Friday, January 4, 2002, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi



Overcoming paralysis of will: a strong India geopolitical necessity

This refers to Mr Hari Jaisingh's "Overcoming paralysis of will" (Dec 28). It is not just a reluctance or inability to take a hard decision but our political leadership lacks a long-term vision of national well-being and remains entrenched in a "vested inability" to view things and situations dispassionately.

Our leaders try to establish their credibility on the basis of rhetoric, be it condemning cross-border terrorism, supporting the USA on Afghanistan or stalling legislative business.. We as a nation fail to comprehend developments in their totality since our priorities are lop-sided and the approach is ad hocist. Rarely have we thought coolly or acted wisely and calmly.

In the present tense relations with Pakistan we are moving fast towards a position of "no-return", unmindful of the fact that soon a war would become the only option left with us. Our enthusiastic declarations of eliminating terrorist camps in Pakistan will achieve little unless we have a definite and comprehensive knowledge of these camps or can mobilise an international diplomatic consensus on such a move.

Any failure on this count will not only result in a dangerous loss of faith amongst the people in the government's ability to work but also offer Gen Parvez Musharraf another opportunity of diplomatic manipulation against India.



Two party system: The writer has pertinently emphasised that a strong India is a geopolitical necessity. But that can be conceived if there are only two main political parties. A plethora of organised and disorganised parties tend to weaken the country. They are least concerned about the destiny of the country as they are busy promoting casteism, regionalism and religion, besides looting the country.


War hysteria: Mr Hari Jaisingh has highlighted the aggressive postures adopted by the Prime Minister, the Home Minister and the Defence Minister after the attack on Parliament on December 13 to teach a lesson to Pakistan. These postures have brought India and Pakistan nearer to war.

The question arises: where are the terrorists' camps which India can destroy? The uncalled for statements have created a war hysteria on the border where millions of people are in a state of panic and want to move their families to safer areas.


Negative forces: The vested interests dictating practically every phase of nationality have landed us in a state of total paralysis. There is lack of political will and inability to see tomorrow in today's and historical perspective. Negative forces have combined, which look to the interest of their own political turf. These days the sole interest in politics is to misuse and abuse power. It is indeed a geopolitical necessity to make India a strong country in South Asia and for that the image of a “soft state” is to be removed by overcoming paralysis of will.

Dr L. K. MANUJA, Nahan

Diplomatic offensive: In the past few days we find our national leadership displaying a diplomatic offensive in the form of calling our diplomat back from Islamabad, stopping overflights by Pakistani planes and snapping the rail link. A new positive sign in policy decisions is visible. At this juncture, let all of us give a better account of ourselves as a united people. We expect our PM to show guts and assert himself to putt the divided house in order.

K. L. BATRA, Yamunanagar

India & USA: India after December 13 is faced with the same situation as the USA was after September 11. However, the loss of life in terrorist violence for years in India together with its traumatic effect on the people is unparallel.

Again, whereas the USA launched its major offensive against the offenders in time, India has been vacillating amid assent and dissent of various political groups both within and without. The reason for this sad state, as Mr Jaisingh observes, is that our politicians do not think beyond the vote-bank.


No empty slogans: The leaders at the helm should shun rhetoric. The nation wants action, not empty slogans. Mr Vajpayee has assured the nation that the battle against terrorism has entered the last phase The nation wants the translation of his words into action. The opposition parties too should extend a helping hand to the government at this juncture.

D. P. JINDAL, Mandi Gobindgarh

No result: Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee, who in Opposition used to roar like a lion, now keeps repeating the story of eliminating terrorism, but fails to produce the required result. Mr George Fernandes is in the habit of disclosing military matters, including the movements of troops. He is occupying the DM’s chair only due to "the prerogative and pleasure of the Prime Minister".


Recalling ’71 war

The write-up “General Aurora recalls ’71 war” (Dec 17) makes interesting reading, especially when war clouds are again hovering over the sub-continent, coincidentally at the same time after 30 years. However, the statement that “West Pakistanis had also sent a message through the USA that they want to surrender” does not appear to be factually correct and could not have come out of the General’s mouth.

The West Pakistanis never offered to surrender. It was the Government of India which declared a unilateral ceasefire immediately after our objective in the East was achieved. Moreover, it would have been difficult to continue the war in the West while looking after 93,000 Pakistani prisoners of war. Pakistan responded positively and the war ended without achieving anything insofar as the dispute in J and K is concerned.



The 1962 Nobel Prize

I congratulate you on running an informative series “A Century of Nobels”. However, I would like to add a few comments on the 1962 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine that went to Watson, Crick and Wilkins for figuring out the molecular structure of DNA (Dec 27). You write that “three scientists who were instrumental in its discovery were Watson, Crick and Wilkins.”

The truth is that the structure of DNA was based on x-ray crystallographic photographs produced by Rosalind Franklin (a woman), a colleague of Wilkins at King’s College in London. The photograph clearly revealed the basic shape of DNA to be helical. While Watson, Crick and Wilkins received the Nobel Prize, Franklin missed it because of her death from cancer in 1958. And, Nobel is not given posthumously to anyone.

Ashok Malik, Mission College, Santa Clara, CA, USA

Border flashpoint

The editorials “Border flashpoint” (Dec 26) and “Politics of war cry” (Dec 27) echo the sentiments of the common people of India and Pakistan. The rulers of both countries must avoid this dangerous adventure because millions of ordinary men, women and children will undergo countless sufferings.

The people of both poor countries are in no mood to welcome ballistic missiles and atom bombs. Instead, they expect more primary schools, colleges, hospitals and medical colleges from the rulers.

War will bring in an all-round economic depredation, unemployment and even destitution on a large scale. War is the biggest enemy of humanity.

In the present context, when both India and Pakistan are nuclear powers, it is nothing but a suicidal idea to indulge in politics of war cry.

The message of the most popular daily of North India is loud and clear: war must be avoided at all costs. I appreciate The Tribune’s initiative for avoiding a large-scale confrontation with Pakistan.

Dr R. B. Yadav, Rewari


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