Tuesday, September 23, 2003, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi



Terrorism: US double standards

This refers to editorial “Battle against terrorism” 
(Sept 12) and the two articles 
Terrorism is a product of mindset” (Sept 11) by Mr G. Parthasarathy and “Handling terrorism, US style” (Sept 10) by Mr K. P. Fabian. We, Indians, should see the so-called fight against terrorism in two distinct groups — the American perspective of terrorism and of our own. The objective in both cases is the same i.e. to end terrorism, but both are proceeding in different directions.

The editorial in question says, “The fight should at least have made some headway. It has not.” This is true. For instance, post 9/11, America has devastated Afghanistan without any international sanction. Then, take the case of Iraq. the US has destroyed that country on the ground that Sadam Hussain had weapons of mass destruction. The claim was false and devoid of logic. By these acts, America has proved that whichever country dares to oppose it is a terrorist and that it can attack the same.

In India, terrorists come and strike at will. It has become a ritual for some leaders to issue statements after every attack and then get busy in driving out political mileage out of them keeping in view one election or the other. Having proved that we have no will to fight this monster, we feel happy if some American leader extends the grace to condemn the attack. We give the impression that we have won the battle and make the people believe that the US will finally finish terrorism in our country, ignoring the fact that America is the source of energy for Pakistan, the terrorist mastermind.


Condemnation of terrorism is welcome. But when anyone does it, he/she should also condemn its reasons and strive to root out its causes. To wean away people from terrorists, we should work to remove the socio-economic disparities and discontent among the people because of apathy and corruption-ridden governance. Vested interests take control of these bigots and turn them into terrorists.

Dr Tirath Garg, Ferozepur City

Misuse of university funds

The proposed amendments in the HP University Act have come under fire from certain quarters on the ground that the amended Act would rob the university of its autonomous character. I am a staunch votary of the concept of university autonomy. It (the concept) is undoubtedly very attractive in principle. However, in actual practice, it has been noted that for the university gods, autonomy seems to mean (‘auto-money’ or unfettered powers to squander university funds to feather their own nest as also those of their lackeys and henchmen.

No government — the chief funding agency of the university — can afford to view the shady practice like a silent spectator. To my mind, the critics would be well advised to view the matter in proper perspective in the larger public interest.

Tara Chand Kanwar, Ambota (HP)

A big respite

The Supreme Court ruling in response to the petition filed by the National Human Rights Commission and Zahira Shaikh, comes as a big respite to the spirit of democracy. One had started getting a feeling that it’s end of the road for democracy in Gujarat. The blatant violation of the rights of minorities and the total violation of civic norms had shaken all the segments of society concerned with peace and progress. One hopes that now the intimidation of witnesses is stopped and the cases related to the Gujarat carnage be shifted to a more congenial place.

It also reminds us as to what is happening to the inquiry commission instituted by the state government. The Nanavati Commission also seems to be doing the bidding of the Modi government which is out to ghettoise the minorities and eliminate the liberal-democratic space.

If the guilty have got off the hook in general, the trend needs to be reversed. A mechanism needs to be evolved where by the guilty, including the colluding state officials, are brought to book. The inquiry has to be done on honest and objective grounds. More important, the organisations and individuals, which are specialising in spreading hate, need to be reined in and an atmosphere of peace and amity restored in the state.

Prof Ram Puniyani, Mumbai

Modi on the mat

Apropos of your editorial “Zahira will get justice” (Sept 13), the faith of the people in the judiciary will remain alive and will get stronger if the courts give justice to Zahira, the victim of the Best Bakery case. If she will not get justice in time, then it will be proved that India is no more a secular or democratic country.

Is there law and order in Gujarat? If yes, how are the criminals wandering without fear? It is indeed surprising how the witnesses in the Best Bakery case were frightened to change their statements. Moreover, Mr Modi’s government is against fresh trial of the Best Bakery case. This shows that the Gujarat government did not want to provide justice to any of the victims.

Dinesh Mongra, Ichhi (HP)

Shocking statement

Ronaldo’s statement about Pele, the world’s greatest footballer till date is shocking, not because it has come from one of the best of today but because the legend hails from Brazil, Ronaldo’s country. In an interview, Ronaldo said that from childhood, he has idolised Pele as his mentor and now suddenly he has become an average player. This shows the kind of respect our present-day players have for their seniors and ex-players.

I am not a soccer maniac but I cannot see players insulting their seniors. When Ronaldo said that most goals scored by Pele were against the weaker teams, I would like to remind him that he has also not scored any extraordinary goal when it has mattered most for Brazil. He is also a goal scorer against many weaker teams.


An eye-opener

Ms Poonam Bath’s report “Fleeing in grab of scholarships” (Sept 10) is an eye-opener and will help parents save their money. There are some more facts. The Children’s Welfare Trust of India has been sponsored by NRIs. They say that it works for development of various faculties of children in the country. The trust conducts Students’ Talent Promotion Examination (STPE) every year to identify the talented students to whom scholarships are awarded under the Students’ Excellence Find Programme (SEFP). The Trust was established in 1998.

The organisers had gone to the schools and got the addresses of “brilliant students”. The trust conducts the examination for the students studying in Classes 3 to 12. The Prospectus-cum-Application form can be obtained from the office on cash payment of Rs. 38. According to information, they sold 13,000 to 15,000 forms in 2001 and 15,000 to 20,000 in 2002. The examination fee is Rs. 150 for a candidate.

M. L Garg, Chandigarh

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