Monday, November 26, 2001, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi



Does America have a POTO to tackle terrorism?

Apropos of the controversy about POTO, first I want to know why such laws are required. Can anybody point out which crime is not covered under the present laws that we require new and stringent laws. I think all crimes which one can think of are covered under the law.

Once the laws are there, then why all these crimes are being committed regularly not only by terrorists but also the non-terrorists. So the need of the hour is not to make the law books bulkier, rather to find the cause of failure to tackle the crime and then to find a remedy.

Terrorists have been striking on a daily basis for the last more than 20 years. From street people, labourers to a Prime Minister had been killed by them. Our governments have tailor-made statements to issue after the terrorist attacks. Even in the most guarded areas terrorists came, struck, claimed so many lives and managed to escape under the cover of darkness; security personnel have been put on maximum alert and manhunt has been started and the area is being combed. Once in a while big leaders come into the picture to suspect a foreign hand and see another example of cross-border terrorism.

We don’t have the will and determination to fight the menace. Political parties have their own axes to grind. They want maximum political mileage from everything. The law enforcing authorities have their own interests to watch. Human rights activists have to keep their leadership intact.


Now I ask: does America have any POTO or did it promulgate POTO first to be capable of taking action against terrorists. The only thing was honesty and determination of the political leadership and honest and nationalist attitude of the law enforcing authorities without having a desire to fulfil personal lust.

The debate whether there should be any POTO is absolutely meaningless. POTO or no POTO makes no difference at all, it is the will, determination and honesty of the political leadership and the law enforcing authorities and the faith of the whole nation in them which counts. So I request all concerned to forget these meaningless things and should start thinking in the right earnest so that governance as a whole is overhauled.

Dr Tirath Garg, Ferozepur

Ensuring road safety

Men who drive like hell are bound to get there. “Mr Babu Ram Dhiman deserves praise for his letter (Nov 17) but I don’t think that his suggestion for publishing telephone numbers and educative slogans in The Tribune will serve any significant purpose.

Most of the accidents are caused by heavy vehicles like trucks and buses and the persons driving these seldom read The Tribune, instead such material be published in the local language newspapers. Billboards and hoardings can be placed at roadside dhabas and petrol/diesel pumps. Cassette companies can contribute by adding catchy musical slogans, which almost all truck drivers play.

Secondly, driving licences should be made on merit. It is seen that drivers possess multiple driving licences. They easily surrender the one when challaned and again resume their journey with the other one, hence procuring of more than one driving licences should be checked.

We must not encourage our enthusiastic adolescents to drive without any adult supervision, when they get their learner’s licence and children should not be allowed to drive at all.

Guilty drivers should be barred from driving for a specified period and their licences be cancelled. It is rightly said that educational institutions can play a very significant role in educating the future drivers.




Reshma’s charms

Apropos of the write-up “Reshma’s charms” (“Chandigarh Calling”, Nov 19), recently at Amritsar, the famous Pakistani folk singer, Reshma, remarked in a lighter vein that she was ready to cross over to India even without a valid visa as she hoped that her beloved Punjabis would get her released. Her remarks that there should not be any barriers between the two Punjabs have reminded me of a Pakistani poet, Shahid Zaman’s verse:

Sarhadein beshak alag hain faasiley kuchh bhi nahin. Dil ki raahon par chalein to raastey kuchh bhi nahin.

Reshma regaled the audience and sent them into an ecstatic mood at the sangeet sammelan organised by she Punjab Government as part of the bicentenary celebrations of Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s coronation at Ram Bagh, Amritsar.

Pained at the demolition of the Babri Masjid, she had declared that she would never visit India.

However, poets and singers are not fanatics. They belong to the whole mankind and not to a particular community and want the welfare of all people irrespective of their castes and creeds. They carry the message of love, peace and friendly feelings where ever they go. Apparently, Reshma has realised this reality and visited the Punjab on this side of the border.

She is an unassuming lady. Humility is the hallmark of her personality. Yet she is quick-witted and good at repartee. She has a golden voice, albeit she sings stentorian.

Poets and singers are loved, respected and admired by the people of even an enemy country. I remember that immediately after the 1971 Indo-Pak war, Chacha Islah-ud-Din said on Pakistan Radio that if India wanted to resolve the Kashmir problem, it should give Surinder Kaur to Pakistan in lieu of the whole of Kashmir. There could not be a better expression of compliments for the Bulbul-e-Punjab.


Cattle insemination

Kudos to the Punjab Animal Husbandry Department for launching a project to improve the number of breeding cattle in the state (“Insemination scheme for dairy farmers,” Nov. 6). It is true that the entire edifice for quality breeding rests on artificial insemination (AI). The department aims at not only improving existing infrastructure but also rendering the AI facility available at the doorstep of dairy farmers.

To accomplish this the inseminator will have to carry an animal treatment kit and the newly purchased two-litre capacity semen container on his two-wheeler. This is neither convincing nor practicable. The semen container contains semen doses stored in liquid nitrogen, (LN2), the temperature of which is -196 degree Centigrade. The frequent and routine carrying of this LN2 container on a two-wheeler on undulating non-metalled passages will affect its longevity and is liable to be damaged. Since the two-wheelers are not designed to carry an LN2 container and the allied kit, there are chances of falling and tilting of the container, thereby releasing LN2 which can cause serious injuries to the skin and eyes of the inseminator and a passerby.

It sounds ridiculous to expect a veterinary practitioner to inseminate cows at the farmer’s doorstep by charging fees as low as Rs 3 per km (maximum Rs 20) when the cost of petrol and repairs of vehicles are too high. Either the inseminator will shirk door-to-door service or charge much more than the permissible fee. This will make the inseminator unethical.

Many years back the department gave cash incentives to every inseminator for every calf produced out of the cow inseminated by him. The inseminators tried their best to make the AI result-oriented. The department should revive this scheme. Every calf produced should make the inseminator entitled to an incentive. The ability, experience and technique of the inseminator play a vital role in achieving the cherished conception rate. No vet should be allowed insemination unless properly trained.


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