Thursday, June 6, 2002, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi



Economic sanctions can help avoid war

As the British Press has reported, there is little concern on the streets of Delhi regarding the potential nuclear war between India and Pakistan, which The Guardian says could be as close as the 2nd week of June (the war starting then, and possibly rapidly degenerating into nuclear).

Very few outside India understand the Indian psychology, which if the West understands can be put to use to stop the war immediately.

Indians are more concerned about daily issues than about life and death. Put another way, Indians will not throw out a government for imposing a war on them which will kill millions, but will throw out governments for allowing the price of tomatoes and onions to be increased by Rs 5 (10 cents).

The West can do much to stop this war if it understands this basic fundamental of Indian/Indian subcontinentís mentality. All that the West has to do is to put a total economic embargo on the defaulting country and within no time will that country come down on all fours. Did Musharraf not yield totally to American demands recently during the Afghanistan war when it was threatened with economic sanctions?



Of rape & punishment

This is truly a manís world that is why the rape of a woman (or a child) is just a report in a newspaper. If only it were a womanís world, a rapist would have got harsher punishment than even a murderer. He would have been castrated. Even a wild animal wonít do the act with an immature female. What punishment do they get? Nothing, they are not even caught. All the punishment is given to the victim and her family. Whether it is the rape of a three-year-old or a woman by men in religious places, this becomes just news.

We have no faith in the police or courts as all people there are men, for them rape is no big offence. There is not even a single man who can give the death sentence to the rapist. That is why this crime is becoming so common. I feel helpless as being a woman. I request you to publish pictures of rapists so that people can spit on their faces.

Prof P. KAUR by e-mail



No salary, no tuitions...

I am a senior (college) lecturer in English at Hoshiarpur. I have never taken up private tuitions and have no other source of income. The teaching staff in our college has not received any salary for the past three months as the Punjab Government has not released the grants due to the private aided colleges.

I can explain to my young daughters why we cannot go out for holidays. I can explain to the grocer why he should not expect any money from me in the near future. I can request the milkman to bear with me. But what do I tell the ICICI from whom I have taken a loan and who expects all my post-dated cheques to be honoured? I have already borrowed money for three months to ensure that my cheques do not bounce but it may not be possible to do so next month.

I believe it is a criminal offence if a cheque is dishonoured due to lack of money in the account. If I cannot arrange for the money in July and have to go to jail, will the honourable Chief Minister, the Education Minister and the Education Secretary teach my classes? Will these honourable men pay for the lawyers who will contest the case for me? Will these honourable men help in any way?

I do not know but I do know that when my daughters were small and I had a firm offer from Canada I should have taken it. I should have tried to get an assignment abroad as a United Nations volunteer. I should never have returned from Bhutan where I worked for three years. But at 43 I can just think of what could have been and wait for these honourable men to fulfil their commitments.

DEEP INDER, Hoshiarpur

Arms licences

There seems to be no eligibility criteria laid down by the government for the issue of arms licences. The one-line direction that arms licences would be issued selectively empowers the officials to use their discretion wildly. I know of a case where an ex-serviceman whose pleas that his house was located outside the village and his family consisting of more female members, was prone to robberies and acts of criminal violence failed to evince any positive response from the official concerned.

In the absence of any clear-cut instructions from the government, the officials have set their own preconditions for consideration of such applications as this officer needs an FIR lodged by the licence seeker against some person/persons. Whether the officer is right or wrong, it is for the people to judge but to me an exhaustive criteria, if formulated and displayed in front of such offices, will curtail the role of whims and fancies of public servants.

Col. KULDIP SINGH GREWAL (retd), Patiala

Increments stopped

As my two increments were stopped by the Haryana Education Department without holding any inquiry, I sought relief as per the law laid down by the apex court in the case of Kulwant Singh Gill vs State of Punjab (SLR 1990 (6) page 73) vide my representation dated 28.9.91. The law says that a penalty without an inquiry is per se illegal. Will the Haryana government ensure rule of law?

O. P. BHATT, Ambala Cantt


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