Tuesday, February 19, 2002, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi



Will Congress keep poll promises?

As indicated by exit polls, the Congress is likely to form the new government in Punjab. It will be interesting to see how it will ensure “freedom from corruption and freedom from bankruptcy” as promised.

To win the confidence of the people, it has offered liberal sops to all sections of society. Some seemingly impossible promises were also made like a job for each SC and BC family. It promised to bring 27% reservation in jobs for BCs. Not only farmers will continue to draw free power for agriculture, but it has been extended by 150 free units to all SC and BC families and also those living below the poverty line. It remains to be seen as from where finances will come to the cash-starved PSEB. The urban consumer will be burdened further who is paying around Rs 3 per unit.

Concessions worth Rs 1200 crore are on the anvil for trade, industry, weaker sections of society, farmers, including those who operated their pumps with diesel engines. Resource mobilisation worth Rs 4,000 crore as additional revenue is to be achieved by tightening the belts, but considering the “please-all” manifesto whose belt is going to be tightened? I pray that it is not the already overburdened taxpayer.

Capt Amarinder Singh knows all about the ill-gotten wealth of Mr Badal. Should we expect a probe into the financial affairs of Mr Badal and his family as well as other ministers, political appointees by a sitting judge of the high court?


It will make history of sorts if the Chief Minister and other ministers declare their assets after taking office and adopt a model code of conduct.

New sugar mills, pending three lakhs tubewell connections, passbooks to farmers having details of landholdings are by no means an easy task. Anti-dumping duty to protect the local industry is must, but abolition of octroi without affecting the development of towns may not be possible. The single window clearance system is an ambitious thought but will babus let it see the daylight?

What crash courses for unemployed youth (18-35) are being offered and how they will be absorbed in jobs in an era of VRS is worth watching. Pension-gratuity and covering of unaided colleges and posts under the grant-in-aid scheme of private colleges in Punjab is welcome.

G. K. S. SIDHU Barnala

Three questions: Every political party has done its best to woo the voters. Now their fate is sealed. The Congress has made much noise regarding corruption in the state. Now we Punjabis expect that:

(1) If Capt Amarinder Singh’s party comes to power, will he swear to punish any of his Cabinet ministers found involved in corrupt practices?

(2) Will you try to prove the corruption allegations made during the election campaign by you and your colleagues against the Akalis?

(3) Will you hold special investigation to probe the recruitment made during the last six-eight months by the Akali government?


Clean government: It is sad that every incoming government wastes one half of the term in exposing misdeeds of the ousted government and uses the second half for hiding own misdeeds and acts of omissions and commissions, leaving the state even poorer.

Let the incoming government focus on giving the state a clean and efficient administration in contrast to the one given by the ousted one. Let people see for themselves the difference between corrupt and non-corrupt governments.

It will be useful to learn right lessons from the conduct of the outgoing (if it is really outgoing) government. That creating oases like Lambi and Banur in the otherwise administratively desert conditions does not impress people. Development activity in the state should be evenly distributed for all to see it. The creation of Lambis and Banurs creates only heart-burns among the deprived sections of the population.

A. S. GILL, Patiala

Poll overview: A new political wind has really started blowing in Punjab and the people are now anxious to know what is in store for them and looking for to judge new masters on the real issues such as corruption, unemployment, nepotism, education, health and infrastructure.

Not a single party in the poll fray raised issues that concern the people. Rather an aggressive advertisement campaign was launched in newspapers by the Congress and the ruling SAD. All canons of morality and decency were thrown to the winds.


Not good verses

There are many spelling mistakes in the couplets quoted by Aditi Tandon in the write-up “A poet in dialogue with the world” (Feb 7).

“Tu hove pahadaan to digdi nadi; vich tota baraf da main tarda hovaan.

Main kur kur ke kul muk jaavaan; ainj husn tere vich kul jaavaan”.

“Hove”, “baraf”, “khur kur” and “kul jaavaan” should be read as “hovein”, “barf”, “khur khur” and “ghul jaavaan” respectively. “Nadi” (stream) flows and not falls (“digdi”). It is “aabshaar” (cascade) that falls from a height. Can anything float in steep waterfall?

The first line can be as “Tun hovein pahaad ton aundi nadi” instead of “digdi nadi”. I am reminded of Allama Iqbal’s verse:

"Aati hai naddi faraaz-e-koh sey gaati hui/Kausar-o-Tasneem ki maujon ko sharmatti hui"

(The murmuring stream, coming from the top of a hill, puts the waves of Kausar and Tasneem to shame). Kausar and Tasneem are the names of two paradisical canals.

“Maikde chon nikalde san rind kaike anal haq.

Bahar soro gul si mandiraan masjidaan de giran da”.

“Maikde”, “kaike” “anal haq”, “soro gul and “giran” should be read as “maikadey”, “kaih key”, “ana al-haq”, “shor-o-ghul” and “girn” respectively. “Shor-o-ghul” means noise, uproar, tumult, etc. There is a dull “aavaaz” (thud), not “shor-o-ghul”, when a building falls, Mansoor, some believe his son, Husain, used to utter “ana al-haq” (I am God) in a trance. He was gibbeted in compliance with a religious edict of some theologians. The martyred mystic never intended to desecrate or destroy places of worship by uttering “ana al-haq”.

It is not understood why the poet has mentioned the falling of temples and mosques with the uttering of “ana al-haq” by boozers (“rind”) before coming out of the pub.

Both verses are devoid of poetic excellence, literary grace and beauty of thoughts. It is the beauty of thoughts and the way in which such thoughts are expressed that please and stimulate imagination.

Bhagwan Singh, Qadian


Baba Farid varsity

Baba Farid University of Medical Sciences is playing tricks with the students for admission to MBBS/BDS. Now by not calling the students for second counselling and not displaying the merit lists in merit position, it is again playing dirty tricks. Names of saints should not be associated with universities to avoid degradation of saints at least.

Dr M. Singh, Chandigarh


I do not understand the rationale of “spotlighting” a foreign actress or doctor or a celebrity half naked gyrating to a musical tune. What is the logic behind it? Is it to attract readers?

We should spotlight something about our national heritage, traditions, unsung heroes, achievements of India in any particular field which went unnoticed or related things to arouse the interest of the general readers.

Sanjay Jain, Bathinda

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