Tuesday, April 22, 2003, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi



Terrorism of a different kind

DURING the presence of the Soviets in Afghanistan somebody asked a soldier as what were they doing in Afghanistan ? He said: “we are looking for the person who invited us?” What is it called when the coalition forces, on specific information about a national leader’s presence in a particular hotel, drop penetrating bombs, with the aim of killing him. We should not call it political assassination because the US is doing it.

We were duty-bound to condemn the action of the Taliban when they blew up Buddha’s statue at Bamiyan. But when the US aids and abets the destruction of the heritage and history of Iraq, we are to be silent spectators because they are changing the regime and looking for weapons of mass destruction. The destruction of relics associated with civilisation 7,000 years old is definitely a crime of bigger proportion than that of the Taliban. But we must not condemn the action because the US is doing it.

The point still remains: where is Saddam and his weapons of mass destruction? The $ 80 billion spent could have been used to achieve the same goal with much less destruction. If the people of a country are not capable of changing their own regime, they deserve no freedom.

Capt RANBIR SINGH, Rajpura


Senior citizens’ cases

The Chief Justice of India and the Chief Justices of the high courts have decided to give priority to the cases of Senior citizens. This is welcome. They should pass instructions to the lower courts not to defer a case hearing beyond one month in view of the present fast means of communication and conveyance. The disposal of cases should be speeded up.

Lt Col P. S. SARANG (retd), Chandigarh

Most expensive film

Sanjeev Singh Bariana, in his review of the film “The Hero” (April 13), states that this “50 crore spy thriller is said to be the second most expensive Hindi film to date.” He has not mentioned the name of the most expensive film.

Well, the fact is that “The Hero” has been made at a cost of Rs 55 crore, which means it is the most expensive Hindi movie to date. Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s “Devdas” (2002), made at a cost of Rs 50 crore, is now the second most expensive film made in the history of Hindi cinema.


Tips for paper-setters

WE do not have any fool-proof and genuine system to draw out the best in the minds of students. I have seen many of them crying in the examination hall and out of it. I request the great educationists and the policy-makers to be very careful and sincere while assigning the task of paper setting to teachers. I have some humble suggestions to make:

1. Every year workshops should be organised for the paper-setters and they should be trained in the art of paper setting.

2. Paper-setters should be instructed to frame 50 per cent of the paper very easy for the average students, 25 per cent for good students and the rest 25 per cent for excellent students.

3. The basic principle of the paper-setter should be: let us know what the student knows the best.

4. No attempt should be made by the paper-setters to confuse students in a cruel manner.

5. The paper-setters should be persons of a balanced mind and very intelligent.

6. The best possible remuneration should be given to the best paper-setters.




Of sun, space & verdure

This refers to Mr Vinish Garg’s animated response to the letter “Paththaron ka shehr” (March 31) in which he has presented a clean rationale in defence of Chandigarh’s matchless aesthetic enchantment. Not only do I agree whole-heartedly with the writer’s veritable views on the city but would also like to add some of my own observations based on my 1300-page Ph.D thesis on Chandigarh (1990). The cardinal principles followed by Le Corbusier in the planning of Chandigarh — Sun, Space, and Verdure — give its citizens an extraordinary edge over their counterparts in other cites of India. Chandigarhians have acquired a cheery temperament (sun), the freedom to think for themselves (space) and an optimistic outlook (verdure). The City Beautiful has infused in them a distinctive “place-proudness” ( Prem Bhatia’s term) such as they would never barter for any material reward whatsoever. No wonder Chandigarh has produced an amazing number of professional of national and international stature in every field.

We Indians have a genius for glib talk and gullible acceptance. This national trait is grounded in our great tradition which we unconsciously equate with “grovelling in the dirt”, to use Dr Mulk Raj’s eloquent phrase. Those who envy Chandigarhians frequently voice such views on Chandigarh as are sick and incurable. Thank God, their species is one of “outsiders” — and Chandigarh is free their psychopathic pollution. One ought to have an “ecology of consciousness” to appreciate that neither Chandigarh is sleepy nor are its citizens “stone-hearted”. Chandigarh is soulless only for the soulless! It is gratifying that the city has finally freed itself from the grip of architects and planners, and now belongs to proud and enlightened citizens like Mr Vinish Garg and Mr Manu Moudgil.

Providentially, Chandigarh is in safe hands, and shall grow from strength to strength — beyond the anguish and envy of “outsiders”!

Dr S.S. BHATTI, Chandigarh

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