Friday, October 5, 2001, Chandigarh, India



Looking beyond Black Tuesday: missing gaps in Indian nationalism

THIS refers to Mr Hari Jaisingh's article "Looking beyond Black Tuesday” (Sept 28). I have nothing to contradict, as it is the voice of the people, people who are not misled by the political magicians like Mr Mulayam Singh Yadav and Mr V.P. Singh. What is the logic in punishing Swaran Hindus in the name of caste-based reservation for the crime committed by their forefathers in the remote past?

We suffered in the last two decades. None came to our rescue, even with sympathetic words. On the other hand, the USA got the whole world behind it after Black Tuesday. Why? How many people accompany the dead body of a poor man even up to the graveyard?

Is Black Tuesday an illegitimate child of Feudalism whom we buried two centuries ago through the French Revolution, or is it a legitimate child of bin Laden who is trying to turn the wheel of history back, or is it the victory of spiritual haven over the material earth of Karl Marx? Only history can give its verdict in due course.

Afghanistan baffled Changez Khan; it baffled England; it baffled the USSR. Will it baffle the USA? The answer lies with future.

However, the remedy lies in people’s rule, people educated on the pattern of the re-educated Nazis as well as Fascists after World War II. Devils come and go and the nations as well as peoples live on. It is a verdict of history.



Opposition role: Lately the role of the Opposition in India has been anything but constructive and responsible. It resorts to criticism of the government whether it is called for or not. During prior consultations, it would offer only vague suggestions so that it can get wiser after the event. Kargil and Agra are two recent examples.

Its attitude on our response to the current US crisis is no different. As usual, its support to the government is laced with many buts and ifs.

In contrast, the conduct of the Opposition in America is highly praiseworthy. None there has criticised the administration or the intelligence failure over the terrorist attacks in the USA. None has asked for anyone's resignation. The Opposition has closed ranks with the ruling party and is supporting the government without any reservations in their hour of national crisis.

Surely there is a lesson to learn from our American friends. All political parties in India should shun party politics and speak with one voice at least on national issues like Kashmir and terrorism.

Wg Cdr C.L. SEHGAL (retd), Jalandhar

Stop complaining: See what the USA is doing after the September 11 attacks. Look at its unity, its concern for its people. India cannot complain that it has been suffering for so long at the hands of militants. It is responsible for its own sufferings to some extent and these will not stop until India looks into the problem by taking into account the interests of its people. Stop complaining and do something.


Divergent views: True, we have suffered the worst due to terrorism for the past two decades, and all this because quite a few strands in our otherwise cohesive social fabric remain straggling about. Regrettably, we always have divergent views on any single issue that happens to torment our nation. And this is simply because, aside from seeking remedial measures to it, we have simultaneously to safeguard our ulterior interests.

Again, our political leaders do not tire of peeking into the smoggy past for guidance to assuage our present ailments, lamenting at the same time the erosion of values and sermonising to retain the spirit of the composite culture of the land. All along they remain oblivious of the fact that the unity underlying this culture is being damaged by politicians of the ilk of Mr Mulayan Singh Yadav and Mr V.P. Singh, who never hesitate to pander to the weakness of their segments only with an eye on the vote-bank.

In other words, all that we need to inculcate among us is a healthy spirit of nationalism to be able to keep our profile high in the comity of nations. Perhaps this is how we can hope to meaningfully draw the attention of the world to the brand of terrorism we have been coping with for two decades.

The need of the hour is to place issues of national interests above all other considerations of caste, community and political clout. We, in sum, should learn to assert that we are Indians first and anything else next.


Fight unitedly: The missing gap in Indian nationalism must first be filled with grit and determination by our politicians to fight unitedly against the menace of terrorism. Waiting for someone else to heal our wounds would amount to handing over of our national integrity for whose protection so many security personnel have laid down their lives. But can it happen, looking at our lame and lunatic leaders? I am reminded of Sahir Ludhianvi who wrote:

Is daur-e-taraqqi ke andaaz nirale hein

Zehno mein andhere hein sarkon pe ujale hein.

multan singh parihar,


Fanaticism: According to Pascal, "Men never do evil so completely & so cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction". Fanaticism in the form of terrorism can lead to global devastation. We must learn from history and experience. We expect our leadership not to falter in this hour of trial, otherwise posterity will not forgive us.

K.L.BATRA, Yamunanagar

Without nationalism: Lack of nationalism in our leaders is responsible for terrorism in the country. Punjab witnessed the sad era of terrorism for about 13 years. J&K has been in the grip of terrorism for over a decade. It is highly painful that the government has failed to combat terrorism on our own soil.

D.P. JINDAL, Mandi Gobindgarh

Narrow interests: The writer has rightly pointed out the instinct of politicians to thrive on the backward, illiterate, poor, and ignorant people. Religion, caste and regionalism are the factors which dominate the Indian political scenario and our politicians are not interested in coming out of this cobweb in the greater national interest.


Need for unity: This is the time to demonstrate national unity and integrity. During a war with Pakistan, when Indira Gandhi was the Prime Minister, Mr A.B. Vajpayee had said: "At this moment, there is no party or group in India. When a war has been thrust upon us, our only leader is Mrs Indira Gandhi." Time has come to revive this spirit. An iota of suspicion can defeat our purpose.

IQBAL SINGH, Bijhari (Hamirpur)

Raid camps: The government should take immediate steps to eliminate terrorism from J&K. The authorities concerned should issue necessary orders to launch an offensive on terrorists’ training camps and hide-outs.

M.L. BATURA, Karnal

Diplomacy: The diplomatic approach in dealing with terrorists has been both escapist and casual in thrust. The diplomatic pressure needs to be maintained as long as jehadi outfits continue to act with impunity. The protective approach plays a vital role instead of silence, which is a sign of weakness.


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