Tuesday, November 27, 2001, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi



Canvassing for new Army Chief

A Tribune report by Girja Shankar Kaura (Nov 23) reminds one of a typical MoD PRO handout which reads something like this: “The President presented Colours to the elite 8 Cavalry at an impressive ceremony held somewhere in the western sector. Among the dignitaries... the Commissioner of Patiala division and the DC, Sangrur, were present on the occasion”.

MoD does not give any prizes for guessing the right venue. Obviously, Mr Kaura would not hazard any prizes for guessing as to which political party, he feels, is promoting whose name for the next Army Chief. I feel such reports create unnecessary controversies. Such speculation does a great harm to the deserving candidates for important posts in the defence services.

Even if the officer in question makes to the top slot on his own merit, do we want him to be indebted to a political party for his elevation? Do we want the political party to take credit for the hard work put in by the officer for the last four decades? Do we want our Army to be under the impression for the next two years that their chief is a political appointee?

It is suggested that your reporters should desist from raking up such issues. If required, they should be forthright in giving details with facts of any political interference so that the parties or individuals concerned can suitably confirm or deny such reports.

Brig K. S. GREWAL (retd), Panchkula


‘Work’ expands

The report “Two promoted” (Nov 20) from Shimla gives out that Mr R.A. Singh and Mr Pankaj Khullar, Chief Conservative of Forests and Additional Principal Chief Conservative, respectively, have been promoted and appointed Principal Chief Conservative of Forests (PCCF) by the Himachal Government. The report goes on to add that in a bid to accommodate both, the state government split the Forest Department and created a separate Wildlife Department.

What a telling illustration of Parkinson’s Law which states that “work” automatically expands to provide justification for “more hands”.

In Himachal the accursed law seems to have operated over the years virtually with a vengeance unnoticed and unchecked, playing havoc with the state’s administrative set-up. As a gloomy consequence, the state is perforce feeding a whoppingly large herd of white elephants, its poor financial health notwithstanding.

Isn’t it high time for the powers that be to wake up and make an earnest bid to reverse the horrendous trend.

TARA CHAND, Ambota (Una)



Petro price: cut it

The prices of petrol, diesel and cooking gas were last raised when the price of crude in the international market was $34 to 35. It is surprising that the Ministry of Petroleum has not announced any reduction even though the price of crude has rock-bottomed to $19.

The Pakistan government announced a reduction in the petro prices about a week back. Equally astonishing is the response of our business newspapers and business associations which have not tried to rake up the issue.

Are we paying this extra cost to see that the profits of oil companies soar or are we paying to see that our Finance Minister is able to bring down the Budget deficit. A better way is to discipline government expenditure rather than make an ordinary citizen pay higher than the actual price. Will the Finance Minister remain silent like this if tomorrow the price of crude touches $55.


Haryana ignored

I read the online edition of The Tribune everyday and am very satisfied with it except for some "discrimination" with Haryana and other states. I belong to Ambala and have had a chance to read The Tribune for many years, though the paper of my liking is The Times of India as it covers more news in the national arena. Since The Tribune, being a regional paper, covers a lot about Haryana, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and other areas, to my surprise Punjab gets more coverage than others. On the Punjab page you have links to agriculture, politics, education etc. but all these links are missing for Haryana and other states. I don't think this is a mistake or nobody noticed, but definitely looks to be a point of "discrimination" to me.


No, Mr Rushdie...

Apropos “No, Mr Rushdie, it is not about Islam” (Nov 12), Punjab terrorism was the creation of the Congress for petty political gains. The Ayodhya issue is not a matter related to the Hindus only. Neither it is a political issue nor a religious one as has been made out by politicians. It, in fact, directly relates to the restoration of national honour and self-respect, and as such it is a national issue.

The Israeli actions are nothing but simple safeguard measures to counter Islamic terrorism practised by the Palestinians. Rather, it is a matter of survival for the Israelis.

A. K. SHARMA, Chandigarh

Dirty medical college

Guru Nanak Dev Hospital & Medical College, Amritsar, has become one of the filthiest hospitals with neglected surroundings and wild weed growing all over. I am not for its improvement as the standard answer will be: no funds. Its name should be changed. Associating it with the Guru hurts the sentiments of citizens, specially the daily morning walkers and staff of the college.


Cinema posters

A vulgar show is on in the holy city of Amritsar. Cinema owners have pasted vulgar film posters on every nook and corner of the city. The school walls and monuments are the vintage points and this has been going on for the last three years in spite of the fact that the pasting of posters is banned.

In this city there is total contempt for the law and the violaters care a damn for the ban. The administration is a mute spectator.

BRIJ BEDI, Amritsar


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