Monday, September 1, 2003, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi



Cow protection should be our dharma

Apropos of the editorial “Cow Bill rolls back” (Aug 23), cow stands added to the list of controversies that could get votes. Our politicians do not know that cow produces more milk for the human child than the child's mother. One need not mention here the importance of milk in our day-to-day life. According to a conservative estimate, 75 million tonnes of milk is produced by cows and buffaloes in India. The country earns more than Rs 2,000 crore through leather exports and another Rs 500 crore through the export of buffalo meat every year.

Unfortunately, we have failed to take care of the cow's progeny. Calf in India is much more undernourished and malnourished than the human infant is. Calf mortality in India is one of the highest in the world. We do not have enough of fodder or concentrates for our cows.

During the BJP rule, it was a non-BJP member of the Vajpayee Cabinet, Ms Maneka Gandhi, who took the Prevention of Cruelty Act off the shelf and framed rules there under. It is now mandatory to have a Goushala and an SPCA in each district of the country. Paradoxically, the Vajpayee government has failed to earmark enough funds for cow protection. Protecting the cow should be our dharma.

L.R. SHARMA, Solan



The editorial “Cow Bill rolls back” rightly maintains that the misconceptions and misgivings of those who have opposed this issue should have been allayed by the government through proper dialogue and debate.

The vital role of the cattle in improving and sustaining the country’s agricultural-oriented economy needs to be highlighted in the right perspective. The dung as a bio-fertiliser helps in growing cheap nutritious foodgrain and fodder by enriching the fertility of the soil. The danger of chemical fertilisers and poisonous pesticides can be avoided by replacing them with cheap, economical and effective bio-fertilisers.

In the Ayurvedic system of medicine, cow urine, by virtue of its benevolent properties, is a panacea for a number of diseases. The processed cow urine can fetch a price higher than the milk. Marketing of cow urine can be a paying business for the unemployed youth.

It is a pity that though many states have enacted laws imposing total prohibition of cow slaughter, the mafiosi clandestinely smuggle cows to states or countries like Nepal and Bangladesh where slaughtering is not banned. They are cruelly treated during their sale, transport and slaughter. Until the proposed Bill becomes an Act, it is imperative for the government to take concrete measures to prevent the pain, panic, misery that the animals go through.

In the present scenario, it appears to be a distant dream as even people like Acharya Vinoba Bhave and Jagadguru Shankaracharya could not get the needful done despite their grit and determination.


Churchill’s words come true

Apropos of Mr Bhagwan Singh’s letter (Aug 25) in response to Mr H.K. Dua’s article “Fiftysix years after: The neglect of the other India continues” (August 15), he has aptly quoted the speech of Sir Winston Churchill in the British Parliament on the debate over the Bill granting independence to India. He ended with the note that India was being handed over to leaders who would prove to be just men of straw.

At that time, the whole of India was cut to the quick in indignation and anger at Churchill’s imperialistic phobia for India and its leadership. Now in hindsight it seems that Churchill was being prescient about the shape of things to come in India a few decades afterwards.

I think the following stanza from John Dryden’s “Absalom and Achitophel” written more than three centuries ago is equally contextual to the quality of bulk of our leadership.

A man so various, that he seem'd to be

Not one but all mankind’s epitome.

Stiff in opinion, always in the wrong;

Was everything by starts and nothing long:

But, in the course of one revolving moon,

Was chemist, fidler, statesman and buffoon.

R.C. KHANNA, Amritsar

An article of faith

Reference “Initiative on Pakistan remains in place” by Mr Inder Malhotra (Aug 21). It is not surprising or something that Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, in his Independence Day address from Red Fort has “denounced all those who create divisions and spread disharmony between different communities.”

Every swayam sevak has unity of the country as his article of faith. Since the “secularists” have their main motto, the division of the people into a majority and the minorities, they criticise the sublime RSS. The main as well as minor culprits in spreading communal hatred are the “secularists” themselves. The communal hatred has created a vote book for them. Hence they stick to it like a limpet.

Every patriotic and nationalist Indian is duty bound to contribute his or her mite to the construction of Ram Temple, a national aspiration.


What’s in a name

In his article “A church steeped in history” (August 12), Rahul Das mentions that at one time Ambala was spelt as ‘Umballa’. Similarly, ‘Delhi-Ambala Railway’ was abbreviated to ‘DAK’ but to ‘DUK’. To cite another example, the spelling adopted for Amritsar was ‘Umritsar’. Actually, the general practice at that time was to use ‘U’ instead of ‘A’ in such names, the letter ‘U’ representing the vowel as in words like ‘but’ or ‘hut’ in line with the local pronunciation. (The reason also was that the British particularly tended to pronounce ‘A’ as in ‘man’ or ‘van’ and so ‘U’ seemed more appropriate to them).

That, however, gave rise to another problem over a period for time: it was observed that the general tendency among the public was pronounce ‘U’ as in ‘put’ or ‘pull’ instead of as in ‘but’ or ‘hut’, and that pronunciation would obviously not do. Hence a switch back was made to the earlier discard namely ‘A’ which is now in use. The wheel of spelling has thus turned a full circle.



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