He became a legend in his lifetime

I had the privilege of knowing Hari Dev Shourie from the days of Government College, Lahore, from 1932 onwards, when he was a couple of years ahead of me. It is indeed difficult to imagine a person more public-spirited than he was — one who literally devoted his entire life to completely selfless, public service.

The number of causes he espoused is legion and each one of them he pursued with single-minded zeal and conspicuous ability thereby benefiting thousands and thousands of citizens in all walks of life. And he was blessed with boundless energy, which would be the envy of many a younger man, and he used it for his chosen field of work to excellent purpose.

Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor, neatly hand-written or typed in double space, should not exceed the 150-word limit. These can be sent by post to the Letters Editor, The Tribune, Sector 29, Chandigarh-160030.

Letters can also be sent by e-mail to: Letters@tribuneindia.com

— Editor-in-Chief



Two cases which are merely illustrative of his astounding work may be recalled. One related to his fight for the pre-1979 pensioners whom the benign government attempted most unfairly to deny, to the very last, the benefit of pension revision undertaken from that year for the remaining pensioners. That brought relief to an entire generation of pensioners.

Another was from which the whole country stood to gain: the prohibition of the sale of blood by professional blood sellers to ensure a completely voluntary blood donation service. Shourie indeed was not an individual but an institution by himself — a man who became a legend in his lifetime.



This refers to the editorial, “Man of the Common Cause” (June 30). After his retirement from the ICS, Shourie had written many articles challenging the government’s decisions and went to the Supreme Court and the High Courts. Almost all the rulings were in favour of ‘Common Cause’. The cases were against illegal allotment of petroleum pumps, writing off non-performance loans and so on.

During Partition in 1947, he was given charge of rehabilitation of refugees. He visited the camps, supervised and provided relief to the people. His work was appreciated. He did selfless work and will inspire generations to come.

M.L. GARG, Chandigarh


Shourie was a social activist and champion of common causes. His contribution to public cause is immense. He filed several public interest litigation petitions on issues affecting the common man.

He believed in transparent, honest and effective governance. He was a crusader for the common man’s rights. He remained active in public life not only to the end, but also in his post-retirement tenure. He was awarded the Padma Bhushan.

B.R. KAUSHAL, Ludhiana


Shourie’s demise has shocked consumer rights activists. He founded Common Cause in 1980, an organisation for ventillating common problems of the people.

His recent book, A Roman with Public Causes, enumerates all the public causes for which he had been fighting for the past 25 years. Issues like encroachments, illegal construction, property tax, rent laws and commutation of pension were close to his heart. May his soul rest in peace!


Time to save precious wildlife

The nation is reeling under the trauma of vanishing wildlife. Distress signals from the sanctuaries have highlighted the uneasy silence prevailing over the tiger reserves. Sadly, the sanctuaries are in a shambles and poaching continues unabated. Hundreds of tigers have been killed. Notorious poacher Sansar Chand’s arrest is thus welcome.

However, there is no provision of capital punishment or even life imprisonment for the poacher. He cannot be killed in an encounter due to his strategic hideouts. The current law does not envisage any role of a combating force to make the poachers’ guns silent or a retaliatory force for rescue operations. It does not foresee any need for a larger network to undo the nefarious activities of a poacher. Only a stringent Wildlife Act which gives animals the unfettered right to live with dignity can protect them.

The tiger is on the firing line. He is surrounded by baits and traps, informers and poachers, smugglers and gangsters. We cannot save the tiger and the wildlife unless this unholy nexus is decimated.

H.M. SAROJ, Chandigarh


HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |