Divorce: The price of displacement

I READ with interest Prakiriti Gupta’s write-up “Divorce as the price of displacement” (Spectrum, Dec 7). Divorce, no doubt, increased among Kashmiri Pandits but this evil has not spared any section of society. Both men and women are equally responsible for this. Definitely, economic insecurity, addiction to drugs and liquor and unemployment are major factors contributing to divorce-type separation of husbands from their wives.

It is also lack of adjustment, dowry and no child-bearing capacity that separate women from men. In this era where women are pursuing their own careers (sometimes equal or more than equal to men), they find it difficult to remain under stress, tension, pressure and inconvenience of any type.

It is again society that looks down upon men and women affected with the virus of divorce. The rising percentage of NRIs is also disturbing the lives of women. Innocent parents, unaware of the boys’ actual position, make their daughters fall in the chain of marriage. Finally, this evil needs to be rooted out through public awareness campaigns.

sourabh bamba, Ferozepore




Keeping one’s mind under control

MR Khushwant Singh’s inability to control the mind (“The art of doing nothing”, Dec 20) is a problem not peculiar to him; it is with almost all of us. Even Arjuna spoke to Lord Krishna (The Bhagavadgita, Chapter 6) about it and sought his advice. People who practise meditation generally complain of the vagaries of mind. They say that when they sit for meditation a train of thoughts rush into their mind and they fail to concentrate. The reply to this complaint is that the mind is engrossed with the ideas of the world and its attachment towards wordly objects becomes a habit.

In order to win over the mind we have to act very cautiously and wisely. The simplest way is to get up early in the morning before sunrise and sit in a secluded place, neat and clean, calm and free from noise, either away from your house or in a separate area in the house reserved for meditation only. Have a pure and clean dress for this purpose which should not be used on any other occasion. Sit on the asana and first talk to your mind advising it to the effect that it should be absolutely calm and quiet. (a sort of auto-suggestion) at the time fixed for meditation.

When you first talk to your mind in this way it is very likely that it would get calm. It is highly imperative that during the practice of meditation you should be alert against the entry of external thoughts into your mind.

The main object is to keep the mind in its proper balance. Mind possesses both qualities. If inclined towards the world, it ties you down in bondage and if inclined towards God, (I suppose Mr Singh believes in God) it secures complete freedom for the soul. And it is for this reason that mind is said to be the cause of both bondage and liberation.

k.m. vashisht, New Delhi

Need for introspection

This refers to Taru Bahl’s article “When less can be more” (Spectrum, Jan 4). Efficiency, accuracy and precision notwithstanding, the high-tech and globalised modern life has taken away emotions of fellow feeling and family ties, and man stands reduced to a money-minting robot. He has become a slave to technology so much that the cultural values and social norms seem to make no sense to his progress-crazy selfish and unfeeling mind.

We, Indians, who have always boasted of our age-old culture of human values, social norms and spiritual attainments, need to pause and ask ourselves which way are we headed for? Did our civilisation and forefathers want this type of growth where the glamour of luxury and club life drowns all sense of socio-cultural responsibility and man refuses to recognise others as friends and relatives because for him, everyone is a worker and an instrument of yielding profit in momentary terms?

Our blind chase of material luxuries and a mindless following of the western lifestyle must stop forthwith. Instead of a life of late-night clubs and parties where only lust and sex dominate in the name of socialising and pleasure, we must search for ways which are soothing and tension-free and which can afford a lasting peace. This is possible only when once again we fall back upon our cultural values based on spiritual ideals. Let us not ignore them as conservatism and orthodox.

ved guliani, Hisar

The Saint-soldier

In his write-up “Guru Gobind Singh did not want to separate God from God” (Windows, Dec 27), Khushwant Singh has remarked that the Tenth Master “waged a losing battle against heavy odds”. Guru Gobind Singh came to the rescue of the Hindus, who were vanquished and oppressed for centuries and filled them with a strong longing for religious freedom and national ascendency. A contemporary Muslim mystic poet Bulle Shah, said: Agar na hotey Guru Gobind Singh sunnat hoti sab kee (If Guru Gobind Singh had not been there, all would have been subjected to circumcision — a Mohemmadan religious rite).

He was a staunch protagonist of communal harmony and said Maanas kee zaat sabhai ek hee paichaan bo (Know you all that the caste of mankind is one). About the outcaste, he declared: In hee kee kripa key sajey ham hain nahin mo so ghareeb karor parey (Because of their favour, I have attained to this exalted position, otherwise there are crores of poor people like me).

The Mughal Emperor, Bahadur Shah, treated him as a dervish. On his death, instead of confiscating his immense moveable property under the rules, he ordered it to be relinquished to the heirs, observing “Hukm shud ke az een amvaal khazaana-e-padshahn ma’moor namey shaved. Maal-e-dervishaan ast. Muzaahim na shavad (Ordered that the imperial treasury does nto flourish with such goods. It is the property of dervishes. It should not be interfered with).

bhagwan singh, Qadian

Padma award

This has reference to Mr V. K. Rangra’s letter “Promoting music” (Dec 28). He has pointed out that artists — Ustad Rahim Fahimuddin Khan Dagar, Yashwant Bua Joshi, Asad Ali Khan, Gopal Krishna, Sultan Khan — have all been awarded by the Sangeet Natak Akademi. I am and was absolutely aware of this fact. What I was referring to is that none of the above mentioned artists have been bestowed with the Padma award.

I have re-confirmed this fact from Kiran Seth of SPICMACAY (who had during an interview mentioned about these artists and the fact that they are yet to be adjudged for national level award). He said that though these were artists of the highest calibre, they haven't been bestowed with the highest national award, that is the Padma award.

Humra Quraishi, Gurgaon

Close security

I have read with great interest Dr M.M.Puri’s letter “Partition problem” (Perspective, Dec 21) pinpointing two grievous errors in my review of B.R. Nanda’s “Witness to Partition: A Memoir” (Nov 30) under the caption “A riot of queries on Partition”. There is no disputing Attlee’s statement about setting a date for British withdrawal having been made on Feb 20, 1947, not 1946 and the crucial Panjab riots which followed in March 1947, not 1946. The mistake in both cases, it should be obvious, was the year 1947 being replaced by 1946. I should apologise for these lapses that inadvertently crept in.

Sadly, in his zeal to pinpoint my “factual errors” which needed “prompt correction”, Dr Puri has made some of his own. Thus, British Prime Minister Attlee’s statement of Feb 20, 1947 set June 1948, as correctly stated in the review, not July 1948 as the date for British departure. Again, it was Mountbatten’s June 3 Plan for Partition, not July 3 which was to form the basis for the country’s Partition.

It is heartening to reflect an alert clientele keeps you and your reviewers under close scrutiny. n

parshotam mehra, Chandigarh


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