Childhood under a shadow

This refers to “Wounded Innocence” (Spectrum, Oct 9) by Sukhdeep Kaur. Research shows that a traumatised childhood casts its shadow on adult life also. It is quite true that the “child is the father of man”.

Dr Kaur has rightly said in the article that “Disbelief, denial and cover-up to preserve family reputation has made child sexual abuse an invisible crime in India,” adding that “stigma, secrecy and shame make the problem appear as an exception rather than a rule.”

At the same time, are we not ignoring other problem areas like child labour, child prostitution and child marriage, affecting millions of children in this country? We have also not adequately examined the role of society and the law enforcement agencies in tackling these problem areas.

Our entire system, as a whole, has become insensitive and apathetic towards curbing such evils. Any social change is a gradual process. Till society and the mindset of the people change, it is the responsibility of the law-enforcement agencies to curb this menace. Write-ups like these serve an important function of sensitising society.

Dr VITULL K. GUPTA, Bathinda



The write-up reveals the extent to which close relatives or persons known to children may end up abusing them sexually and in other ways. Such acts against innocent children are a taint on our culture and a heinous crime against humanity.

Appeals and sermons have failed to awaken the conscience of the guilty. They deserve to be exposed and punished in an exemplary manner. The government and non-government organisations should help the victims by espousing their cause.

Study of rights of children should be made a part of the school and college curricula and parents of abused children and others concerned should be given counselling. Besides, surveys should be conducted in schools and colleges to identify and help the victims suffering from deviant behaviour as a result of sexual abuse.


High time for a new work culture

J L Gupta, in his article Strike: We must discipline the indisciplined lot” (Perspective, Oct 9), has aptly maintained that our system of governance neither rewards the good nor punish the bad. This approach has completely destroyed the work culture. Idling away time and shirking work while on duty has become a high profit and low risk venture as no work means no accountability.

The employees’ trade unions are responsible for this mess as they have turned away the worker from the pride of his work and are mostly busy articulating phony issues to keep their membership intact. No trade union either directs or expects its members to work hard and shun corruption.

It is also not understood by the workers that a prosperous organisation only can sustain their prosperity. The downward trend in the growth of public sector is the direct result of these short-sighted policies of trade unions. But they are not becoming wiser. Aggressive trade unionism is still dominating. This aggression is showing up in the form of strikes which make life of the common citizen difficult.

It is time all the resources at our command are pooled to save society from the workmen who do not work and to make efforts to create a culture of nishkam karma.

S.C. CHABBA, Ropar

General Cariappa

This has reference to “Sage and the Soldier” (Spectrum, Oct 2) by Lalit Mohan. The late Gen F. M. Cariappa showed remarkable humility in personally presenting himself before Mahatma Gandhi and explaining to him that soldiers who fought wars and coped with the hazards of war abhorred war. Sadly, his numerous sacrifices and commitment to non-violence could not prevent the Partition of the country.

Lt-Col CHANAN SINGH DHILLON (retd), Ludhiana

The other Taj

I read Shona Adhikari’s “The other Taj Mahal” (Spectrum, Oct 2). I wonder why I never read or heard anything before about this once beautiful mahal, built and inhabited by Begum Shah Jahan. Unfortunately, its portrayal by the writer is typical of most other monuments one can see all over the country. They all are dying a slow death.

I also read a report in The Tribune recently about the poor state of the majestically built Quila Mubarak in Bathinda. These landmarks are not only architectural marvels, but also a living testimony to our rich heritage of art, craftsmanship, culture and lifestyles.

If all these landmarks are preserved and maintained properly, India will be able to attract foreign tourists more than any other country in the world. Needless to say, by letting them decay and crumble, we not only insult our own heritage, but also stifle our tourism industry.


Man of convictions

This has reference to Khushwant Singh’s “Gandhi, a loveable crackpot” (Saturday Extra, Oct 1). Calling the Mahatma a crackpot is an insult to the great man.

He was not a crackpot but a man of strong convictions. Whatever he propagated, he first tested it on himself.

He was an ardent supporter of ahimsa not because he was weak but because he believed firmly that forgiveness was the panacea for ending strife in society.

His ideas are still relevant to society and, if followed, they can help in putting an end to terrorism all over the globe.

Whatever Madeline thought about him, he led an ascetic’s life after taking a vow of celibacy. He guided many souls on the path of good. n 



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