Randhawa dwells in our hearts

THIS refers to “Beautiful mind dutiful life” (Saturday Extra, March 11) by Reeta Sharma. It is true that Dr M. S. Randhawa has become an integral part of the collective consciousness of Punjab and Haryana. He was an imaginative, intelligent and a creative ICS officer.

In 1952, as the Deputy Commissioner of Hisar District, he laid the foundation of the first public library near Government Senior Secondary School, Fatehabad. He played a great role in setting up libraries wherever he went as an ICS officer.

The educated middle classes and the common people in Punjab and Haryana will never forget Dr Randhawa as he dwells deeply in their hearts. Today’s IAS officers can learn a lot from the life and achievements of Dr Randhawa.


Dear readers

Letters to the Editor, neatly hand-written or typed, upto 150 words, should be sent to the Letters Editor, The Tribune, Sector 29 C, Chandigarh. Letters can also be emailed at the following address: letters@tribunemail.com

— Editor-in-Chief



People with a vision leave their footprints for the future generations. Dr M. S. Randhawa, who cleared the ICS in the first attempt, was a multi-faceted personality and his passions extended from agriculture to the arts. As a good and efficient administrator, he devised the concept of consolidation of land holdings in Punjab.

The PAU, first of its kind in the country and the mother of the Green Revolution in North India, is also a creation of Dr Randhawa. He also set up the library and a museum at the PAU for the welfare of the farmers. As an admirer of the arts, he discovered the hill paintings of Kangra and compiled them in a book form.

Hero of Punjab, Dr Randhawa was a perfectionist and the layout of the landscape of Chandigarh with planting of ornamental trees having picturesque flowering round the year still show his hand in planting them. He was the first Commissioner of the UT of Chandigarh.

In 1961, Dr Randhawa came to Nahan as the chief guest at the annual function of erstwhile Guru Ram Rai College and wrote a beautiful article in The Tribune about this small hill-topped, forest-clad town. Such visionaries make a place for themselves in history. Younger generations need such idols to emulate.

Dr L. K. MANUJA, Nahan


Reeta Sharma’s “Beautiful mind dutiful life” (March 11, Saturday Extra) encapsulates the multiple genius of the great M. S. Randhawa who was an artist, writer, administrator, culture-connoisseur and, above all, a visionary of outstanding status and calibre. He followed both his passion and profession with the zeal of a missionary.

Prof SURJEET MANN, Sangrur, Chain reaction

I have read with interest “Witness to history” by R. C. Rajamani (Spectrum, March 19). The writer has mentioned that not many know that Nehru was a chain smoker. This is not true. Nehru used to smoke two or three cigarettes a day and that too using a filter. I happened to see him smoking a cigarette in this manner while he was sitting in the Assembly Hall of the Constitution Club, Curzon Road, now Kasturba Gandhi Marg, New Delhi, in July 1947. He was attending a meeting of the AICC.

His photographs smoking a cigarette with a filter are available in pictorial biographies. However, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad was a chain smoker.



This refers to “Threat to caves of Bombay” (Spectrum, April 2). These caves and heritage sites do not fall under the purview of theMaharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) but the ASI. However, the MTDC acts as a proactive agency and helps coordinate activities around these sites.

The MTDC is primarily responsible for tourism and promotion of these heritage sites. Hence it would not be appropriate to hold it responsible for the disregard of these caves.

The MTDC, in its effort to protect and promote these heritage sites and caves within the state, acts as a coordinating body for all development activities.

The MTDC has taken the initiative to promote tourism in the state and in its effort to do so has procured a loan from an international bank to develop the Ajanta and Ellora caves. The MTDC has also taken the initiative to conserve various other heritage sites like the Elephanta caves and Karla caves. n

VISHWAAS DHONDE, Manager (P & PR), MTDC, Mumbai

The evolution of Sikh misls

In his article, “Legacy of a visionary” (Spectrum, March 5), K.S. Bains states that Guru Gobind Singh while leaving for Nanded divided the Sikhs into 12 misls and broadly allocated their areas of operation. The evolution of Sikh misls began after the execution of Banda Bahadur in 1716.

In the absence of a common leader, the Sikhs organised themselves into small military bands. In 1734, Nawab Kapur Singh divided them into Budda Dal and Taruna Dal. Taruna Dal was further divided into five Jathas, each Jatha having its own leader and centre. Thereafter, the number of these Sikh Jathas went on increasing. A need was felt to unite all these Jathas and subsequently Dal Khalsa, the collective army of the Sikhs, came into existence in 1748.

To make it more effective, 11 divisions were made of the army, each with a distinguishing title and banner but varying in strength. When Ahmed Shah failed to crush the rising power of the Sikhs and left for Afghanistan in 1767, the leaders of these divisions of the Dal Khalsa occupied different parts of Punjab and as distinct political units, these areas came to be known as misls. These misldars ruled various parts of Punjab till 1799, when one of them started integrating these political units into a single sovereign state. What is the primary source on which the writer has based his statement?

Dr MANJEET SINGH CHEEMA, D.B. College, Bardwal-Dhuri (Sangrur)


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