Thursday, March 14, 2002, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi



Will deploying Army in Ayodhya help?

Defence Minister George Fernandes announced on March 9 that the UP Administration had request the Centre, in writing, for deploying the Army in Faizabad district and Ayodhya.

Callousness of our politico-bureaucratic setup became evident when a better part of the nation’s military might was deployed on the country’s frontiers, essentially for domestic politics — assembly elections and all, rather than to gain any strategic or tactical advantage against Pakistan. Had that been so, GOC of a strike corps would not have been sacked, the way it was done, for creating a fearful situation for Pakistan. After all that is what the Army is meant to do when it is so deployed. Gross violation of military ethics, with far-reaching and long-term repercussions, has been committed by our rulers in deploying the armed forces on the border for reasons of domestic politics. And worst still, many a topsecret operations plans and contingencies would stand compromised by such prolonged and wasteful deployment of offensive formations in the field.

While it may be perfectly in order to call out the armed forces in calamitous situations, floods etc, because that amounts to rendering service to humanity. But, it would certainly not be in order to deploy the armed forces for quelling religious disturbances which come about as a consequence of politico-religious upheavals, the creation and sponsorship of which is attributed to the ruling government. It would tantamount to once and for all saying goodbye to military ethics and leading the armed forces on the path of their politicisation.


For the sake of the country, it must be ensured that the soldiers are never presented with a situation when they may have to question the legality and morality of missions assigned to them by civil authority. In a democracy, the military has very clear set of military ethics and a code of conduct, utilisation of military for domestic politics, in all its nuances, is well outside military ethics — the world over. Should such a situation present itself, the Defence Minister, Mr George Fernandes, would have to rise above being a convener of the NDA ensure that the military’s role is confined to its ethical functions.

Maj Gen K. KHORANA (retd), Panchkula

Of happiness

The didactic lines — “Provide others with happiness just as you desire it for yourself” (“Spiritual nuggets”, March 7), have reminded me of the Urdu verse: Hanso ke aaj hansi ki bahot zaroorat hai/Magar kisi key labon sey na chheen kar laao.

According to hardy, “Happiness is but an occasional episode in the general drama of life”. It does not come with power or pelf. Most of the people wielding immense influence and wallowing in wealth seldom enjoy real happiness because they buy their “pleasures” with the “tears of the poor”. Can those who spoil the happiness of others enjoy celestial bliss?

Real happiness comes when jealousy goes. A person becomes free from jealousy when he/she is contends with his/her lot.

Only those whose desires spring from moral motives and who display high standard of good conduct provide happiness to others. To have happiness one must have a tranquil mind. There can be no tranquillity of mind unless one imbibes the qualities of love, mercy and tolerance. Hafiz Shirazi rightly said:

Aasaaesh-e-do geeti tafseer-e-een do harf ast/ba dostaan talattuf ba dushmanann mudara (Comforts of both the worlds lie in two things. Show kindness to the friends and gracious politeness to the foes).


Controlling traffic

The traffic scenario in India is changing very fast and so the need for changing the traffic and parking scene emerges. Heavy fines imposed strictly will change at least 95 per cent of the community. People in developed western countries adhere to rules because of strict fines. With time these things become part of their nature. Indians also need the same treatment.

A host of problems start when people sitting in their homes get the driving licence. People don’t know the basic rules of driving. How to take the right turn is one of the simplest things which most of the drivers don’t care. Parents feel proud to boast that their 12-year-old son can drive a car. There is no fear of getting the driving licence cancelled. We can easily get another made.

Marking of the roads should be the top priority. Starting from all major highways to city roads. Lanes differentiating left, right and straight movement have to be marked.

The use of the back view mirror on the left side of the vehicle really improves the driving sense. The need for maintaining proper distance between moving vehicles should be adhered to very strictly. Ban the use of all kinds of horns. Impatient drivers start blowing the horns even on little congestion on the roads. Implementation of the “Stop, Look and Go” signs should be done on priority. This can save many pedestrians from fatal accidents.

Drunken driving needs severe punishment. A life-time ban on driving should be imposed on such drivers. A clear demarcation of space is required at parking places. Vehicles must park at the right angle and the marked place only. Parking places are always scant in city hearts. Areas near the prime places should be marked for higher parking fee whereas the distant ones should be very nominally charged or kept free.

S. P. SINGH, Chandigarh Punjab Civil Medical Services

Frivolous petitions

This refers to the report “HC imposes costs on frivolous petitions” (Feb 28) by Saurabh Malik. With the higher judiciary rejecting public interest litigation cases and discouraging non-governmental organisations and public-spirited persons by imposing unjustified costs on the ground of "frivolous litigation", the two basic essentials of good governance —accountability and transparency — would elope from every organ of the administration and the courts would be solely responsible for this tragedy.

Then it would be too late to repent for the wrong precedents set forth by my lords!



A friend of mine driving his scooter at night fell into a one and a half foot pothole as he could not see it because there was neither any indication nor any lighting system on the newly constructed road. Many people gathered there but nobody came for help because of the fear of the police. My friend, the only son of a husbandless wife, got brain-haemorrhage and died the same day at the age of only 23. He lost his life due to the carelessness of society/the road constructing authorities.


Declare assets

There is a lot of talk about the elimination of corruption by the new government. Now will the new ministers and MLAs declare there assets to the public openly or just make the rituals of declaring this to the CM ?


Use of narcotics

Earlier, the poorer strata of voters were content to exchange their votes for blankets, portable TV sets, pressure cookers or a pair of clothings. The role of the musclemen and money from the underworld was well established. What has stirred my sensibilities is the fact that contending rivals distributed poppy husk sachets and liquor pouches to drug addicts to solicit the support and vote of the electorate. So blinding is the quest for power that the larger interest of society is grossly compromised by the men who are supposed to protect it.



This was written on the rear side of a truck going ahead of me on the Chhachhrauli-Yamunanagar road:

"Marne ke baad mein ek aur gunah karunga,

Log to paidal honge aur main kandhon pe chalunga."


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