Tuesday, February 4, 2003, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi


We can do it & we must

LET us ponder over the views expressed by Mr Ujjal Dosanjh, a former Premier of British Columbia. We Indians are second to none in the world. We have all the technology to manufacture computers, aircraft, missiles, spacecraft and so on. There is no dearth of top scientists, surgeons in our country.

But our standards of sanitation, hygiene, health care, education, population control are no doubt very poor. Let us fight these maladies unitedly and improve these to Western standards and eradicate diseases like T.B., malaria, typhoid, cholera, gastroenteritis etc by improving sanitation.

Child labour be banned, education be made compulsory and population control measures be undertaken seriously instead of wasting our time and energy on mandir-masjid disputes etc. Only right politicians be elected for right places. Unfortunately, some of our uneducated representatives make a mess of our august institutions. We can do it and we must.

Dr H R KHERA, Pathankot



President’s call

Addressing the nation, the President has called for the second Green Revolution. I suggest that our cities and villages should be cleaned first because cleanliness in cities is much needed where the health of the nation is considerably under danger. When our cities are clean, the Green Revolution and other such things are meaningful. So please look at this aspect also.


Where is power?

The President, Dr A.P.J. Kalam, while giving a plan for the rural areas (Kalam’s call for second Green Revolution-Jan 26), stressed the need for a connectivity comprising four points: roads, reliable communication network, more professional institutions and vocational training centres. Perhaps the President is not aware that in the rural areas electric power is available only for about six hours in a day. Without round the clock power supply, his “mega mission for empowering the rural people” would remain a dream only.


Outspoken Lady Naipaul

It is a pity that Lady Nadira Naipaul dared to raise a controversial issue (relating to Lord Rama and Sita). It is only in India that she enjoyed full freedom of criticism (with impunity). Had she criticised any prophet in her own country (Pakistan) or in any other Islamic country, she would have been stoned to death.

M. L. BATURA, Karnal

The lady officers

The lady officers of the first course of the Army are completing 10 meritorious years of service in March, 2003. In this decade they have often outdone their male counterparts in promotional exams and shooting competitions. Now they have been served their discharge papers. They are being relieved without any offer of extension of service or any pension benefits.

If illiterate MPs who spend their entire term shouting abuses and hurling shoes at the Chair are entitled to life-long pension, why cannot the same be extended to the lady officers? If male officers with lesser merit can be offered permanent commission, why is the same opportunity being denied to the highly deserving lady officers.


Mobile services

Mobile companies are slashing the rates of ISD and STD due to competition. Most of the benefits are given to businessmen alone. BSNL can benefit the ordinary subscribers in two ways by reducing the rents from Rs 500 to Rs 360 and by increasing the local calls from 150 to 250 for two months.

M.L. GARG, Chandigarh

Cellular lobby

The TRAI announcement is a typical example of what can be manipulated in India. The sole criteria for TRAI seems to be to please the cellular lobby. How else can you explain a situation that a one minute call from a mobile is cheaper than a similar call from a landline phone? Even if the IUC demanded certain payments from the caller, it should have been restricted to only landline to cellular calls.


Phone charges

TRAI has come down heavily on fixed line telephone users by announcing an unprecedented upward revision in the rentals and other charges. Cumulative effect of all round increase would result in the monthly telephone bill shooting up by nearly 90 pc.

While the mobile phone owners, mostly belonging to the affluent class, have benefited from the competition among the cellular operatives, the fixed line phone users are being made to suffer due to near monopoly in this field. TRAI should review the exorbitant hike and slash it down to an acceptable level unless it wants us to switch over to mobiles.

Wg Cdr C. L. SEHGAL (retd), Jalandhar


Foreign jets in India

The Tribune report (Jan 7) and the rejoinder by Lt Gen Harbhajan Singh (retd) (Jan 15) are factually incorrect. After the fall of the Dhola Post on October 20, 1962, there was a full-fledged Chinese onslaught. The rest is history. The national emergency was declared on October 26, 1962. John F. Kennedy, who had great respect for Mr Nehru, supported India during its hour of peril. The USA and the UK came to India’s rescue by providing all weapons and ammunition to counter the Chinese aggression.

Besides providing transport planes, the USA sent its Squadron of Javeline fighters to impart training to our Air Force pilots. The training nicknamed as “Exercise Shiksha” and was held in the eastern sector at Calcutta. No foreign fighter planes flew over Delhi in 1962.

The Indian Navy too had the privilege of doing its bit by bringing heavy mortars and ammunition from Singapore (then under the British). Indian Naval ships INS Trishul and Talwar made two trips to Singapore to bring the most urgent arms needed by the Army. This writer was on board the INS Trishul.

Lt. Commander R. S. PATIAL (retd),
Dehra (HP)

Need for plain speaking

IF you have means (skill, equipment, men, money or matter), you definitely would like to put them to the best of their worth. At the same time we should desist from their misuse. Considering Dr P.K. Sareen as the best transplant surgeon of North India, did he really put his skill to ameliorate the suffering humanity (in this case ESRD patients, badly in need of transplant) or was it for ulterior motives of amassing wealth, resorting to all means and sources available to him, unmindful of the suffering thus bestowed on poor migrant labourers and other needy persons?

Now the money, if it is ill-gotten, usually has to be shared among different shades and classes of people (touts, middlemen, bureaucrats and other facilitators) to promote the ongoing trade.

Unless all classes of people are booked, Dr P.K. Sareen won’t be able to stand the grilling alone. Under the circumstances, two things can happen — either the police will make Dr Sareen succumb to pressure and seemingly expose the racket, which may or may not be there and fabricate in a manner to let go free certain preferred class of people and hook another less resourceful or he (Dr P.K. Sareen) will end up coughing huge chunks of wealth to fill the coffers of the greedy and powerful in the present system of Indian polity.

What is the solution? Plain speaking by Dr Sareen & fraternity to nail down the evil for ever and book the culprits (in this case whosoever) for exemplary punishment. Allegations and counter-allegations will put the real issue on the back burner. Let the law take its own course — sooner the better.



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