Monday, October 21, 2002, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi



Let’s judge on performance and not whims

This refers to your recent leader comment “Salam Salem, Salam CBI”. Saluting criminals and satiring the top agency? By all means, you are privileged to do that and much more. But, sir not by ignoring the facts and circumstances of a particular case. In journalism comment is desirable but facts are sacred. Do please criticise — the CBI ought to welcome it. But not running your own hobby horses. That is grossly unwise, unfair and deeply hurtful. Particularly, when ignorance of facts is deployed as a shield.

Our enquiries reveal — to name just a few — the CBI successfully extradited one Aftab Ansari. And another Raju Anadkad. Yet another Mathupa Rai. For your information these “gentlemen” are in India. So is the Turkish national (not an easy task known to those conversant with international law) accused in the urea scam, extradited from Switzerland and the UK. In Tihar jail he is (strictly confidential). Similarly, the CBI managed to arrest Ottavio Quttorochi, currently facing extradition in Kaula Lampur. Yet again creditable on the part of the agency is the detention of M.V. Vardharajula in Paris for allegedly defrauding the Indian Bank of Rs 500 crore. Also it is reliably learnt that the CBI is currently engaged in extraditing a few other suspects from different parts of the world. Unquestionably, therefore, the not so “good-for-nothing” agency, as portrayed in your biased comment.

Having established that I would like to move on to make two points. One, your vague and veiled reference to the “nexus” shielding criminals is neither here nor there. After all, we are living in a real world. And it would be foolish to deny that in certain cases it didn’t exist. But here, you are talking of a specific extradition and any journalist worth his salt must have the courage to call a spade a spade. Why don’t you? Two, as a comparison, your attempt to show the present organisation in poor shade — your talk of a former CBI “showy” Director is irrelevant.


Be that as it may, at a recent conference held in Delhi, our Prime Minister — on facts and figures — commended and praised the agency. The CBI Director in particular. Lets judge on performance and not whims. In reverse, quite uncomfortable your position would be if today’s Tribune is compared with the late Mahajan-Bhatia era gone by. Imagination staggers.

To extradite a suspect is an extremely complicated, sensitive affair, to say the least. It involves independent sovereign nations. With peculiar customs and laws etc. Above all, with past relationships and history involved. The cunning passages pacing through the Suez canals and contrived corridors of Portugal, Nasser’s Egypt and Nehru’s India. In reality, the caravans and ships flowing very, very quietly. Halt, the taking away of a tiny R.K. Sharma, the accused in the Shivani murder case from Ambala to New Delhi was not such an easy affair. The responsible Press, while criticising, ought to aim at building up national organisations. Not inadvertently, arrogantly demolishing them. Freedom of the press is power, no doubt. But “power is trust”, Disraeli.

‘Har bulandee ke nasib mey, likhee hai pasti ek din”

KARAM CHAND, Chandigarh

Railway malpractice

Swami Vivekanand said that the “societies are destroyed not by the actions of rascals; but by the inaction of good people.” The other day, this noble thought provoked me to raise my voice against a prevalent malpractice in the Railways. On Oct 13, I travelled by Punjab Mail from Faridabad to Delhi. At Delhi railway station I had to change my travel plans and was supposed to continue the journey to Bathinda. The ticket examiner in the AS2 and AS3 coach was requested to issue the necessary ticket.

But, like other 15 odd passengers in the coach, my ticket also was not regularised till the train crossed Rohtak when the flying squad arrived on the scene. The ticket examiner was hauled up by the head of the squad for carrying the passengers without ticket, thus causing a huge loss to the national exchequer. I volunteered to make a statement about the murky dealings of the ticket examiner when no one came forward to do so. Though I was issued the ticket, no one came to take my statement.

Thus, like all other individuals, institutions and religions, I also failed to stem the rot in the system. My salutation to all those who can see a silver lining around the clouds of corruption!

Dr AMRIT SETHI, Bathinda


Sale of organs

This refers to Dr Ranbir Singh Pannu’s letter “What’s wrong with the sale of organs?" (Oct 14). Dr Pannu has tried to make out that doctors-cum-kidney traders indulge in this trade out of their keenness to save lives and in the bargain also to help some poor people who may be willing to let their one kidney be removed for some badly needed money. There is no truth whatsoever in this proposition. In fact, trade in human kidney is carried on to make a lot of money. While a paltry amount (say Rs 25,000) is promised to the booked donor, more than a one lakh may be shared by the doctor-trader and his helpers and agents.

Rich patients do not want any relation of theirs to donate one kidney because they think that money can buy anything, including kidneys. So why take any risk? The poor who get persuaded are never explained the pros and cons. It does not behove doctors or any decent person to encourage this attitude and exploit it for making money for themselves too.

There can be patients needing kidney replacements not having any relative or friend of the same blood groups. To help such (genuine) patients, we can have a system of registering persons willing to donate their one kidney. A really human doctor, as every doctor should be, should think on these lines rather than the most unethical practice of making money out of kidney trade, treating kidney as only a commodity.

Dr Pannu refers to “the Satya Pal Dang couple” and advises it “not (to) jump into every thing. Industry is already ruined in Amritsar because of repeated political interference....” Industry in Amritsar has not been ruined by any political interference or for that matter by strikes. It has been ruined (i) because the big fish has eaten the small fish (ii) because of mismanagement; fights amongst partners (iii) because of govt policies, which encouraged splitting big units into smaller units only to escape paying excise duty or benefits provided by the law for workers in bigger units (iv) Many industrial units shifted to other states during the decade in which terrorists ruled Punjab. Above all, industry has been/is being ruined by the policy of globalisation.


Specious argument: Dr Pannu’s letter (Oct 14) offers a very specious argument for the sale of human kidneys. However, it also justified prostitution. In fact, the latter seems a much less evil on many counts; no organ is permanently lost through a painful operation and it is the source of lifelong, livelihood, rather than a few thousand rupees once only, most of which are spent by the donor in recuperatinghis health. Moreover, if today we legally put a price on a poor man’s kidney, tomorrow it will be his liver and it will be only a matter of time before his heart becomes available for sale, considering the fact that there is a similar, dire need for hearts to be transplanted. Hundreds of farmers who regularly commit suicide due to starvation could earn something for their families as a last benevolent gesture. One wonders why there is such a contentious debate in the USA and Europe over cloning for organ harvesting. They should listen to our doctors and judges.

Dr R. P. JINDAL, Chandigarh

Amarinder-Badal feud

The people of Punjab are sick of the Amarinder-Badal feud and its coverage by the print media. Rooting out corruption is laudable but something more has to be done. The people are eagerly awaiting the news of construction of more roads, opening of new schools, colleges, dispensaries and hospitals and spread of computer, engineering and medical education and would like uninterrupted supply of water and electricity. The government must set right its priorities or else Capt Amarinder Singh be replaced by a more rational Congress leader.



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