Wednesday, September 3, 2003, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi


Time not ripe for NFL disinvestment

THIS refers to the news item "Not the right time to disinvest in NFL: Dhindsa" (Aug 31). The argument advanced by Union minister Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa has merit and deserves attention. According to him, NFL is a profit-making PSU and therefore there are no immediate reasons for its privatisation. The upward trend in the prices of fertilisers is another argument made by him.

The price rise is a direct benefit to the government and in two years NFL will reap full benefits of this boom. Secondly, the price rise may make fertilisers costlier to the extent that these may go out of the reach of small farmers. In such a situation the government can intervene effectively through its own undertakings like NFL, MFL and FACT to discipline the market.

Postponing NFL privatisation will also give an opportunity to the protesting employees to harness their energies for the betterment of NFL. They can make NFL a model PSU. This may even motivate the government to postpone NFL privatisation further.

B.S. GHUMAN, Professor, PU, Chandigarh



A clever ruse

Recently, after paying obeisance at the Golden Temple, Mr Bhajan Lal praised the Sikh Gurus and the Sikh community and said: "Let the past be buried" (Aug 23).

Apparently, by "past" he meant the worst humiliation to which many Sikhs and some Army officers were subjected in public in Haryana during the Asian Games of 1982 when he was the Chief Minister.

Reacting to his statement, some Sikh leaders of Haryana have stated that one cannot forget the atrocities perpetrated on the Sikhs during his rule. Now that the Assembly elections in Haryana are due in 2005 and Sikhs are a decisive factor in some constituencies, Mr Bhajan Lal has praised the Sikh Gurus and the Sikh community.

In order to prove his sincerity to his statement, he should have apologised to the Sikh community at Akal Takht during his visit to the Golden Temple. He never even slightly expressed his regrets for the excesses committed on Sikhs in Haryana. His advice "Let the past be buried" after more than two decades is a clever ruse to win over the Sikhs.

It has reminded me of Ghalib's couplet: "Kee merey qatl ke baa'd us ney jafa sey taubah/Haaey us zood-pishemaan ka pishemaan hona." ("Zood-pishemaan", ironically, means repenting too soon).


Not an architect

Apropos of the report captioned “Architect charged with forging NOCs” (The Tribune, August 23) regarding the issue of no objection certificates by the architect, Mr Ram Lal, in Dharamshala and Palampur areas. Mr Ram Lal is not an architect. Nor is he a registered member of the Council of Architects. He doesn’t fit under the definition of architect under the Architect Act 1972. He was just authorised by the local Town and Country Planning Office to practice in Dharamshala and Palampur planning areas.

SANJEEV SINGH RANA, Advocate, Dharamshala

Church in a tailspin

Apropos of the article "Church is in a tailspin" by A.J. Philip (Aug 22), it takes more than journalistic conviction to write a critique of some developments in a religion, especially when you are a follower of that religion. G.K. Chesterton said, "It is the test of a good religion whether you can joke about it.", but Aldous Huxley improved it to "The true test of greatness of a religion is its capacity to withstand criticism."

It is hoped that Philip's write-up would be taken up as a cue by the free thinkers in other religions to have a clinically dispassionate look at some of the yawning gaps between the precepts and practices prevalent in them.

R.C. KHANNA, Amritsar

HP entry fee

THE government charges a fee from four-wheeler owners entering Himachal. The election manifesto of this ruling party had assured the citizens to do away with this unwanted taxing, but it has not kept its promise. The citizens of the bordering areas like Nangal, Kalka and Ghanauli have their relatives, businesses, bank accounts and hospital requirements on either side of the state border and it is a pity that they are required to shell out money every time they cross the barriers.

Sqd Ldr K.K. SHARMA (retd), Nangal


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