ali Bhutto who proved too clever a guy for her. Rajiv Gandhi failed to tackle Gen Zia in 1987. This is how the dynasty bungled with Kashmir. It created an issue when there was none after Maharaja Hari Singh signed the Instrument of Accession.

Pakistan is now virtually facing a civil war — 40,000 Pathan students held a rally in Peshawar and 3,000 in Karachi. Gen Musharraf has sacrificed his own child — the Taliban, forgotten all about Osama bin Laden. Baluchistan is caught in trouble. Why can’t we exploit these Pak troubles to our advantage? Can’t we be firm with Gen Musharraf? Why should we always bend backwards to please the Pakistanis? Should we always make excuses for their intransigence?

Gen Musharraf is as much the creation of the Taliban as the creator. No wonder he doesn’t look too happy fighting them now. It’s all at the point of the gun pressed against his head, by the USA. Osama bin Laden, the legendary USA ally of 1980s, is today a dreaded terrorist for the Americans. The USA is reaping what it sowed. Soviet survivors of Afghan war say ‘Don’t even think of it’.

Secretary of State Colin Powell says that terrorism in J and K is on Mr Bush’s target list. But will the rich white man forget his ‘client state’?

Mr Hari Jaisingh hit the nail on the head when he said: “The Americans will not fight the Pakistan-sponsored proxy war for us. We will have to fight our own battle ourselves”. We are suffering because we did not destroy the Pak-training centres a decade back which we could without much difficulty. But our leaders fiddled when the nation burnt. Alas!

S. S. JAIN, Chandigarh

Eloquent tribute

The photograph of a woman holding the American flag weeping during a special changing of the guard ceremony outside Buckingham Palace in London (Sept 14) is an eloquent tribute to the victims of the terrorist attacks in New York.

The greatest condolence to the cherished memory of those who became victims of this global terrorism would be not to retaliate in haste to bring the enemies to justice but to safeguard the lives of innocent people while apprehending terrorists involved in this ghastly act against humanity.

JAGTAR SINGH, I.D.A.S. (retd), Mohali

DA to pensioners

The Government of India has sanctioned an increase in Dearness Allowance/Dearness Relief of 2 per cent, having raised it from 43 per cent to 45 per cent from July, 2001 for their employees/pensioners. The Chief Ministers of Haryana, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, J & K and Rajasthan should also sanction the same for their employees/pensioners early as they follow the GOI’s policy in this regard.

B.R. MALHOTRA, Faridabad

Banks & senior citizens

As per the directions of the Reserve Bank of India, our banks can pay additional interest to senior citizens (on their deposits) besides interest on deposits already announced. The banks, on their part, have fixed up quarter per cent interest while in some banks this additional figure is half per cent. Any way, both the figures are extremely meagre and just an eye-wash.

If the Reserve Bank of India is serious about the well-being of senior citizens, it should ensure that some actual gain is offered, at least to the tune of 2 per cent to senior citizens.

J. SIRPAUL, Chandigarh

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