Army training: why blame golf courses?

This has reference to Maj-Gen Jatinder Singh’s article, “Trapped in a bunker” (Sept 30). No doubt, the credit for creating as many golf courses in the country goes to the Army. One of the oldest in the country — the Delhi Golf Course — was created by Bengal Engineers by clearing shrub, jungle and stone.

Similarly, such beautiful and environment-friendly green areas have been created in many cantonments like Bathinda, Jalandhar, Delhi Cantonment, Pune and Amritsar. These can truly be termed as oases of greenery in the midst of filth.

During the last 17 years of my retired life, I have observed that hardly any officer from the active units/regiments makes use of the golf course. They are far too busy in training, administrative and operational matters. If a few serving officers avail themselves of this facility, they are generally staff officers in various headquarters.

Clearly, training remains the Army’s priority and golf courses, in no way, interfere with this important aspect.

Brig A.S. BRAR (retd), Jalandhar City



The writer has tried to make a mountain out of a molehill. He attributes nine casualties during Operation Parakram to military engineers missing on training because they were employed on golf courses. This is decidedly being naïve. He contends that at Kargil enemy guns could not be neutralised because officers play golf and miss on training. Mercifully, he has not attributed any Army officer’s involvement in Tehelka due to preoccupation with golf!

We are sorry to note that as a senior gunner he does not know as to why enemy guns could not be neutralised at Kargil. Machinery (dozers, etc) may have been used on a few golf courses as a one-time effort for a very limited period and thereafter the courses are looked after by maalies and a few pioneers. Service personnel are not employed as caddies. In my 34 years’ service, I never saw golf interfering with training.

All unit officers (including commanding officers) play games with the men, at least four times a week. Few senior officers play golf, that too, when there is no other commitment.

Brig BIKRAMJIT SINGH (retd), Chandigarh

Free power unjust

We are facing acute power crisis. The people are a harassed lot due to power shortage in Punjab. The Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) is buying power at an exorbitant rate from the other SEBs, only to benefit the big landlords. And now the PSEB supplies free power to these big farmers. Who stands to gain in the process?

S. GARG, Bathinda


Free power to Punjab’s farmers is like a bankrupt distributing cheques. Instead of providing free power, the state government would do well to provide uninterrupted power supply to the farmers. For this, the state should take adequate steps to generate more power and stop power theft.

Capt GIAN SINGH, Mohali


Punjab is reeling under acute power shortage. If the government has surplus funds, let it invest the money in power generation. Secondly, giving anything free to anyone that does not create value for the product, is wrong.



Amazingly, Capt. Amarinder Singh had been opposing his predecessor, Parkash Sigh Badal’s decision to supply free power to farmers during the BJP-SAD regime. He blamed Mr Badal for the mess in the state’s finances. And now how will the Chief Minister compensate the loss of Rs 400 crore for the supply of free power to the farmers?

BANSI RAM, Chakhajipur (Hoshiarpur)


All the sources of power supply put together cannot meet the total demand of Punjab. Even during the monsoon season, when the water level in all the hydro-electric power projects is ideal for optimum power generation, there are power cuts all over the state ranging from four to six hours. How can the government provide power for domestic, industrial and agricultural sectors in the peak season?

Does this not mean that farmers will never get regular electricity for both Rabi and Kharif crops, more so, when the state’s financial condition is so precarious? Farmers demand regular and adequate supply of electricity and not free power.

Col KULDIP SINGH GREWAL (retd), Patiala

Scandals galore

This has reference to the editorial, “Lalu in trouble” (Sept 28). There is a record of dubious transactions, beginning with Mundhra and Jeep scandals, we have passed through a jungle of corruption, reaching out to Lalu and company. The list is endless. It includes every species of a billion people. Perhaps the money spent on investigation is nothing short of wasteful expenditure. Regrettably, we are yet to start with the list found guilty and punished by law.


Natwar’s Pak visit

External Affairs Minister Natwar Singh’s visit to Pakistan seems to have made some forward movement. Though India has emphatically pronounced that General Musharraf is the man it can do business with, it doesn’t seem to realise that the time is running out for him to sustain “concessions” in the relationship. This was evident from the tone and tenor of his speech at UN session.

Surely, New Delhi too carries an equal obligation to throw “out of the box” solutions to the Kashmir problem as General Musharraf and ultimately in the equation, such solutions from Indian side are still due.


Reform entrance test

The Central Board of Secondary Education conducts every year entrance test for admission to IITs and medical colleges soon after the Plus Two examination. As students remain busy preparing for the Plus Two examination, they find it difficult to prepare for the entrance simultaneously.

It would be fine if the entrance test is held only after the Plus Two examination results are declared. This would give enough time to the students to prepare.

Sadly, the government has done little to check the mushrooming of private coaching centres. These teaching shops fleece students and thus, are a heavy burden on the middle class.

Moreover, these centres insert advertisements offering crash courses for the entrance from March 23 or so, even though the Plus Two examination’s last paper is held in March last week. There is a need to reform the system of entrance tests.



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