Wednesday, April 16, 2003, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi


Blix bares Bush designs

BAGHDAD has fallen and the Americans are in ecstasy, particularly Mr George W. Bush and his colleagues. The British Prime Minister, Mr Tony Blair, is also celebrating “the historical victory”. But the fresh statement of Mr Hans Blix, the UN weapons inspector, has knocked out the bottom of all pro-war arguments of Mr Bush and Mr Blair. He has told the world that the US President was never genuinely interested in tracing the chemical weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. It was just a ploy to attack Iraq.

In fact, Mr Bush is the leader of state-sponsored terrorism. He has come to symbolise the unbridled, undemocratic and monstrous imperialist desires and dreams of the Americans. He is hell-bent upon hijacking the sovereignty of the nation-states on one pretext or the other. He connived with Mr Tony Blair to attack Iraq in order to take possession of the oil wells. Not a single nation, except Britain, came out in open support of the diabolical adventure of the Americans.

What right the US President had to serve a 48-hour ultimatum on Saddam Hussein to leave his own motherland? Wasn’t it the brazen violation of the UN Charter? Then, Iraq was fully cooperating with the UN inspectors and destroying its AL-Samoud 2 missiles one by one. The UN Security Council was shamelessly bypassed by the US while taking a questionable and feudal decision to attack Iraq.



No doubt, Mr Bush has stooped to conquer and the other sovereign states are not going to believe him. He now assures the Iraqi people that “free Iraq will be run according to laws and not by a dictator.” Well, who will frame these laws? The major fallout of this Gulf war is that the United Nations stands gravely marginalised. It has become a toothless tiger. It can tame only very poor and impoverished nations and not the mighty Americans who can say and do anything on earth.

In my opinion, Mr Bush has committed the biggest crime towards humanity, and for this, the US should be expelled from the UN. His armies have butchered innocent men, women and children in Iraq. Today it is Iraq, tomorrow it may be India. This so-called victory of the US armies in the Gulf has emboldened Mr Bush beyond description and he has started threatening other nations also. Mr Bush is the biggest enemy to democracy and he must be opposed tooth and nail.

Iraq has been insulted and humiliated and this simple reality should awaken the mighty nations like Russia, China and India from their slumber. The US wishes to reconstruct and rebuild the entire world as per its whims and requirements. This is a mad and undemocratic desire which must be curtailed. The natural resources of Iraq will be ruthlessly exploited for revamping the US economy. If Iraqi people could not have freedom under Saddam Hussein, they are not going to have it at the hands of the aliens. The Americans will treat Iraq only as their colony and conduct themselves as heartless imperialists.


Extending right to corruption

The Lok Sabha has sought to restrict the investigating agency's powers to take into custody an IAS/IPS without prior permission from the government.

This is clearly an effort to extend the legislators' right to corruption (forcefully defended by Mr Arun Jaitley and all political parties) to the benefit of their secretaries. The Secretary (PWD) will no longer be harassed for his act of putting up a shamiana for a CM's birthday celebrations, nor will a medico be charge-sheeted for preparing quality ladoos for the occasion. And, all this is being done by the “party with a difference” that started with a promise to end corruption!

Will your readers write to say whether such immunity is available to the civil servants in any other democracy? I believe we will be achieving another first as we did when we gave our legislators the right to illiteracy.

L.R. SHARMA, Solan

The Haldea report

In the early school days, we were taught that India is a democratic country. At that time it seemed that really it is. But as time passed, I came to know that here democracy is not associated with freedom of the common people but with politicians’ will only. The PSEB privatisation issue is a clear-cut signal to this type of democracy. I don’t know whether the Haldea report is a perfect solution or not. But what is wrong if engineers are demanding an open debate? If the CM is right, then he will definitely win the debate or is he not confident of his decision?

Being a student, I don’t concentrate on such topics, but I would like to ask the CM that by acting so, what does he expect from our generation — to burn others’ houses for lighting your own one?

Nimmy, Lehra Mohabat

Passenger safety

It is always a scary ride on Indian roads for people like me visiting India from abroad. You find that the driver of your taxi has not slept any more than a few hours and has been picking up customers from and to Delhi airport.

Unfortunately, I know two families who have lost half of their members in accidents occurring due to the taxi driver sleeping on the wheel, one just recently.

I request the local city administrations and the state governments to take some measures to ensure passenger safety, as it seems that taxi owners and drivers are only interested in money making.


Soulless, but loveable

This refers to Manu Moudgil’s letter captioned “Not stone hearted” (March 31) wherein he has assailed Mr D.R. Chaudhary’s and Mr K.J.S Ahluwalia’s views about the “soulless” character of Chandigarh. I have also gone through other write-ups and letters on this topic which have appeared in your esteemed newspaper in the recent days.

I too had an opportunity to live in Chandigarh for about four years in the late seventies and early eighties. Let me state at the outset that I love the city and definitely support the writers who have called it quite liveable, providing all kinds of facilities to its residents. Even though it has been about 20 years since I shifted to my hometown, I have always nursed a dream of going back to that city to live there for the rest of my life.

At the same time, however, it cannot be denied that people living in that city are often found to be heartless and emotionless. I can quote any number of instances to prove my point.

I remember an incident when my brother came to meet me in my absence at my house in Sector 15 and when he enquired about me from a person living in the same building, he did not even know that a person of my name lived there, though both of us had been there for more than seven months.

Sometime ago, an item appeared in the “Chandigarh Calling” column of your newspaper about how a woman living alone in her house died and no one came to know about it for a few days while her body kept lying inside the house! I did not find the item very surprising in view of what I had observed about Chandigarhians during my stay there. Earlier, we used to hear about such things happening in western countries only.

Ms Pushpinder Kaur’s and D.R. Sharda’s letters, both captioned “Heartless neighbours”, published on March 10 and March 17 respectively, reflect the feelings of Chandigarhians themselves on this issue.

I appreciate Moudgil’s remarks that the people of Chandigarh have often donated money to the needy and that the number of taxpayers in the city is on the rise. But I don’t think these are sufficient to make that city shed its title of “patthron ka shehar”.



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