Varsity teachers should
be role models

IN his article "When power brokers rule the roost in varsity campuses" (Perspective, Aug 29), Vikram Chadha has taken stock of the situation prevailing in our universities. The blame lies with the teaching community. When the Vice-Chancellor is especially a bureaucrat, he will always feel smug in the company of go-betweens and flatterers.

Those hanging around him for petty gains forget that they are teachers first. Therefore, the real power and prestige of the teacher lies in the pursuit of knowledge and inquisitive learning and in becoming a role model for the taught. They should be reminded of the axiom 'teachers know thyself'.

In Punjabi University, Patiala, for quite for some time, professors are in charge of all vital segments of administration including finance. It is a pity that the harbingers of knowledge and learning are being assigned administrative duties. Serious teachers should try for constructive academic interaction and healthy debate to counter the nefarious activities of the flatterers and hangers on.

Dr KAMLESH UPPAL, Former Professor, (Punjabi University), Patiala



Names which cause confusion

Apropos of V. Gangadhar's article "Namesake Trouble" (Spectrum, Aug 1), what better proof of such a confusion can be than the article itself. The writer observes that TV personality Pankaj Kapoor's name is often confused with that of Pankaj Parashar, a forgettable actor with roles in films like Insaaf Ka Tarazu.

Pankaj Parashar has directed films like Jalwa and Rajkumar. The writer has obviously confused Pankaj Parashar with Deepak Parashar who starred in Insaaf Ka Tarazu.

Among the names which cause confusion are those of actresses Reema Sen, Ryma Sen, Rimi Sen and Riya Sen; actresses Zahida of Anokhi Raat and Gambler fame and Zahira (heroine of movies like Aadmi Sadak ka and Niyaz aur Namaaz); cinematographer S. Pappu and director K. Pappu; producers A.K. Nadiadwala, A.G. Nadiadwala, Sajid Nadiadwala and S.A. Nadiadwala and composers N. Dutta and Datta Ram.

There were two film personalities with the name Javed Khan in Bollywood in the 1980s. The writer had incorrectly mentioned that B.D. Burman had composed music for Char Diwari. Salil Chowdhury was the music director.


Timely concern

Reference Humra Quraishi's column under the title "Justice Anand flays trafficking of women and children" (Sunday Oped, Aug 29). It is time the issue engaged civil society's serious attention. Almost everyday, we read reports of flesh trade in different parts of the capital. These reports reveal adoption of unconventional means of commercial sexual exploitation in massage parlours and bars.

Will civil society remain a silent spectator to flesh trade in different new forms? Have we reconciled to this social issue and come to terms with it as a necessary evil? Does it represent a glimpse of changing new values? The initiative taken by Justice A.S. Anand as Chairperson of the National Human Rights Commission to present the human dimension of the social evil of flesh trade and child sex workers is laudable.

Lt-Col ONKAR CHOPRA (retd), New Delhi

Family welfare

This has reference to Usha Rai's article "Target approach to family planning won't work (Perspective, Aug 1). The country needs to provide good health care facilities.

Contraceptives and medical help should be made easily available so that those who want to limit their family size may do so easily. There should be no compulsion or harsh measure on the people under any circumstances.

The two-child norm for panchayat members has been misused badly. The writer has rightly pointed out that in India with a strong son preference, female foeticide is on the rise. This can be checked by educating the people who are blindly running after sons.


Sheer pomp

This refers to the article "The big fat Indian wedding" by Prerana Trehan, (Spectrum, Aug 29). Only the rich can afford to indulge in such extravagant weddings. Instead of spending lavishly on the event, it would be prudent on the part of the girl's parents to deposit the money for the girl's security.

While our supposedly modern youth talk tall, they ultimately bow down to peer pressure for a great spending spree. Parents will certainly be relieved if their children insist on a simple court marriage or a religious one, without unnecessary pomp.


Lenient laws

Apropos of Jaspal Bhatti's article "Bizarre Bans" (Spectrum, Aug 22), in India, most things are not banned. Actually, there is no strict implementation of the law. The lawmakers pass an Act and then forget about it.

People here do not cooperate in the implementation of the law. They park their vehicles in the No Parking Zone and stick their bills on the walls where "Bill sticking is prohibited". They defecate, spit and urinate anywhere.

It is important to create awareness among the people about the rules and regulations on environment and traffic. Law-breakers should be fined. We should cooperate with the government in implementing these bans, only then we can call ourselves civilised.


Leader of integrity

This refers to Shalini Rawat's Punjabi review "Pearl of the Panth" (Spectrum, Aug 29) on the late Jathedar Gurcharan Singh Tohra. Tohra was also a member of the Lok Sabha from 1977 to 1979 in addition to being member of the Rajya Sabha for seven terms.

During his more than 50 years of political career, he epitomised honesty and integrity. He never sought for a ticket for the Assembly elections either in Pepsu or in Punjab. In spite of this, whenever there was a split in the Akali Dal, his detractors accused him of wanting to become Chief Minister of Punjab.

During the tercentenary celebrations of the Khalsa in 1999, he was unceremoniously removed from the post of the president of the SGPC.



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