The Tribune - Spectrum


Sunday, December 16, 2001

Russia and the new realities

THIS has reference to Hari Jaisingh’s article "Glitter, glamour, market economy & communism" (November 25).

The democratic system in Russia in its initial stage, has not been able to deliver the goods as it has yet to provide jobs to the unemployed and basic necessities to the common man whose food, clothing and shelter from the cradle to the grave used to be the state responsibility under the earlier communist regime. The free market economy has created more problems than it can solve. This has given rise to alarming corruption, bureaucratisation, redtapism, yawning economic disparities. Good quality education, too, has gone out of the reach of the common man. During communist era there was efficiency, discipline a sense of commitment in political and administrative fields.

Now Russia is an open society where glitter and glamour are quite visible.

K.L. Batra



After the collapse of communism Russians no longer enjoy job security, economic rights, old age care.

At present, Russia is a shambles and is struggling to come out of the pit into which it has fallen. It has to look towards the West for its revival and resurgence. Under the leadership of President Putin it, is hoped Russia will regain a place of pride in the comity of nations. Russians need not worry as good times will certainly come again. Only patience, perseverance and hard work are required to lift them out of the morass of troubles.

Tarsem & Paramjit


True happiness

This refers to Taru Bahl’s write-up "Learning to be happy" (December 2). Everything that you do should add to your treasury of true happiness. The earnest man has a keen sense of duty. He regards all his actions as so many bricks that contribute to the temple of humanity. All the bricks must be good and sound. Conscience is the earnest man’s safe hurricane-lantern in this jungle of life: it can never be extinguished by any wind, and it always shows the path that must be taken.

Avtar Narain Chopra



Happiness, like all other emotions, is influenced by intrinsic as well as extrinsic factors. But intrinsic ones are much more important than the extrinsic ones. It is also true that unhappiness, sadness or depression is more common in women. Education and empowerment coupled with socio-economic development may usher in maximum happiness for maximum number of people. Ethical, just and non-discriminatory social order is the pre-requisite for happiness. However, one must try to overcome feelings of low self-confidence and self-esteem. Independent existence and personality make person confident, contented and calm.



Vegetarian diet

Apropos of Jangveer Singh’s write-up "Indian sportsmen swear by non-veg food" (November 25).

Nutritionists and medical experts agree that excessive meat consumption is a major contributor to diseases like cancer and cardiac disorders. Dr S.I. Hunting of Columbia University says that our mouth, teeth and the intestines are not suitable for a non-vegetarian diet. His views are based on a comparative study of the structure of the carnivorous animals and humans. According to him, carnivorous animals have a bigger mouth that can hold large chunks of flesh and unlike humans, they have teeth that are elongated, sharp and pointed to enable them to tear flesh. Colon Cancer is more prevalent in Argentina and Uruguay where meat consumption is higher than in other Latin American countries. Tenzing Norgay attributed the remarkable strength of the sherpas to a vegetarian diet.

Meat eating increases the burden of the organs of elimination and overloads the system with animal waste matter and poisons. Meat proteins cause putrefaction (rot) twice as quickly as do vegetarian proteins. The main benefit of a proper vegetarian diet is its low calorie content. The accounts for lower serum-cholesterol levels found in vegetarians which considerably reduces the risk of heart disease and breast and lung cancer. A third great advantage is its high fibre content which is associated with decreased risk of diseases.

Vegetarianism is thus a system based on scientific principles. It is the best diet for man’s optimum physical mental and spiritual development.

Vijay Sheel Jain


Most accomplished queen

Apropos of K.R.N. Swamy’s write-up "A Mughal empress’ tribute to her father" (December 2), Nur Jahan was the most accomplished, albeit extremely ambitious lady. By her exquisite charm, piercing intellect, remarkable deportment, sound common sense, striking tact and devotion to Jahangir he had unbounded ascendancy over him. The emperor often declared that he had bestowed sovereignty over her and he needed nothing more than a quart of wine and a pound of meat. She had induced him not only to abstain from drinking in the day time, but also to reduce his evening potations.

She exercised immense influence in the affairs of the state. Her will was law. Coins were struck in her name.

She was brave, fearless and possessed of the skill in dealing with persons and difficult situations. Having failed to vanquish the Afghan rebel, Mahabbat Khan, who had captured Jahangir while on their way to Kabul, she rescued him by outwitting the captor.

She was highly educated and adept in constructing extempore verses. The tomb, enshrining the remains of her father, Itimad-ud-daula, built by her, "bears in every part of it the imprint of the refined feminism" and is remarkable for its intrinsic beauty.

It was composed entirely of white marble decorated with pietra dura work. However, it is not the first structure of this work as considered by many people. A specimen of the same is said to have made its appearance much earlier in Gol Mandal Temple of Udaipur. But the fact remains that it is a unique structure in the entire range of Mughal architecture.

Bhagwan Singh


Fruits of a fevered mind

Apropos of Surinder Maohi’s "Fruits of a fevered mind" (December 2), there is an old saying. "Geniuses are perverts". But whoever enunciated this theory didn’t realise that some day its converse could also become true. One comes across umpteen perverts who were acknowledged as geniuses because of their success. After all, even to attain notoriety in any field of perversion, one has to use ones ingenuity. One may be a genius turned pervert or vice versa.

According to Felix Post, an eminent psychiatrist, "episodic psychiatric conditions occurred in 69 per cent of writers, composers, artists and scientists, while in 34 per cent the conditions disrupted their lives." British psychiatrist, Anthony Storr also believes that "Many creative people have abnormal personalities", even if they are not mad. According to Felix post "of 47 eminent British writers and artists surveyed 34 had actually received treatment for psychiatric disorders".

Oscar Wilde was sent to Reading Gaol for two years of hard labour for his homosexual tendences. Winston Churchill suffered from manic depression.

Among veterans, how can one forget Gernal Dwight D.Eisenhower’s passionate but unconsummated three-year love affair with his chauffeur Kay Summerby.

K.M. Vashisht

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