Austerity to counter calamity

Not long after the catastrophic Tsunami, which devastated India’s eastern coast, we have been hit with another “bolt from the blue” in our northern state of Jammu and Kashmir by way of earthquake. It has devoured thousands of lives (including the losses suffered by Pakistan) and has rendered many homeless.

Clarion calls for liberal donations towards relief funds are being made. The benevolent spirit, no doubt, is there, but it would be better if we respect the emotional aspect of the life of the bereaved in their hour of grief.

The festival season is on and people are in a celebration mode. The ensuing days are likely to see hundreds of crores of rupees being burnt unproductively on momentary pleasures. Such jubilation does not behove us when people in Kashmir are in agony.

Celebrate festivals as traditions demand, but let us pause and think before we leap. After all, how much do the traditions demand? Be frugal and preserve funds for the rainy day. Let out festivals be tinged in social hues besides being celebrations of our being alive. Observe austerity to counter calamity while planning celebrations. The funds thus saved can be given to socio-religious organisations and put to use in situations such as these.

Let Divali this year remain a subdued affair as a mark of respect to our dear departed. Our efforts can kindle hope in thousands of lives. Donate to rehabilitate. Exercise austerity to counter calamity.

Dr (Gp Capt) HEMRAJ GARG, Ludhiana


Burn their effigies

I read with interest the editorial “Beasts in khaki” (Oct 11).

A satiric joke goes that a jester and a police constable were travelling in a train. They indulged in the usual conversation. The jester was carrying a tin. The constable asked the jester about the contents of the tin. The jester replied that he was carrying “Desi ghee” for his wife who had delivered a boy a couple of days before.

“Since how long have you been married”? asked the constable. “For the last six months,” the jester answered. “You fool! It seems to be an illegitimate child”, the constable remarked. “How does it matter? I will have him recruited in the police,” the jester was quick and prompt.

Instead of “Ravana”, at least the effigies of such policemen should be burnt, if not the cops for their evil-doings.

Lt-Col IJS CHEEMA (retd), Chandigarh

Heartless killers

This refers to the editorial “Cruelty and calamity” (October 12).

In view of the romantic beauty and salubrious climate of Kashmir, Urfi Shirazi, a poet of Akbar’s court, said: Har sokhta-jaaney ke ba Kashmir dar aayad/ Gar murg-e-kabaab ast ba baal-o-par aayad (Any distressed person who visits Kashmir returns duly endowed with pinions and feathers of health even if he is like a roasted bird).

Unfortunately, now even a healthy person visiting the valley returns acutely grieved as a result of gory happenings there. Pakistan-backed terrorists have turned the paradise on earth into a killing field. Even the pathetic plight of the earthquake victims has not melted their hearts as is evident from the massacre of 10 persons in the Budhal area of Rajouri. Are not these so-called jehadis minions of Satan?

Taking advantage of the disruption caused by the natural calamity, some more terrorists may slip into the valley from Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir or those already there may indulge in more killings. Strict vigilance is, therefore, required in the troubled situation.



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