Tuesday, December 17, 2002, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi



Where women are not safe

I congratulate Ms Anurag Gill, a lecturer in Govt College for Boys (GCB), Ludhiana, for having shown the guts. I also congratulate her parents for bringing her this way. This is what we want all parents to be doing. As a medical person I know that prevention is better than cure. We are talking about capital punishment for rapists. I personally feel that every rapist should be killed. There is no second thought about it. But will it help the victim? The damage is already done. Rape is the tip of the iceberg. A girl/woman travelling in a bus suffers pinching, abusive language and other forms of sexual harassment.

There are women who are so much suppressed that for them it’s alright to be humiliated by males. I am referring to women lecturers who said that it was just indiscipline and no sexual harassment was there. What they want is the tearing of the clothes of a woman and her physical abuse. Why so many victims don’t come to the police because everybody knows they will be raped again and again, mentally as well as visually by the personnel concerned. It will be confirmed only if her hymen is ruptured or her clothes are torn. This is sickening.

Under these circumstances what Anurag has done is. I read letters in newspapers in which some men said that such things used to happen before but this incident has been blown out of proportion and it has tarnished the image of the college. My goodness, were they the ones doing it? A boy who can insult his teacher, will he ever miss a chance to molest any other female?


I understand 16 boys can’t be dismissed, which ideally should have been done when the complaint was made. But now all should come along with their parents, particularly their mothers, to apologise to Ms Anurag not superficially but from deep inside. I would request Anurag to join her duty. She should not resign. We all Ludhianvis are with her. I have talked to many people, particularly women, some of them old students of GCB, and they all feel that it used to happen earlier also. Since nothing was done, that’s why it is a problem now.

As a mother I feel our responsibility is more towards our daughters but it should be more towards our sons. How come it’s the female who gives birth to a male and he grows up to become such a wild beast that does not think twice before raping a female? Let’s all join hands so that our sons become gentlemen and our daughters are safe on the road once again.

Dr P. KAUR, Ludhiana

Quota in Army

Mr J.R. Singh has opposed my views in the article “Why is the Army short of manpower” (Nov 27) vide his letter dated December 3 by saying that “since 1947, people recruited on the quota basis from all states have proved their mettle in wars under the right leadership”. What I have said in the article is “it is time we dispensed with the recruitment quota system and reverted to the old system of enrolling the best out of the volunteers irrespective of the states they hail from......”.

Mr J.R. Singh may like to know that the quota system was introduced only a few years ago and not in 1947. Admittedly, merit cannot be forsaken for other considerations in the Army. Would it be fair to the country, to the nation and the armed forces to recruit those individuals who cannot come to the Army on merit by fulfilling the requisite standards? Would we like to jeopardise the integrity of India by presenting a weak front to the enemy?

Mr J.R. Singh says the authorities must take care in selecting the defence brass who do not have motivated mindsets on fitness on the regional basis. He may like to read what Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw says about recruitment. In his foreword to the book “Behind the Scene” — an analysis of the Indian military operations from 1947 to 1971 — published in 1973, Field Marshal Manekshaw says: “I have heard rumours for the proposed reorganisation of the Indian Army into mixed units on the basis of state population under the garb of recruitment imbalance. Should this happen, God forbid, it will transform battlefield scenes completely: the old battle slogans and rallying of units during moments of crisis will have no substitute........ If this imprudent proposed political decision is accepted by sycophantic generals, I forecast doom and calamity”.




Smart remarks

In the write-up “Hero(ine) worship” (“Chandigarh calling” Nov 25) smart remarks of an elderly gentleman and renowned poetess, Dr Naseem Nik’hat, at an all-India trilingual poetic symposium have been mentioned.

Pleasant repartees are generally exchanged by poets and audience at “mushaairahs”, which make the symposia more enjoyable.

The expression “misra uthaana” means repeating of a recited line by some audience or other poets as a sign of appreciation. In a “mushaairah”, Hafeez Jalandhari, the author of the poems “Abhee to main jawaan hoon” and “Lo phir basant aaee” sung by celebrated Malikah Pukhraj and her daughter, Tahira Syed, while reciting a ghazal, said, “Hasrat Sahib! Misra arz hai. Mulaahazah ho” (Hasrat Sahib! Hear the hemistich, I am going to recite).

“Aap shauq sey parhyey. Apnee umr to misrey uthaaney aur janaazon ko kandah deney mein hee kat ga’e hai” (Read with great pleasure. Throughout my life, I have been repeating the lines recited by other poets and shouldering the biers), poet Chirag Hasan Hasrat quipped.

Mirza Ghalib wrote verses in orotund style. A contemporary poet, Aagha Jaan Aish, said in a “mushaairah” in his presence: “Kalaam-e-Meer samjhey aur zubaan-e-Meerza samjhey/ Magar in ka kaha ye aap samjhey ya Khuda samjhey. (We comprehend the verses of Meer Taqi Meer and Mirza Rafi Sauda. But what he recites either he or God understands.)

Ghalib read a ghazal couched in plain, straightforward language and remarked: “Jo is par bhee na gar samjhein to phir un sey Khuda samjhey” (May God punish them, who still do not understand — my verses).

“Ghaneemat hai ke aap is rang ko aakhir zara samjhey” (It is good that you have, at last, liked this style to some extent), Aish shot back.

Once a Persian poet recited his hemistich: Har ke aayad dar nazar az door pindaaram ke tuee (Whoever I see even from a distance, I think it is you). “Gar sag dar nazar aayad” (If you see a dog), a saucy listner said. “Pindaaram ke tuee”. (I think, it is you), the poet retorted. The audience smiled, but the cheeky interposer hung his head in shame.

There is no doubt that a good-humoured repartee is “the very soul of conversation”, but a malicious remark offends the person about whom it is made.


Haibowal Kalan

Haibowal Kalan was renamed as Shankracharaya Nagar some time back. Corporation officials as well as the councillors take this as an achievement. No one has relished this change. Moreover, this name has never been used at all. The energy they have put in renaming, if used in improving the miserable condition of Haibowal, could have been acknowledged by the residents. In fact, they have insulted the great saint.

Haibowal has many problems but the most serious one is traffic. The most sensitive part is Haibowal Chowk to Jassian Road, a stretch of about 200 metres. There is need to regulate traffic in this area.

The road built on along the nalah needs only metalling. Had it become operative, many traffic problems could have been solved. Residents of this area cry for another bridge on the nalah. Many problems can be easily solved if the officials concerned take some interest.

M.S. GILL, Ludhiana 

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