Sunday, August 24, 2003, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi



Taking care of aging guardians

In her article “Speaking up for the aging guardians” (Aug 17), Ms Kiran Bedi has rightly stressed the need to take care of our aging guardians at the fag end of their lives. Ms Bedi has also suggested a number of remedial measures to tackle the problems being faced by this vitally important but neglected section of society.

There is need to open old age care centres not only in big cities and towns but also in the villages. The insurance companies, social organisations and religious institutions can play an important role in this regard. They should come forward to open such centres by involving the youth in this noble task.

Alternatively, the state governments should go ahead with such centres by providing the necessary infrastructure, as elucidated by Ms Bedi, with the active participation of local bodies and gram panchayats. To begin with, a few towns and villages in each district should be selected as pilot projects for the purpose. After assessing their performance, this scheme can be extended to more towns and villages.

In such centres, the elderly people can sit, move and exchange views with their fellow friends with freedom. They can feel free and secure there from the sophisticated domestic atmosphere, full of unnecessary formalities and avoidable tension. This step will not only help ameliorate their sufferings but also provide jobs for the unemployed youth. It is time we took the initiative and come to the rescue of the aged. Moreover, it is society’s duty to provide protection to our aging guardians.

Harbans Lal Mehmi, Special Secretary to Revenue Minister (Punjab), Chandigarh



Ms Kiran Bedi’s article is not only a reflection of the real problems of the aged but also suggests measures to provide social security to them through a novel but foolproof method (making contribution towards a home for the aged from the day one starts earning). Prima facie, this method can work well if implemented sincerely, and can provide social security, medical care, good quality and dignity of life to millions of the aged.

The joint family system is crumbling fast. The need of the hour is to provide social security and care for the aged so that they may not be compelled to become dependents on others or on their children. The aged should not be made to feel that they are a burden on anyone and that their respect and dignity are at stake. The government and social institutions should think about the real needs of the aged and evolve a system to provide them home, care and reverence.

T.C. Kathpalia, Chandigarh

Making each other feel important

This has reference to Kanwalpreet’s article “Cementing the husband-wife bond” (Spectrum, August 10).

I agree with the concluding lines of the article: “the couples who are the happiest are the ones who haven’t forgotten that they are husbands and wives first and parents later on”.

There is a common saying in the Hindu mythology that the husband-wife relationship is the only one that is made in heaven and that is to last for janana-janamaantar.

The more they love, respect and desire each other, the more love, care and affection they can offer to their kids.

No doubt, life has become too busy, but howsoever one may be busy, don’t let the other feel neglected. The more you realise that the other is important to you, the more your love will nurture day by day.

It needs just your vibrant face with a mile-long smile and the way you express your need for him or her.

And, how can one avoid each other when both are made for each other?

Geeta Gupta, Ambala City

Trivia as news

This has reference to the article “Credibility as commerce; trivia as news” (Spectrum, Aug 17). I totally agree with Rana Nayar that the Orientalist project is working well. The mass media has gone about tossing words like secularism, communalism etc with gay abandon without ever paying heed to the flippancy of their usage. Dishing out mass culture as something sacrosanct is part of the Marxian agenda to which all elitism is taboo. But what direction such an attitude will finally take is not given a moment's thought.

One might even take up the term ‘leader’ in the context of ts present (mis) usage. Most of our leaders, not a few among whom are media's creation, do not act in the spirit of the word. They would rather be led by their vote-banks than lead their followers along enlightened path with the result that populism is the order of the day and the country's major problems like population etc. refuse to be amenable to solution.

Apart from the linguistic aberration created by the media, we also have the value system thrown up by Orientalism and lapped up by the Indian media out of sheer commercial considerations.

Recently, an English daily ran a three-day campaign to lower the age for drinking, comparing the limit of 25 years here with the lower limits in Western countries, as if this was the most important issue facing the Indian youth and the lowering of age would bring about the most sought after liberty to the youth.

Dr Jagdish Batra, Sonepat

Sikh religion

The painting in Harbans Virdi’s article “Gainful glimpses of Sikh art at Lahore” (Spectrum, Aug 10) carries a loud and clear message as far as the Sikh religion is concerned. It shows a religion far from what has been made of, in the present-day circumstances.

The painting shows Maharaja Ranjit Singh seated on cushions with the courtiers and attendants and as umbrella for shade. The holy books are out in the open without any top covering or the customary Chandoa. An action like this will not be tolerated today. It would amount to sacrilege.

Maharaja Ranjit Singh was a devout Sikh. He had all the regard for the holy book. However, in today's world, a simple religion has been made complex due to fanaticism that seeps into the system.

Col Karaminder Singh (retd), Patiala

Serious comedian

Mr V. Gangadhar, in his article “Comedian who took his roles seriously”  (Spectrum, Aug 10), states that in the 1980s, Johny Walker thought of producing a film but was disappointed at the response from his friends in the industry.

They demanded huge sums and would not give him dates. “He quickly abandoned the idea”, the writer adds.

This is not true. The fact is that after the disappointing attitude of certain big starts, Johny Walker made the film with small-time actors.

Made under the banner ‘Johny Walker International’ with the title “Pahunche Huye Log”, the movie starred Amjad Khan, Shafi Inamdaar, Shakti Kapoor, Javed Khan and Ashalata. Two big stars — Rishi Kapoor and Meenakshi Seshadri — played guest roles in it.

Made under his own direction, the movie, which was released in 1985, failed to click at the box office.n

Surendra Miglani, Kaithal

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