Cruelty lurks behind pomp and show

Apropos of the report “India’s first woman pilot beaten up by nephew” (Nov 9), perhaps growing lust for money has killed our conscience and made us utterly selfish and shameless opportunists. I have heard people saying, “poverty breeds strife” but here we have a prosperous house with a military background. And military officers are known to be very sensible and courteous.

The Punjab and Haryana High Court Bar Council deserves thanks of all saner elements for providing shelter and legal aid to Mrs Beant Kaur. The family relations are cracking up everywhere. Young men and women don’t have time to think about others, their narrow world begins and ends with them. More and more of them are becoming cold, cruel and callous towards their elders.

The distorted life values being popularised by our TV channels are turning them into mindless libertines. I strongly feel that in our sprawling urban localities, an endless cruelty lurks behind dazzling pomp and show. This incident is a visible speck on the face of City Beautiful.

Dr RAJ BAHADUR YADAV DEHATI, Fatehabad (Haryana)




Your front-page expose makes very distressing reading. Ms Beant Kaur, the 87-year-old widow of a retired Air Vice Marshal, who in her younger life was a pilot herself, used to often fly with her husband their own private aircraft, speaks volumes of her erstwhile active life and high standing in society. It is incomprehensible that this high profile lady has been suffering maltreatment and torture at the hands of her adopted son.

There are many ex-servicemen organisations engaged in espousing the cause of this relatively neglected community. They must all join to institute legal proceedings against culprits in the interest of justice and fairplay.

Brig H.S. CHANDEL (retd), Malanger (HP)

The concept of gotra

The merits of knowing our family trees are great. The concept of gotra has done a remarkable job by making Hindus conscious of their ancestors. The information, however, needs to be used in the light of the laws of genetics. Two individuals are not considered “closely related” if they have not had a common ancestor in the last three or four generations.

Thus, while it may bolster our egos when we trace our ancestry to a famous seer who composed Vedic hymns around 1000 BC, the chances of our having any physical (shape of nose, head etc) or mental traits common with him are almost nil. The concept of gotra has to be revised in the light of the above. The Vedic Research Institute at Hoshiarpur, not the Khap Panchayats, should take up the job.

Manu, Yajnavalkya and Gautam recognise Gandharya vivaha as a valid form of marriage, and a lover cannot be expected to sit down and reflect on the gotras before falling in love! In such cases, even the principles of genetics and considerations of caste and community should be set aside.

Dr L.R. SHARMA, Jalandhar

Divali in US & UK

Apropos of your report (Nov 12), I am happy that Divali was celebrated in the House of Commons in London and the White House in Washington. The Indian community abroad celebrates occasions like the Prophet Muhammed’s birthday, Id-ul-Fitr, Moharrum and Christmas with great enthusiasm.

Though the Government of India has been declaring national holidays on such occasions, other countries have not reciprocated this gesture despite the presence of an increasing number of Indians there. Holidays are not declared even to mark the birthdays of our great gurus like Lord Rama, Lord Krishna, Guru Nanak and Guru Ravidass. To strengthen mutual bonds of love and peace, other countries should emulate India and declare holidays.

HARBANS LAL MEHMI, Special Secretary to Transport Minister (Punjab), Chandigarh


Onus on Pakistan

The Centre’s decision to reduce troops in Jammu and Kashmir and carry on the process of dialogue with Pakistan is laudable. The reduction of troops will also come as a sigh of relief for the people of the valley.

But the terrorist attack, which cam in tandem with the announcement, showed that until and unless Pakistan stops abetting cross-border terrorism, durable peace in the state would remain short-lived.


Petroleum prices

When the global crude oil prices jumped to 55 dollars per barrel, the government correspondingly increased the rates of petrol, diesel and LPG. At the same time, the Petroleum Minister had promised a rollback once the crude falls below 50 dollars per barrel, which happily is presently lower than this.

A nominal reduction of about Rs 1.20 a litre in case of petrol has been announced, but regarding diesel and LPG, the common man’s fuel, the attitude of the government is callous. Shall the government think of the “common man” and provide relief in respect of the prices of diesel and LPG?

J.K. MAGO, Panchkula

Turban controversy

Reference the view expressed by Dr M.S. Gill, Member of the Rajya Sabha and former Chief Election Commissioner (Nov 11) that the lackadaisical attitude of the Indian government has made the microscopic Sikh community listless and harassed in France over the turban controversy involving students. They are left to fend for themselves from the onslaught on their religion. One fails to understand how a country, which erected three strong pillars of democracy, namely, liberty, equality and fraternity, can curb people’s freedom in the name of secularism.

Enlightened persons like Mr Gill should leave no stone unturned to make the Government of India ensure justice to the Sikhs in France through diplomatic channels.

HARBANS SINGH KAIRON, Hon Secretary, Chief Khalsa Diwan, Tarn Taran

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