Retreat from Karachi

This has reference to H.K. Duaís front-page editorial ďRetreat from KarachiĒ (June 12). Mr L.K. Advaniís ďsecularisationĒ of Jinnah has stirred up a real hornetís nest in the Hindutva ranks as also led intellectuals to debate whether Jinnah was really communal. This episode has blown the dust from the history textbooks that describe Indiaís vivisection and Pakistanís birth.

Jinnah, a non-practising Muslim, wanted to make sure that the Muslims, who were in a minority, got a fair deal in independent Indiaís politics. He put forward the demand for Pakistan as a bargaining chip. The British and the Congress wrongly perceived Jinnahís tactic as a non-negotiable aim, resulting in Partition, a joint mistake!

Our democracy is run by a few powerful men and women either by virtue of their dynasty or their power to wield the communal and casteist stick. With a polygarchy in the guise of a democracy, are we once again headed for a national blunder? Why shouldnít we switch over to the presidential form of government?

Lady Shri Ram College, New Delhi



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Mr Advani said nothing wrong or out of way to please the Muslims or the Pakistan government. Did the Sangh Parivar expect Mr Advani to condemn Jinnah at his mausoleum? In 1980, when Pakistanís national anthem was played before I watched a film in a Lahore cinema hall, like all others, I also stood as a mark of respect. Would I be called a traitor for that? If Jinnah was made the Prime Minister, there would have been no Partition but this was not acceptable to Nehru. Jinnah was in no way responsible for the Partition. He was secular to the core.

Religious fanatics are not allowing us to live in peace. And our leaders are doing little to check them. Who gave the right to Praveen Togadia to call himself as the saviour of the Hindus?



Mr Advaniís statement that Jinnah had secular views does not surprise me. The politicians today, in east and west, do not have any belief or principles. They just make speeches†for a particular audience. It is wrong to get angry over Mr Advani as he is out of power.



Mr Advaniís comments have kicked off a major controversy. If Jinnahís political ideology was secular, then what was the ideology of Maulana Azad, Rafi Ahmed Kidwai, Ghafar Khan, Saifuddin Kitchloo, Sheikh Abdullah, Abdul Ghani Dar, Ashfaqullah and many other Muslim leaders? Indeed, the list of their names is long and glorious.

It is also being made out in India by many of Advaniís ilk that Jinnah made sacrifices for attaining Independence. How many times was he incarcerated during the freedom struggle? For political convenience, no one should falsify history.

V.P. MEHTA, Chandigarh


A look at Jinnahís lifestyle, ideology and conviction will set the unfortunate controversy triggered by Mr Advaniís recent remarks in Pakistan at rest. Jinnah rarely visited mosque or followed the tenets and rituals of Islam. His image, therefore, as a secular icon was nothing different from his ideology.

The creation of Pakistan had many reasons. Mr Advani only spoke of historical truth which is not acceptable to Hindu hardliners, as their ideology and very existence are based on militancy and hatred.

B.M. SINGH, Amritsar


It seems as if history has almost repeated itself. In 1947, Jinnah unleashed the demon of communalism to create a separate nation on religious lines only to witness it go unmanageable afterwards and marginalise him within his own, eventually formed, theocratic state. Fiftyseven years later, Mr Advani, who, having unleashed the same demon in the past, is found struggling to control it and not letting it marginalise him in his own party whenever he hints an ideological reinvention.

The only difference could be the hope that Mr Advani would be allowed to show relatively more perseverance in a comparatively liberal set-up.


Saving Taj Mahal

Reports of corrosion of Taj Mahal are alarming. It needs to be contained on priority. Instead of shutting down polluting industries in Agra, the Taj Mahal should be scrubbed white, polished and given a transparent plastic covering. Car polish containing silicon may also be considered if it can help keep out harmful chemicals from combining with the marble.

The Archaeological Survey of India authorities should think along these lines as appropriate technology is not lacking in this regard.

P. SURESH MENON, Chandigarh

No jobs for Punjabis

As an engineer working in a large plant in Ludhiana, I know the real cause of unemployment of Punjabi youth. In almost all plants, over 90 per cent workers are migrants from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. There are about 25 lakh migrants in the industrial sector alone. Obviously, if migrants are not employed in the industry, the Punjabi youth wonít be jobless.

Industrialists recruit migrants and not local youth. If this is the case, where will the Punjabi youth go? If Himachal Pradesh can enact a law giving priority to local youth for jobs in the industry, why canít Punjab do the same?


PSEB meters

When power is being given to the farm sector at flat rates, the PSEBís logic to install about nine lakh meters ostensibly to curb theft cannot be understood. These meters are of very poor quality. Most failed on the first day of their installation itself! Their specifications have been twisted to suit the suppliers. In the last two years, in the name of transparency, the procurement has been hastened for reasons best known to the PSEB.

After installing electronic meters at residential and commercial premises by force, the PSEB will now install the defective meters on tube wells. The PSEB should first convince farmers as to how thefts can be detected by these meters.

T.C. BANSAL, Patiala

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