Saturday, January 19, 2002, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi



Health services and corruption

Mr Sanjay Pathak in his letter “Need for a war on corruption” has talked of “credibility” and “loss of face” of the Health Department in Himachal as a result of arrests of some high-ranking officials there. What credibility and what loss of face is the esteemed writer talking about? The health services in the public sector in most parts of the country are in a shambles. They neither have credibility nor a face.

The mushrooming of private nursing homes and clinics in most parts of the country is proof enough (if proof were needed) that people, by and large, prefer to get themselves treated at private hospitals, albeit, at a huge cost. In rural areas doctors and para-medics regularly play truant and the public is left at the mercy of quacks. Their bosses are fully aware of this tendency, but they prefer to look the other way for reasons best known to them. What happens to the medical supplies to these institutions is anybody’s guess.

Incidentally, why pick on health services alone! The whole system is rotten. There are any number of corruption cases involving people from administrative, police, customs, excise, income tax, power boards and other public utility services. Nothing seems to shame us.

No useful purpose will be served by shifting people with tainted reputations to insignificant jobs. First, because in the domain of public service there are no insignificant jobs and second, the malady will spread, as we all know “a rotten apple injures its neighbours”.

M. K. BAJAJ, Yamunanagar


Akali (dis)unity

Apropos of the editorial “Mirage of Akali unity” (Jan 4), Jathedar Ranjit Singh, and not Jathedar Manjit Singh, had been dismissed.

Ego has no place in Sikhism. In their daily “Ardaas” (invocatory prayer, the Sikhs pray for the grant of “man neevaan mat uchi” (humble heart and exalted wisdom). Yet most of the Akali leaders are bloated with monumental egos and lack the spirit of self-abnegation, which was once the hallmark of the Akali leadership. That is why the efforts of some persons to bring about a unity between Mr Parkash Singh Badal and Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra came a cropper.

Being a devout Sikh, I feel that Akal Takht should not be used by anybody for settling political scores with his/her rivals.

Mr Tohra repeatedly says that Mr Badal should appear before Akal Takht and seek apology for violating a “hukamnama” and reinstate Bhai Ranjit Singh as its “Jathedar”. Apparently, he makes this demagogic statement to make use of the religious sentiments of gullible Sikhism for political mileage. Perhaps he has no qualms of his failure as President of the SGPC to prevent the militants, who indulged in sanguinary violence and other heinous crimes, from entrenching themselves at Akal Takht. Was not it a terrible desecration of the supreme temporal and religious seat of Sikhism? As a result of Operation Bluestar, it suffered destruction. Has Mr Tohra appeared before Akal Takht and sought an apology for his dereliction of duty or even slightly expressed regret for the same?

According to Mr Tohra, for him religious fight is more important than political fight. He remained the chief of the SGPC for about a quarter of century, but took more interest in political pursuits than in “Panthic” matters with the result that, instead of accepting initiation into the Khalsa, quite a large number of Sikh youths became apostates.


New Governors

The Vajpayee government has flouted the recommendations of the Sarkarra commission which has suggested that political persons should not be appointed Governors. The government appointed defeated politicians of the BJP like Mr Suraj Bhan as Governor, besides two retired I.P.S. officers.


People want peace

People don't want war. They want peace. India and Pakistan are developing countries. All available resources should be utilised for development and not for destruction. We should forget our agonising past and start a new chapter of peace and love.


Action, at last

The killings of innocent people have been going on over two decades. But it is only now that our government is taking steps to deal with terrorism vis-a-vis Pakistan.

This sudden departure from our lethargic Gandhism has come about because of the attack on Parliament last month. After all, our modern-day "maharajas" are now under attack!

Capt JAGDISH CHAND (retd), Panchkula

India & Israel

Apropos the editorial “Developing ties with Israel” (Jan 11), India can not only benefit by Israel’s sophisticated defence supplies which are critical at this hour, but also follow its experience in tackling terrorism. India and Israel both have faced Islamic terrorism. While the former has repulsed this scourge by tactfully mixing force with dialogue. India has persistently handled the situation with an over-tolerant attitude. It should cultivate Israel, known for its technology, courage and conviction. There cannot be a better time than this.

AKSHAY ANAND, by e-mail

Insolent game show

In "Kamjor Kari Kon", the game show currently shown on Star Plus TV, anchor Neena Gupta insulting uses expressions such as "Satyanash ho aapka", "Aap ki akl ghas charne gai hai" etc. The programme should be immediately banned.


Kashmir & blood

General Musharraf says: "Kashmir runs in our blood". But what about the blood running in the streets of Jammu & Kashmir towns, spilled by Pakistani terrorists?

How come, Musharraf Sahib loves Kashmir, but sheds Kashmiris’ blood?

S. C. KAPOOR, Noida

A helpful cop

A few days ago at the Sectors 19-20 crossing in Chandigarh, I was standing with a fractured shoulder and a helmet in hand, waiting for a bus. Suddenly, a policeman stopped his scooter near me and after saying that he was going to Panchkula, offered to drop me there. I thank the entire Chandigarh Police.

ARCHIT GARG, Panchkula

Exam dates clash

Punjab Technical University will hold an entrance test for admission to engineering courses on May 26, 2002. This has put students of Punjab to great disadvantage as the test for admission to engineering courses for Delhi College of Engg has already been planned for May 26, 2002.

BALDEV SINGH, Lehra Mohabat

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