Wednesday, January 15, 2003, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi



Encourage organ donation

The Punjab Government with its huge battalion of doctors, numbering 6,500 in the PCMS as well as medical colleges, having a huge budget cannot do a single renal transplant. On the other hand, Dr P.K. Sareen, was single-handed doing approximately 400 renal transplants in a year. This mammoth work may be leading to some gross irregularities, willingly or unwillingly.

Kidney has to be donated by a living person for a patient going to die any movement. Had it been an easy job, many more would have been doing it. I am not defending the wrong-doings of any person, but am against the rules which led to this mess and hold the government responsible for it. We cannot be mute spectators to kidney rackets. The central government should call a meeting of organ transplant surgeons and thrash out this problem for ever.

Here are a few suggestions. Organ donation should be made a mass movement. Daily we hear hundreds of people pledging their eyes but their relatives do not honour the pledge. In western countries the public is so much motivated that people pledge their organs on every document they carry. It is a conscious decision and no subsequent permission is required.

There should be a compulsory organ donation once a patient is declared brain-dead. Consent from the relatives should not be required.


Allow the sale of organs. The government should use stick and carrot policy and ways should be found for organ donation after death. All citizens should be motivated to donate their organs. All documents, including the identification card, driving licence, ration card, arms licence etc should carry the pledge to donate organs and this pledge should be treated as a will, which is not negotiable. The educated society should come forward and take up the challenge. Otherwise, strict rules adopted by the authorisation committees will lead to more malpractices.



Preity Zinta(bad)

It is both ironic as well as tragic that whereas screen heroes, the role models of millions of countrymen, backed out on their statements in the Bollywood-underworld nexus case, Preity Zinta has the guts to stand by her statement. These top film heroes, who on screen destroy an army of AK-47 gun-wielding goons and destroy the fiefdoms of big bosses single handed, had their panties wet on receiving a threat from a “Bhai” sitting thousands of miles away in a foreign country. They have done a disservice to their profession, the industry and the nation. People should teach them a lesson by boycotting the movies these gentlemen are connected with.

J.K. MAGO, Panchkula

More of a man

Real life Preity Zinta has proven herself to be “more of a man” than her reel-life counterpart He-men. Kudos to her for displaying unflinching exemplary courage in the face of almost certain risk to her life.



Foreign jets in India

A Tribune report (Jan 7) mentions that the French will be coming to India with their own fighter jets to take part in a joint exercise. It is further stated in the report that this will be the first time in the history of independent India when a foreign air force will be flying its combat aircraft (meaning fighter jets) in the Indian skies. This part seems factually incorrect.

In 1962 when Sela fell to the Chinese, Jawaharlal Nehru requested the USA to come to its help. The US military flew in military equipment and supplies post-haste. The US response also included transport aircraft and a few fighter jets. While the former ferried supplies to places like Leh, the fighter jets were stationed at Palam and stayed on for a few weeks in the Indian Capital. They did undertake flights in the Indian skies at least over Delhi and that too not only in a training mode but perhaps in a deterrent manner as well, to show to the Chinese that India was not alone!

Lt Gen HARBHAJAN SINGH (retd), Chandigarh

Vacant NRI seats

Eleven NRI seats are still vacant in the Punjab medical colleges mainly due to the exorbitant fees charged. I am an NRI and have now taken admission in a medical college outside Punjab by paying only half the amount demanded by all the medical colleges in Punjab. If the fees for NRI & NRI-sponsored candidates had been lower, then all NRI seats would have been easily filled and they wouldn’t have suffered such a great loss. All the money that has been drained out to other states would have been in Punjab itself. Now these vacant NRI seats have to be filled by general category candidates, who will be losing on the four months syllabus and may have to attend tuitions or adopt other methods to clear their first professional year.

NAVJOT KAUR GILL, Gill village

Cloned babies

The first seven-pound baby girl was born to a 31-year-old American national on December 26, 2002. The second one will be born in the second week of January 2003 to unidentified parents, somewhere in Europe. Most attempts fail. When the embryo starts developing, it may die as a foetus. The successful deliveries show infant mortality or babies developing serious medical problems like defects in their lungs or immune system.

This asexual method of laboratory reproduction of human beings is against the code of human ethics and will add fuel to the fire by creating a similar disease like AIDS, which can be termed as GIDS i.e Genetically Produced Immuno Deficiency Syndrome. Such babies will be looked down upon by society as the fifth creed next to Shudras.

Dr B.R. PARUTHI, Chandigarh

Paying a tribute

I avoid attending post-death ceremonies. The grief-stricken near and dear ones, the atmosphere of gloom, sadness and words of condolences are not the only reasons for my not attending such events. It’s just the feeling that how would I be able to say comforting words to those who have been deprived of a dear one that stops me.

But this time it was an unavoidable kirya ceremony of a very close family member. Since my husband was away, I was to attend it. I was expecting hushed, silent and sad surroundings. Instead, I saw people gathered there, talking, discussing, cutting jokes and women admiring clothes and jewellery of other women or criticising their in-laws.

I was asked by someone to have food as the time for kirya was at 2 p.m. and it was already 1 p.m. The food served was like a normal wedding food... complete with a sweet dish. I noticed people asking for hot pooris and demanding fresh serving of the sweet dish. They were there to attend the last rituals of the deceased person, who was either a close or distant relative.

Eventually, we proceeded to a big hall where a havan yagya was being performed by pundits and family members were sitting around. A picture of the departed soul was placed. After the yagya was over, a person took charge of the mike and started calling different people to come forward and pay tributes. The gathering kept on swelling. The MLA, distinguished personalities and dignitaries came on the dais and paid tributes. Everyone praised the departed soul as Lakshman of this Kalyug, whose elder brother was compared to Lord Rama.

I wanted to pay a tribute too, but was told that women are not allowed to speak on such occasions. Still, I paid a silent tribute. It wasn’t aimed to praise the elder brother as an example of Lord Rama, or a brother who lost his right hand. Neither I was for the departed soul, who lived his entire life like Lakshman, nor it was to console the grown-up sons, who have their families and are well settled. My tribute was for those blank eyes, it was for that forehead without sindoor. It was for that old lady who had lost her husband and was sitting neglected. No one even mentioned her loss.


Nuclear command

In your editorial Nuclear command at last you have very rightly stressed on the need to show quick reflexes and political will commensurate with the challenges faced by the nation but do we have the leaders of that stature who can boast of quick reactions to salvage the situation arising out of an enemy nuclear strike, determination to rise from the shock and destruction and will to withstand international pressure?

If as a matter of policy we have adopted retaliatory option, then why have a political council at all? Once the enemy resorts to first strike on launches a major attack with chemical or biological weapons, we are left with no choice but to retaliate with all our nuclear might and leave a devastating effect on the enemy. In such a situation political council has no role to play as the Strategic Forces Command will decide as to how, where and when the enemy is destroyed.

In this type of warfare delay spells doom and from this bunch of politicians we cannot expect anything but delay. Yes, in a democracy you have civilian control over nuclear weapons, but then keep both options open and decide action on the merit of each situation.


PTU study material

This is to highlight the late supply of study material by PTU under the distance education programme to the students of different courses admitted in the July, 2002, session. The exams of the session are to be conducted in February. 



Q: Name two things you can’t defy?

A: Age and America

K.J.S. AHLUWALIA, AmritsarTop

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