Tuesday, August 27, 2002, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi



A CM’s advice not binding on EC

HOME Minister L.K. Advani has been caught on the wrong foot on two occasions in less than a week. Mr Advani has said that it is the responsibility of the Home Ministry and the state government to decide whether the situation is conducive to hold elections. He feels the situation in Gujarat is conducive to hold elections whereas the Election Commission feels that it is not.

It is the prerogative of the Election Commission to decide whether to go in for elections or not. The advice of a Chief Minister is not at all binding on it. Mr M.S. Gill, the then CEC, about five years ago had announced elections to the Punjab Assembly in spite of the fact that Mrs Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, the then Chief Minister, strongly opposed the Election Commission’s sudden announcement. She went on to say that the Election Commission must listen to the Chief Minister’s advice. The BJP at that time was in opposition and BJP leaders appreciated the EC’s decision. The BJP is the ruling party now and throwing brickbats at the EC for a similar stand.

On the allegation levelled by Mrs Madhu Sharma, wife of Mr R.K. Sharma, IGP, an accused in the Shivani murder case, that Mr Pramod Mahajan is the main culprit in this entire episode. How can the Home Minister issue Mr Mahajan a clean chit? In no way I am pinpointing any finger towards Mr Pramod Mahajan, but I am shocked at the wisdom of Mr Advani.

Mr Advani has acted as a party spokesman and not as the Home Minister. His clean chit simply means that he is directing the investigating agencies not to ask Mr Mahajan anything.

It is also shocking that the Congress, the main Opposition, has not asked the Home Minister why he is acting as a party spokesperson. Mr Advani should have been taken to task by all political parties.

Dr NARESH RAJ, Patiala


Musharraf’s rhetoric

This refers to the editorial “What a contrast, indeed” (August 16). Most of the common people in Pakistan are reeling under poverty. Yet, in his address to the nation on Independence Day, instead of declaring some schemes to alleviate their suffering, President Musharraf most rudely spoke against India.

The wild and irresponsible utterances did not behove the Head of a State. While watching his gestures of raising his voice and making grimaces to lend emphasis to his belligerent rhetoric on the television, I am always reminded of the verse: “Lagey munh bhee chiraaney detey detey gaaliyaan sahib/Zubaan bigari to bigari thee khabar leejey dahan bigara” (“dahan” means mouth).

General Musharraf was himself instrumental in planning and executing the armed intrusion in Kargil. It appears that he has not learnt any lesson from the fate of that misadventure.

Kashmir is an integral part of India and, as said by Prime Minister, Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee “a symbol of Indian secularism”. The horrible massacres of innocent people by Pak-backed terrorists is barbarity and not the freedom struggle as often said by General Musharraf. This self-styled “the-kedar” of freedom for Kashmiris did not allow the pro-Independence candidates in the Pak-occupied Kashmir, who did not want it to join Pakistan, to contest the last elections there.

The ousted Pakistan Premier, Mr Nawaz Sharif, in an interview to a newspaper, called General Musharraf a “dagha-baaz” (deceitful and betrayer). He made him the Chief of Army Staff by ignoring some senior generals. However, he not only dislodged him, but also exiled him with all the members of his family to Saudi Arabia.

Those who expect cooperation from such a treacherous General, who often declares to continue to give moral, political and diplomatic support to the terrorists in Kashmir and is hell bent to destabilise India, to end sponsoring of cross-border terrorism, are living in the realms of reveries.

It is high time that instead of asking the USA and the UK to put pressure on him in this regard, New Delhi should take concrete steps to crush the terrorists ruthlessly. The USA condemns the massacres, but does not declare Pakistan a terrorist state. Alas! “Saahil key tamaashaai har doobney waaley par/Afsos to kartey hain imdaad nahin kartey.”


A holistic approach

A few years ago when I was working for a US company, we were all called in for a meeting and they told us that from now on we were going to follow a new culture called "Holistic Culture". After the meeting, my Indian colleague and I both agreed that this new culture is part of the Hindu philosophy. The company formed five committees to investigate and solve problems. I approached one of the men in charge of organising the groups. He told me they had researched many cultures and scriptures and finally when they got to the Vedas and the Upanishads, they found that these were the most effective for individuals and group harmony. The philosophy inspired growth and was the most relevant to the 21st century.

Let us review the problems that many US companies experienced which made them look outside their paradigm. These included poor quality, inefficiency, excessive supervision, high manufacturing cost etc. Also, in there research they discovered that the Japanese take more time on deciding which action to take, but shorter time on finishing the job in hand. In comparison, in the USA they take shorter time on deciding what needs to be done and longer time on completing the task. The Japanese work in teams.

Another observation was that the Japanese needed six people to do a job that the British required 14 and the Americans 21 to complete the same job. In our company there were many layers of supervision. All ideas come from the top, but in Japan ideas come from the teams at the bottom. Their culture empowered the people to work.


Guru ki Maseet

A unique tradition of love and brotherhood has been set by the Sikhs of Sri Hargobindpur in Gurdaspur district. They handed over a historical mosque “Guru ki Maseet” built by the sixth Sikh Guru to the local Muslims. The credit goes to the late Baba Kirtan Singh of Baba Bakala, the Cultural Resource Conservation Initiative (CRCI), a US-based Sikh foundation, and UNESCO for financial support to renovate the mosque.



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