Tuesday, July 30, 2002, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi


Free power can be promised, but not supplied

AT the dawn of Independence, when Parliament was graced with the presence and participation by the people with national spirit, India started in the right direction with the right emphasis on power generation and the dams and power houses were described as the temples of modern India. Come Indira Gandhi, and the emphasis shifted from power generation to power-games. Under the slogan of “Garibi hatao” public money was first used for vote-grab purposes. The politicians never looked back. All the ministries of Punjab since the late seventies are the villains of the power crisis. Treasuries and banks are open to vote-catching schemes, public funds are being used to do what party funds should be doing. There is no money to pay salaries; constructing power houses is out of question.

It is really unfortunate that even now no effort is being made to work out the demand and arrange the supply of electricity for the next year. Ministries and commissioneries are created the day a PM or a CM feels inconvenienced; Why can’t a nuclear-powered power house be constructed in 12 months?



The farmers need to realise that it is better to pay for electricity than to go without electricity. Free electricity can be promised, not supplied. The politicians of the state need to remember that they have been able to ban the use of ACs and still live in air-conditioned comfort simply because their official residences are situated in the Union Territory, not in Punjab. What a shame!

L.R. SHARMA, Solan

Unwarranted holiday

The holiday declared by the Punjab Government on July 29 due to the sudden demise of Vice-President Krishan Kant, is unwarranted and uncalled for. Even the Central government has not declared a holiday on July 29. Declaring a holiday in a bid to give respect to a departed leader is not justified. In fact a pledge to work harder is a better tribute to a tireless worker like the late Mr Krishan Kant. All business, industry, roadways, railways, airways and government offices other than that of the Punjab Government worked on Monday. Already the Punjab Government offices observe a five-day week. Mr Krishan Kant died on Saturday and Saturday naturally could be observed as a holiday. To observe a holiday on July 29 even after the last rites of the departed leader is not justified from any angle.

In fact it gives the impression that government employees find excuses to take holidays. As it is, government offices cannot finish their work in five days a week and how can they afford to have extra holidays on such occasions? Let us hope that holidays on such occasions are discouraged by all governments as our country needs to work harder.

LT. COL S.K. SOOD (retd.), Ludhiana

Internal enemies

An A.K-47 or any other deadly weapon carrying militant is not so dangerous compared to internal enemies of the country. Who are these internal enemies? They are responsible for the day-to-day sufferings of the general public. Mental sickness/harassment by the ill and rotten system of this country is killing more people than cross- border terrorism.

Some of the biggest enemies of the country are: Population explosion; illiterate and corrupt politicians; biased, blamedworthy and wrong reservation policy; unemployment; sycophancy; wastage of public exchequer on non-productive activities by our so-called nation builders; delayed justice; Lack of strict punishment to defaulters; mob violence; wrong education policy; red-tapism; no strong defence policy; no effective foreign policy; no solid agriculture or farmer friendly policy; the widening gap between the rich and the poor; minority-majority discrimination; and regionalism.

The public proclamation of national integration, secularism, LoC, LAC, terrorism and empty boasts will yield no result unless the politicians set their own house in order. The sincere and honest in the civil administration are tucked up and obsequiousness is handsomely rewarded.

Politicians’ undue interference in every sphere of the administration whether it is civil services, sports, defence strategies, religion or shielding the corrupt, insulting the sincere and honest civil servants, we are very much sure will lead this country to disaster. May God bless the drivers of this big bus carrying and still moving with so many (problems) passengers.


Bigotry & violence

Mr Tarlochan Singh, Vice-Chairman, National Commission for Minorities, on his return from the USA, has said that the US Congress and Senate have condemned bigotry and violence against Sikh-Americans in the wake of the terrorist attack of September 11 last year. One Sikh was killed in a hate crime.

In the wake of Indira Gandhi’s assassination, thousands of innocent Sikhs were brutally killed. Mr P.V. Narasimha Rao, who was the Union Home Minister then, did nothing to quell the bestial violence.

In connection with the Dabwali fire incident (December, 1995) in which about 400 men, women and children were burnt alive, Mr Rao, who was then Prime Minister, remarked that he had never heard a tragedy of such magnitude. Apparently, he regarded the pogrom of about 4,000 innocent Sikhs in the National Capital alone as a minor incident.

If my memory does not fail me, when the Punjab Vidhan Sabha with Mr Surjit Singh Barnala as the Chief Minister mourned the deaths of the victims of anti-Sikh riots, the Congress MLAs staged a walk-out to please their masters in New Delhi.

In August 1996, the then Japanese Prime Minister, Ryutaro Hashimoto, offered apologies on behalf of his government to the victims of World War II, which, he said, caused immeasurable sorrow and sufferings to people in many countries, and expressed “sincere condolences” with “deep remorse”.

It is a pity that our Parliament has not condemned the most heinous genocide unprecedented in the history of independent India. I don’t think that Mr Rao or any other Congress leader has ever even slightly condemned the same. Only once did the Congress President, Mrs Sonia Gandhi express her anguish over the killings after many years to woo the Sikh voters. Alas. “Doosron key dard ka ehsaas hota hai kisey/Hans diya kartey hain gul shabnam ko rota dekh kar” (Who feels concern about the distress of others? The flowers smile when the due weeps).


Emotional response

This refers to the letters written by four learned observers to Bhagwan Singh’s criticism of Amrita Pritam’s “poetic liberties” (July 22). What the letter writers say is from an emotional angle and what Bhagwan Singh conveys is the impressions a true critic gathers about a work of art.

Nonetheless, both approaches are relevant when it comes to the appreciation of literature.


Helmets for cyclists

Shouldn’t the cyclists be made to wear helmets just as two-wheeler riders do? According to a report, over 9,500 cyclists die each year on Indian roads due to head injuries.



Bus service

A sizeable number of students and staff-members travel daily by rail from Amritsar to the regional campus of GND University at Gurdaspur. They are put to enormous inconvenience. Girls especially feel the pinch and pain.

Will it be too much to expect from GND University to make available one university bus at the regional campus for ferrying daily-goers to and from Gurdaspur railway station?

K.J.S. AHLUWALIA, Amritsar

Old age pension

Mr Devi Lal started old age pension to senior citizens in Haryana. In the same state the Engineer-in Chief, Irrigation, does not feel the necessity of even replying to letters of retirees of the department written with a request for revising their pension according to the instructions issued by the Government. Will the Secretary, Irrigation, look into the matter and take action on the revision of pension?

S. P. SOOD, Ambala

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