Wednesday, May 8, 2002, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi



From despair to hope, and beyond

The Tribune on May 3 carried two reports — one of uncommon villainy from Jalandhar and the other of nobility from Chandigarh.

The medical authorities in Jalandhar stand fully discredited for the callous manner they handled the birth of a baby-girl of a poor family. Mr Kashmir Singh has shown remarkable perseverance and courage in fighting the medical authorities to seek redress for the distress caused by their apathy to his wife, Balwinder Kaur's pathetic labour for three hours. The baby-girl was born in this ugly world after a sympathetic Class IV employee brought a stretcher for the woman-in-labour. However, the medical officer, the Superintendent and the nursing staff did subsequently ask the poor family to provide cotton, injections and gloves. The Civil Surgeon was also not helpful.

The other is a genuinely heart-warming story. The nobility of Dr Deepak Kaura, a private heart specialist of Sector 15, Chandigarh, leaves me completely bowled over. An indigent kulfi-seller, Sri Balkrishan (44), who had a serious heart ailment needing sophisticated diagnosis and treatment, was treated almost free of costs. Unimaginable. The cost of treatment (Rs 2 lakh) was decidedly impossible for the dependent wife and four daughters, and the patient’s brother. Such humanity of Dr Deepak Kaura and his team redeems the noble profession's esteem and mankind's faith in its goodness.


Can’t we self-glorifying teachers, who live in and around Chandigarh and claim some skill and scholarship in different disciples, join hands voluntarily in our autumnal years to guide, help and encourage poor bright children of a lesser God to enable them to make it to the highest IITs, AIIMS, IIMS and the civil services or undertake great adventures in science totally free, if necessary in a public Gurukul (maybe at Leisure Valley)? Who knows we may be able to see some of our future Nobel aspirants, great authors, judges, administrators rolling out of the free Gurukul. Any takers? I am game.

DHARMENDRA GOEL , 38-A, Swastik Vihar, Panchkula


The much hyped and historic referendum is now finally over and, as expected, it gave the General whatever he hoped for — a prolonged hold on power just like Zia. From what I have gathered (through the Internet, being in London) it appeared to be a re-run of the 1977 elections but only in a much peaceful manner, perhaps as the people just don’t care anymore. This entire costly exercise would neither provide any relief to Mr Musharraf from the haunting nightmares of being an illegitimate ruler nor would bring forth any meaningful changes in the lives of the people. At best to any neutral observer this would put in the last nail in the coffin of the institution of the Army, simply because.

An army is neither trained nor maintained for this particular job in any country and we of all people should have realised this by now (after 1971).

I just happen to think: is the General “personally” qualified for the job due to his vast experience or was the Supreme Court’s validation of the referendum meant that the next COAS or perhaps all Chiefs would be equally talented to lead us? As in the army chain of command the next man immediately steps in to fill the void.

As expected my dead grandfather did actually turn up to put in a few “yes” votes not only for himself but on my behalf as well, I guess we all have to do our bit for the sake of “genuine democracy”.



Why read?

“Blessed are those who never read (newspapers)”, is the old adage. Francis Bacon, however, said: “Reading maketh a full man, conference a ready man and writing an exact man”. But in the present socio-political scenario the more you read, write or confer on socio-political and socio-economic issues, the more depressed and melancholic you get. What happens in Gujarat, Punjab, UP, North-East or for that matter in any part of the country makes on sit up and lament in the words of the great Urdu bard who said:

“Yehi hallat rahi josh-o-junoon ki, to ‘Assar’ ik din,

Zameen ugley gi sholey, aasman se khoon barsega”.

Over to Mr Bhagwan Singh of Qadian whose letters in these columns, laced with beautiful Urdu rhymes, couplets and anecdotes make highly thought-provoking, stimulating and delightful reading to enthuse and inspire the readers.

S. P. SINGH, Chandigarh

PPSC experience

I cannot resist myself from writing my experience with the Punjab Public Service Commission, where I took a screening test and attended an interview afterwards for the post of Headmaster 11 years ago. I did extremely well in the test and in the interview as well, but so far I have repeatedly failed to find out where I did wrong that I could not make to the list of successful candidates. I along with some of other unsuccessful candidates filed a writ petition in the Punjab and Haryana High Court. As the PPSC could not produce the commission members’ resolution on the accepted selection criteria as asked by the high court and for some other irregularities, the selection was quashed.

This happened after a few years, when selected candidates already had served for about two years as Headmasters. then the selected candidates, the PPSC and the Govt of Punjab went to the Supreme Court and got the decision reversed simply because the unsuccessful candidates had lost interest in the snail-paced justice. I believe that corruption has been going on in the PPSC for the last many years.


Bureaucracy’s role

The Punjab bureaucracy’s opposition to the registration of a case by the Vigilance Bureau against an IAS officer without the permission of a three-member committee is likely to blunt the campaign launched against corruption by Capt Amarinder Singh. The case against IAS officer and six other persons has been registered by the bureau in connection with the filling of nine posts of Junior Engineer in the reserved handicapped category.

To my knowledge, there are no legal provisions in place which disallow the registration of a case against an IAS officer. It was just an internal arrangement made by the bureaucracy. There are several IAS officers whose names figure in various other scams. If they are not to be arrested or interrogated, it will be very difficult for Capt Amarinder Singh to live up to his claim that he has directed the officers concerned to get to the bottom of all scams.

Moreover, if a Chief Engineer, a DDPO can be arrested, why can’t an IAS officer be arrested or interrogated? When a PPSC Chairman who holds a Constitutional post can be arrested by the bureau, why cannot others be arrested? Corruption cannot be eliminated by catching small fry and sparing bigwigs.

Dr NARESH RAJ, Patiala

Cops’ reinstatement

In “Sucking the system with political blessings” (May 1) the writer has given a few cases of policemen who got themselves reinstated. It is not difficult to imagine how much money might have exchanged hands in these cases when their appeals against their dismissals were rejected even by the apex court.

There were several other policemen who were dismissed from service due to their long absence only. Many of them who could pay a few lakhs were reinstated and others have been left to themselves. If an enquiry is done it would unearth dozens of culprits even bigger than Ravi Sidhu.

Major NARINDER SINGH JALLO (retd), Kapurthala

Commoners ignored

The letters’ column has been hijacked by retired Colonels, Majors and of late by Principals, Professors, Deans etc, thanks to the controversy shrouding the Punjabi University VC. And, of course, you never ignore Bhagwan Singh of Qadian. I have full regard for the precious notes of these intellectuals and do not object their views adorning your paper. But a common reader should not be denied a share of this column. I am hundred and one per cent sure that my this letter will not be published.


Old age insurance

If there is something of interest to you on every page of the daily paper -- news, foreign news, sports, theatre, music, books, stock exchange — you are very much alive. Not only does this mean continually enlarging your curiosity, but it is the best form of insurance against old age.



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