Monday, May 5, 2003, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi



Misplaced knowledge

The needless controversy raised by National Minorities Commission Chairman Tarlochan Singh about there being no gurdwara in Baghdad speaks volumes for his misplaced knowledge of Sikh religion or history. Of course, there is a gurdwara in Baghdad, and besides the photographic evidence produced by Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh, my late father Lt.-Governor Partap Singh Gill visited this Gurdwara during the Second World War when he was serving with the Allied Forces in Iraq. There are others also around who have paid obeisance at this Gurdwara in Baghdad.

To compound matters, first Mr Tarlochan Singh says there is no Gurdwara there. Then he requests the External Affairs Minister to send someone to confirm, “whether there was any damage to the historic Gurdwara”, (The Tribune, April 30), during the recent war in that country! Is there more to it than meets the eye? Mr Tarlochan Singh should know that the gurdwaras, whether in Iraq or elsewhere, are not the property of any government, much less a Commission. In any case, one would be interested to know if anything has been done about the gurdwaras in Afghanistan after the war there.

There is no need for anyone to politicise our gurdwaras. The Government of Punjab aided by the Centre could set up a non-party, non-aligned, non-controversial, well meaning, statutory body of experienced Panjabis (predominantly Sikhs), to monitor gurdwaras abroad — in Afghanistan, Iraq and Bangladesh, for a start. The running of the gurdwaras there will have to be managed by the Sikhs residing in that country, or the Sikhs who are now citizens of that land. But in times of strife or war, this India-based body could play an important role.


Legally, the Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC) cannot exercise any direct control over the gurdwaras located abroad, and it is only the understanding and lasting ties of the host Sikh community abroad that keeps the influence of the supreme gurdwara administrative body in place and going. Only those who have an idea of the Sikh diaspora, world geography and diplomacy and have the interest of the Sikhs at heart, and are not prone to furthering their own self-interests, should form part of this body.


Mayawati’s maya

This has reference to your report Mayawati’s maya rocks Parliament (April 22). But surprisingly, the “elected gods”, who raised an alarm about the “politics of revenge” are otherwise silent about their own pets in the rural sector who are always ready to indulge in political vendetta and witch-hunting. In the corridors of power too, Maya dictates promotion of political friendship.

That is why in the light of Maya, almost all scams, involving crores of rupees, after wide publicity in the Press, have ended up in smoke. Obviously, political Maya is above all codes of conduct and looking to its popularity in political circles, it deserved the status of State religion.

S.D. MINHAS, Sangnai (Una)


Raja & Rajan

Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh has made a right choice by appointing Mr Rajan Kashyap as the Chief Secretary. In fact, as he was senior to Mr Y. S. Ratra, Mr Rajan should have been made the Chief Secretary when the Captain's ministry took over. Also merit-wise, Mr Rajan richly deserved the post. Anyway, better late than never.

Mr Rajan Kashyap's trademarks are five T’s — Talent, Thorough, Transparent, Tough and Tennis. I hope ‘Raja’ and ‘Rajan’ would share fine chemistry and create history by giving good governance in the State, thus erasing the impression of the wrong-doings of Mr Parkash Singh Badal’s government from the people’s memory.

K.J.S. AHLUWALIA, Amritsar

Destination Punjab

Apropos of the report “Destination Punjab”, I would like to narrate my experience. I had to visit Amritsar in December last after attending a ceremony near Moga. As we took our van, I desired to visit Amritsar to see the Golden Temple, Durgiana Mandir and Jalianwalabag.

On entering Amritsar near a roundabout, the traffic cops signalled us to stop. A cop followed us for some time. We visited Jalianwalabag in a hurry as cops standing there did not allow our van to stop outside. I felt very sorry because though we came all the way from Delhi, we were not satisfied with the trip. On our return, the same cops again waved their hands to stop us, but we left. It was a bitter experience.

Dr B.S. SODHI, New Delhi

World Veterinary Day

The World Veterinary Day (WVD) on April 28 went unnoticed. There were no reports in the newspapers. The WDV in India is important because it is an occasion to reassess the role of veterinarians in the country’s development. The vets are expected to use their scientific knowledge and skill for the benefit of society by promoting animal health, check animal suffering and conserve animal resources.

The vets owe responsibility for the health and welfare of the domesticated animals as the health and efficiency of the milk and meat animals is directly related to public health. There is no denying of the fact that there has been an indiscriminate use of drugs by the vets over the years. As a result, the residues of these drugs are found in milk, meat and eggs. The consumption of these contaminated products containing residues of drugs is detrimental to the consumers.

The milk of animals treated with antibiotic, hormones, steroids and dewormers is only fit for human consumption after “milk discarding time” which is specified for each drug. The WDV will be a befitting occasion to ensure strict adherence by animal owners and vets to the prescribed “discarding time” for such milk prior to human consumption. Similar guidelines are applicable to the animals destined for slaughter.

The stray and abandoned animals rehabilitated in animal shelters need the sincere and dedicated care of the vets. It should be their moral duty to visit charitable institutions on their own to help the animals in distress.

Being a practising vet, I sincerely solicit veterinarians in all spheres to work in accordance with the oath they have taken. Animal welfare must always come first. Veterinarians should rededicate their lives for animal welfare and strive for economic development.


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