Wednesday, November 14,  2001, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi



Lessons from Singapore and China

If India’s first Prime Minister Nehru meant what he wrote in his letter to children, as far back as December 3, 1949, India should have globalised then on! “Grown-ups have a strange way of putting themselves in compartments and groups. They build up barriers...” and “ in prisons of their own making,” he said. Instead, he ushered India into that very kind of prison. Under him, socialism meant distribution of wealth before generating it!

When Singapore became independent in 1959, it faced problems that were much worse than what India faced then. In an interview published in the Reader’s Digest, (Nov 1) Lee Kaun Yew says, he “...started off by mesmerised socialised ideas — tax the rich and spread it amongst the poor” and candidly admits “...when I had to run the country, I discovered that you have got to create wealth first.” And adds “If you want to grow to your maximum or optimum potential, make maximum use of international capital, management skills, marketing skills, technology and knowledge”.

Indian visionaries like Rajaji and Minoo Masani pleaded in their time that India should not go in for command economy, which they described as “permit, licence and quota raj”, the fountainhead of corruption. They wanted foreign direct investment, not loans, to flow in and repatriation of profits so that India benefits through wealth generation, new skills and infrastructure. The opium of socialistic “nirvana” drowned their voice!

Singapore subsidised investment, to help people, living in rented accommodation, own flats and become asset owners. “Now...”, says Lee”, attitudes are different” because “...they know that if they have an untrustworthy government ...their properties, their shares will go down!”


In China, Mao or even his successor Deng never travelled abroad. Yet, liberalisation commenced in China in 1978, a good 13 years before India. Many Indian “leaders”, go abroad routinely, though the stated purpose is often only a facade.

China’s GDP is now 2.5 times India’s, while its population growth is pegged at barely a quarter over India’s. It is the world’s seventh largest exporter and eighth largest importer. India’s exports account for 0.4 per cent on the world scale.

Liberalisation appears tottering in India. Looks like “Quit India” war drums are beating again. Over 10 major F.D.I. projects have packed up, leading to slowdown in F.D.I. While China is celebrating its entry into the W.T.O., India is throwing tantrums at W.T.O. meets.

Let’s hope sanity prevails even at this late juncture. Where merit counts, India abroad has already established its credentials. Help Indians to excel in India also.

N. NARASIMHAN, Bangalore

Healthy home for healthy living

Though we in India have been laying stress since time immemorial on cleanliness of our surroundings as a religious observance that helps in the maintenance of health of both the body and mind, the modern world has also taken to it as a measure of environmental hygiene.

Commercial science tells us to use insecticides in different forms. We know they are poisons that kill the tiny beings instantly. When they are deadly to the insects, they cannot be harmless to humans.

The poisons used have often a strong offensive stench. At least that could keep man away from it. But commercial science has devices to make it pleasant. So it attracts the user to enjoy the poisonous atmosphere. This is a second self-deceit.

There is no short-cut to cleanliness. The home should be such that every part of it gets both air and light. There may be some corners that do not get both because of things dumped there. These should be moved periodically and put out in the sun. The place should be washed and allowed to dry before the things are moved in again.



Bank test

The Central Co-operative Bank, Kapurthala, scheduled a test for the post of clerk on a holiday (Karva Chauth) on Nov 4. I, being a candidate from Jalandhar, got up at 4 a.m and reached Chandigarh at 8.15 without having even a cup of tea. I was surprised to see at the notice board a small slip stating "The test has been postponed till further orders". Female candidates were harassed unnecessarily on a day of Karva Chauth.

The bank could have published a public notice in this regard in leading newspapers well in advance and saved the time and money of the candidates.


Harassment: For the Kapurthala Central Cooperative Bank management, it was a small thing but for a person who had to go to Chandigarh from a far-off place, it was shocking. Already unemployed, many candidates have lost Rs 500 each on travel and night stay, besides Rs 200 on applying for the post.

SUNIL MANHAS, Swar (Hoshiarpur)

False claims

In its advertisement (Nov. 01) the Punjab Government claims to have ensured a job to one member of the family of every soldier who had lost his life in the defence of the nation. This claim is false since jobs have not been provided to kin of pre-01/01.1999 battle casualities other than dependents of gallantry awardees.


Medicos’ plight

Medical students who want to join the PG courses like MD/MDS have been waiting for the last six months and nobody knows when Baba Farid University of Medical Sciences will hold the entrance test. Due to this abnormal delay, the future of many students is at stake as they could not avail an opportunity of getting a job or leave the study.


Una-Mehatpur road

A 15-km stretch between Mehatpur and Una of the Chandigarh-Una-Dharamsala Highway is in poor shape. The state of the stretch is so deplorable that it has to be seen to be believed.

TARA CHAND, Ambota (Una)

Home | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Editorial |
Business | Sport | World | Mailbag | In Spotlight | Chandigarh Tribune | Ludhiana Tribune
50 years of Independence | Tercentenary Celebrations |
121 Years of Trust | Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |