Saturday, May 18, 2002, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi



Ravi Sidhu case & beyond: a testing time ahead for everyone

There is no denying the fact that the people are alert and alive to the misdeeds of politicians, bureaucrats and public servants. But they require lead, guidance, ignition, motivation and truthful information by people of sound integrity and proven commitment. Mr Hari Jaisingh did a yeoman’s service by highlighting in a very bold manner (May 10) the issues which are eating into the very vitals of society.

Our political, social and moral system has degenerated to such an extent that we can call this a cancerous condition, which requires a major operation. The greedy and unscrupulous politicians and public servants are bent upon hijacking every institution of the civilised world for their personal gains and thus, bring the country to a shameful fall.

Capt Amarinder Singh deserves all praise for launching a crusade against corruption by exposing the misdeeds of sharks like Ravi Sidhu. It is really a matter of deep concern that he alone swallowed the fortunes of a number of intelligent, hard-working and efficient youngsters. You are right when you say that nothing can be more shameful than the exploitation of the youth by denying them the right to get jobs on merit, and getting jobs instead by bribing touts. High-handedness, despotism and crookedness by persons like Ravi Sidhu ultimately prove disastrous for the nation as a whole. It leads to the brain-drain of efficiency and intelligence from the country.

Dr DHARMINDER SINGH UBHA, Phallewal Khurd (Sangrur)


Speaking truthfully

I have read the letters “Why read” and “Commoners ignored” of Mr S.P. Singh and Mr Manjitinder Singh Johal respectively with keen relish (May 8).

I do not become inflated on hearing praise nor flare up when someone disparages me. Ghalib said: “Ghalib bura na maan jo vaaiz bura kahey/ Aisa bhi koi hai ke sab achchha kahein jisey?”

The couplet “Yahi haalat rahi josh-e-junoon ki to “Asar” ik din/Zameen ugley gi sho’ley aasmaan sey khoon barsey ga” quoted by him depicts the alarming political situation obtaining in the country and warns those indulging in shedding innocent blood in the name of religion, of the horrible consequences the nation may have to face if communal violence is not put to an end.

Many decades ago, Allama Iqbal declared: “Na samjho gey to mit jaao gey ai Hindustan-waalo/Tumhaari daastaan tak bhi na ho gi daastaanon mein.” It is a pity that Hindustan-waalas have not, so far, taken this warning seriously.

Over to Mr Johal. I very candidly say that I am not a man of light and leading, but a humble member of the commonality having just mediocre abilities. About the mentioning of my name in his pleasant “gilah”, suffice it to say: “Zikr mera mujh sey behtar hai ke us maihfil mein hai.


Kaifi Azmi

It was the year 1949 when the fifth all-India conference of the Progressive Writers Association was to be held at Bombay but the then C.M. of Maharashtra, Mr Morarji Desai banned it as the progressive writers were supporting the Telengana movement, opposed by the Congress. So the venue was shifted to Bhimbari, a small town 30 miles away from Bombay. The conference was attended, among others, by Dr Mulk Raj Anand, Dr Abdul Alim, Ali Sardar Jafri, Krishan Chander, Majrooh, Sahir, Majaz, Ismat Chughtai, Jazbi, Makhdoom Mahayiuddin and Dr Ram Bilas Sharma, who was elected the next General Secretary of the P.W.A.

Kaifi Azmi, one of the main organisers of the conference, was the stage secretary. During all sessions he looked full of fervour and fun even. It was an important conference as after a heated discussion the resolution favouring the hard line was passed and any suggestion of compromise with the establishment was pooh-poohed. At the end, as writers began to disperse, Kaifi Azmi burst into tears. All were surprised. Krishan Chander told the few writers present there that Kaifi had received the information about his first-born son’s death in infancy. Had he grieved during the conference, the enthusiastic atmosphere of it would have been spoiled. He did his duty first and then expressed his heart-felt grief as an affectionate father. How brave and dutiful he was!


Kaifi in Ambala: I had the good fortune of hearing Kaifi Sahib a couple of years ago at the Rukmini Devi Hall, Ambala Cantt, where an Indo-Pak mushaira was held. His admirers kept waiting for him till 2 a.m. when he was helped on to the stage. He was in frail health. He apologised for turning up late. He used to recite extempore. But that night he groped for a piece of paper in his kurta to recite the following lines, conveying to an upstart who had written in an Urdu journal that Kaifi did not know how to read and write:

Busti main upni Hindoo Musalmaan jo bus gaye,

Insaan ki shakl dekhne ko hum taras gaye.

Kache makan chand gire bhi to kya hua,

Badal barsne aaye the akar baras gaye.

Bus ab garibi jaane he waali hai mulk se,

Yeh sunte sunte umr ke sattur baras gaye.


Disrespectful: Apropos your editorial “Kaifi Azmi”, (May 11), it would have been better if you had excluded “Ram Ka Doosra Banwas” from the tally as it does not add a secular feather to the cap of the poet. This poem is hurtful to the Hindu sentiment because it is disrespectful to Lord Rama.


Pension arrears

With due respect I submit that I am an 85-year-old pensioner and have been drawing pension from the Treasury at Phagwara which owes me Rs 18,460 that has been sanctioned by the Accountant General, Punjab. I was informed about this through two letters (dated Sept. 5, 2000 and April 10, 2001) by the Senior Accounts Officer, AG, Punjab. A copy of the letter was also sent to the DEO (Primary), Jalandhar, for sanction. After that I have not received any information from any officer/office.

At this age I cannot go from office to office in different cities to get my work done. The treasury officers at Kapurthala and Phagwara and the District Education Officer (Primary), Jalandhar, are requested to release my arrears at the earliest.

BHAGWANT KAUR, ChandigarhTop

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