SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI
O P I N I O N S

Editorials | Article | Middle | Oped | Reflections

EDITORIALS

At cross purposes
Babel in the Union Ministry
C
LARIFICATIONS that there has been no difference of opinion on the Manipur crisis between Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee and Home Minister Shivraj Patil have come. But they do not answer the question why such clarifications were necessary.

On the trail of terrorism
Pakistan must do more to curb it
T
HE two-day official-level talks between India and Pakistan on terrorism and drug-trafficking have ended on expected lines. The two countries have reaffirmed their determination to combat the monster of terrorism with all their might as it poses the gravest threat to peace and stability in South Asia.



EARLIER ARTICLES

THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS

Athens 2004
Greatest show on earth is here
T
HE greatest, grandest sporting spectacle of the world is about to start. The next fortnight will be filled with drama, triumphs, tribulations, laughter, tears, razzmatazz and much more. Billions of people will be eating, drinking, breathing and living Olympics like a single entity.

ARTICLE

Peace must be a priority
Why should Pakistan spend so much on arms?
M.B. Naqvi writes from Karachi
I
T is a strange coincidence: the day Pakistan’s delegation on cultural matters and visa relaxation was in New Delhi for talks with its Indian counterparts, the Pakistan Cabinet decided that its visa regime should be tightened up. Obviously, the scope of the Pakistan Cabinet’s decision was worldwide and it did seem related to terrorism.

MIDDLE

The name is the thing
by M.K. Agarwal
“W
HAT is the latest move of Sonia Maino?” you are asked. The question fails to register any feeling with you because you can’t, in the first instance, identify the subject. At best, it sounds just another Italian name.

OPED

Spare a thought for Blue Bull
Man-animal conflict avoidable
by Lt Gen Baljit Singh (retd)
T
HE Blue Bull is endemic to India alone, that is, it is not found anywhere else in the world, which places it in the class of living world heritage that needs to be preserved to posterity. In its prime, the Bull is a picture of muscle-power, dignity and pride.

Delhi Durbar
Allotment of ministerial bungalows
G
ETTING ministerial bungalows vacated in Delhi is quite a tricky job for the government. Union Urban Development and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad has sent several polite reminders in this regard to Leader of the Opposition L. K. Advani.

  • Olympics and medals

  • Seat-sharing exercise

  • Bureaucrats’ transfers

 REFLECTIONS

Top








 

At cross purposes
Babel in the Union Ministry

CLARIFICATIONS that there has been no difference of opinion on the Manipur crisis between Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee and Home Minister Shivraj Patil have come. But they do not answer the question why such clarifications were necessary. The situation in the northeastern state is quite unprecedented; the whole state seems to have been upset by the killing of a young lady at the hands of the Assam Rifles. Both of them have a say on Manipur as internal security is in the domain of the Home Ministry and the Assam Rifles is commanded by the Army. A little coordination between the two would have obviated the need for firefighting when one of them said that the Assam Rifles would be withdrawn from the beleaguered state. He should have been conscious of the impact such an announcement would make on the morale of the other security forces deployed in the Northeast.

Of course, there was a prompt clarification from Mr Patil that all that was contemplated was the removal of the Assam Rifles from Kangla, the seat of the Manipur kings. The ministers have been speaking so much that nobody knows for sure whether the Assam Rifles will stay or not. It is apparent that the Centre does not have a clear policy on the Manipuri demand for withdrawal of the Armed Forces (Assam and Manipur) Special Powers Act from the state. Its willingness to drop the Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA), which is a milder Act compared to the Northeast-specific law, while persisting with the latter is bound to rub salt into the Manipuri wounds. Ordinarily, the government should have taken a holistic view while dealing with the situation.

Similarly, when the Prime Minister has been seeking the cooperation of the Opposition within and without Parliament, HRD Minister Arjun Singh has been going hammer and tongs at the RSS. The minister is within his rights to bring about reforms in the ministry but there is no need to adopt a confrontationist attitude. It is one thing to have a definite view on the RSS but to go on announcing it day in and day out that its sympathisers would be weeded out from all academic bodies is quite another. In doing so, he is paying scant regard to the consensual approach adopted by the Prime Minister to solve national problems. It looks Mr Arjun Singh is being deliberately shrill about it, whatever the reasons.
Top

 

On the trail of terrorism
Pakistan must do more to curb it

THE two-day official-level talks between India and Pakistan on terrorism and drug-trafficking have ended on expected lines. The two countries have reaffirmed their determination to combat the monster of terrorism with all their might as it poses the gravest threat to peace and stability in South Asia. This pious thought, contained in the customary joint Press statement, however, does not mean much if one looks at the commitments made by Pakistan from time to time. Besides the initial dilly-dallying, it did promise to take on the menace head on in the wake of 9/11, but very little happened so far as Kashmir-related jihadi terrorism is concerned. Pakistan is a signatory to the various SAARC declarations on terrorism, but jihadi outfits continue to prosper on its territory.

In his latest interview with the Karachi-based Jang group of newspapers, General Pervez Musharraf has unwittingly accepted the existence of Kashmir-centric terrorist outfits with their infrastructure intact. He has indirectly disclosed this while asserting that jihadi outfits will have to close down their shops once the Kashmir crisis comes to an end. The statement also provides a clue to why he has been insisting on giving primacy to the Kashmir question in the composite dialogue process started by India and Pakistan. His difficulties are understandable because jihadi organizations have been multiplying in Pakistan by exploiting the people's sentiments on Kashmir.

The Islamabad talks have once again brought into sharp focus the serious differences on the definition of terrorism between the two countries. This is mainly because Pakistan still refuses to accept Kashmir-centric jihadis as terrorists. This only proves that the Musharraf regime is not serious about taking the anti-militancy drive to its logical conclusion. Linking terrorism to Kashmir so blindly will not do. The merchants of death should be shown no sympathy. This is in the interest of both India and Pakistan.
Top

 

Athens 2004
Greatest show on earth is here

THE greatest, grandest sporting spectacle of the world is about to start. The next fortnight will be filled with drama, triumphs, tribulations, laughter, tears, razzmatazz and much more. Billions of people will be eating, drinking, breathing and living Olympics like a single entity. The world's fastest, strongest and finest will compete with every last ounce of their phenomenal energy for the coveted titles on offer, because an Olympic medal is the confirmed ticket to the hall of fame. History will be created and rewritten. What makes the 2004 version of the event even more special is the fact that the Olympics is back in the country of its origin. It gives one goose pimples to think that the action will take place not far from places where Greeks and others of ancient times fought equally valiantly millennia ago. The spirit has remained the same but the modern Olympics have undergone a sea change.

This is also the first Summer Olympics since 9/11. So, Athens today is arguably the "most highly protected place on earth" thanks to a $ 1.5 billion security ring — four times more than the security expenditure on the 2000 Sydney Games. There are marksmen, airship patrols, even Patriot missile batteries to guard against air attacks. One just hopes that no untoward event will take place to snatch the focus away from the main competition.

The US has been the unchallenged super power at the victory podium so often that it will be a surprise if any other nation replaces it there. But China has been breathing down its neck and many momentous freeze-frame decisions are bound to emerge. Russia is not the force that it used to be but even then it can be a tough customer. As far as India is concerned, it will be lucky if it does not repeat the familiar "so near and yet so far" tragic tale. Some optimists have even made it bold to prophesy 10 medals. The country will do a wild jig if its 76 chosen men and women bring back home even half as many.
Top

 

Thought for the day

Life is like a sewer. What you get out of it depends on what you put into it.

— Tom Lehrer
Top

 

Peace must be a priority
Why should Pakistan spend so much on arms?
M.B. Naqvi writes from Karachi

IT is a strange coincidence: the day Pakistan’s delegation on cultural matters and visa relaxation was in New Delhi for talks with its Indian counterparts, the Pakistan Cabinet decided that its visa regime should be tightened up. Obviously, the scope of the Pakistan Cabinet’s decision was worldwide and it did seem related to terrorism. Even so, there was no mention at all of India. The only concerns that the Cabinet appeared to have shown were that the tightened up visa regime should not exclude or hamper the would-be investors in Pakistan and, secondly, no undesirable person should be admitted. Reports from New Delhi spoke only of general bonhomie and the apparent positive attitude of both delegations during the talks; there was no specific mention of any agreement or agreed recommendations to respective governments.

There is no doubt that Pakistan has reasons to fear terrorists. It is not cynical to say that Islamabad is hoist with its own petard. From the 1970s onward Pakistan actually welcomed and facilitated Islamic extremists from the Far East, Central Asia and West Asia, not to mention the encouragement to the home-grown ones. Gen. Zia-ul-Haq (1977-88) let the existence of the frontier with Afghanistan be ignored. The jihadists went to Afghanistan and came back at will with state encouragement. This influx could not have happened except without the State assistance.

The return of Russian soldiers made no difference. The jihadists — Pakistanis, Afghans and others — free of the Afghanistan job were re-routed to Kashmir, for a second jihad. This second jihad continued right up to 2002.

A third jihad began in the mid-1990s when Pakistan’s intelligence agencies unleashed the Taliban on Afghanistan. This was a different jihad by mainly Afghans and Pakistanis, though others supplemented it, and in the case of fighting, the Taliban could rely on foreign fraternal support. The Americans needed time to put pressure on Pakistan about the “terrorists” inside Pakistan with Indian support. Their demand was to dismantle the infrastructure built to facilitate jihad. It is being done now. And may be the new Cabinet decision of tightening up of the visa regime is related to that. This would be welcomed globally. But what about the visa regime with India that is apparently desired?

It is difficult to relate the decision with India. But one has a horrible feeling that the coincidence was not a mere coincidence. Today’s Islamabad has chosen to announce the decision without any reservations, and why should India be an exception. From the viewpoint of the Home Ministry, read intelligence agencies, India is teaming with “undesirables”; that is the traditional Pakistani bureaucratic mind. There is nothing to prove that it has changed. It is a mind shaped by 57 years of cold and hot wars with India. The bureaucracy generally is a part of the vested interests that want to keep the enmity with India permanent. There is ample evidence in the statements of right-wing parties and more conservative newspapers, especially Urdu ones.

One has no desire to prejudge the current India-Pakistan negotiations, and the position would start becoming clear after the Foreign Ministers meet on September 5 and 6. But this pessimistic thought occurs and recurs: bureaucratic minds on both sides remain what they have been. What would they achieve? True, bureaucrats can change their positions under the clear direction of their government. But that is only when such clear indications are there. So long as governments are not ready for a give-and-take, the bureaucrats cannot be expected to be true negotiators. Most of them will restate their briefs. One is not overly sanguine that the outlook is bright.

Insofar as Pakistan is concerned, no one of importance seems greatly interested in peace dividend that can come with the lessening of animosity and arms race. An end to the arms race looks much too utopian. There are powerful vested interests on both sides that want it to continue. The best that a government can do, in the best of conditions, is to slow it down. One is more concerned with Pakistan’s India policy. A stage has been reached when the arms race has stopped making any sense whatsoever for Pakistan. But more presently.

As far as India is concerned, it is not one’s bailiwick; what the Indian people and government do is their business. They have, in their wisdom, chosen the goal of making India a great power. The connotation of great power for them is overwhelming military power, with India being able to project power far and wide. The dream of national grandeur is too alluring. That is a goal that the majority of Indians appear to have accepted it. All one can say is good luck to them.

But for Pakistan its quest for military strength earlier was aggressive: of applying force at some stage or other in the dispute over Kashmir. The Pakistani ruling elites decided at an early stage that incorporating the Kashmir valley in Pakistan was the national cause and all effort was geared to that end. But times change. After 1971, the avenues for an aggressive policy vis-à-vis Kashmir disappeared. At that stage the militant minds pursued the goal of nuclear weapons. Beginning in the 1970s, they soon succeeded in having a few bombs in the basement. By 1986 they were threatening India with a nuclear riposte, if it invaded Pakistan.

The acquisition of nuclear weapons was, in fact, a disorienting event. Very quickly did the Pakistani Generals acquire the arrogance of power. They thought that Pakistan’s defence has now become invincible; they can do anything without inviting a response. That coincided with the valley’s Kashmiris starting a protest agitation that was initially secular and peaceful. Pakistani Generals converted that agitation into an armed insurgency. Moreover, they gave it a religious orientation and called it jihad. For nearly 10 years, the Generals tweaked the tail of the Indian lion, expecting that it can do nothing. But it ended in 2002.

The fact is that the acquisition of nuclear weapons by Pakistan was a mistake for pursuing the “national cause”. The bomb actually froze the dispute with India because India had been a nuclear power for a longer time. India has probably more nukes. It is foolish to dwell on who precisely is how powerful in the nuclear sphere. Neither India nor Pakistan can think of another war because it will quickly graduate into a nuclear exchange. And that equals defeat for both for all practical and political purposes.

Now that the sanction of war is not there, Pakistan’s Kashmir policy loses its basis. Now the solution of Kashmir requires India’s consent. General Pervez Musharraf has conceded as much when he said that let India tick out the solution that it does not like. He, in fact, has given India a veto power on the quest for a Kashmir solution. That is realistic. Now no war is conceivable even for Kashmir.

If there can be no war with India, why should Pakistan continue to spend good money on arms and armaments that will never be used? It is much better to have a peace dividend. Every Pakistani was ashamed when the UN’s Human Development Indicators were released for this year. Pakistan occupied the 144th position among 150 or so nations. Not that India occupied too high a position in this HDIs: it was 128th. But Pakistan came after Bhutan, India and Sri Lanka. That is what the armament race has done to Pakistan, where poverty has lately been growing rapidly. Pakistanis need a peace dividend.

Would the two governments allow us that? One is haunted by the thought that vested interests might be more powerful than the governments.
Top

 

The name is the thing
by M.K. Agarwal

“WHAT is the latest move of Sonia Maino?” you are asked. The question fails to register any feeling with you because you can’t, in the first instance, identify the subject. At best, it sounds just another Italian name. But if you are told that the reference is to Sonia Gandhi, you have at once before you the picture of a woman of destiny (or, dynasty), who is not just the widow of Rajiv Gandhi but also the Congress President, and who had almost made it to the Prime Minister but for her voluntary relinquishment of the throne at the eleventh hour. Inheritance of the family name puts her on a pedestal. No wonder that her son, Rahul Gandhi, hardly in his thirties, is being heralded as the next bright hope of India. They may have their merits, and certainly they have, but who can deny the sorcery of the name, and its sway and hypnotism?

Some time back I had come across a theory which says that history is not made by men, but by their names. According to this, if you just give a lad a good patronymic name, he has won the first round of the battle of life. Anyone who is gifted with a set of resounding syllables, thinks the unreflecting world, must also be gifted in other directions.

Take Hitler, who was born a Schuecklgruher. As Hitler, he inspired awe across the length and breadth of Germany. But can you imagine an entire nation thrilling to the cry of “Hail Schuecklgruher”? Impossible, says the proponent of the above theory! Bearing such a burden, and a drag, he might have been discouraged right at the start, to discard, like a heavy appendage, his cumbersome name, before he could hope to be taken seriously.

As Lenin did. As Stalin did. The founder of the Soviet Republic was Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov, but it was a Lenin that he ruled over the hearts of his countrymen, and was known as the father of communism. The real name of Stalin, the most powerful dictator ever of Russia, was Joseph Dijugashvilli. Both these men were wise enough to realise the handicap of an awkward name and to get rid of it.

That is why Samuel Clemens became Mark Twain, and emerged as the leading humourist of America. His novels “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” and “Hucklebery Finn” are vivid descriptions of the lawless side of boyhood, and have made him a household name. Similarly, Charles Lutwidge Dodgson gave up his prosaic name and changed to Lewis Carroll. It was in this incarnation that he wrote his delightful dream fantasies: “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” and “Through the Looking Glass”. These books are read, laughed over and re-read by millions, young and old, and their phrases and characters have passed into common speech.

Abu Fateh Omar Ibn Ibrahim is a faceless name of which the sheer unwieldiness smothers you. But as Omar Khayyaam he emerges as the scintillating Persian poet, great epicurean, and author of those exquisite quatrains, known as “Rubaaiyyat”. Likewise, few people can place Dhanpat Rai, but as Munshi Prem Chand he is known as the Chekov of Hindi short story, and has his name enshrined in letters of gold in the annals of Hindi literature.

That name is the ladder to fame and popularity can further be seen from the fact that countless theatrical people have adopted names that would shine better than their own. Leslie Townes Hope, the great American entertainer, switched to Bob Hope. Dilip Kumar, the versatile Bollywood actor and the king of tragedy, is the sublimate of Yusuf Khan. The original name of Nargis, who often paired very successfully in the films with Raj Kapur and was acclaimed as the queen of histrionics, was Fatima Rashid. Madhubala, whose flawless beauty and naughty screen portrayals held the masses under spell, was the once little-known Baby Mumtaz. And so on.

Since the name is the thing, dear reader, choose your name well, and having done so, live by it. And make it the best heritage to bequeath to your children.
Top

 

Spare a thought for Blue Bull
Man-animal conflict avoidable
by Lt Gen Baljit Singh (retd)


A male and a female Nilgai (Blue Bull)
A male and a female Nilgai (Blue Bull)

THE Blue Bull is endemic to India alone, that is, it is not found anywhere else in the world, which places it in the class of living world heritage that needs to be preserved to posterity.

In its prime, the Bull is a picture of muscle-power, dignity and pride. The male has a silk-smooth, steel-grey coat with a bluish tinge all over except one pure white patch under the chin extending to the throat and a white ring above all four fetlocks. Just below the white throat-patch, there is a conspicuous tuft of black hair so stiff that it resembles the stylised beard of the Pharoah Ramses of Egypt! Its polished black horns are seldom more than 10 inches long. The sparse mein is also black. And of course, there are two white, beauty spots on each cheek!

The female on the other hand is smaller, sandy-brown overall on the upper body and white below. Normally, one young is born in the year though sometimes there are twins as well. In looks, behaviour and size, they are like fawns of the Sambhar. In the natural way, the lion, the tiger and the leopard hunt them for food and maintain their population in check. There is no recorded or oral history of physical aggression to man by the Blue Bull.

At the turn of the last century, the Blue Bull were in abundance on the sub-continent east of the Indus, south of the Himalayan foothills and west of Siliguri-Madras alignment. The first quarter of that century marked the beginning of the overexploitation of India’s green cover. The period between the two world wars is the historical bench-mark when scars of degradation of habitats became visibly evident. This is when the pink-headed duck became extinct, only a handful of the Indian cheetah survived and the Indian rhinocerous, Asiatic Lion, the tiger and the leopard slipped close to the endangered levels of survival.

Regrettably, the drop in the population of birds and animals goes without notice till it is too late. After WW II, and following India’s Independence, the pace of over exploitation of natural habitats exceeded the combined utilisation over the previous 300 years. The cheetah vanished for ever in 1949 and the Blue Bull became extinct from south of the Deccan by 1970 as stated by the late M. Krishnan, an authority on India’s wildlife. That is when the tiger emerged as the flagship animal of the national wildlife conservation strategy. The extinction of the Blue Bull from the lower half of the penninsula went unnoticed and unmourned.

Today, the Blue Bull survives in patches mainly in central and north-west India. Even at this late stage no attempt has been made to take a nation-wide census, but it is a firmly held belief that the overall number of the Blue Bull has already diminished below the viable population level for the country as a whole. And that is the stage when a disaster management strategy alone can salvage this species from certain extinction. The ultimate tragedy of the Blue Bull is that the farming communities in the agricultural belts of India are now baying for the blood of this antelope. The mercenaries among press reporters jump on the bandwagon and whip up a false hysteria without sparing a thought to understand the plight of the Blue Bull. The naked truth is that almost always the threat of extinction of any species arises from mismanagement operating at three levels, viz, the forest dwelling tribals and agriculturists ignorance that their basic life-sustaining links are dependent on flourishing biological diversity, the ill-educated politicians who are abys- mally ignorant of symbiotic interplay within the web-of-life and forces of sustainability and lastly, the unaccountability of the tribe of arrogant bureaucrats who shut their minds to Indian’s earthy wisdom.

Admittedly, the Blue Bull can and does wreak havoc on crops. No farmer can condone that damage. No politician has the integrity to admit the flawed policy decisions that robbed the Blue Bull of their legitimate habitat in the first place. The bureaucrats had lacked the vision in policy formulations and now they neither display the moral courage to admit their failure nor the nerve to advise and put into immediate practice strategies to meet the crises head-on.

We are faced with the classic man-animal conflict situation only. Naturally, Man’s interests must assume precedence but concurrently we must provide for the assured survival of the Blue Bull as a species. Going by the first principle, ample browse and grazing must be made available on government lands (forest lands of all categories) and on village common lands. The quality of habitats must be so upgraded that it detracts animals from entering farm lands. Harnessing the latest in the field of bio-genetics technology, a 20-year habitat revival package plan must be activated.

Simultaneously, an insurance plan at the national level to specifically address damage to crops by Blue Bull must come into force also for 20-years. The scheme must operate at the village panchayat level to ensure timely monetry relief.

And lastly, for a permanent solution an assessment needs to be made of the optimum population of Blue Bull which the re-created habitats in the new ground reality will sustain and where need be, the state must scientifically cull the surplus numbers. There will be plenty of hiccups to kick-start such a seemingly complex plan but when at stake is the prevention of extinction of India’s endemic antelope species, as handsome as the Blue Bull, no effort must be spared.

The gung-ho policy of the Punjab, UP and Rajasthan Governments to issue shooting permits to exterminate the Blue Bull on farm lands is a criminal folly. Because of the strong Bishnoi lobby, Haryana Government alone has shown prudence. Shortly after assuming office, the Punjab Government had sent almost all members of the State Wildlife Board and the PCCF Punjab to Africa at the Government expense to study their wildlife management practices. Did not the Punjab Government know that countries of the world often engage the Wildlife Institute of India. Dehradun (a centre of excellence) to provide them consultancy services on wildlife management at lakhs of rupees? Never mind the faux pas but did they do adequate home-task before setting out to Africa? For instance, did they realise that even in Africa’s diminished habitats nearly seven lakh African elephants and agriculturists communities live in reasonable amity today? How? What did these worthies learn and what did they advise the Chief Minister, who is also the Minister of Environment and Forests. If we do not act now to ensure the survival of the Blue Bull species and simultaneously ensuring minimal damage to crops, 50 years hence this magnificent antelope will surely be lost for ever from the world’s living heritage, like the dodo.

The writer is a member of the Bombay Natural History Society
Top

 

Delhi Durbar
Allotment of ministerial bungalows

GETTING ministerial bungalows vacated in Delhi is quite a tricky job for the government. Union Urban Development and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad has sent several polite reminders in this regard to Leader of the Opposition L. K. Advani.

However, these entreaties have failed to have the desired impact on the NDA MPs in occupation of ministerial bungalows.

The list of those still in occupation of such bungalows includes former Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman Najma Heptullah, former Union ministers Pramod Mahajan, Yashwant Sinha, George Fernandes, and Nitish Kumar.

However, the BJP’s Pramod Mahajan gets to stay on in his sprawling Safdarjung Road bungalow as the ruling UPA has agreed to his request to have the house transferred from the ministerial pool to the Rajya Sabha pool.

Olympics and medals

India hopes to win 10 medals in the Athens Olympics. This seems astounding for a billion-plus nation, which has won eight gold and one silver medals in the 104-year-old history of Olympic Games. This prediction has been made by a major global accounting firm.

Using “model estimates”, it has predicted the medal tally for the country taking into account factors like population, average income level (measured by GDP per capita at PPP exchange rate), whether the country was previously part of the former Soviet bloc, whether the country is the host nation and medal shares in previous Olympics.

The study analysing the medal tally of last four Olympics found that the number of medals won is directly proportionate to the population and/or income level increases, but such increases are less than proportionate to the size and wealth of the country.

Of the 30 top countries for which the tally was predicted, India was placed 27th. The US with 70 medals-27 less than the 2000 Sydney Olympics, leads the tally. The margin of error, the study said, would be factors like outstanding individual athletic performance.

Seat-sharing exercise

The Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party are unofficially engaged in evolving a formula on seat sharing for the crucial assembly elections in Maharashtra. NCP leaders, who had faced a tough time in the recently held Lok Sabha elections, are hoping that a secular party like the Samajwadi Party would not play the spoilsport by fielding candidates to split the secular votes.

NCP chief spokesman Devi Prasad Tripathi has appealed to the SP leaders that each secular party should rise above narrow partisan interests and restrict itself to territory where it is confident of winning.

With the SP being a lesser danger, the real threat emanates from the Bahujan Samaj Party as Ms Mayawati has been thinking of fielding candidates in all 288 constituencies. Mayawati wants to make the BSP the sole representative of all Dalits.

Bureaucrats’ transfers

The Indian industry is clearly pitching for continuity in “babudom.” The other day, Commerce Minister Kamal Nath got a first-hand view of this when a top executive of a leading corporate group did not hesitate to go on record about the need for continuity of bureaucrats in certain key ministries.

“You have an expert team of people in your ministry. We request you not to transfer them”, the executive said during an interactive session between the minister and the industry.

The industry clearly seems to be concerned about the frequent transfers of bureaucrats from one ministry to another, especially at a time when the global and domestic economic situation is highly dynamic.

Contributed by Satish Misra, Gaurav Choudhury and R. Suryamurthy
Top

 

We shall either free India or die in the attempt; We shall not live to see the perpetuation of our slavery.

— Mahatma Gandhi

Without the Guru, the love of God does not spring (in our hearts) and the dirt of ego is not washed away.

— Guru Nanak

As the great ocean has only one taste, the taste of salt, so my doctrine has only one flavour, the flavour of emancipation.

— The Buddha

He who has faith has all, and he who lacks it lacks all.

— Sri Ramakrishna

Every force completes a circuit. The force we call man starts from the Infinite God and must return to him.

— Swami Vivekananda
Top

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