Friday, February 28, 2003, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi



The US-British nexus

This refers to the letter “Defending ruthless Saddam”. The writer, who seems to be among the President’s men, has gone a little too far in praising the so-called disarmament campaign launched by President Bush. Although no one can disagree with the facts that Mr Saddam is a ruthless, cruel and destructive man. His policies have only brought pain and sorrow to the innocent people of Iraq. His WMDs, if any, are a threat to the world peace. But let me ask: who gave him patronage, arming him with hi-tech weapons for use against Iran and even finding no wrong in one use of chemical weapons by him? The answer is anybody’s guess.

The Americans have a history of giving patronage to dictators, may it be Saddam or Musharraf. US motives have largely been driven by economic and territorial interests. Iraq is a good example of this policy. The oil-mad, President “War” Bush and his men have left no stone unturned in projecting Iraq in material breath of UN Resolution 1441 and as an evil state. A state deemed evil, whose people are reeling under harsh UN sanctions and everyday bombardment by American and British jets.

The courage shown by countries like Russia, France and Germany is commendable. The firm opposition to any unilateral action against Iraq has put Mr Bush on the back foot and to accept the need for a second UN resolution. The French aggression in Africa was to project its citizens and to protect a democratically elected government totally opposite to what America is going to do in Iraq. Remember the recent referendum in Iraq? If people call the referendum baseless, then how come Musharraf is in power? As far as the North Korean crisis is concerned, it again brings to light the double-standards adopted in the war against terror and to free the world from WMDs. While it is openly known that North Korean has one or two nuclear weapons and also the means to strike with them, but still America is looking for a peaceful settlement. And the country that armed North Korea with nuclear weapons, Pakistan, is a “strategic” partner in the war against terrorism. No doubt, Osama is still at large! While America has armed itself with the option of “pre-emptive” strikes, it has denied the same to India.


A regime change in Iraq will only lead to flaming the sentiments of Muslim community, destabalisation of West Asia. The post-war Iraq will see different opposition groups engaged in a struggle for power. As far as the French and Russian oil contracts in Iraq are concerned, they would be terminated when a new puppet government installed by the USA comes to power and all the oil reserves fall into the American and British hands.

History speaks for itself. World War II was the result of American and British policy of appeasement, conceding to whatever the Nazis wanted. Also it was the same US-British axis, which decided to nuke Japan, even when they were on the verge of winning the war. And let me also remind my countrymen that not to forget that it was the USA, which sent a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier to threaten us during the 1971 war.

So let us not be influenced by the war cries from the White House. The recent report by Mr Hans Blix is an eye-opener and comes as a major blow to America and Britain. A case against Iraq must be built on firm evidence and finding of the weapons inspectors, and not on assumptions and possibilities arising out of the so-called intelligence report.

ANISH, Shimla

Disgraceful behaviour on roads

Appearances are deceptive. This I witnessed while driving on NH-1 from Jalandhar to Sonepat on February 8. The highway was as usual hustling with vehicles accelerating hastily.

The people travelling in big cars like Lancer, Honda City and Ikon etc are considered to be highly sophisticated and refined, which is not always so. I was nearing a Honda City, bearing the registration number of Haryana. I was about to overtake it, but to my utter dismay, the family travelling in that car threw orange peels. The peels didn’t touch my car, but I was certainly distracted for a moment.

I experienced another such incident near Karnal. Here the culprit was Opel Astra bearing Chandigarh’s registration number. Well, I wasn’t overtaking Astra, but I was only a few metres away from it. An empty polybag was thrown out, which flew for some moments and eventually landed on the road. It didn’t distract me while driving, but till date I wonder, why people behave in a careless manner. It’s highly shameful that the people, who seem to be very genteel, are indeed so disgraceful. The boards and hoarding of “Clean City: Green City” will do nothing, until and unless the masses realise their responsibility towards society.


Senior Citizens

Though retired government pensioners are getting some relief by way of regular DA enhancement from time to time on pension, the retired employees of public sector undertaking governed by the contributory provident fund scheme are very hard up in these days of high prices. The persons whose only source of income in old age is bank interest on their hard-earned savings need protection from the government in some way.

Free medical facilities should be provided to the Senior Citizens and their spouses in government hospitals. Interest on their fixed deposits be enhanced considerably and income from interest should be free of tax.


Suchipind railway station

The railway station at Suchipind, which is now virtually a suburb of Jalandhar, lacks a vehicular approach to it because the space between the station and the GT Road has been occupied and closed to traffic by the Indian Oil Corporation. While an approach cannot be allowed through the bulk depot for security reasons, there should be no objection to traffic through the residential colony of the IOC and the road that passes through the colony and connects GT Road with the railway station should be thrown open to public. In case that is not possible, an over-bridge may be constructed to provide access to the station. The residents of Guru Nanak Pura, Puda Colonies, Rail Vihar, Karolbagh Colony, Mansingh Nagar, Ladhewali etc will be the beneficiaries.

L.R. SHARMA, Jalandhar

Jalandhar bus stand

I have just been to the Jalandhar bus stand and was stunned by its appalling condition. The roads are damaged. During rain it gets water-logged all over.


Slanderous ads

I was dismayed to see The Tribune carrying all sorts of slanderous and character-assassinating advertisements of rival parties during the campaigning for the Himachal Pradesh elections. What a way to earn a tidy sum!

M. K. BHATNAGAR, Panchkula

Computer reservation

The Railway computer reservations was inaugurated with pump and show at Jagadhri railway station in December, 2002. It is a pity to note that the computer is often out of order.


Loot by stamp vendors

The Punjab stamp vendors were allowed to sell non-judicial stamps worth Rs 1,000 for sale and mortgage deeds in one transaction whereby they get Rs 40 as commission @ 4 per cent. But the Akal-BJP government during its last days in office approved a hefty rise in this limit. The vendors now get a commission of Rs 2,000 in one transaction by making a one line entry in their registers. This causes a huge annual loss to the government. Will the authorities stop this loot?


Bhagat Puran Singh

Bhagat Puran Singh was an embodiment of sacrifice. He practised restraint, lived a very frugal, celibate life and virtually lived on left over crumbs. He advocated restraint to solve the population problem and abhorred the use of plastics and environment polluting vehicles. He called himself a servant of the people and wished that a “broom be kept with his bier”.

He was born on June 4, 1904 and Pingalwara will celebrate his birth centenary in 2003-2004. Suggestions on how to celebrate his birth centenary are welcome.

Brig T. S. AULAKH (retd), Pingalwara, Amritsar

What ails civil services

This refers to the editorial “What ails civil services” (Feb 21). No doubt, the politicians are to blame for undermining the civil services to a great extent, but the bureaucrats too have to share the blame. After all, it is they who formed the dubious nexus with the corrupt politicians to plunder the wealth of the nation.

P. L. SETHI, Patiala

Birds perish

Apropos Lalit Mohan’s report “Birds perish near slaughterhouse”, the non-vegetarians should learn a lesson and discard consuming meat which will help close down the slaughterhouses. The municipal committee authorities, social reformists and environmentalists should join hands for the welfare and protection of the citizens and animals.

VIJAY KUMAR HEER, Chalara (Hamirpur)

Slaughter houses

The bird-lovers as well as environmentalists are thankful to The Tribune for highlighting the callous attitude of the authorities in the unfortunate bird deaths. It is a fact that most of the slaughter houses in our country fail to adhere to the prescribed norms.


A vulgar song

A highly vulgar-song is being telecast by various private channels, particularly ETC. The song begins with the words “Kaanta lagaa”. I appeal to the government to ban the telecast of all vulgar songs as they pollute the minds of the young people. The Tribune can start a campaign against vulgarity projected by private channels.


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