Saturday, May 11, 2002, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi



Why Punjab policemen for Gujarat?

Had the CM, ministers as also politicians of the majority party in Gujarat given a free hand to the bureaucracy and the police, violence would have been brought under control by the police with the help of the Army. The appointment of Mr KPS Gill as Adviser to the CM is a political gimmick to create a “scape-goat” in the shape of the Gujarat police and divert the gaze away from the real perpetrators of the genocide.

Mr Gill is a strong-willed officer but he is used to having his way. As Adviser, he will be impotent since operations on the ground will be by the local police, who will always and rightly so look towards their political bosses. Mr Gill is an outsider and a transient. The success of measures recommended by him will depend on the co-operation and policy of the CM and his political associates. Realising this, Mr Gill is asking for some officers from the Punjab Police who have worked with him and one or more police battalions also from Punjab.

This move of Mr Gill is fraught with dangers. Why should the Punjab Police get involved in establishing law and order in Gujarat under a Punjabi/Sikh officer! The majority community and the political party in power as also the RSS/Bajrang Dal are blind with rage against a minority community and anyone coming in their way in this perceived “dharam yudh” will be considered as the villain/enemy number one. Let Mr Gill be considered so but why should Punjab and in turn Punjabis/Sikhs be so considered by the vast majority of Gujaratis? It is not a far-fetched scenario that the majority community in Gujarat may get after the Punjabis/Sikhs in future, given some real/imagined provocation.


Therefore, the right course for Mr Gill will be to ask for more Central security forces like the CRPF, if in his judgement outside security forces are essential. Asking for battalions of the Punjab Police will be a big mistake and the Chief Minister of Punjab should put his foot down.


Rape for revenge

The statement attributed to George Fernandes on rape of women is only politically uncomfortable, otherwise it is a fact of life. The day the controversy brewed in Parliament we read of a judgement by the Supreme Court punishing the Congressmen accused of raping an Orissa journalist. Another woman was gang-raped for daring to levy charges against some high-ranking official in Orissa. That rape two decades back was taken as a revenge.

Everyone knows that since time immemorial the izzat of a woman has been used to take revenge on opponents. In times of communal or other riots, criminals loot, kill and rape women of the opponents. Even Akbar was very particular that he got young women from the family of the defeated kings for his harem, thus breaking the self-respect of the opponents, mainly the Rajputs.

Women, however, free or modern they may be, will continue to be abused physically and sexually by opportunists taking advantage of riots. If today Muslim women have been the victims, then Muslims can also take the blame for indulging in similar atrocities whenever they have found an opportunity during communal riots in India.


Of benevolent dictators

I am developing this sneaking jealousy of the way Pakistan is going under General Musharraf. However, much I try and convince myself that democracy is a good thing, I fail to realise how our brand of “democracy” (all rights, no responsibilities) can be good for us. In fact, I do not know who, except our politicians, are actually benefiting from this “democracy”. France and Singapore have had benevolent dictatorships and look where they are today. The only qualification I’d ask from my dictator would be an overpowering love for my/his/her country. Since this is a season for referendums, lets hold one.




Patwaris & corruption

This refers to news “Vigilance nabs Kairon’s aide” and your editorial comments “skeletons in every cupboard” I recollect during my posting at Amritsar in 1959, the Patwar Union went on strike. Chief Minister Kairon “exhorted the officers to face the “jaib katras” (pickpockets) boldly as they suck the blood of peasantry after 1980 patwaris posted in and around major cities have been minting money in various ways by brokerage of sale and purchase of property in addition to extortion for mutations approval by their superior circle Tehsildars etc. The Amritsar case is not a rare instance. Such examples can be multiplied by probing the assets of patwaris posted for the last 10 years in and around Amritsar, Jalandhar, Ludhiana, Bathinda and Patiala.

My assessments are based on my post-retirement experience from 1982 having reverted to my ancestral profession of farming at Ludhiana.


Badal’s backing?

There are thousands Ravi Sidhus, who suck the blood of working people. Ravi Sidhu could not have done this alone: Badal and associates are part of it. They have ruined thousand of families by not giving opportunities to the eligible. Those who paid bribes for selections might have ruined the lives of more people down the line.

I know one person. His father was a poor farmer having only 3 acres of land and a mud house. He got a job in the FCI as Quality Inspector. Now he has a 50-acre farm, a big kothi and a plot in Mohali, a flat in New Delhi and his son is a full-time student in an American university paying foreign student fee ($ 30,000) and driving a BMW.


Land reforms

One step towards Punjab’s prosperity can be the speedy implementation of land reforms. Even the Union Finance Minister has emphasised this and he plans to increase the corpus of the fund to Rs 2,000 crore earmarked for states implementing land reforms. In a recent TV show it was mentioned that the first instalment of this fund will be disbursed in July.

The last SAD-BJP Cabinet had cleared the modified East Punjab Urban Rent Restriction Act, 1949, but due to intense trader lobby, the Act gathered dust in their offices. Other progressive states like Maharashtra, Kerala, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, etc have already implemented this Act.


Public address system

While travelling in train, most passengers face inconvenience as they don’t know whether the station where they are to get down has come or not. One can often see passengers asking this question to one another, particularly at night. To help passengers to get down at their respective stations, the railway authorities should introduce a public address system in all trains for giving details about the next railway station and the duration of its halt at that station.

V.K. KAPUR, Panchkula

HPSC result

Where and when will it end? As expected, another H.C.S. and allied services result in which all the plum posts have gone to the kith and kin of politicians and bureaucrats. The HPSC is corrupt beyond our imagination.


Expose them

Publish the names and assets of corrupt ministers, MLAs, MPs and officials whenever they are caught. Publish every detail of how they acquired the properties, cash etc.

MAHENDER, by e-mail

Speak out

People should speak boldly against the spoilers of society by acting upon Urdu poet Faiz’s advice:

“Bol ke lab azad hain tere,

Jisam-o-zuban ki maut se paihle,

Bol jo kuchh kaihna hai kaih le.”



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