Saturday, October 27, 2001
M A I L  B O X

Death is not the end

THIS refers to "Worshipping the mother of all rivers" by Khushwant Singh (October 13). The writer’s view that "death is a full-stop" is too simplistic. If there are reasons to believe in the rebirth of matter after its destruction (scientists affirm that matter can neither be created nor destroyed, it only changes into another form of matter after a chemical action) the same principles can apply to the soul. One can also say that as matter can neither be created nor destroyed, feelings, thoughts, aspirations, urges and all other mental processes and properties, collectively called the soul, too, can neither be created nor destroyed. Like atoms, souls, too, are moulded into a new design. In spiritual terminology this is called the rebirth of the soul.

Some rationalists may dispute the very fact of the existence of the soul, as it can neither be measured nor weighed. But are feelings like those of joy, fear, wonder etc, subject to this test? Even energy, whether in the form of heat, light, magnetism, or sound, cannot be weighed. But can we deny its existence? Similarly if the transmigration of the soul cannot be confirmed it can also not be denied.


Bloodshed in Kashmir

Apropos of Ashwini Bhatnagar’s "Can’t we stop this?" (October 6) America’s leniency towards Pakistan in the face of strong evidence of its being a perpetrator of terrorism, defies all logic. The US has even agreed to supply military hardware and sophisticated electronic surveillance equipment, apart from Powell’s offer of helicopter gunships. The US has declared that it has no immediate programme to ban Jaish-e-Mohammad. General Musharraf has also asserted that he will continue with his gameplan in Kashmir, notwithstanding the West’s focus on terrorism.

We should not assume that the US will persuade Pakistan to dissociate itself from the terrorist outfits in Kashmir. Hence India must fight its own war with a determination, which should not be diluted under western pressure. We must tackle elements supporting terrorism irrespective of their political or religious affiliations.

We must use our diplomatic initiative to isolate Pakistan on the one hand and on the other should display a political will to hunt down terrorists even in their training camps.



In 1960s, Pakistan exported terrorism to the North-East, in 1980s to Punjab and in 1990s to J&K. We always remained on the defensive. We gave our neighbour the image of being a soft-state.

Terrorism has to be fought tooth and nail. Unfortunately the USA never had a proper appreciation of Indian suffering.

Empty words and soft options will not do. It is the right time to strike at the root of terrorism. The world opinion is against acts of terrorism that destabilise established democratic order.

If we miss the opportunity now we miss it for ever.



This refers to Khushwant Singh’s write-up on gulukand (September 29).

In my childhood, my grandmother gave me a spoonful of gulukand with a cup of hot milk thrice a week. She mixed clean fresh rose petals with a solution of sugar and kept them in the sun regularly. After some days, by pressing, rubbing and squeezing them vigorously with the hands, she worked them into a thick paste. She called it gulukand (conserve of roses). Sometimes, she used honey instead of sugar.

Gulukand made from chaiti gulab (roses of March-April) and sevati (white wild roses found on hills) has more medicinal value than other roses. It strengthens stomach and brain.


Of cricketers

Under the item "Sense and nonsense" in Funpoint (October 13) it was mentioned that Graham Gooch of England opened his career with a duck in each innings. It may be noted that he also created a world record of highest individual score in a Test when he scored a triple century and century in two innings against India. Incidentally, the other cricketer who was mentioned was not Lawrence Home but Lawrence Rome of West Indies who opened his Test career with a century in each innings. He also notched up a triple century in his fourth Test but then his vision failed him and he had to retire from cricket.