Saturday, June 29, 2002
M A I L  B O X

How to handle compulsive talkers

KHUSHWANT Singh, in his column headlined "How to handle compulsive talkers" (June 8),has named me, my brother Dr M S Gill, former Chief Election Commissioner, and our late father, Col. Pratap Singh Gill, in another context and neatly deflected issues and matters concerning him and his column. Instead of replying to matters which perceptive readers raise very legitimately from time to time, he launches into a general lecture by lumping together some personalities and non-personalities,who are not even remotely connected with what a particular reader has commented upon with regard to his column.He disregards what does not suit him.

In fact, Khushwant Singh is so full of himself that at a party hosted at my house,he did not even condescend to talk to fellow writers present, who were certainly of no less standing than him. About me, he writes,"He came and launched on a long bit of advice on what I should be writing." In response, all I would like to say is that he is not some god who cannot take a piece of advice given to him in all sincerity by a fellow writer about getting down to some serious writing instead of the mundane column that he inflicts on us every week. I had told him that he can write better and more serious stuff. I will repeat this advice time and again hoping against hope that better sense will ultimately prevail upon him.


All the personalities mentioned in his column [June 8], may or may not be compulsive talkers as Khushwant Singh seems to feel. Moreover, my father, Colonel Gill, is no more and cannot answer him. Singh obviously believes in talking about people when they are dead and partaking of their hospitality when they were alive! To my mind, this is not a very desirable trait

Chairman, Chandigarh Sahitya Akademi

Dog menace

Aditi Tandon’s write-up "Combating the menace of stray dogs" (June 1) is conspicuous by the absence of any effective suggestion to combat the menace of stray dogs. Contrary to what the writer says, the use of 14 injections as post-bite treatment is a health hazard has been banned and is no longer recommended. Also, the virus can remain active for at least 30 days in glycerine at 40 degree Celsius or when frozen. The writer has not mentioned the necessity of wearing good quality gloves while treating a dog-bite wound. This omission can be the cause of virus transmission if the person treating such a wound has broken skin.

Sterilising 20 dogs a week is ridiculous when the dog population of an area runs into lakhs. The equation between the sterilisation and the population of dogs explosion can never get balanced.


Lincoln & Kennedy

This is with reference to the item ‘Coincidences’ in Funpoint (June 1). To complete the list of coincidences, both Kennedy and Lincoln were shot at the back of their heads. Both the killers belonged to the same town. The killer of Lincoln shot him at a theatre and ran towards a car while the assassin of Kennedy killed him in a car and rushed towards a theatre. The P.A. of Lincoln was a Kennedy and the P.A. of Kennedy was a Lincoln.


Nehru’s imprisonment

This refers to the article, "A tribute to Indian Einstein" by Tejendra Khanna (June 15). The writer says that Nehru wrote to Dr P.S. Gill in 1945 from Dehra Dun Jail. In 1945, Nehru was not in Dehra Dun Jail but in Ahmed Nagar Fort Jail and in early 1945 shifted to Almora Jail as by that time all leaders interred from August 1942 in Ahmed Nagar Fort were shifted to their respective provinces. Before the Simla Conference announced by Lord Wavell, Nehru was released from Almora Jail in March 1945.