Sunday, August 31, 2003, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi



The fearful figure of policeman

Apropos of Mr Sarabjit Singh’s article “What is wrong with the Punjab police?” (Windows, Aug 16), law and order is the most important duty of the state police. They have to deal with people of all hues — from the ordinary man to the VIPs. Multifarious nature of duties brings multiple pressures, stresses and strains. And the police woefully lack the necessary techniques to tackle with such situations.

Overwork and hazardous working makes the police irritant. Also the legacy of the British rule still persists in our police force. 'Thanedar' is the most fearful figure in public life, as the policeman always talks rough and tough to spread terror for obvious reasons.

I think, the constables’ lack of education is one basic factor that ails the Punjab police. A clear line should be drawn while dealing with criminals and innocent public. The methods and the curriculum of training must be modified to meet the challenges of the 21st century. Rampant corruption is another factor which has crippled the working of Punjab police.

The late DGP of Punjab, Mr Danewalia, was perfectly right when he said that no SSP or SP can take resort to corruption if the DGP wants to stop it. And no SHO or DSP can take bribe if the SSP or SP is against it. Major overhauling of the Punjab police is long overdue to make it people-friendly. Commitment to professionalism is a must for rejuvenating this cadre.

Karnail Singh, Ranjit Sagar Dam


Erosion of Principal’s authority

Apropos of the three letters by Prof K.L. Batra, Mr K.M. Vashisht and Mr O.P. Wadhwa (Perspective, July 20), the job of a principal indeed proves the maxim: “Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown”. Though the head of an institution is expected to give his best, he rarely gets the cooperation to deliver the goods.

The student community, the staff (teaching and non-teaching), the managing committee and society anticipate a lot from the Principal. He has to cope up with a plethora of tribulations.

In government-aided private colleges, the Principal has no powers to transfer the staff. Teaching and non-teaching unions are very strong and aggressive. The Service Act is in the favour of the employees. To shunt out an employee for his misconduct is a Herculean task, making the whole procedure very cumbersome. There is absolutely no work culture.

New employees, although willing to work, are coaxed not to do so by anti-academic elements. The students have to pay a heavy price for all this. Unfortunately, there is a general impression that the cause of all this is the inefficiency of the Principal. The employees leave no stone unturned in instigating the students and society against the Principal.

The managing committee expects smooth sailing of its institutions, but retreats when it comes to helping the Principal. He/she becomes the most repulsive when a teacher is tackled for not taking classes religiously or when a non-teaching employee is chided for not being on his seat or for coming late to the office.

Vandana Arora, Sonepat

A novel idea

It was soothing to read the article “More than a bus, it's a bridge of faith” by Pran Nevile (Spectrum, Aug 17). It is a hard fact that millions of souls, particularly in both Punjab, cultivate a burning desire to visit their native places and meet childhood friends. But alas! majority of them have passed away with this last desire unfulfilled. And it is more unlikely for the remaining living elders to succeed in crossing the unfateful Redcliff line.

The writer has come out with a novel idea that all those above 60 on both sides should be allowed to visit each other’s country freely. The age limit may be increased up to 80 if the respective governments have apprehension. But I fear this would remain a distant dream for the parted generation, thanks to the viciousity generated mainly by the non-Punjabis. So, to be more practical, I wish to suggest the writer and his likes to take the help of the media to help the parted Punjabis trace their lost beloved, relatives and friends.

For example, columns may be started in the newspapers in both India and Pakistan in which people from each other’s country can get their messages published for their contacts in that country and vice-versa. This method being simple and less objectionable for the governments, can be more effective in joining the lost strings of the hearts long parted.

Manjit I.S. Johal, Mandiani, Ludhiana

Idealistic talk

Reference “Why poets and writers rise above hatred” by Khushwant Singh (Windows, Aug 2). It were the Indian seers who thousands of years before the Biblical injunction to love one’s neighbour had ordained that all the people of the world were members of a single family implying that one should love not only one’s neighbours but also the entire humanity. But this all is idealistic talk.

The human nature and human relations being what they are, it is not always possible to love one’s neighbours. It is also neither possible nor desirable to treat all human beings as members of one’s family. In fact, congenital criminals, rapists, murderers, etc are best treated as beasts.

Chanakya was a practical man and that is why he stated the truth that one’s neighbours are one’s potential enemies. It is also incorrect that poets and writers always rise above hatred.

What to talk of Persian poet, Firdausi who could be hired to compose in the praise of the kings and was obliged to write against the same king when he felt cheated, even great Iqbal’s Tirana-i-Milli smacks of hatred for “infidels”. Anyway he, even being a descendent of Sapru Brahmin family of Kashmir lent his mite to the campaign of hatred against the Hindus.

Chamanlal Korpal, Amritsar

Concern for aged

This refers to the article “Now that they are old, nobody cares anymore”. It is sickening to read the plight of Ms Manjit Kaur, an octogenarian. Ms Kaur has sacrificed her whole life to bring up her children and grandchildren. Those who had played in her lap, throttled her. She took care of them and they, in turn, punched her in face and stomach. Everyone tried to exploit her by one way or the other.

India is the country of Lord Rama and great sages and saints. Lord Rama sacrificed his prosperous reign just to keep the promises of his father. Bishma Pitamah sacrificed his vigorous youth and took an oath to remain unmarried just to keep his father happy. But what is happening today?

As the future of the country rallies round the youth, if they do not take care of their parents and elders, what can the country expect from them? I feel, there should be a constitutional amendment making it binding on the grown-up children to take care of their parents and other elders. This could be made a fundamental duty. If they do not perform their duty, they should be barred from enjoying the legal heir status of the elder’s property.

Ajay Sharma, Chandigarh

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