Laloo-Paswan spat in bad taste

THE editorial "Theatre of abuse" (Dec 1) rightly observes that the use of "undignified language" by the two Union Ministers, Laloo Prasad Yadav and Ram Vilas Paswan, against each other can hardly be described as a testimonial of good conduct and character. The disgraceful manner in which the two senior ministers are flinging allegations of corruption and criminality on each other has created a distasteful and unsavoury situation.

This war of words between them violates not only political propriety but also brings discredit to the Union Government. It has the potential of wrecking the cohesion of the UPA, and may also adversely affect its reputation and functioning. Certainly, men of sense cannot approve this theatre of abuse. Alexander Pope has rightly said: "Words are like leaves; and where they most abound, / Much fruit of sense beneath is rarely found."




New Army Chief

With the selection of Lt-Gen J.J. Singh as the next Chief of Army Staff, the Union Government has stood by the criterion of seniority and cleared the apprehension that it would not be influenced by considerations of caste, creed and religion for filling the top notch position of the Army. Lt-Gen Singh, being the senior most among the aspirants, is a soldier with an impeccable integrity and impartiality.



Lt-Gen J.J. Singh is a dedicated and highly decorated Army officer and so, his promotion as the next Army Chief is deserving. Why call him a Sikh? Dr Manmohan Singh was also described thus when he became the Prime Minster. As we are all Indians first, we should not identify ourselves with any caste or religious identities.


Partition row

This has reference to V.N. Datta's article "The partition controversy" (Nov 5) and V.P. Mehta's letter (Nov 11). I agree with Mehta's view that Patel was in no position to ask a leader of Mahatma Gandhi's stature to step aside. Both Gandhi and Nehru were darlings of the masses. Nehru was held in high esteem by the Indian intelligentsia for his scientific and modern thinking, and for his some personal charismatic qualities of head and heart.

I also disagree with Datta that but for the intervention of Patel and Menon, the whole of Punjab, Assam and Bengal would have gone to Pakistan. In fact, it was never acceptable to Gandhi, Nehru, Subhash and other tall leaders of India. The creation of Pakistan was a terrible blunder. One will never forgive those responsible for this act.

R.C. SHARMA, Kurukshetra

Appeasing monkeys

People from the outskirts of Chandigarh and Panchkula, especially near Nadda Sahib Gurdwara, are appeasing monkeys by offering them food and eatables. With the passage of time, this practice has become popular among the people. The traders of the grain market are often seen unloading the refuse of banana and vegetable trucks at the cost of the residents' safety.

This kind of feeding of monkeys by people (due to their religious motive or otherwise) has led to their dependence on people. This has also led to an alarming increase in the population of monkeys. As a result, one can see monkeys moving around even on NH-73, making it difficult for one to drive. Even two-wheeler riders are facing the same problem. Nowadays, monkeys are seen even in Sectors 2, 25, 26 of Panchkula in search of food. The authorities must intervene, keeping in view the impending danger.



Talks with Hurriyat

The Prime Minister and the Home Minister have been maintaining that they are ready to meet the Hurriyat leaders. Instead, the Hurriyat leaders go to Europe to meet the President of Pakistan. The Prime Minister of Pakistan talks to them in New Delhi to forge unity among them. Pakistan had made a similar attempt in Afghanistan to forge unity amongst the Mujahideens.

Should our Prime Minister go to Pakistan to forge unity amongst the rebels of Baluchistan, Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir and Sind and offer them moral and financial support?

Brig S.C. SHARMA (retd), Army Welfare Society, Navi Mumbai

Pension plan

Better health care has resulted in higher longevity of Indians and the population of senior citizens had increased in the last decade. A recent survey indicates that by 2020, the number of senior citizens without pension would rise to about 120 million (63 million at present), which calls for a legislation to plan the pension liability. Also social security system should be strengthened.

Dr B.L. TEKRIWAL, Mumbai

Wasteland in Amritsar

Plans are afoot to make Amritsar a beautiful heritage city but acres of vacant land around the nurses' hostel, teaching staff campus, girls' hostel and behind Guru Nanak Dev Hospital have been lying neglected for many years. This land could have been a source of great revenue for the medical college, besides providing healthy environment and scenic living place for its residents The huge land has the potential for growing vegetables and grains besides providing flowers to patients.

If college authorities cannot take this land, it should be handed over to the government's horticulture or forest department for proper care. The Citizen Forum, Amritsar, demands immediate attention to this problem

BRIJ BEDI, President, Citizen Forum, AmritsarTop

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