English has universal appeal

THIS has reference to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s speech delivered at Oxford University regarding merits of British rule in India. The fact that the British unified India is overemphasised.

A glance on the Indian history reveals that every paramount power which could establish its rule in the Yamuna-Ganga doab tried to conquer the whole of India. Some powers were partially successful while others could unify the whole of India.

The Mauriyas, Samudra Gupta, Alau-din Khilji and the Mughals were able to establish their rule almost on whole of India. Not only this, Afghanistan too remained a province of India during Mauriyan and Mughal rules up to Shahjehan’s time.

The real and lasting benefit of British rule was the introduction of the English language which opened the floodgates of knowledge. Previously the Sultans and the Mughals made Persian the court language, but Persian could not take roots in India and it was forgotten soon after the decline of Mughal rule. But the English language has not only sustained but is flourishing in India due to its rich literature and universal appeal.

V.P. MEHTA, Chandigarh



Dr Manmohan Singh, in eulogising British Raj while speaking at Oxford, has faulted as much, if not more, as had Mr L.K. Advani in Pakistan. Atrocities heaped on us during Raj days like the lathi-charge on Lala Lajpat Rai to death, the horrendous massacre of innocent people in Jallianwala Bagh, the break-up of Bengal on communal lines, help create a cancerous ulcer of Pakistan, mischievously introducing ‘plebiscite’ to determine the status of Kashmir and many more are endless.

To argue that but for their yoke on us, we wouldn’t have had unified India, good railways, education, judiciary, freedom of speech and rational thinking is like living in a fool’s paradise.

Major BALDEV SINGH, Ambala Cantt

Singapore shows the way

THIS has reference to Nirmal Sandhu’s observations on Singapore during a visit to that country recently (Oped page, July 20). He says that Singapore is attempting to become self-sufficient in meeting its water requirement. The water resources are being managed in an integrated mode.

Rainwater is not allowed to go waste in Singapore. It is treated and used for drinking purposes also. Even the waste water (sewage) is treated (reclaimed) and made fit for use.

Will the planners of the Chandigarh Administration accept Mr Sandhu’s suggestion while planning work relating to water resources development, intended to be taken up shortly?

Dr G.S. DHILLON, Former Chief Engineer (Irrigation & Power, Punjab) Chandigarh


Farcical claim

The Muslim League of India has countered the Uttar Pradesh Wakf Board’s claim that the Taj Mahal is wakf property. Leading national political parties could not muster courage to condemn this unrealistic and farcical claim. UP Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav went to the extent of supporting it to protect his Muslim vote bank.

Taj Mahal is a timeless, peerless and immortal monument symbolising beauty, art and love which catapulted its status to one of the world’s seven wonders. This unique creation does not belong to any individual or organisation. It belongs to the whole humankind.

Being a cynosure of all eyes, some political and religious parties are bent on using it for vested interests. How derogatory and mean they are! We should unitedly thwart all attempts at tarnishing the Taj Mahal’s image.

KARNAIL SINGH, Kharar (Ropar)


I read the editorial “Wah Taj” (July 16). The present controversy is uncalled for. It was built about three and a half centuries ago by Shahjehan in memory of his beloved queen Mumtaj Begum. The expenses over its construction were met out of the state exchequer and every section of society including Hindus and Muslims were involved in its construction.

Moreover, the Taj Mahal was not meant for worship of any religion in it. Its purpose was to keep alive the memory of love between Shahjehan and his Mumtaj Begum for the coming generations. As it is the property of the nation, it should be maintained and managed by the government as it has been all these decades, thorough the Archaeological Survey of India.

BALDEV S. KANG, Bassi Pathanan (Fatehgarh Sahib)

Sainik boards

I was happy to read about the annual meeting of secretaries of the Rajya Sainik Boards, after the creation of the new Department of Ex-servicemen in the Defence Ministry (July 12). But then, no major issue like education of the wards of ex-servicemen, jobs for both ex-servicemen and their children, or full pension was discussed.

The authorities should help old soldiers who have given their best to the country. Ex-servicemen are not so educated to start their own enterprises. They should be provided with some job once they retire.


Problem of pollution

Vehicular pollution has increased in Ludhiana. Three-wheelers, very old model tempos and private buses are polluting the environment. The government does not care to enforce the anti-pollution norms. What is the policy of the government?

After the Supreme Court intervention, Delhi buses used CNG and vehicular pollution has been checked substantially in the Capital City. But who cares for Ludhiana?


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