Thursday, November 28, 2002, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi



The menace of cultural pollution

Recently, the Hongkong authorities banned a magazine because of a cover photo believed to be of a popular actress considered obscene. The owner of the magazine issued a public apology (“Cover leads to magazine’s closure”, Nov 7).

In our country, many newspapers and magazines not only carry photos of semi-nude young women and actresses in objectionable poses, but also publish indecent advertisements and salacious articles, which gratify the ignoble tastes.

The Urdu magazine, which I went through for the first time in 1946, was “Humayun”. I was then a student of Class X. It contained informative, educative, didactic and literary articles only. No couplet, containing the word “Vasl” (intercourse), which then frequently figured in traditional Urdu verses, despite high literary standing of its author, found a place in that magazine. Likewise, no picture of a woman appeared in it. I am shocked to see that the old values in journalism of social responsibility have vanished.

Most of the Punjabi songs, sung by pop singers at functions or broadcast by Doordarshan’s Jalandhar Kendra are just dirty doggerels. Parents with their children watching such pop singers surrounded by scantily dressed guys and gals capering in a lewd manner, feel ill at ease. In most of the songs woman is shown in very poor light. Is this the glorious Punjabi culture we pride ourselves on?

More than a year ago, at a seminar on the study of folklore and culture organised by the School of Punjabi Studies of Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, a number of distinguished Punjabi scholars appealed to the central and state governments to clamp a ban on the obsence and unethical presentation of Punjabi culture under the guise of pop singing. But the menace of cultural pollution continues unabated. It is high time that the authorities concerned took suitable steps to curb the same.



Growing rape cases

The growing incidence of rape and molestation is a cause of worry for every citizen. It leads us to question: have we failed in imparting the true spirit of feminism in our society?

DR MANJIT KAUR, Chandigarh

Punishment: A rapist should be left to the mercy of his victim who should be vested with the right to determine the kind and quantum of punishment to be meted out to the criminal violator.


Harbhajan Mann Nite

It was a “police-cum-Harbhajan Mann nite” in Barnala on November 23. People were forced to donate for a noble cause. Funds were needed for the newly formed Baba Ala Singh Drug De-Addiction Society. The tickets issued @ Rs 200 each were far in excess of the seating capacity.

The lathi-wielding policemen were at their best, scaring away the people who had paid for the tickets.

I wish that part of the funds so collected be set aside for training the rugged cops to become gentlemen.

G.K.S. SIDHU, Barnala


Blood donation

In India there are about 1,500 blood banks and more than eight million persons visit these blood banks every year to donate blood. It is a matter of great regret that sometimes the person responsible for taking blood from the donor does not properly clean the area. There are chances of contamination of blood which can prove harmful for the recipient patient.

The blood banks should ensure that the donor’s area where venepuncture is to be done for taking out blood is cleaned with three separate cotton swabs moistened either with methylated spirit or 70 per cent ethyl alcohol. After each swabbing, 30 seconds should elapse so that antiseptic can act on the skin. Not only this, even the floor, the walls, the roof, the doors, equipment, furniture, tables and racks in the blood banks should be cleaned properly with disinfectants so as to avoid any kind of bacterial contamination of blood at the time of blood donation.

Dr AJAY BAGGA, Hoshiarpur


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