Thursday, October 4, 2001,
Chandigarh, India



When leaders stooped to side with America

This refers to the editorial “India on the sidelines”. It seems simple thinking if we say that it is a blessing in disguise that it suits India to be an interested bystander in the developing war between a superpower, the USA, and a puny and war-ravaged country Afghanistan. Immediately after the terrorist attacks on the USA our leaders, especially of the BJP, issued statements and were seen on TV shows trying to wipe out terrorism from India.

Even Foreign Minister Jaswant Singh declared that India would side with the USA and the Prime Minister addressed the nation at the earliest possible opportunity. The Prime Minister went a step further to declare national mourning and appealed to the nation to come to a halt to observe silence for two minutes.

Such gestures have remained invisible when in our own country thousands of our fellow countrymen lost lives in an earthquake in Gujarat, or in a cyclone in Orissa, or when meritorious jawans were killed in Kargil and innumerable people killed at the hands of terrorists (if anybody could count the numbers, the toll would be many many times more than that in America).

It means that we have tried to stoop the lowest to be recognised on the side of America. How disappointing is the fact that there was no request from the USA since it had locked itself in an agreement with Pakistan for all kinds of logistic support.


It seems that our leadership thinks that we Indians believe in fairy tales. They think that we should believe that Americans will descend from thousands of miles away and free our nation from the ogre of terrorism. It clearly states that when the terrorist organisations are under extreme pressure even at that moment we cannot stand straight and fight the terrorists on our own land with a firm determination and destroy the training camps just a few miles away from us.

When we are attacked daily, we cannot talk of attacking them but when the USA is attacked we advocate that an all-out war should be waged against them.

Dr TIRATH GARG, Ferozepur

Killing time for KBC

The TV serial “Kaun Banega Crorepati” makes a good entertainment and is a valuable source of information. But that is so only if the indulgence lasts one hour a day only. A lot of time is wasted of viewers, especially school and college youth, after the show is over. Amitabh Bachchan poses a question to the audience for winning entitlement for participation in the programme in future. He asks viewers to phone their reply on the given numbers immediately, but not later than the next 26 hours, for getting themselves registered for participation.

Many viewers get lured to the programme. But the phones invariably remain busy. Thus, while the host declares that the registration of replies of the would-be-contestants is on, the computerised message on the difficult-to-get-phones is that “Presently the registration is over. Keep watching KBC for knowing about next opening of new registration”. The contradictory communication thus served is nothing short of cheating.

K. L. NOATAY, Shimla


Ragging at KU

This refers to the shocking news ("Ragging forces girl to leave KU") about ragging of Anuja, who joined the P.G. course at Kurukshetra University after securing 86.5 per cent marks in her B.Sc. course. Cruel and sadistic acts of ragging have been taking place in the university hostels for quite a long time now. Be it boys’ hostels or girls’ hostels. Anuja has shown exceptional courage by revealing the names of her “mentally deranged seniors, who should all be debarred from university education for life throughout the country.

Actually, these girls should be put behind bars for at least seven years which is equal to the punishment for rape.

It is not at all surprising that no disciplinary action was taken against these “seniors” even after repeated complaints by the victim to the warden. The hostel warden should be punished with immediate suspension.

Only serious punishment will set such senior students right. They seem to think that, after one year of university education, they have a licence to bully and terrorise innocent newcomers.


Afghan refugees

This refers to “Heart rending tales of Afghan refugees” by Humra Quarashi. The plight of homeless Afghan refugees is really pitiful. The entire population of Afghanistan should not be indicted for the World Trade Center tragedy. Afghanis are being crushed by the orthodox Taliban government. They are deprived of their civil rights. The Islamic code is forcibly foisted on them. Osama and the Taliban are guilty and should be punished, but the common people are innocent; their only fault is that they are born in Afghanistan.

KULWANT RIKHI, Patran (Patiala)

Pensioners’ woes

The H. P. government’s decision to disburse pension to the retirees through the Treasuries will inconvenience them. Their number is so large that it will be simply unmanageable at one place, especially at the district headquarters.


Biomedical technology

Your paper gave excellent coverage to the lecture I gave at the CSIO, Chandigarh. However, there is a slight error in reporting. In fact, I have stressed the need for development of biomedical technology, not so much of biomedical research.

Further, the proposal submitted by me to the government is to set up a regulatory body for medical equipment and devices (certification procedure) which is lacking in our country. The proposal is titled “Indian Medical Devices Regulatory Authority (IMDRA)”. The proposal was not on setting up an Institute for Biomedical Technology. In my talk, I did mention that an institute of this nature is needed for our country. However, no proposal has yet been submitted.


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