Thursday, January 3, 2002, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi



New Year celebrations amid war clouds

Chandigarh Tribune has prominently carried articles (Dec 28) which elucidate the plans of rich families of Chandigarh to celebrate the New year.

We were really pained to note that some sections of the population were preparing to celebrate the New Year’s Eve with the usual show of opulence without even stopping for a moment to think about the situation being faced by nation on its borders. And your newspaper has proudly carried articles which showcase such brazen display of lack of national character. Not even a little bit concern has been shown by these so-called citizens of India with regards to the war clouds that are hovering over the country.

What one would like to ask is: what is so important about the New Year celebration plans of these families that it requires coverage in a newspaper? You should rather carry some articles which show how the families of our brave soldiers are stoically facing hardships in view of the situation that they face every now and then due to insurgency/external threats. Is it only for the soldiers of this country to rise up to threats to national security while other sections of society merrily plan boozing out in Kasauli hills on New Year?

Maybe it is because a soldier’s life comes cheap in our country (there is so much unemployment that for recruitment in the Army the number of aspirants sometimes is more than 15-20 times the vacancies).

It is well known that a lot of adverse public opinion is generated in America whenever even a few of its soldiers are killed giving rise to the famous body bag syndrome.


On the contrary, our nation seemingly gives a damn for the loss of life of soldiers and/or their well-being as has been amply illustrated by the nature of articles carried by your paper at this time of national emergency. Or maybe it is not an emergency at all for the unconcerned sections of our society. Maybe they are so used to reading headlines such as “terrorists kill....of security forces” etc that it has now become routine, even boring! And people want excitement and thus such articles!

We would like to submit that it would possibly raise the morale of our brave soldiers a wee bit were you to give some coverage to them and their families — what are the problems being faced by the families left behind by the soldiers, how are they planning to usher in the New Year etc

Lt Col BBK BBOSE, C/o 56 APO

Greetings to soldiers

May I through your newspaper extend new year’s greeting and good wishes to our brave jawans — officers and men — who are guarding the territorial integrity and honour of our country against all odds, braving the most hazardous conditions, dreary inhospitable desert terrain, snow-capped mountain cliffs awash with bone-chilling icy winds, and an unscrupulous fanatical enemy obsessed with a death wish.

We have no doubt they would deal a fatal blow to anyone who may dare to violate our borders. We also want to assure them that we all stand united to a man/woman to support them in whatever way we may be called upon to do so for whatever length of time. We are proud of our soldiers.


Taxing defence personnel

When the terrorists struck at Parliament, the Defence Minister rang up Army Headquarters for help. Today the nation is once again uniting behind the defence forces. Most of the families of defence personnel have to maintain two or three home establishments i.e. husband at the place of duty; wife, parents and children at different places. It’s an additional burden.

Can’t the government do away with income tax on the meagre salaries of defence personnel?

KIM GILL, LudhianaTop


Road accidents

I have gone through Reeta Sharma’s article and would like to add the name of my daughter to the list of accident victims.

On November 22, 2001, my daughter Menakshi Verma, who was driving her scooter, slipped at the sector’s 16-17 chowk in Panchkula, and got a head injury. In spite of the best efforts by the PGI staff, she died after five hours. She was not wearing a helmet in spite of my repeated advice to her. She got married only five months ago and the ill-fated scooter was given to her as part of dowry. I request all youth, specially the teenaged girls, with folded hands to wear the helmet.



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