Wednesday, May 29, 2002, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi



Glaring gaps in PPSC scam probe

Your front-page report “PPSC scam probe: glaring gaps, 31 ‘missing’ names” (May 23) is in the highest traditions of journalism for its restraint, factual detail, suggestion and public interrogation of those in power. The Tribune has emerged as a lighthouse in a sea of all-enveloping darkness. I wish every common Indian who feels dispossessed and alienated should take inspiration from you and light at least a candle to fight the powers of darkness.

There are countless societies, clubs and other public interest organisations in every part of India. These pay disproportionately great attention to trifling matters. I wonder if it is not their duty at this juncture to build public opinion against corruption and exert pressure on the government to bring out the complete truth in the interest of justice. We need a veritable war of the masses to be declared on corruption. Nothing less will do.

Corruption has infected the very life-blood of our political parties. How can the Congress claim immunity when it has lived longest with the disease? Perhaps the campaign against corruption, is not really intended to check corruption but merely to further jack up the rates of various posts eventually.

Meanwhile, the potential adversaries in the administration and elsewhere can be “secretly found out”, blackmailed and co-opted to buy their silence for the future: the dubious conduct of the Vigilance in the Sidhu probe augurs precisely this. The show will go on after the illusory anti-corruption interlude is over.

Dr RAJESH K. SHARMA, Hoshiarpur


Carry on: Congratulations on the front-page report on the PPSC recruitment scandal, (May 23). It is everybody’s duty to see that this case does not die a premature death. The Tribune, being the voice of the masses, should continue this crusade against corruption in the higher echelons until it is completely weeded out from society.

I was pleased to read another news item regarding a possible vigilance inquiry against a former Chairman of the PPSC.

The year 1993 saw the end of terrorism in Punjab, but the beginning of terrorism of another kind. This terrorism was not depriving people of their lives, but depriving the deserving people of their legitimate right of serving their state. I can say this with absolute conviction because I myself have been a victim of this.


Akbar & Rajputs

This refers to the letter “Rape for revenge”, in which Mr Udita Aggarwal has said that Akbar got young women belonging to defeated kings for his harem, thus breaking the self-respect of his opponents, mainly the Rajputs. This is not based on facts.

Akbar played a great role in the social, economic, religious and political activities in India. That is why he is still remembered as “Akbar the Great”.

Akbar had realised that he could not rule the whole India without the great Rajputs. So, he started accommodating Rajputs in his regime and even his personal life. Akbar married Rani Yodha Bai (a Rajput girl) who gave birth to Jahangir. Raja Maan Singh and other top warriors of Rajput kingdoms graced the Mughal army. He never tried to abuse women for his personal or political gains.




Why not sell Chandigarh?

The health of Punjab’s economy is not hidden from anybody. Over the years, it has gone from the firepan to fire. The previous Akali-BJP regime reduced it to ashes. Badal & co. seemed to have worked on one-point programme: corruption for all as evidenced by daily discoveries of corruption cases pertaining to his (mis) rule. Nobody bothered to close the tap of lavish expenditure despite knowing that the reservoir is getting empty. Spending notes for fetching votes became a habit. And partial blame for spoiling the Akali-BJP’s governance also goes to Prime Minister Vajpayee for giving free aid whenever asked for, notwithstanding its harmful impact in the long run.

Earlier, Mr Gujral had been following the same route. And this has led us to a ditch. It looked the guiding principle of the previous coalition govt was :

Lootna hai to loot le, Desh tera hai loot. Phir pache pachtaoge, jab kursi jaegi chhoot.

Now Capt Amarinder Singh is doing his best to rejuvenate the economy by bits and pieces. But the state of the economy is such that if we cover our top, our bottom is bared and when we cover the bottom, we are left bare on the top. Even the budget, which is a plan for going broke methodically, can’t help. Except for the birth and death of a person, almost everything else has been taxed.

Needless to add, ever since Chandigarh has been built, it has remained a source of controversy and conflict for Punjab. It’s a sort of a jinxed city as far as Punjab is concerned. Otherwise also, it is till date not a part & parcel of the state of Punjab. Even if by a stroke of a kick, it comes into Punjab’s lap, the state would not be in a position to maintain it.

So I have an idea which I want to float: why not forgo our demand for Chandigarh and instead ask for a handsome and hefty compensation. Surely, Patiala could be the capital and part of the compensatory money received could be spent on Patiala’s expansion and the rest to bring the Punjab economy back on the rails. In my opinion, this is the only magic formula by which Punjab’s financial muscle can be again made strong and financial health restored from anaemic to rose pink. Plus, Patiala would regain its old glory and make the Maharaja happy and gay. As for Chandigarh, I would conclude by taking shelter behind a couplet:

“Baaz aye aisee mohabbat se hum

Utha lo paandan apana!”

K.J.S. AHLUWALIA, Amritsar


Theatre near school

A new cinema hall has been set up at Solan just in front of the Senior Secondary School for Girls. How could the authorities allow this disregarding the rules and regulations?

J. CHANDER, Anji (Barog)

Sex determination

The move to get ultrasound centres registered with the government is a good idea but unqualified persons should not be allowed registration.

If the government really wants to stop sex-determination tests, it should discuss the matter with specialists.

B.L. JAIN, Malerkotla

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