We must set our priorities right

This has reference to Chanchal Sarkar’s article, “Surgery deserves due attention” (Sunday Oped, Aug 21). He has drawn attention to deficiencies of medical system and education in India. He has rightly said that in India, training in surgery is completely inappropriate to needs.

During my medical studies, training and practice for the last 25 years, I always felt that the policy makers have ignored the need for suitable training appropriate to local needs and research in local medical problems. We have been following the western data and practice. We have completely failed to integrate and coordinate medical studies and research including in Ayurveda, homoeopathy, yoga and allopathy suited to Indian conditions.

The Chinese indeed have done a lot of work in acupuncture. In India, we are still groping in the dark. There is urgent need to identify our needs and priorities and make policies accordingly before it is too late. The media should play a more aggressive role in building public opinion and highlighting the national needs and priorities.

Dr VITULL K. GUPTA, Bathinda


Faraz not among the greatest

With due respect to Khushwant Singh, I do not agree that Ahmed Faraz is the third greatest poet after Iqbal (Saturday Extra, Aug 6). Seemaab, Mahroom, Jigar, Josh and Firaq are some of the greatest poets after him.

Mehdi Hasan’s rendering of Faraz’s poem Ranjish he sahee is soulful but Hafeez Jalandhari’s poems Abhee to main jawan hoon and Lo phir basant aai and that of Akhtar Sheerani Ai ishq hamein barbaad na kar, jointly sung by Malika Pukhraj and her daughter Tahira Sayed, also throw the listeners into ecstasy.

However, Faraz is one of the distinguished poets of Pakistan. Couched in a straightforward language, his verses immediately find their way into the hearts. He has the knack of beautifully delineating contemporary realities. Islam and Muslim does not feature in his poetry. He exposes the hypocritical religious leaders thus: Mazhab ko mudaam bechtey hain ye log / Eemman to aam bechtey hain ye log / Jannat key ijaara-daar ban kar shab-o-roz / Allah ka naam bechtey hain ye log.

Because of his blunt remarks against self-seeking rulers, he has often incurred their wrath. He tells the innocent people: Tum aab-e-hayaat maangtey ho un sey, Jo log faqt zaihr ke saudaagar hain.


Scholar’s plight

I have read letters in these columns on the poor quality of research in Indian universities. Consider this writer’s plight. We find only degree holders on our university campuses, but hardly any honest scholar because local and ethnic factors now play the key role even in academic affairs. This is unfortunate.

I worked for six years on my thesis “Common people in the plays of William Shakespeare” at the Department of English, M.D. University, Rohtak. For the last several years, I have been running from pillar to post to get my research work acknowledged, but there is nobody to listen to my complaint.

In February this year, I sent my representation to President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam. I got a positive reply form him within a week that my case had been sent to then Haryana Chief Secretary Sunil Kumar Ahuja. I don’t know if he ever took notice of the letter.

Then, I had written to Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda along with a set of five published research papers requesting him to allow me to submit my thesis which has been approved up to 80 per cent by my guide to the M.D.University, Rohtak. But I have yet to get any reply from him.

I have published 14 research essays on Shakespeare and despite being handicapped up to 40 per cent, I bled for six years in different libraries of the region, but now I feel hopeless and downcast in the face of a stony indifference of all those who ought to defend the cause of higher education in Haryana.

If I were suitably (ethnically and politically) connected, I would have got my Ph.D degree. Such negative feelings certainly dampen the spirit of research scholars.

RAJ BAHADUR YADAV, Lecturer (English), Fatehabad

Harbinger of rain

This refers to ‘Monsoon dance’ by Thakur Paramjit (Spectrum, Aug 7) In Guru Granth Sahib, Guru Nanak Dev says, Mori run jhun laaya, bhane saavan aaya... (Peacock’s notes are enchanting/sister, monsoon has come). It is said that when the spirit of Lord Muruga, the seasonal rain deity, enters the peacock, it dances so rapturously. In India, peacock’s shrieks and dance forecast rain but in some European lands, it symbolises loss of life as well as property. Even its sight is an evil omen.

Poetically termed, ‘God in his blue,’ the peacock is the vehicle of Lord Shiva’s son Kartikeya.

Ancient Indian history reveals that peacock-tamers raised Chandra Gupta Maurya, the first emperor of the Mauryan empire (322-298 B.C.). Though his origins are shrouded in mystery, Jain and Buddhist sources declare him to be a scion of the Maurya clan of Pippalivan, meaning ‘forest where peacocks abound.’

The Peacock Throne (takhte taoos), made for Shah Jahan, was taken away by Nadir Shah.


New-age pilgrims

I refer to Sukhdeep Kaur’s “New-age-pilgrims” (Saturday Extra, Aug 6). It is important to make the young aware of benefits of spirituality. We should try to organise ourselves in such a way that we may feel the healing touch of nature’s spiritual therapy. Yoga has proved to be a natural cure for almost all chronic physical and psychological diseases of the present age. By practising yoga with concentration, supreme power can be obtained.

To introduce youngsters to yoga, there should be practise sessions in schools with moral education.

ANJU ANAND, Chambaghat


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