Honesty: A better cure for AIDS

This refers to the feature entitled “Focus on youth and rural areas” based on the interview with Ms Sujatha Rao, the new Director-General of the National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO). Rao is right in asserting that there is a great need to focus on rural areas with a shift of focus to youth, women and children.

Women, particularly, are the worst sufferers and hence the most vulnerable group. However, what we need today is honesty in every sphere of life. First, wives can protect themselves from this ghastly virus only if their husbands stand loyal and honest as far as their sexual behaviour is concerned.

The doctors should exhibit honesty while operating upon their patients, injecting the ailing ones and transfusing blood by ensuring the use of virus-free instruments.

The sex-workers too must stick to honesty while serving their customers by saying a big ‘no’ to unsafe sex. It is not enough to install condom vending machines. People must be educated honestly about the proper use of these machines, their maintenance and proper working.

Dr VINOD K. CHOPRA, Hamirpur (HP)

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— Editor-in-Chief


Sermons won’t do

This refers to Mr Ashwani Kumar’s article “We must return to the best tradition of democracy” (Perspective, Dec 18). While our political leadership advises the masses, particularly the youth, to ensure sustenance of our core moral and social values, they themselves pay their whole-hearted obeisance to the monster of corruption and crime and compromise national interest for petty gains.

Ironically, political corruption is so rampant that the people in general have become indifferent to this becoming an integral part of our politico-administrative system. Unless we develop zero tolerance for the abuse of authority and corruption in public office, we can neither hope to cleanse the rotten polity nor can we expect to maintain the national prestige or achieve the goals of development.


Onus on the courts too

This refers to Mr G.S. Grewal’s article “Time to clear backlog of cases” (Dec 18). The judiciary is also responsible for this. Despite legal provisions, the courts assumed arbitrary powers and did not impose real/special cost while deciding suits or granting adjournments, thereby encouraging fake or fictitious litigation.

The judiciary should respect laws made or amended by Parliament, particularly for expediting court cases and should not try to undo the same by finding fault, as was done recently by the Supreme Court with regard to the Civil Procedure Code.

The time is not far off when the time-limit prescribed in other statutes for filing suits will be termed directory. It would have been better had the Supreme Court invoked the doctrine of Effective Alternative Institution Mechanism (as was done while adjudicating the validity of the Central Administrative Tribunal Act).

Lt-Col N.K. GHAI (retd), Ludhiana

Poetry in bronze

I read the article “The irrepressible spirit of being” (Spectrum, Nov 6). Ravi Bhatia deserves accolades for acquainting the readers with poetry in bronze of K. S. Radhakrishnan’s sculptures. The figurines of Musui and Maiya are mesmerising — a sumptuous treat for the eyes and marvellous creations of art. Radhakrishnan shows his mastery over craftsmanship, his piece de resistance, by carving the figurines skilfully.

The sculptor read the feelings and passions of Musui and Maiya well before sculpting them in bronze. An exquisite work of art outlasts the memories of emperors and conquerors. A beautiful piece of art is a joy forever.


Keats of Urdu poetry

This refers to Nirupama Dutt’s write-up Ai gham-e-dil kya karoon (Spectrum,
Dec 18).

Asrar-ul-Haq Majaz was one of the distinguished poets of his time. Asr Lakhnavi said that a Keats was born in the world of Urdu poetry but revolutionary wolves kidnapped him. Majaz also felt that poetry should not be used as a vehicle only for religious and didactic purposes.

He wrote verses in traditional metres using well-turned expressions and beautiful similes. For example: Ik mahal kee aar sey nikla voh peela maahtaab/Jaisey muflis kee javaanee jaisey beva ka shabaab. His verses have artistic elegance and literary grace. In every mushaira he elicited a tumultuous applause from the audience.

He said: Mujhey peeney dey, peeney dey, ke terey jaam-e-laaleen mein/abhee kuchh aur hai, kuchh aur hai, kuchh aur hai, saaqi. Once in a drinking bout, Josh Malihabadi said that he always kept a gharee (watch) before him while taking wine and said “And if it was in my power. I would place a ghara (wine pitcher) before me.”



Majaz laid the foundations of a delicate and revolutionary vein in the modern Urdu ghazal in a style which is immaculate. He wrote of both love and revolution and the need for a change in the socio-economic order.

His nazms, though obviously distinctive from those of Iqbal, Chakbast, and Akhtar Shirani, voice the restlessness of the youth at a time when winds of socialism were sweeping across India on the brink of Independence.

He wrote: Muflasi aur ye mazahar hain nazar ke samne/Sainkdon sultan-e-jaabar hain nazar ke samne/ Sainkdon Changez-o-Nadir hain nazar ke samne. Unhappy and frustrated, he wandered aimlessly on the glittering city roads, not knowing how to console his depressed heart.

His style is both melodious and forceful. His 60-lines nazm, Awara, earned him a lasting fame in the realm of Urdu literature.



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