Saturday, March 2, 2002
M A I L  B O X

Flights of fancy

THE only virtue in Rajnish Wattas’ article "Taking to flights of fancy" (February 9) was his admission that he was a novice bird-watcher.

There can be no "mamma duck along with her ducklings" on the Sukhna waters because these migratory birds go back to central and NE Siberia in March and raise their broods there in May-June. What the writer saw at the Sukhna were most likely the Dabchicks or the Little Grebes which look like ducklings. And what Wattas calls the spotted kingfisher is, in fact, the Pied Kingfisher no more than 30 cm whereas Harriers are large birds, akin to the kites and measure about 60 cms. So how can any one nickname this small bird a Harrier? The so called "small, blackish-grey spotted fantails" are the flycatcher; either the nominate race which is white-throated fantail or its subspecies the white-browed Fantail both of which are frequently encountered in Chandigarh. There are no ferruginous ducks but there are ferruginous pochards.

BALJIT SINGH, Chandigarh


Cruelty for the sake of justice

I read with distress "Here lambs are sacrificed to settle disputes" by A.R. Chauhan (February 16) Animal sacrifices are routinely performed in Himachal Pradesh. Thousands of sheep were sacrificed at the Shand Yaga in Kashadhar area of Chiragaon and in Sirmaur in the last December and January. The former and the present chief ministers attended these functions.

The judicial system of Malana which calls for the sacrifice of lambs to settle disputes is an example of extreme cruelty.

The state authorities should take steps to prevent animal sacrifice in the name of religion or justice.



An honest writer

I have always been impressed by the writings of Khushwant Singh, not for their literary quality, but for the expression of truth which characterises them. He has the courage to speak out honestly what he feels. Even when he says that his only regrets are not having made love to women he wanted to in his adolescent years and middle age ("Count the blessings of age", January 19), it is an expression of his honesty.

B.C. KATOCH, Palampur