Friday, October 18, 2002, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi



The message in the verdict

The page-one editorial “The message in the verdict” (Oct 11) by Hari Jaisingh highlights a few cardinal and praise-worthy achievements in the successful conduct of elections in J&K. First, the power of the voter. Calling these elections as “the most shining example of the democratic spirit of the free world”, the writer is loud in his praise of the voters in the state — particularly women. They braved the bullets of militants by coming out in large numbers to exercise their right to vote — an important corner-stone in a democratic polity.

The National Conference lost due to “non-governance”. Its defeat sends out a clear signal to the political parties and leaders throughout the country: perform or perish. This timely hint assumes greater importance in view of the ensuing elections to 10 state assemblies in near future.

The elections in J&K have dealt a blow to the separatists’ movement and their supporters on either side of the LoC. Once the new government is in place, there will be no local support available to them. The evil designs of Pakistan in assisting cross-border terrorism too stand thoroughly exposed. Predictably, as the writer suggests, the new government will learn from past mistakes and work for early restoration of peace and normalcy in this strife-torn state in all earnestness.

Brig GOVIND SINGH KHIMTA (retd), Shimla

Democratic spirit: The verdict symbolises the most shining example of the democratic spirit of the free world. If a young and promising leader like Omar Abdullah of the NC has lost the election, a bright and bubbling woman leader of the PDP, Ms Mehbooba, has emerged victorious. Both appear determined to make a positive contribution towards the development of the state.



BJP sent packing: The message has many overtones and of various dimensions. One is that the National Conference is although down, but not out. Two, the BJP, which had high hopes from the Jammu region, has been sent packing. This has happened due to the wrong policies pursued by the BJP government at the Centre. Three, the new party which has emerged on the political scene of the state has got the backing of the people.

The gains of the verdict must not be allowed to be frittered away during the exercise of nominating the new Chief Minister. The Congress must show magnanimity in this matter as the challenges before it are daunting. Any bickering at this hour can strengthen the hands of the terrorists. All-out efforts must be made to seek the cooperation of those who did not take part in the elections. These parties then can sit together to evolve an acceptable formula on the question of granting autonomy to the state for a lasting peace and prosperity of the state.

Major NARINDER SINGH JALLO (retd), Kapurthala

Ballot vs bullet

The editorial is highly commendable. The successful electoral process in Jammu and Kashmir is a triumph of democracy. Holding free and transparent assembly elections have proved the victory of the ballot over the bullet. Despite the threat to their life, people of Jammu and Kashmir have expressed full faith in the Indian Constitution and have been successful in electing their representatives. They have decisively voted in favour of “democratic governance”, thereby reaffirming the fact that an overwhelming majority of the people rejects violence and terror.

Er T.S. SIDHU, Ferozepur


Punjab agenda

This refers to Hari Jaisingh’s article “Punjab’s unfinished economic agenda” (Oct 4). I suggest a few measures to manage the fractured economy of Punjab.

First, the government should do-away with the petty-politics of populism. The freebies era should be shown the door. The politics of freebies destabilises the economy. It is, therefore, urgent to stop this strange practice.

The jumbo Cabinet should be dismantled. It should be replaced with a small but efficient Cabinet. Foreign jaunts should be banned at least for two years. The government should tap indigenous resources to bolster the economy. It should not crave for foreign investment.

More and more areas of revenue should be looked into. Those who evade sales tax should be punished. To fill the empty coffers of the state, a 1 to 2% increase in electricity and water-supply bills should be effected annually or biannually.

The ill-amassed wealth collected from the PPSC and other scams should be made an integral part of the state’s capital; and this wealth must be utilised to fund various public welfare schemes.


Eunuch menace

Recently I travelled twice to Chennai from Amritsar. The exertion of travel did not bother me as much as being accosted by eunuchs. They pinch you, tickle you, push you, kiss you and even try to take your clothes off or take off their own, and make obscene remarks .

On October 5 I was travelling by Shan-e-Punjab from New Delhi to Amritsar. At Ludhiana a newly married couple got in. All eyes were glued to the bride who was rosy-cheeked and plump. Just then a couple of eunuchs entered our compartment. One of them, aged about 50 and quite robust, demanded Rs 51 from the couple, but the man was adamant on not giving more than ten rupees. The eunuch asked me to give it some room to sit. When I resisted, it threatened to take off my clothes. I relented. It sat beside me and suddenly started kissing the man profusely. The bride could not bear this humiliation of her husband and asked him to oblige the eunuch.

Such incidents are common in our trains. The entry of eunuchs into trains must be banned, save for travelling as passengers. The government should provide the eunuchs opportunities for earning their livelihood.



Will any of your readers kindly let me have some information about the person after whom Ellenabad in Haryana has been named? It will help me in my compilation of information about places in India which were named after the British.

PRAKASH KHARA, B-2/140, Janakpuri, New Delhi- 110058


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