Tuesday, August 20, 2002, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi



Mistreatment to father of a Kargil hero

I have seen with utter shock and disbelief the treatment given to the father of a Kargil hero in a TV programme called "Reality Bites" presented on Star TV on August 11. T he experience narrated by the father of a Captain from 17 JAT was heart-rending. The level of corruption in the police, electricity and other related departments has gone beyond all norms.

The selfish leaders are interested only in cashing in on the sympathy factor generated by the bodies of war heroes received in their towns and villages from the front. They totally ignore their families thereafter.

The father of the Kargil hero, who had been allotted a petrol pump, had to run from pillar to post to have the various formalities completed. It required intervention at the Prime Minister and Home Minister levels to obtain the mandatory clearances. The most heinous was the conduct of a senior official of the Delhi Electricity Department who asked the father of the decorated soldier to prove that the deceased was his son. When the proof was given, they merely laughed at it. Nothing could be more tragic than this for a father. Worse, the officials concerned were merely suspended for a short time and reinstated later.

What are we up to? The Defence Minister thinks he is doing an excellent job by visiting the troops regularly in the forward areas and doing everything for the serving soldiers and ex-servicemen. When it came to sacking the ex-naval chief and the GoC-in-C of an Air Command, action was taken expediously. When it comes to protecting the cause of a MVC decorated hero, he has miserably failed. Even our military leadership has failed. Their officers have forgotten the famous words displayed at the IMA, Dehra Dun, during the passing out ceremony that they would take care of the welfare of the troops they command at all times. Do they lack the guts to restore the dignity of the father of a brave soldier who has laid down his life for the honour of the nation? I am afraid everyone who matters in the case has miserably failed.


I make an earnest appeal that the guilty Electricity Department and Delhi police officials be given exemplary punishment so that no official in future dares to deal with the war heroes in such a shabby and undignified manner.

Brig S.K. VERMA (retd), Ludhiana

Rape & punishment

Reports regarding the gang-rape of a tribal girl in Pakistan are regularly appearing in newspapers. I would really appreciate if the rape victim finally gets justice. From our newspapers we just get to know about the bizzare incident, but nothing more than that. Newspapers should also report on the punishment given to the rapists as this would help reduce the incidents of rape in our country.


Noise pollution

The increasing number of musical functions, jagratas, kirtans, bhogs etc is causing a lot of inconvenience to citizens. In Bathinda town alone, various organisers in competition with one another spend heavily on musical functions. Brass bands and orchestra, lights, loud stereos and speakers are arranged in a lavish manner, making a vulgar display of wealth. They pay no heed to the electricity crisis faced by the nation. Hundreds of units of electricity and thousands of litres of diesel for running generator sets are wasted. Hooligans roam about freely at the venue. The life of the people living around the venue is turned into a virtual hell.

Indian scriptures emphasise on reciting the name of God in privacy. If at all this has to be done in public, a simple and sober function may be organised. The money collected should be utilised in opening a hospital or a school or an orphanage. The donors and the organisers will be blessed by God.


Pressure horns

Almost every bus in Amritsar has a pressure horn. As soon as the day breaks, these buses come on the roads and all hell is let loose. The sounds of these horns are so weird that even the witchs would get scared. Our DTOs and police keep sleeping, though the high court has banned the use of pressure horns

BRIJ BEDI, Amritsar

Cinema tickets

The Gurdaspur DC has fixed the rate of cinema ticket at Rs 5 but the cinema owners openly charge @ Rs 40 to 60 per ticket. The public is forced to buy a cup of tea or a cold drink at exorbitant rates. Why are the rates fixed by the DC not printed on the tickets and displayed on the booking counters?


Unwanted rail zones

The Mamata-Nitish row is as an example of how political motives are pursued ardently at the expense of the national interest. Five former chairmen of the Railway Board have strongly opposed the creation of new railway zones and described the move as an "operational debacle, a financial disaster and an administrative blunder".

The PM should have stalled the move for additional railway zones for being unviable and on the ground that the nation cannot afford wasting a whopping Rs 600 crore to appease one or the other minister.

R.L. PATHAK, New Delhi

Window on Pak

In the section "Window on Pakistan" Mr Gobind Thukral's article "Why army is keen to stay in power" makes baseless and unsubstantiated allegations against the present regime in Pakistan The author’s casual remarks denigrating the military regime in Pakistan are in poor taste and reflect lack of first-hand knowledge of the present situation in the country.

Since October, 1999, the military regime in Pakistan has overcome serious national problems and not only paved the way for a return to democracy, but also introduced far-reaching reforms in different facets of national life.

KAMRAN ALI KHAN, Minister (Press), Pakistan High Commission, New Delhi

Ten stages of life

K.J.S. Ahluwalia’s letter (July 24) reminds me of my father, the late D.N. Gandhi’s hopeful thought on “Life begins at 60”. The Punjabi folklore has divided life into 10 equal spells which was clearly one-up on Shakespeare, who spoke of the seven stages of man and a distinct improvement on the four prescriptive ashramas laid down by our ancient seer, namely, brahmacharya, grihastha, vanaprastha and sanyasa.

The enchanting lines of the Punjabi folklore are:

“Barkat dahe dahe, khel kud ganwae;

Do dahe veeh, aan lagi leeh;

Tin dahe teeh, jam payee dhi;

Char dahe chalih, gal payee panjali;

Panj dahe panjah, khange ke ander aa;

Chhe dahe sathh, hath phar layee lathh;

Sat dahe sattar, akkal gayee bahattar;

Athh dahe assi, mard ho gaya khassi;

Naun dahe nabbe gal hoi na phabbe;

Dahe dahe sau, bhanven mar te bhanven raho!”

My father, who was a firm believer in updating the folklore, suggested a revision in view of the changing times and I quote:

“Barkat dahe dahe, changa khede te changa khae;

Do dahe veeh, tainoo kaun puchhega ki;

Tin dahe teeh, bane jori reejhan di;

Char dahe chalih, bas do bachche te gharwali;

Panj dahe panjah, dabke kamaa te rajke kha;

Chhe dahe sathh, koi na kahe “pare hatt”;

Sat dahe sattar, bara siyana te chattar;

Athh dahe assi, peeve dudh te looni lassi;

Naun dahe nabbe, izzat maan karan sabbhe;

Dahe dahe sau, aje hor vee raihn da chau”.

I believe the revision still holds good.


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