Punjabiyat will promote brotherhood

Apropos of Mr Khushwant Singh’s two-part article “Hindu-Sikh relations” (Nov 3 and 4), the writer has traced the history of Punjab during the eighties quite sensitively. He is hopeful that Punjabiyat will promote brotherhood and restore the “Nahun Mass Da Rishta” of yore.

We have to nurture that spirit with tremendous effort and throw away philosophies which preach separatism and ideologies which lead to isolationism. The new world has brought us into a new global environment where races and identities have melt into a new matrix.

Dr Jernail Singh Anand, DAV College, Bathinda


The history of Sikhs during 1716-38, according to English historians, is a nullity. In order to revive Khalsa, it was during this time that the Hindus started bringing up their eldest son as Khalsa. When a Hindu mother was asked how many children she had, she would very often say that she had four but one had become a Sikh. Mr Khushwant Singh makes a mention of this fact in his article but does not elaborate as to why the Hindus started doing so. Very few could imagine the spirit of Hindu mothers who decided to bring up their eldest son as Khalsa.

For me, Sikhism has always been an improved version of Hinduism which believes in one God. “Ekam Sat Vipra Bahuda Vedanti”, says Rig Veda. Its 33-crore gods all lead to “Ekam Sat”. Both Hindus and Sikhs need to take an epic vow of inseparable brotherhood so that the all-embracing message of Gurus may be spread all around.

Tarsem Lal, Pathankot



Mr Khushwant Singh’s reference to Swami Dayanand Saraswati has not been put in proper perspective. Swami Dayanand Saraswati commented upon various sects and sub-sects of Hindus in the 11th Chapter of his book “Satyarth Prakash” which shows that Swamiji did not write something as Hindus versus Sikhs. He treated Nanak Panth like many other sects of Hindus.

Mr Khushwant Singh himself has accepted the existence of such a relationship between Hindus and Sikhs. Swamiji has used similar comments about other sects also as, according to him and other Sanskrit scholars, a person is not considered learned unless he is thorough in Sanskrit and Vedas. Guru Nanak and Kabir too ridiculed many Hindu practices and beliefs and nobody takes it amiss.

Anand Prakash, Panchkula


Environmental pollution

Industries are the main source of environmental pollution. Our villages, towns and cities are full of dust, stink and disease. The increasing number of vehicles, burning of biomass, sewerage, untreated industrial effluents and street refuse all contribute to pollution. Unfortunately, local bodies are not taking effective steps to check pollution.

The Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) is lagging behind in enforcing the anti-pollution norms. Local and autonomous bodies and government departments which contribute more to pollution are not touched at all. The five agencies responsible to protect the environment are panchayats and municipalities, Water Supply and Sewerage Board, Health Department, PPCB and the Forest Department. Public health and sanitation is the responsibility of the first four agencies which are interdependent.

The existing laws need to be suitably amended to ensure joint effort in the gigantic task. At the district level, all agencies should work in close cooperation with each other to ensure a clean and green environment.

Lt-Col Daya Singh (retd), Bathinda


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