Hail the resilient Indian spirit!

INCIDENTS like the Lucknow tragedy in which 22 women were killed in a stampede cannot unsettle our politicians and people. After all, we are a spiritual nation witnessing the Shining India campaign. Many such stampedes like the Kumbh Mela have become a part of our tradition.We bear the blows with our proverbial patience. These cannot scar our psyche.

Most of the time, we are ever-ready to pay any price for a cause, be it bathing on the ghats of the Ganga or receiving saris. The philanthropic motive behind the distribution of sari is understandable. Providing instant gratification to the people is the pious path adopted by our politicians to prove that they are alive to the problems of the masses. And this mechanism suits them. There is no need to make efforts to realise a literary scheme when distributing free clothes, food or houses among the illiterates brings immediate results.

Never learning from past mistakes is our genetic inheritance. We swarm around politicians, nourishing their careers. No wonder, birthday celebrations like these will persist. And I and you will remain their willing victims. And such is our inner strength that come what may, we would not admit that common sense is not common in a majority of Indians. Rather we indulge in offering condolence or receiving sympathy. And by overdoing it during every tragedy, we ensure that we wander away from the point. Hail the resilient Indian spirit!

SWARLEEN KAUR, BCW Surajpur (Panchkula district)



Kashmir issue

I read Mr Simranjit Singh Mann’s letter “Attack on journalists” (March 30) with interest. He equates the Kashmir issue with Afghanistan and Iraq. He ought to balance between Peeshi and Mearhi in the spirit of Panj Piyare. In other words, Sikhs do not just abound in “josh” (vigour) but “hosh” (sensibility) too.

Owing to political blunder, the Kashmir issue was taken to the UN. One has to analyse the UN resolution which gives direction under which a plebiscite was to take place. Pakistan till today has not complied with it and unauthorisedly negotiated the part, under its control, with China. Furthermore, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan has pronounced that the UN resolution of plebiscite has become extinct. Mr Mann and his ilk should appreciate the ground realities.

How is it that Great Britain, the mother of democracies, and an advanced and tested democracy like Canada would not hold a referendum on Quebec province? The answer is simple: no government would and should give in to separatist tendencies.

Dr P.S. NANRA, Wolverhampton (UK)

A disservice to Ayurveda

Though more people are turning to the traditional systems of medicine like Ayurveda to avoid side-effects of allopathic medicines, it is difficult to find genuine practitioners in the Ayurvedic system.

There are many qualified Ayurvedic doctors in the field having studied Ayurveda for five years. Unfortunately, most prefer to use allopathic medicines for quick relief. Worse, they supply loose medicines to patients from their own clinic procured in bulk, apparently of doubtful quality. Then there are so-called vaidyas who use traditional medicines reportedly laced with steroids to achieve quick results, ignoring its long-term consequences.

They are all doing a great disservice to Ayurveda. They are solely responsible for its stunted growth. Could the authorities concerned do something about it?

Wg-Cdr C.L. SEHGAL (retd), Jalandhar

No bank holiday

I do not know why a holiday was not declared for all banks by the Punjab Government under the Negotiable Instruments Act to mourn the death of Gurcharan Singh Tohra. The government declared a holiday for all its offices, boards, corporations and educational institutions. But banks were open as usual. It appears that either the bankers are considered insensitive or neglected.

ATUL MODI, Malerkotla (Punjab)

Decongest Shimla

The Himachal Government should ease congestion in Shimla by shifting most offices to some other city like Solan. With every new office in the capital, there is an undue pressure on Shimla. There is an acute shortage of water and pressure on the land. The situation is becoming worse day by day. Moreover, Solan would develop properly only if more offices are shifted there. Otherwise, it has limited scope for development.


Service Tax Act

The proposal to bring forward an amnesty scheme for service tax is welcome. The Central Excise Department should give due publicity to the scheme. There is need to amend the Service Tax Act. Where taxable services rendered are, say, less than Rs 5 lakh or Rs 10 lakh a year, service tax would not apply to them.

There should also be a provision to deposit service tax in advance — quarterly, half-yearly or for the whole year. Monthly details can be submitted with yearly returns. These facilities should be provided only to those who deposit service tax in advance to the extent of over 75 per cent.

S.K. HANS, Jalandhar

HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | National Capital |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |