Looking beyond the release of Indian hostages

India heaved a sigh of relief after the release of the three Indian hostages in Iraq by a terrorist group. Our men returned safe due to deft handling of the crisis by the Ministry of External Affairs and the KGL Company, which employed Tilakraj, Antaryami and Sukhdev. The Ministry also tried to garner the support of Iraqi tribes and their chiefs for the release of the hostages. Though one of the Iraqi tribal chiefs, Sheikh Al-Dulaimi, was not cooperative initially, helped us a lot.

Terrorism continues to pose a great threat to humankind. See what happened in Russia. The terrorists have no mercy even for school children. Over 350 innocent lives were lost. Tackling terrorism should be the top priority of nations where it has taken a heavy toll. The brazen killing of 12 Nepalis by Iraqi terrorists was a dastardly act. The international community should unite together to combat terrorism so that their precious resources are used for the general well-being of the people.

HIMANSHU SHARMA, Student, Aadhunik Public School, Dharamshala (HP)


The people of Una district whole-heartedly welcome the release of the three Indian drivers - Antaryami, Tilak Raj and Sukhdev Singh. The Centre and the state deserve rich compliments for their successful diplomatic efforts which led to the safe release of the hostages. The media's responsible role during the hostage crisis also merits appreciation.

TARA CHAND, Ambota (Una)




It is heartening to see the release of the three Indian truck drivers in Iraq but it is equally sad that India, as a nation, lacks a firm policy on terrorism. Whichever government is in power acts on the spur of the moment and the only motive behind the government's actions is to protect its public image.

The Government of India has clarified that no ransom was paid to the Iraqi terrorists. But we should have a well laid out policy on such menacing threats to the nation. Countries like the US and Israel also face the problem of terrorism, but they have a clear policy - not to succumb to any ransom threat.

KUNAL JINDAL, Chandigarh


We knocked the doors of justice repeatedly. Finally, we bowed once from a distance before our God and prayed. The happiness came dancing. (Mein ne apne Allah ka sajda kia hai door se ek bar; Lekan dare insaf par dastak dee hai bar bar). Now in our thanksgiving prayer, we again bow before God and pray with shukrana for the good health and well being of Antaryami, Tilak Raj and Sukhdev Singh.


Not the founder

Swarleen Kaur's report "Roop Chand speaks on city's art, culture" (Aug 5) has some factual errors. Le Corbusier did not found De Stijl. De Stijl was the name of a group formed by the Dutchmen, architect Theo van Doesburg and painter Piet Mondrian, who were also responsible for the creation of the periodical De Stijl . It was dedicated to the "absolute devaluation of tradition…the exposure of the whole swindle of lyricism and sentiment."

It was the painter-designer Amedee Ozenfant who introduced Charles-Edouard Jeanneret to sophisticated contemporary art and had him paint his first pictures. Ozenfant suggested for Jeanneret the name Le Corbusier, the name of a paternal forebear, and initiated Le Corbusier into Purism. Ozenfant chose Saugnier, the name of his grandmother.

Dr M.S. Randhawa became the Chief Commissioner of Chandigarh in 1966, and not 1995 as mentioned in the report.

Dr S.S. BHATTI, Chandigarh

Faulty meters

The electronic meters installed by the Punjab State Electricity Board are defective. Most of them show wrong readings even when power is switched off in the house. This results in incorrect bills, sometimes running into thousands of rupees.

On receiving these bills, people try to meet officers but nobody listens to them. Even SDOs and Executive Engineers do not entertain people properly and give evasive replies. The Punjab government and the PSEB should evolve some remedy and scrap these meters.


Special chance

Panjab University has decided to grant extra chance to BA, B.Sc, B. Com and BBA (Professional) Part-I, II and III candidates who, despite two admissible chances, have not cleared their compartment. The authorities concerned should note that BCA (Part I, II and III) also falls in the same category as BBA. This extra chance must be given to the BCA. The last date for submission of application forms for the extra chance with normal fee, which lapsed on Aug 30, 2004, should be extended to help students.

TARUN KUMAR, Chandigarh

Are choe and chu inter-related?

The threat posed by the creation of a lake due to the blockade of a sub-tributary of the Sutlej, during its brief journey through the fringes of south-western Tibet, has certainly made the lives of the people living along the Sutlej miserable. Apparently, the formation of the lake may not be the result of natural factors but because of interference by the man-machine combination in the fragile hilly ecosystem.

The torrential stream originates in the north-eastern part of Spiti valley near the Prang la (Pass) and meanders through a deep and narrow gorge to enter Tibet for a short distance, before re-entering India to finally merge with the Spiti river near Sumdo to lose its identity. The Spiti rushes down to join the Sultlej at Khabo, about 11 km from Puh.

In the Spiti region, it is known as Parang chu or Pare chu. The term chu is used for small streams or rivers, both in the Lahaul-Spiti District in Himachal Pradesh and in the Ladakh region.

The chu seems to have some relationship with choe. Many seasonal streams in Hoshiarpur district and adjoining areas are referred to as choes. Could any etymologist find a relationship between the two terms? Is the term Chu not a mutant form of Choe?

Dr SANTOKH SINGH, Jalandhar City


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