Friday, February 8, 2002, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi


Russia, China and India must form strategic relations, if not an axis

The editorial “Strategic convergence” (Feb 5) rightly states that respect comes only to the country or countries that speak from the position of strength.

The USA has never left its foothold once it entered a country since World War-II, be it Japan, the Philippines, South Korea, Saudi Arabia & now Afghanistan, but for Vietnam where the USA was virtually defeated. The USA wishes to administer the whole world on its terms. Any country defying it or daring to adopt an independent strategy in international forums like the UN or the WTO faces sanctions. India has also passed through this phase holding its policy of non-alignment or on nuclear issues.

Russia, China & India may not form an axis, but must maintain their diplomatic, military & human relations in such a friendly manner that not only suits to the best interests of the individual countries but also denies the USA any opportunity to exploit any weakness.

Pakistan has already ceased to be an independent country as it has to get the draft of the speech of its President approved from the Bush government!

V. K. SAINI, Pathankot




Christian identity

The write-up "Christians shed identity" (Jan 25) by Raman Mohan is in bad taste and has hurt the sentiments of Christians who have an identity of their own.

People of the Christian faith settled in the village of Santokh Majra in about 1900. They had come from UP, Bengal, Punjab and Pakistan. About 50 to 60 families had settled there. These families were not settled by the British as Raman Mohan has stated. In 1925 all land near this village where there was a jungle all around was bought by Americans for their herd of cows which roamed this area. When this preposition did not seem profitable, the Americans sold this land to the Christians who were residents of the village.

As for the names, some Christian people have Hindi names and not Hindu names. Dhiraj, or for that matter Shishir, is a Hindi name and not a Hindu name. Raman Mohan has correctly mentioned the residents of Santokh Majra and other villages with Christian population do celebrate Hindu festivals. I think celebrating these festivals does not mean that they want to change their religion or their identity as Christians. As per my study and survey of these villages, people do not have problems in matrimony. The bottom line is that Indians do not have any prejudice against the Christian community nor do the Christians feel ashamed of their Christian identity.

DHEERAJ ROY, Yamunanagar

Don’t forget soldiers

Another Republic Day has just passed and a fresh list of gallantry award winners has been announced. One of the most solemn, poignant and meaningful functions held at Rashtrapati Bhavan is the Defence Investiture Ceremony when gallantry awards are given to valiant soldiers and the next of kin of those who fought bravely for the nation and sacrificed their lives. It is a somber, solemn occasion and, with a lump in one's throat, one watches young widows, some still in their teens, sobbing with restraint as they walk towards the Presidential dais to receive the medals for gallantry.

Everyone — serving officers and civilian bureaucrats, regardless of their political affiliations, must applaud such brave actions of soldiers. Members of the Cabinet as well as prominent leaders of the Opposition must make it a point to attend such functions to boost the morale of the fighting forces. These awards have been earned by the recipients by the sweat of their brows, loss of limbs and loss of precious lives.

When elections were in the offing, political leaders vied with one another to be seen visiting the families of dead soldiers (of course, amidst a blaze of publicity which included the electronic and the print media). They also fought to be seen donating blood, even when the Army medical stores said that no more blood was required. Strangely, these political leaders now pointedly refrain from attending all defence investitures while they attend other ceremonies like the Padma award and Arjun award ceremonies at Rashtrapati Bhavan. By staying away, are they getting at the ruling party or, are they publicly insulting the soldier?

Let us not forget that the gritty soldier fights for the nation regardless of which party is in power. Let us not run down his achievements in peace or during war.




A doctor's lament

Nobody grudges a doctor’s right to be comfortable financially and fulfilling all his desires and needs, as Dr Ahuja's lament says. But you go to any clinic where there is a queue of patients and the doctor also seems devoted and inspires confidence in the patient. Visit the same clinic after six to seven years, the doctor would have prospered so much that he would be busy constructing a nursing home. Fine, we do agree that the devoted doctor is doing a service to the general well-being of humanity, but you do sense greed all around.

Patients coming from far and near places wait for the good doctor to come and examine them. The doctor despite giving them an appointment for 8 a.m. emerges at 11 a.m because he was too busy getting ready and then supervising the construction going on. This happened personally with me as I had taken my father for an examination. The old man, tired of often waiting for a couple of hours, was so exhausted that he threw up a fit and just walked out when the receptionist told him that the doctor was at the site. I had to merely follow my father outside.

There is too much of waiting involved no matter which clinic one goes to. If patients are ready to give the amount of fees asked by the clinic, then the doctor is also morally duty bound to be punctual.



The report "Parties out to win over faujis" by Rajmeet Singh (Feb 1) has conveyed the impression that the RRD is a political outfit of the Indian Ex-services League, which is incorrect .The IESL (P&C) has no political wing and is purely a non-political NGO.



Politicians are washing their dirty linen in public by issuing defamatory ads. Can’t they stop mud-slinging and advertise positive aspects and constructive programmes of their parties, if any? Why are they making politics the foulest of all professions?


War cry dangers

Indian leaders' war cry is dangerous for the innocent masses. India fought wars with Pakistan twice — in 1965 and 1971— for a very short period. These wars remained confined to the border areas only. Thus the leaders do not know what war is, and its effect in general.

Lt Col P. S. SARANG (retd), Chandigarh

Students overcharged

I want to highlight the sorry state of private B.Ed colleges of Himachal Pradesh. After they were allowed to make admissions to the B.Ed course, they started charging fees over and above the prescribed amount. First, HP University, Shimla, at the time of counselling, charged 10 percent of the total fees prescribed for the course with the clarification that the private colleges will charge only the rest of the amount i.e the remaining 90 per cent

But when the students went to attend their allotted colleges, the latter refused to acknowledge the fees taken by the university and the students were asked by the college authorities to deposit full fees (including the fees deposited with the university).

ANURAG SHARMA, Chowki (Palampur )


Q: What's unique about India?

A: It's borders are easier to cross than its roads!

K. J. S. AHLUWALIA, Amritsar


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