Black sheep in white uniform

The offence committed by three Naval officers by possessing and passing on classified information to unauthorised persons for material gratification is by far more serious than the punishment of dismissal meted out to them.

One fails to understand why the Navy, after having made such a hue and cry in the initial stage of the leakage has caved in and soft-peddled the whole issue. They have let the culprits go almost scot-free. What were the compulsions to invoke the President’s displeasure doctrine to provide an escape route to these traitors? Dismissal from service to well-trained Navel officers is not a punishment but a provision to move on to greener pastures like the merchant Navy for better pay and perks.

Their offence is as serious, if not more, as those of the Army officers involved in the infamous Tehelka episode. The Navy should have emulated the Army by court marshalling and sending them behind bars, the right place for such black sheep in milky white uniform.





This is apropos your editorial “Criminal breach” (Oct 31). Having served in the Navy for 40 years, I was shocked that sensitive information from the Navy’s directorate of operations was leaked out allegedly for personal gratification by the very people who had been entrusted with the job of keeping the data confidential even from the very walls.

The greatest surprise is that the director of the war room, a captain with the fastest promotion to this rank, who could have made to a Flag Rank, was among those involved. To my mind, the dismissal of these officers from Naval Service is sufficient to make them suffer, with the stigma of shame sticking to them for the rest of their lives.


Disrespect to teachers

It is very sad to note that teachers are being made the butt of laughter in advertisements and movies. They are being shown as people with low IQ, incapable of achieving anything. In an advertisement being aired on TV these days, a teacher is being shown as a person of low calibre who can’t inspire his students.

Teachers are being mocked at in the movies too. They are shown as highly backward characters who still live in the Stone Age and are untouched by the waves of modernisation. They are shown as highly conservative characters who wear traditional clothes and old-fashioned spectacles, with sticky oil applied on their hair. They are portrayed as comical figures that run foolishly after their lady-colleagues.

Teachers are supposed to be nation-builders. If they are ridiculed and insulted like this the day is not far when the edifice of our civilised society will start crumbling. The censor board should intervene to ensure that this does not continue.

RAJAN KAPOOR, DAV College, Nakodar

Decibel assault

Apropos of Khushwant Singh’s column “Field day for noise-makers” (Saturday Extra, October 29), the worst victims of the ear-splitting sounds generated by fire-crackers and the full blast of loudspeakers are pregnant and post-natal women, new born babies, patients and students.

Everybody in fact is affected. Noise is not only a public nuisance, but also impairs thinking, hearing and memory, causes hypertension and leads to atherosclerosis. Loudspeakers and other such devices should be used at the lowest decibel level.


Amrita’s poetry

Amrita Pritam’s poetry and prose have left an indelible mark on the literary firmament of Punjab, by touching everybody’s heart. Such unmatched doyens are but a rarity and every Punjabi has reason enough to be proud of her.

Major BALDEV SINGH, Ambala Cantt

Unhygienic cantts

Gone are the days when sanitation in the cantonment areas used to be exemplary, and a model for others to follow.

Now the situation has reversed. In Ferozepur Cantonment, for example, there is no sewerage system. Filth and night soil flow in open drains and the people have to bear grit their teeth and bear the unhygienic conditions. The democratic system of electing civilians in cantonment boards has also been done away with and thus there is nobody to listen to and address the genuine hardships of civilian populations.

Another problem is that stray cattle are roaming in the streets in big numbers posing a health and safety hazard.


Unending madness

“He stayed on hoping the madness would end” (Oct 30) was a touching piece by Usha and Rajmohan Gandhi. I honestly could not control my tears at the pathetic situation that prevailed at the time of Partition. The persons who were living like brothers became bitter enemies and there was bloodshed on both sides.

But it is also on the record that lakhs of people were saved by the members of both communities in Pakistan as well as in India. They remember each other for these acts of timely help extended to them at very crucial and dangerous moments.

Now both countries are taking steps towards peace. May good sense prevail forever and feelings of hatred perish.


‘Two-alliances’ system

I do not share the scepticism of Amulya Ganguli regarding the BJP in his article. A “two-alliances” system led by the Congress and the BJP is now well-entrenched in the public perception and it will endure. The Congress also faced a crisis of leadership in the days of Sitaram Kesri and it took time to reach its present position. The BJP-led alliance, which brought back political stability, can also do the same.

Prof S.K. SHARMA, Jalandhar


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