Friday, July 18, 2003, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi



Need to promote Indo-Pak relations

IN July 11 Question Time India (BBC) programme, some one from the audience asked, “should India not attack Pakistan the way USA did Iraq?” My reply to him is that neither India is USA nor Pakistan, Iraq.

Another gentleman remarked, “we have had enough of talks, it is time we gave a strong rap to Pakistan”. Please ask him to contact more knowledgeable military as well as political leaders in India as to why they could not do it with the million-strong soldiers that they had amassed at the borders for nearly a year and Messrs Vajpayee and Fernandes had to eat the dust after threatening to attack Pakistan almost every other day?

Lastly, I would request the compere of the programme to edit such nonsensical remarks from the programme as these breed acrimony instead of promoting harmony between the two nations which is the need of the hour.

COL RIAZ JAFRI (retd) Rawalpindi (Pakistan)

Online baby

This has reference to the news item about two lesbians all set to have an online baby (June 29). Fine! Both the mothers are ecstatic but do they realise that they have opened a Pandora’s box? When the child is born and grows up, he or she is surely going to be baffled as to how come he has two mothers but no father around.


The child might even be laughed at in the school by children saying “Look, he has two mothers”. Teachers might say “Ask your mothers to attend the PTA meeting”. The explanations offered by the mothers for their child being different from others may fall on deaf ears. This can result in grave social and moral issues later on in the life of this child.

Their maternal instinct may be satisfied, but they should be prepared to deal with a child with psychological problems. The child could even become a burden instead of a support in their old age. I sincerely hope that they do not regret their decision in the years to come.


Human mind not a machine

This refers to your front page report “Only mad man can start N-war” (July 2). You can rely on the actions of a robot machine because you are cent per cent sure that it won’t do anything what it hasn't been programmed for. But in case of human beings, you can't rely because human mind is a very complex phenomenon which responds differently to different situations. Ego and emotions are key factors which determine the very actions and reactions of this machine of flesh and blood.

How can you be sure that you won't have Hitlers and Mussolinis as heads of different states in the coming times? Hitler had almost made up his mind to eliminate the mankind and turn the green planet into a desert. Had his scientists and advisers had a tinge of madness in them, he would've succeeded in his plan. Things were hardly different during the Second World War. One or the other was bent upon giving expression to their frenzy through nuclear arsenals. Whatever may have been the circumstances, the order for the atomisation of Hiroshima and Nagasaki can never be termed an act of sanity.

Relying on the fact that rulers are wise in the modern times will be a pseudo-statement. Therefore, in addition to the "No First Use" doctrine, we must start a world-wide campaign for nuclear disarmament. Let the initiative become a movement and open the deaf ears of those who believe in the philosophy of “neither to live nor to let live”.


Generic medicines

I appeal to the Punjab Government to follow the footsteps of Haryana Government which has instructed government doctors to prescribe only generic medicines. Generic medicines are those which are sold by their salt name. With no trade name, generic medicines are much more economical.

The government’s decision will go a long way in alleviating the misery of the patients who were deprived of a cheaper alternative earlier. This will also reduce the prices of top brands who have been minting money by playing with the sensibilities of the patients.


Visa centres

I would like to draw the attention of the Indians, especially Punjabis, who are being deprived of their hard-earned money daily by the visa application collection centres of various embassies. The applicants are directed to appear for personal interview at New Delhi. In 98 per cent cases, the visas are denied and passports stamped. Thus, these application collection centres have become money-spinning centres.

Previously, the applicants were interviewed and their applications scrutinised and only those considered fit for issuance of visa were required to deposit the amount. The embassies should be directed to adopt the earlier practice or refund at least 90 per cent of the amount deposited.

J.S. SEKHON, Jalandhar

PSEB reforms

The Punjab Government should not trifurcate the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) in a hurry as the earlier experience in Orissa, Haryana and even Delhi is disappointing. Trifurcation without the removal of the present underlying problems afflicting the PSEB will not improve the working of the ensuing utility.

Moreover, the present Chairman, Mr Y.S. Ratra, is a dynamic personality. He is known for his honest work, having a long experience in the post of Chief Secretary. As he has been appointed for a period of five years, he need not bow down before the State Government. He is on the correct path to remove corruption and improve the working of the PSEB. He should be given adequate time for making improvements.

I request the State Government to review the matter of bringing the so-called reforms. Otherwise, we will have to face the problems experienced by states like Orissa and Haryana.

O.P. GARG, Patiala

Shoddy gimmickry

The so-called “positive discrimination” to compensate the age-old communal injustice has grown more into a game of dirty politics and shoddy gimmickry than any serious concern for the well being of the downtrodden. The caste-based reservation has become a touchy issue and no political party can take the risk of losing its vote bank by suggesting any rationalistion of the policy.

It is a harsh truth that nobody, at least not our political class, seems to be bothered about any substantial economic and educational empowerment of the backward. Nor does one feel concerned about national growth and development. If the incompetent and inferior people hold responsible positions in government, it is good so long as it ensures votes. The crippling psychological impact of such a policy on both the backward and the upper castes becomes meaningless if the vested political groups can encash on caste sentiments.

One feels agitated at the emotional blackmail our politicians have practised on the nation and thus hampered all progress and development of the real talent across all castes of society. This opium of reservation has discouraged any serious effort by the lower castes to stand on their own merit and strength. It has bred jealousy and discontent amongst the upper castes.

The caste-based polarisation of society and the resultant mutual distrust and hostility are a direct outcome of such a policy. If no attempt is made at rationalisation of caste-based reservation, the country may well be moving towards social turmoil.



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