Wednesday, February 6, 2002, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi



President's Republic Day-eve plea for reservations

The editorial "President pleads for dalit uplift" (Jan 28) was clear, crisp and incisive. The President's address was lacklustre and far-removed from the ground situation. Dr K.R. Narayanan wants the reservation policy extended to the private sector. It is difficult to believe that the quota system will find acceptance in the private sector where profit is the dominant motive and excellence cannot be compromised.

The Bhopal declaration, which the President referred to, also wanted to extend the reservation policy to the judiciary and the defence forces at all levels. It's full of hazards. Defence Minister Jagjivan Ram recorded a note directing that no reservation should be made for the deprived classes in the fighting services. Wrote Babu Jagjivan Ram: "The enforced limits on recruitment by a quota system should not be receptable". Therefore, fit and able youth, irrespective of the area they come from, should be recruited by the sole criterion of merit.

In a book “Behind the Scene” by Maj-Gen Joginder Singh, a distinguished infantry man, there is an interesting foreword by Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw. I would like to quote a few of his concluding lines. Wrote the Field Marshal: "In the name of God, desist from such folly (reservation on the basis of castes and regions). Neither God nor future generations will forgive the perpetrators of such misplaced nationalism which will lead to destabilisation of the famous Indian Army. May perdition fall on the heads of the perpetrators of such a crime — a crime to the traditions of these famous regiments, a crime to the nation".


As rightly held by you, facilities should be "provided for the deprived people to enable them to compete with the rest of the country's population without the crutches of reservation".

A poser: why did the President choose not to put in a word on the state of readiness in which the armed forces have been placed along the borders in the wake of the December 13 attack on Parliament? After all, he is the Supreme Commander of the armed forces. Obviously, he does not subscribe to the emphasis the Vajpayee government has been laying on the fight against terrorism.

S. S. JAIN, Chandigarh


Desireless way to divine reality

Tejambra's observations in the write-up "Desireless way to divine reality" that while we claim to be religious we might be full of desires and in order to have communion with God we have to give up all desires have reminded me of the Persian verse: Ham Khuda khaahi o ham dunya-e-doon/Een khayaal ast o mohaal ast o junoon (It is capricious, difficult and lunacy to obtain God while being bound to the mean world).

Shaad Azeemabadi likened desires to play-things. He said: Tamannaaon mein uljhaaya gaya hoon/Khilauney dey key baihlaaya gaya hoon.

But the question is: can a human being live without desires? Mirza Ghalib craved for a desireless hearth saying "Gar tujh ko hai yaqeen-e-ijaabat dua na maang/Yani baghair yak dil-e-bey-mudda'a na maang (If you are sure of the acceptance of your prayer do not pray to God for anything other than a desireless heart). Even for a desireless heart the poet had a desire. Evidently, desires are indispensable.

It is the insatiable desires for promoting one's interests that lead one astray. Those having such desires generally adopt dishonest means and do not hesitate to commit even heinous crimes to realise the same.

Desiring more than one needs or deserves is very bad. There is no celestial joy and peace of mind without contentment. Ambitiously inclined people seldom enjoy these things.



Thanks, PGI doctors

A few days ago my daughter, Isha, met with an accident and received multiple injuries in her face. We were referred to the PGI by the General Hospital, Sector 16. On reaching the emergency ward of the PGI Dr Farid, Dr Deepak, Dr Vaishali and Dr Rani promptly attended to her and provided all medical help from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. All these doctors are really the true representatives of God.

On seeing their behaviour and cooperation I may say that PGI doctors are more sinned against than sinning.


Baba Farid varsity

Despite a court direction on November 29, 2001, Baba Farid University of Health Sciences is yet to complete the admissions process to medical courses. The university does not seem to be concerned about the future of the students who run the risk of wasting one full year.

SANDEEP KUMAR, by e-mail

Health centre

The Community Health Centre (CHC) at Gagret, which caters to the needs of about 50,000 people of the area, has been in neglect ever since it was upgraded a few years ago. Let alone costly equipment infrastructure, even the requisite posts of medical and para-medical staff are yet to be filled.

The powers that be seem to understand only one language, the language of force — bandhs, dharnas and road-blockades. How sad!

TARA CHAND, Ambota (Una)


Apropos of D.R. Sharma's write-up "Having a dialogue with oneself," it would have been appreciated if he had recalled Kabir's golden words: "Bura jo dekhan mein challa, bura na milya koi, jo tan dekha apna, mujh se bura na koi".


Power bills

To pay electricity bills, each customer has to wait for more than an hour in a queue. At many places, there are no shelters to protect customers from heat, cold or rain. The staff is hardly customer-friendly anywhere. The PSEB should introduce bill payments through banks.

H. B. SINGH, Jalandhar

Telephone calls

If you make a telephone call from Amritsar to Ludhiana or from Amritsar to Pathankot, it is charged at 30 second per unit even at non-peak hours. But a call made from Amritsar to Jammu, Udhampur, Hamirpur or Mandi during this time is measured @ 60 seconds per call. Why should a call made within Punjab cost more?

KAMAL SONI, Amritsar


Q: Guess what does SAD stand for?

Ans: Sukhbir Adesh Dynasty.

K.J.S. AHLUWALIA, AmritsarTop

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