Thursday, August 15, 2002, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi



Remembering real victims of Partition

Every year on August 15 we celebrate our Independence Day. We remember and pay homage to our great leaders, freedom fighters and honour those who are still living, if any. This is the minimum a grateful nation should do.

But may I also request this grateful nation to remember those unfortunate 35,000 young Hindu and Sikh girls who were abducted and forcibly detained in Pakistan at the time of Partition. This is not fiction but a recorded fact of history and this monumental work was done by an I.C.S. officer of the Punjab cadre, the late A.L. Fletcher. Fletcher had been frequently going to Pakistan after Partition to verify the claims submitted by refugees and it was during this period that he collected information with the help of his fellow I.C.S./P.C.S. officers allotted to Pakistan. He also sought the help of patwaris and S.H.Os. The information was systematically complied with the name, age and father’s name of the abducted girl along with the name of the abductor and his address. A rough proof of this extraordinary work was got prepared at the Government Printing Press, Shimla, the then capital of Punjab.

This rare document remained in the personal custody of Mr Fletcher for a few years. When things settled down and the capital of Punjab was shifted to Chandigarh. Mr Fletcher presented that rough proof to Chief Minister Partap Singh Kairon and sought his permission for printing 100 copies for the record. But the Chief Minister wrote on the file: “Please do not print it. This book would reopen the wounds of refugees”.


It was at this stage in 1957 when I was given this file to record and then to consign it in the central record of the Punjab Civil Secretariat at Chandigarh. In November, 1966, it was given to the Haryana Civil Secretariat Library for preservation. It is still lying there.

Fiftyfive years have passed but nobody has ever remembered those unfortunate victims of Partition and their most unfortunate parents. Are we a grateful nation?

I wish our relations with Pakistan improve and sociologists from both sides of the border jointly take up this project and study the present condition of those women (who would be in their seventies and eighties now) before they are consigned to their graves.

JAGDISH CHANDER Deputy Secretary (retd), Haryana, Chandigarh.

School appointment

I obtained 74.5% marks in matric, 69.5% in B.Sc. (medical), 60% in B.Ed & 51.7 % in M.Sc (Chemistry). I applied for a JBT teacher’s post in L.S.D. High School, Bassi Daulat Khan, in Hoshiarpur district.

They called us for interview in Chandigarh. There were total 40 candidates and 28 appeared for the interview. There was no JBT candidate. The committee members asked irrelevant questions e.g. family history, hobbies etc. They appointed a B.Sc, B.Ed (IInd division) male teacher, whose father is working in that school. Is there any law governing these institutions, which are run with government aid?

NAVNEET KAUR, Hoshiarpur


New districts

Carving out new districts out of the existing ones seems to be a nation-wide phenomenon. The ideology behind this herculean exercise is to have an efficient administration for the benefit of the public. But the outcome has been inversely proportional to the expectations of the people and even the persons who initiate this process. Chaos is triggered in an otherwise peaceful folks and so many inter-and intra-party differences raise their heads, which weaken the secular fabric of the country.

In this era of science and technology when the whole world is becoming a global village, it would be better to reorganise the existing district headquarters. The huge expenditure involved in creating new districts can find a better use in meaningful developmental projects.

R. S. KISTWARIA, Palampur

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