Wednesday, May 22, 2002, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi


War is a problem in itself

A very limited number of people are crying hoarse that the government is inactive after moving the forces to the front line and they are worried about the daily expenditure after the move as well. They are getting restless to see the gathering war clouds. They need to be reminded of the outcome of the 1965 war.

War is a problem in itself and not the solution of any problem (Jang khud ek masla hai/Maslon ka hal yeh kia hogi). Days of acquiring vast areas through war for settling your own population there or otherwise fulfilling the desire of the monarch are over.

Pakistan never had any head of state who could strongly deal with fundamentalists. They are harming the country to the extent possible. With pressure from America, Gen Musharraf has come down on them heavily. We can only hope that good sense prevails upon the hardliners and they cooperate with the General. With an extension in his tenure, he may be able to show some results.

Pakistan’s living in peace is a favour to India in the bargain. The chief state executive is wise enough to see through all this. Straining of diplomatic relations further is no good and amounts to depriving ourselves of an opportunity for dialogue from time to time which would have to be done through a third country in case diplomatic missions are closed.



Don’t we know that after the full-fledged war and subsequent escalation, the international community the United Nations come into action resulting in negotiations and the bone of contention, the core issue crops in, which we don’t want to discuss in the presence of a third party saying for the last half a century that we would sort it out bilaterally?

It is high time that different forums, clubs, colleges and universities apprise the people through seminars of what is good and what is bad for the country and the crux of the Kashmir problem. Not only in India but in Pakistan as well, people seem to have been swayed by notions under the garb of so-called nationalism.

Capt MOHINDER SINGH (retd), Patiala

Who are the corrupt?

It is heartening to see that people are deadly against corruption and the new Chief Minister has arrested one civil servant. But it seems that nobody thinks why there is corruption in India. Who is responsible for making civil servants and politicians corrupt? It is the common people who are the most corrupt. They bribe instead of making noises.

I stayed in Bangalore for a couple of years and was amused and disgusted at the same time when I was invited to a party to celebrate a telephone connection. While having beer I was told that this man had given a Rs 10,000 bribe to get the phone before his next door neighbour gets his. By the way, we get phones within two hours here in Australia and many thanks from public servants.



Sidhus among us

Society as it has evolved in the modern era has started accepting certain wrong practices as a way of life. We don’t even blink our eye at certain wrong acts that are committed in front of our eyes everyday. The postman asked for the “baksheesh” in lieu of safe delivery of our post, the TTE of a train asking for money for the last-minute reservation, PCOs charging more than the bill slip, the policeman accepting tips for passport verification, driving licences still being made by agents without the actual test, people buying things without bills to evade tax, schools charging donations for admission even at the nursery level, companies operating under different names to give multiple quotations for making sales at inflated rates, unaccountability of BCCI’s selectors, the disruption of Parliament proceedings on useless issues by our parliamentarians wasting so much of our resources, running certain operations even in loss because of political considerations are such criminal acts that we have seen and have been a part of some or the other.

We are so used to them that these are accepted by us something very normal. So stop these preachings about one particular individual (Ravi Sidhu) whose biggest fault in this ocean of malpractitioners seems to be his inability to evade the law for ever. Although one thing which distinguishes this episode from the others is its magnitude. It seems to be larger than life. Many of us might have seen so much of cash (recovered from his lockers) for the first time in our lives. The three morals of the story are. (1) “Lalach ka fal bura” (2) “Ant bure ka bura” (3) “Bura jo dekhan main chala, mujh se bura na koi”.


Badal-Sidhu nexus

As a very old Tribune reader, I used to have the impression that, by and large, the daily lacked in what is called “investigative journalism”, maybe in order to avoid any controversy. However, some recent editorials and extensive indulgence culminating in the publication of the letters the immediate past Chief Minister of Punjab had written to the Prime Minister for making Ravi Sidhu a member of the UPSC show that this shortcoming no more exists. Congratulations!

The nexus is now obvious between the former CM and the Chairman of the PPSC. It would be appropriate to delve into what made the earlier Congress Chief Minister appoint Ravi Sidhu on this high position. Thank God, this “epitome of corruption” did not become a member of the UPSC; otherwise, he would have spread this cancer on an all-India basis. Punjab will take at least 50 years to redeem the after-effects of his activities.

A former member of the PPSC has justified his son’s appointment, a high-grade functionary of the Government of Haryana has followed suit, justifying his daughter’s appointment, fearing a spillover to Haryana. A man from Vancouver wants Sidhu to be treated humanely. Many innocent people die of police torture. This man never felt any discomfort. Mr S.S. Bains from Chandigarh has chided the lawyers for overstepping their limits. What further evidence does Mr Bains want in the given circumstances. Does he expect the judges to give in writing to the PPSC Chairman to favour their sons and daughters? A trend has started and we may soon have an “Association of the Aggrieved Appointees” and they will start a concerted move to justify what Sidhu did. Very good!

ARAVIND, Chandigarh

A victim of corruption

I felt a brunt of corruption when on 12.05.2002. I happened to visit my native place, Dhilwan. On landing at Amritsar airport, my luggage was checked and cleared by security persons. The man who x-rayed the luggage asked for “kharcha” (10 pounds), which was not agreed to by me. I boarded a car waiting for me outside and moved further.

When we reached Verka Chowk at 10 a.m., we were stopped by the traffic police and charged me for loosely fastening the safety belt. Being in a hurry and not very well conversant with the things in vogue, I begged pardon for the lapse. They were reluctant perhaps on seeing my foreign luggage in the car. I offered the vehicle be challaned but that was also refused. One man from them came very close to me and asked “saadi sewa” (our service)? I gave him a hundred rupee currency note and moved ahead. I left the place with pain saying “O, God save my country”.



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