A patriot’s concern for India

This has reference to Kiran Bedi’s article “An open letter to all Indians anywhere” (Sunday Oped, Aug 1) representing the writer’s patriotism for her country and countrymen. All the suggestions offered by her need immediate implementation. I have a few more points to make.

One, Independence Day for us symbolises an access to freedom for all the communities. We should celebrate it in a befitting manner. All Indians, Hindus, Sikhs, Muslims, Christians and others should celebrate it unitedly by visiting the places of worship belonging to other religions and communities.

Two, all Indians should sing the National Anthem, which should be accorded the sanctity of a spiritual prayer for all the countrymen through an Act of Parliament.

Three, the political leadership at the Centre should show ways to implement such ideas meant to cement the spirit of communal integration and patriotism further.



And finally, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh should constitute teams from different walks of life to inspire the fellow countrymen. For example, in the Central Hall of Parliament, the Delhi team could be led by Lata Mangeshkar, Dilip Kumar, Dharmendra, Dara Singh, Kapil Dev, Bishen Singh Bedi, Hema Malini, Amrita Pritam and so on.



It was a timely piece and needs to be appreciated. Let us admit that our participation in the Independence Day celebrations has been minimal. It has more or less become a government-sponsored ritual and a holiday for the school children and the office goers. Independence Day neither inspires us nor stirs our conscience to remember those who laid down their lives so that we may live in a free country.

We still remember how, during the fifties, Independence Day started with ‘Prabhat Pheries’. People of all ages participated in this programme singing national songs. Public meetings were held even in small towns and people felt proud in hoisting the national flag atop their houses. They were the people who had witnessed or participated in the national movement for independence. It was celebrated as a national festival.

However, over the years, people became indifferent to this national event. The reasons are not far to seek. The political leadership at various levels has sunk to its lowest ebb and is devoid of any morality or values. They neither inspire us nor instill in us the spirit of patriotism.

For the people of this great country, there is no need to be despondent. Let us respond to the pleadings of Kiran Bedi in a positive and constructive way and celebrate Independence Day as a national festival.

Let us revive the spirit of patriotism. It is the need of the hour as we are still to fight the forces which are out to disrupt our democratic system with their corrupt and sectarian deeds.


Faith in astrology

Apropos of Khushwant Singh’s write-up “Star interpreters” (Saturday Extra, June 26), many politicians have an unflinching faith in astrology.

Addressing a mammoth gathering at Hisar on August 23, 2000, on the occasion of the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Jambheshwar, founder of the Bishnoi sect, Mr Bhajan Lal of the Haryana Pradesh Congress Committee, declared that an astrologer had told him that his stars indicated that he would be the Chief Minister of the state for another term soon.

Since then, about four years have elapsed but the astrologer’s prediction has not so far come true. Dil key khush rakhney ko Ghalib ye khayaal achchha hai.

Bhagwan Singh, Qadian

Unique Rafi

This refers to M.L. Dhawan's write-up “His voice made him immortal” (Spectrum, July 25). There is no doubt that Mohammed Rafi did justice to every song he sang. His ability to mould his voice to suit the actor's mood was unique. If he sang Chaahe koyee mujhe junglee kahe for Shammi Kapoor in Junglee, he rendered Hum kaale hain to kya hua for Mehmood in Gumnaam with much authentic as Ye duniya agar mil bhi jaaye to kya hai in Pyaasa where he sang for Guru Dutt.

Incidentally, Dhawan has wrongly stated that Kotla Sultan Singh where Rafi was born is now in Pakistan. The village is part of Amritsar district in Punjab. Also, the first song Soniye ni heeriye ni which Rafi had sung for the movie Gul Baloch was a duet with Zeenat Begum, and not a solo.



There is no doubt about the fact that Rafi was a prolific singer who lent his voice not only to leading actors of the 50s and 60s, but also did playback singing for established singers. When Kishore Kumar went off key recording Ajab hai dastaan teri ay zindagi for Shararat, Shankar Jaikishan summoned Rafi to lend his voice for Kishore Kumar.

Besides Kishore Kumar, Talat Mahmood used Rafi's voice for the Lala Rukh number Hai kali kali ke lab par teray husan ka fasana. Neither Talat nor Kishore objected to Rafi's voice being used for them— such was the virtuosity of Rafi. This speaks volumes for their on-mike camaraderie.

R.C. SHARMA, Panchkula


The article by Gitanjali Sharma on Mohd Rafi is informative. Rafi sang songs for all situations and for all occasions, some of which left an ever-lasting impact on mind and soul. It is a tribute to the great singer that B.D. Sharma and his friends have formed the Yaadgar-e-Rafi Society to carry on the legacy of the great singer.

M.P.S. RANDHAWA, Kapurthala

Consumer rights

Apropos of Pushpa Girimaji's column on consumer's rights, I want to share my bitter experience. After reading an article in the column suggesting that even an ordinary application can be filed in the District Consumer Disputes and Redressal Forum and the complainant, on his own, can contest the case, I too tried to file a complaint against a refrigerator company. I was told that every complaint was decided within six months.

However, 13 months after having lodged my complaint, I have not got justice. I have realised that an ordinary person cannot contest the case as he does not know the legal procedures being followed in these forums.

S.S. SANEHI, Jalandhar


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