Wednesday, August 7, 2002, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi



Non-observance of Kargil Day disappoints soldiers

KINDLY let me express through your newspaper my deep sense of regret as an old soldier at the non-observance of the Victory Day this year by the Union Government and the various state governments. This was a noble victory won against heavy odds with tremendous sacrifices and a show of respect and regard to the forces, the martyrs and wounded would only have motivated them and also united the nation.

We have a saying in the forces, you cannot treat a soldier like a sheep in peace time and expect him to fight like a lion in war. Perhaps the Union Government would do well to dwell upon this. Some observers have stated that maybe it was to please the USA and to prove to it our peaceful intentions, if so, it is a pity.

We soldiers take the vow of loyalty and allegiance to the Indian nation and expect it to fully back us through thick and thin. The flag we salute and are ready to die for with all respect and pride is the Indian Flag, not of some superpower. The Union Government is duty bound morally to pay homage to the martyrs and to ignore the opinion of any other nation or a small lobby which may be against any public show of homage.

In any case, the ruling coalition came to power on a promise of higher awareness of matters related to security, the sense of disappointment is, therefore, all the greater.

MAJOR GEN RAJIENDRA NATH, (retd), Chandigarh


The guilty & the innocent

One thing that is tormenting the public mind is the decision of the government to penalise the whole batch in which even a single candidate is found to be tainted.

Sometime back a full batch of PCS officers was dismissed from service for alleged corrupt practices in obtaining their jobs. No doubt, most of them had paid huge bribes. But it is equally true that some of them got these jobs on the basis of merit and academic excellence.

The PSEB has removed 134 clerks from service on the ground that underhand means were adopted by them to get their jobs. Similarly, taking action against all the employees recruited by the SS Board during Mr Badal's regime is not only illogical, irrational and ill-conceived, but also unfair and unjust.

The principle of natural justice demands that no innocent person should be punished even if it means sparing one hundred guilty persons.


Gallantry awardees

This refers to the editorial “Remember the martyrs” (July 29). May I say that you and the country, including Himachal Pradesh, have suddenly gone into “pitr pujan” mode and have totally forgotten the gallantry awardees of the country. No doubt, martyrs have their special place, but it is the gallant heroes of the country who have won the wars and it is a matter of great regret that you and the parents etc of the martyrs feel neglected when one year the Vijay Divas was not celebrated. The Vijay Divas for the 1971 heroes goes by and no one bothers about it. In fact, it is the living heroes, the awardees of the Param Vir Chakra, the Maha Vir Chakra and the Vir Chakra who are the real heroes having displayed gallantry of the highest order far beyond the call of duty actually need to be honoured, feted and given encouragement for the young of this country to emulate them. Remembering the martyrs is a must but neglecting the gallantry awardees is a shame for any nation worth its name.

MAJOR GEN K. K. SINGH, VrC (retd), Shimla



Badal and company

“A man is known by the company he keeps” is an old saying. And what type of company Mr Badal keeps is not hidden from anybody now with daily “discoveries” of his men having played havoc while he was the Chief Minister. Now Mr Badal is crying foul and alleging that his men are being implicated. Nothing could be farther from truth since there is no smoke without fire. Although Mr Badal is yet to be involved directly in any of the wrong-doings of his team members, yet he can't be excused for the reason a watchman cannot escape responsibility by claiming that he has not stolen the missing goods.

If one weighs the things in the balance, the loot and loss inflicted on Punjab and Sikh institutions during his (mis)rule, is no way less than the damage and disappointment caused by Operation Bluestar. In a way, it could be safely said: “Jab tak corruption ka naam rahega/Badal ka bhi zikar rahega”.

Alladin had 40 “chors” as his associates and Mr Badal — difficult to say as counting is still going on!

“As you sow, so shall you reap'” is not an empty slogan. It's on record Mr Badal having told his colleagues in the last leg of his tenure to improve the condition of jails as they were sure to be sent there. I have a question for Mr Badal in the form of a couplet: “Tu idhar udhar ki na baat kar/Yeh bataa ki kafle kyun lutte/Mujhe rahjano se garz nahin/Teri rahbari ka sawaal hai”.

Finally, a word for the present government — keep in lawful limits. Don't indulge in excesses. Move like an arrow, don't bend or break, if you want to hit the target. The public is watching you too with a magnifying glass in hand. Be strict and swift, but sincere and straight-forward also.

K.J.S. AHLUWALIA, Amritsar

Power sector mess

It is wrongly mentioned in the editorial “Power sector mess” (Aug 1) that Haryana is giving free power to farmers and it has proved counter-productive. In fact, power has never been supplied free of cost to the agriculture sector or any other sector since the inception of the state. The cost of electricity, both generated and purchased, is high. Therefore, there is no justification to supply power free of cost.

Secondly, the editorial also refers to huge commercial losses being sustained by the state electricity boards. While nationally the commercial losses have increased three times during the last five years, in Haryana the commercial losses of the Power Utilities have reduced from Rs 632.81 crore during 1999-2000 to Rs 204.81 crore for 2000-2001, showing a reduction of about 67.63 per cent. The commercial losses were only Rs 36 crore for the first half of the year 2001-2002, which shows a further downward trend in commercial losses.



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