Saturday, November 16, 2002, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi



At stake is maryada

Hari Jaisingh says "At stake is maryada" (Nov 10). No, sir that is not the case. It is the ego, prestige and money at stake for Mr P. S. Badal and Mr G. S. Tohra. Both had played a double role during militancy in Punjab. They could be called double agents.

Sikh-philosopher Kapur Singh had recognised them much earlier. He did not trust them. About Jathedars he had said, "They are a bunch of rustics--uncouth, illiterate, greedy, unreliable and yet full of ambition. But the Akali party can't do without them. They raise the volunteers for our demonstrations; they collect the money. They are the real leaders of the Sikhs. You can see why we the Sikhs won't get anywhere". (Quoted from “Sikh, Singh, Sardarji" by Khushwant Singh).


Soul-less leaders: Hari Jaisingh has very rightly suggested "the time has come for every leader to search his soul." I wonder if these so-called leaders of today's Punjab have got any soul left at all. They all appear to be full of egos and absolutely soul-less people.

I am concerned about the heavy-handed approach of Capt Amarinder Singh, which is very uncharacteristic comparing to his past record. He seems to be adopting the old opportunistic disgraceful game plan of Giani Zail Singh, which had eventually led to unprecedented violence and the loss of thousands of human lives. Rather than mixing religion with politics, the Chief Minister should concentrate on his drive against corruption.



Haryana not Akali friendly: Your editorial is a timely warning to the people against the machinations of the political parties, whether in or out of power. The people of Punjab, even in the face of gravest provocations during the height of terrorism in the nineties had frustrated all attempts of the divisive forces to create a wedge between them. Politico-religious slogans can no longer fool the people.

However, describing Haryana as an Akali-friendly state is far from the fact. The people of Haryana neither were, nor are and nor will be friendly to communal parties like the Akali Dal, which had the dubious role in frustrating the completion of the vital SYL canal in Punjab.

It is high time the Akalis stop claiming to be the sole representatives of the Sikhs. A large number of Sikhs owe allegiance to various other political parties. They should put a stop to the mixing of religion with politics. The Khalsa was founded by Guru Gobind Singh for not any particularly community. Sikhism belongs to all those who believed in the righteousness and preachings of the great Gurus.


Commendable: I really appreciate your wonderful write-up shedding light on the present-day political situation in Punjab. Punjab's blood-stained journey in the recent past is still fresh in our memories and your apprehension about Punjab's vulnerability to fall into the same situation is indeed timely.

Your efforts to bring the truth before the public through your engrossing and thought-provoking write-ups is commendable in the present times when ethical journalism has taken a back seat. It is an encouraging fact that unlike other newspapers, The Tribune has not compromised on political pressure and has continued its principled stand.


Undemocratic: Capt Amarinder Singh has embarked upon naked and undemocratic aggression against his "bete noire", Mr Badal. The editorial fails to condemn the gross misuse of state power for purely partisan purposes and offer a sane advice to the CM. I hold no brief for Mr Badal, but can't find any fault in his present approach. He has every right to protect what has been his domain for the last several years.


Opportunity lost

Hari Jaisingh has brought out the inherent problems being faced by J&K and suggested the ways to solve them. We lost the opportunity to push back the raiders from the valley in 1947. The combatant strength of the enemy was one-forth of the Indian Army. Even then we could not teach a lesson to Pakistan. The enemy remained in occupation of one-third of the state area at the time of ceasefire. Significantly, there was even no sign of insurgency in Kashmir for three to four decades thereafter. During this period elections were alleged to have been rigged every time by the interested parties to keep themselves in power.

Had there been free and fair elections and autonomy granted to the state within the framework of the Constitution, there would have been no militancy and bloodshed, as we see it today. The Congress and NC leaders are squarely to be blamed for the present turmoil in the state. The attitude of the BJP-led government too remains totally negative to the problem. The Congress and the BJP must agree on granting autonomy to the state and strengthen the hands of the Chief Minister to bring peace and prosperity to the state.




Taken for a ride

This refers to the news item “When Johl puts in his papers’’. It should have been written under the heading: “Bureaucrats take Capt Amarinder Singh and S.S. Johl for a ride”. Why not? These are the same bureaucrats who are used by politicians for their vested interest. They make them do things not covered under government rules or under the law of the land.

It seems that Capt Amarinder Singh, despite his much appreciated crusade against corruption, is also not free of this malaise. Hence, the same bureaucrats become embolden to do things as per their whims and fancies because they know it for certain that the politicians who make them do wrong things to suit their vested interests cannot take any stern or punitive action against them due to obvious reasons. In the process they become “couldn’t care less” and lethargic in attending to even work of national importance.

They care for none, including the Chief Minister, as is evident from the case of Dr Johl’s recommendations for revival of agricultural economy in Punjab, having been detained by the bureaucrat concerned for more than two months as is alleged in the news. Had it reached the Planning Commission two months ago, the money demanded or projected by Dr Johl for Punjab might have been released by the Centre. What a loss for the state government. But who cares. Poor Dr Johl and his ilk can do nothing except watch the goings on as mute and helpless spectators. Over to the soldier in Captain.

Major S.S. KHOSLA, Ludhiana

Kashmir problem

Divisive provisions: We will be committing another folly if we do not dismantle forthwith the divisive provisions and thus send a firm and strong signal to the separatist elements and their mentors across the border that we mean business now.

WG CDR C. L. SEHGAL (retd), Jalandhar

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