Tuesday, October 30, 2001, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi



Intellectuals have let Sikhism down

This refers to the report of a seminar recently held in Chandigarh under the auspices of the Sikh Education Society.

One cannot but express one's complete agreement with Mr Patwant Singh that it is "the enemies of Sikhism within the community" who are responsible for dishonouring the august institutions of Sikhism and undermining the Sikh value-system. But where is the need to "identify" them? They already stand fully identified and thoroughly exposed. And, sadly enough, the Sikh intellectual also shares this responsibility in equal measure.

First, the Sikh intellectual has failed to interpret the Sikh scriptures and tradition in the modern scientific idiom relevant to the fast-changing existential needs of mankind entering the 21st century. The Sikh intellectual, having completely and abjectly surrendered this prime responsibility of his to the semi- literate, self-proclaimed babas and the self-appointed jathedars, has left the field wide open for them to play havoc with the intellectual and spiritual growth of the Sikh masses who remain steeped in illiteracy, ignorance and superstition.

Second, it is the Sikh intellectual who has conceived and forged to perfection a very effective ideological tool which over the past half a century has been wielded by the Sikh politician skillfully with deadly effect. We mean the totally topsy-turvey interpretation of the principle of Miri-Piri enunciated by the sixth Guru Hargobind. It is this monumental distortion of Sikh tradition which has enabled the Sikh Mir — the worldly leader, i.e the Sikh politician — to completely subjugate and appropriate to himself the Piri function of Sikhism too and make it thoroughly subservient to himself. The Piri wing of the Sikh establishment — the Baba brotherhood — being the most dependable ally of the Mir in establishing his unchallenged spiritual and intellectual supremacy over the Sikh masses is relentlessly exploiting the haloed symbols of the glorious Sikh traditions for filling their own coffers. You have just to look at the standard and style of their living and compare the same with the plight of their flocks to confirm this naked fact.

In our humble opinion, for all those members of the Sikh intellectual fraternity who are genuinely interested in reviving the lost glory of Sikh institutions and regenerating the Sikh ethos, the only honest and honourable course is not to toe the political line of this or that section of the Sikh politico-religious establishment, but following the footsteps of our great Gurus, they must directly go to the Sikh masses with the clear message of the Gurus and make them aware of their historic destiny of which they have been fraudulently deprived by the helmsmen of the Sikh establishment.

MAJ PIARA SINGH(Retd), Kandala (Ropar)


Power charges

This is to draw the attention of the Chandigarh Electricity Department to its wrong policy. The minimum charges applicable at present for commercial supply are Rs 145 per kw of declared load per month e.g if one has declared a load of 20 kw, the minimum charges will be Rs 2,900 per month throughout the year even if one uses electricity worth Rs 500 in a month in winter.

Honest citizens who have increased their load in response to the voluntary disclosure scheme are the worst sufferers. The decision regarding minimum charges is irrational. While honest businessmen who have declared their full load are being punished, those who have been stealing power/kundi holder or those who did not increase their load in response to the VDS are making merry.

Load is calculated mainly on the basis of AC and power points which are used mainly in summer months. However, they have to pay the minimum charges on the basis of load declared throughout the year.

It has been about four months when the decision regarding electronic payments of bills was published. But it is still to be implemented.

A. S. ANAND, Chandigarh



Wheat for Afghanistan

This refers to the news item "Wheat stocks worry Punjab". Instead of talking about worries, the FCI, Markfed and the Punjab Agriculture Minister should look around what is happening. The Taliban have forced seven million Afghans to become refugees and they are starving. The World Food Programme requires minimum 30,000 tonnes of wheat every week to feed them. This figure was quoted by Abby Spring, a spokesperson for the World Food Programme, in New York. She wants to buy all the wheat locally in Pakistan with US dollars. Pakistan does not have any wheat stocks to feed even its own people.

The refugee camps are located within 300 miles of all major storage locations like Amritsar, Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Hoshiarpur and Kapurthala. Instead of wasting the 10 per cent of the stockpiling worth Rs 1,100 crore to the rats, sell this damn wheat to the International Red Cross or the World Food Programme. The authorities should pick up the phone and start making some deals.

J. Reed, by e-mail

Reunited with Tribune

I had been with The Tribune family for about 40 years in India. Recently I migrated to Canada and found myself cut off as I was not getting any news about India or Punjab.

Then someone told me that The Tribune is available on the Internet. That gave me great joy. Now I am very happy to be reunited with The Tribune family and enjoy reading it with great pleasure.

We look forward for the day when Punjabi Tribune and Dainik Tribune will also be available on the Internet. I cannot but thank you for this facility provided to the people sitting far away from their motherland.

NAGINDAR SINGH, Abbotsford, B.C, Canada

Well done, boys

I agree with your editorial on hockey. I have watched each match and I strongly believe that our boys are the best. They can beat any team and I am sure they will. The match against Argentina was superb as they levelled with the same team during the league stage. We should not forget the coaches — Mr Rajinder Singh and Mr Sodhi.

There were seven to nine MPs and MLAs who had come to Hobart on tax-payers’ money and only one of them watched a few matches and the rest were enjoying at our cost. Well done! boys, and keep it up. It is because of you that our head is high outside our country.

RAJIV, by e-mail

Gesture to pensioners

The Punjab Government has given the lead to other states by its decision to extending the benefit of old age allowance to its pensioners in the 65-75 years age group. The decision will be effective from 1-1-2001 and benefit nearly one lakh pensioners.

Punjab is the first state in the country to have extended this benefit to its pensioners.


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