Thursday, May 23, 2002, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi



Impose trade, travel sanctions against Pak

The Pakistan armed forces have been ruling their country with an iron grip and dismissing their democratically elected governments always with the promise to usher in real democracy. The premiers who showed even a semblance of independence were either hanged or have been on the run to save their lives. They have very successfully integrated terrorism as a low-cost, low-risk instrument of war and after unclear nuclear tests have been blackmailing with nuclear threats to facilitate disengagement should a war take place! Terrorism has already brought Pakistan to the brink.

There is no sure way to safeguard against determined suicidal attacks — even in the most powerful and highly vigilant nations except to be more cautious and letting those who perpetrate terrorism pay heavily for their misadventures. In the post-Sept 11 scenario, fomenting trouble in Kashmir remains the best preoccupation for the Taliban cadres now on the run.

The following steps can be envisaged: (a) severance of all diplomatic and cultural ties (b) imposing trade and travel sanctions (c) deporting all Pak nationals living clandestinely in India, (d) effectively controlling water flow from our rivers (e) rebuilding Afghanistan and strengthening its armed forces (f) going on a diplomatic offensive and (g) helping Pakistan to return to democracy — possibly by having their civilian govt-in-exile.

The world will eventually appreciate the limits of tolerance exhibited by us so far, but putting up any further with terrorism would send wrong signals of weakness.

Raghubir Singh, Pune


Who is at fault?

India is a (blunder)ful country. Get up early in the morning and start counting your blessings. Early in the morning, there will be no water supply, switch on the motor and get it, if there is power supply. Otherwise switch on the generator, spend extra on diesel, bear with the haunting noise and choking smoke. Some how you manage to get ready for the day. Getting to work, bear with the thick automotive exhaust and heaps of stinking garbage greet you. Some work in the court? Get the ten-rupee affidavit for twentyfive rupees. Want a driving licence? Pay under the table and you are automatically 18, no matter you later cause an accident or become a victim of it. Paying electricity/telephone bills? The clerk is not in his seat. Roads were recently built with nice planning for new sewage connections and for telephone lines they are dug again —- this is how we generate employment! Enquiring train arrival? The phone is dead or not being answered. Want an emergency medical service? The casualty deptt is having its casual tea. About the police, you know better. The media has to publish only juicy items for a prompt sale whatever be the outcome in a country of multi-ethnicity.

Whose line is it anyway? Are we immune to being corrected? Who is at fault? The system needs a thorough cleansing. The changing political scenario is putting curbs on the general public and is trying to root out corruption from the grassroots level. It will be successful only if started from above. Otherwise it is just eyewash of which an average conscious Indian is highly fed up.

Vigilance raids are being carried out on the Health Department to ensure smooth operations, from teachers the government needs affidavits for not doing tuition work and are being arrested, thus the easy targets are being victimised just to show off that steps are being taken to curb the corrupt and corruption.

What about an affidavit from our leaders about honest working? It is they who indulge in malpractices to the largest extent, constitute the highest percentage of corrupt modes to eat away public money, thus making a mockery of the system and yet expect others to be loyal and honest to their duties and the country. The cleansing has to start from above and it is high time for it. The government, instead of expecting high moral values from its citizens, should understand its own responsibilities. It should first itself play a model role so that others can follow.

Don’t let it be nobody’s line, make it everybody’s line so that all breathe easy.

Dr Gaurav Grover, by e-mail


Q: Name three persons who have been given a larger-than-life image by the media?

Ans: Simranjit Singh Mann, Maninderjit Singh Bitta and Tarlochan Singh.

K.J.S. Ahluwalia, Amritsar

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