Friday, November 29, 2002, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi



Have we become a nation of crybabies?

AS a powerless, weak and mute citizen of this country, which has suffered unabated terrorism for the past 15 years, I think the least we all can do now is to profusely thank our Home Minister for enlightening us about the terrorist attacks. We have repeatedly been educated that the terrorists are from Pakistan or from organisations aided by Pakistan. Not only have we been updated on the tactics adopted by the terrorists, but we have also been educated about their motives and also the why of their attacks. We did not know that attacks on places of worship can spark off communal riots.

Our grateful thanks to you... a million thanks, indeed! We feel humble and obliged for the extraordinary revelations you so frequently take the pains to make from the precincts of Parliament or from the scene of the latest attacks you choose to visit and explain all over again the why of the attacks to the "unaware and ignorant population" there! Indeed we had never been so lucky as to get such lessons in the past. We really feel we are so dumb and oblivious of what goes on in the country!

Perhaps the Home Minister may take a little more time to tell us about the lessons we have so far learnt from our history which tells us how we as a nation have always received thrashing at the hands of foreigners... starting from the Alexanders, Kushaks, Huns, Khiljis, Tuglaks, Gaznavis, Mohammad Ghauris, Changez Khans, the Mughals, the Britishers and finally our own people who, after attaining power, have systematically looted and plundered us.


History forces us to conclude that perhaps we are a nation of cowards. To hide the facts, we have repeatedly sung songs about our secularism, tolerance, universal brotherhood, harmony, Ahimsa and have never been tired of saying this! Perhaps, our learned Home Minister may also enlighten us about the myth of reverence and respect for the fair gender that has so graphically been depicted in cases of Shakuntalas, Sitas, Draupadis, Ahillyas, scores of women made to sit on the funeral pyres of their husbands and now Roop Kanwars, Shivanis, Shalinis and Shah Banos!

Then there is the latest case of a political figure in lawless Bihar abducting a married woman, having a four years child, and forcing her to marry him in full public knowledge. Perhaps, in his wisdom, he can also educate us about the real reasons for the women reservation Bill not seeing the light of the day despite open acceptance for the need to have it!

We seem to have become a nation of crybabies, seeking sympathy from those who do not care for us. We are tiring ourselves into disgraceful submission to the writ of the terrorists. We are amazed at the outbursts of the self-appointed spokespersons of the Hindu and Muslim fundamental outfits, pouring venom and instigating cries against each other just because they can get away with it, thanks to the near absence of the rule of law in the country. Where were they till 1947 when we were under the subjugation of a no-nonsense foreign government?

Thank you, once again, our learned Home Minister, for keeping us awake. Keep it up and keep it going!

Air Cdr S.S. SAXENA (retd), Noida

Is it true?

A well-known Pakistani weekly Friday Times (Oct 4-10, 2002, comment page) published the following piece under the heading “Pir Karam Shah was Lawrence of Arabia”.

“According to Khabrain magazine, one Pir Karam Shah active in India in 1927 was actually T.E. Lawrence or Lawrence of Arabia sent to India on a secret mission. He lived for two years in NWFP. He was sent again in 1935 to operate in a number of places in India. He was a graduate of Al Azhar and knew his Arabic. This was the year when the British government told the world that Lawrence had died in an accident in England. In Srinagar, Lawrence started giving sermons in the Hazratbal mosque as Pir Karam Shah. There, a new convert to Islam (after falling in love with a Muslim Gujjar woman), Henry Nedou fell under his charm in a mosque and married his daughter to him. This Nedou was the owner of the Nedous Hotel where the Avari Hotel of today is standing in Lahore. Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi of Deoband was privy to the secret identity of Lawrence and warned his Deobandi disciples not to fall prey to Lawrence’s expertise in Islamic fiqht. One disciple had actually become the follower of Lawrence as Pir Karam Shah.

He exposed him by provoking him. He said Shakespeare was actually an Iranian Pir called Sheikh Pir. On this, Pir Karam Shah lost his temper and started haranguing him in English. Henry Nedou had a brilliant daughter named Akbar Jehan who stood first in the Senior Cambridge exam. After shifting from Amritsar to Lahore with his new wife Pir Karam Shah or Lawrence of Arabia started disappearing for half the month and drinking French wine. On this Akbar Jehan became alarmed and informed her father about the real identity of Pir Karam Shah. Henry Nedou called wrestlers Gama Pehlwan and his brother Imam Bakhsh Pehlwan from Amritsar. They overpowered Lawrence of Arabia and forced him to write a Muslim talaq to Akbar Jehan. Later Akbar Jehan became the wife of the great Kashmiri leader Sheikh Abdullah. Lawrence was recalled to England and actually died in 1941 during the Second World War in London. He did not die in 1935 as had been announced earlier. One son was born from the marriage of Akbar Jehan and Lawrence of Arabia. She was to be the mother of Farooq Abdullah, the present (sic) Chief Minister of Held Kashmir.”

Since this is an interesting piece of information (if true), I request the readers to shed any light they can on this story.

Dr K.N. PANDITA, Jammu


Navy Day

THE Navy Day will be celebrated on December 4 at Nadaun and Paragpur. Many ex-servicemen from Kangra, Una, Hamirpur and Bilaspur are expected to attend it. At Nadaun, 89-year-old CPO (retd) Dhian Singh, the only living veteran of World War II, will preside, while at Paragpur Mr Suresh Patial, a naval engineer and Up-Pardhan, upper Paragpur, will preside.


Para-military forces

Of and on the functioning of the para-military forces is criticised by Army officers, particularly retired ones. This affects the morale of the members of the forces. What is worse, the heads of the para-military remain mute to the criticism.



The report "Redical Sikh lauds Amarinder" (Nov. 26) by Varinder Walia is disappointing. Mr Ganga Singh Dhillon wants to divide the Punjabis who are living in peace. It is my humble request not to give importance to such separatists.

Dr S.L. GARG, Sunam


Raja Jaikrishan's report "A pilgrim's progress to Nada Sahib" was ridiculous.

I didn't understand the point that he was trying to make: was it the traffic chaos, or the Gurpurb that he was trying to describe, or his discomfort at being in a Sikh shrine? The references to a "Sardarni" in the neighbourhood were kind of rude and our of context.


Polythene bags

Carrybags made of polypropylene granules are cheap, handy, strong and weightless but such polythene bags are from the most dangerous species of hydrocarbon.

These can be destroyed only by burning. If burnt, fumes produced are of deadly gases unsuitable for any living being, besides dangerously polluting the atmosphere.

The use of bags made of hard paper is a welcome step. Such bags can also be recycled. The number of polythene bags can be reduced if we reuse and/or return surplus bags to shops.

S.K. HANS, Jalandhar

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