Sensitise society on trafficking

SILENT Victims” by Aditi Tandon (Spectrum, May 7) is a well-researched write-up on child domestic workers. In our contemporary materialism-driven society, due to erosion of ethical and cultural values, lust for easy money, the dangers of trafficking and abuse of child domestics is greater than before.

Our system has become so insensitive that people generally do not see anything wrong in different forms of child labour and abuse that thrive in the unorganised sector.

It is important to sensitise society, public and the government about the gravity of the situation. There is an urgent need to enact necessary laws and their strict implementation to curb this menace. Will things really change? The media has the power to mobilise public opinion to take up the challenge if it is supported by organisations that are engaged in campaigning against abuse of children working as domestics.

VITULL K. GUPTA,  Bathinda

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



Once the shrewd eyes of their masters assess that these children have no other place to go but are at their mercy, the level of exploitation touches its nadir.

Existing laws need to be reinforced to help these victims. The Supreme Court judgement of November 2005 may prove helpful in healing the wounds of these children if an earnest implementation of the judgement is made. These organisations may earn justice but not food and shelter for these children. When these victims calculate the pros and cons, they prefer food and shelter to justice and fall silent. Man’s savagery comes to the fore yet again.

JAGVIR GOYAL, Chandigarh

Inappropriate use

B. N. Goswami’s article “In the name of God” (Spectrum, April 9) was informative, timely and scholarly.

The word ‘Besmeleh’ used in the title of the book may be all right but its use by the writer of the article is inappropriate. The actual word should be ‘Bismillah’. This word when written in Arabic or Persian is a combination of three words, viz ‘Ba’, ‘Ism’ and ‘Allah’. ‘Ba’ means with, and ‘Ism’ means name. Thus the combination means with or in the name of “Allah”. Authoritative translation of the opening words “Bismillah al-Rahman, al-Rahim” is “In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful”.

Regarding the reason why Sura nine is not prefaced with the sacred formula prayer, it is said that the Prophet (PBUH) had directed that it should follow Sura eight but it was not clear whether it was to form a separate Sura or only a part of Sura eight. It is now treated as a separate Sura but the word Bismillah is not prefixed to it, as there is no warrant for supposing that the Prophet (PBUH) used ‘Bismillah’ before it in his recitation of the Holy Koran.


Playback replay

M.L. Dhawan, in his rejoinder (April 30) to my article “Talking Images” (Spectrum, March 26), states that R.C. Boral had introduced the playback technique in Hindi cinema with Chandidas (1934). Actually, this is one of the myths which film music researcher Harmandir Singh ‘Hamraaz’ has exploded with his painstaking efforts. He has conclusively proved that playback technique was first used in Nitin Bose’s Dhoop Chhaon alias Bhagya Chakra (1935) which had R.C. Boral and Pankaj Mullick as its music directors.

The authenticity of Hamraaz’s research can be judged from the fact that one of his findings forced the publishers of the Guinness Book of World Records to delete an entry pertaining to the maximum number of songs rendered by a singer in which Lata Mangeshkar and Mohammed Rafi were bracketed for the honour (Hamraaz proved that claims of both the singers were highly exaggerated!).

Chandidas, according to Hamraaz, had nine songs all of which were rendered directly on the screen by its actors.


Incomplete couplet

This refers to Dr Soshil Rattan’s letter (Perspective, March 26). The couplet of Bahadurshah Zafar he quoted was incomplete. The correct couplet is: Zafar aadmi usko na jaaniye, woh ho kaisa saahib-e-faihm-o-zaka, Jise aish mein yaade-khuda na rahi, jise taish mein khauf-e-khuda na raha (Do not consider him a man, however wise and sagacious he might be, if he doesn’t remember God in the midst of worldly pleasures and doesn’t fear Him while in a fit of rage). 


A peerless poet

This refers to the tidings “Ghalib goes Polish” (Spectrum, April 9). Many persons have rendered his verses into English. According to Ralph Russel, an authority on Urdu literature, if Ghalib’s “language had been English, he would have been recognised all over the world as a great poet long ago”.

He gave a new direction to Urdu ghazal and declared with genuine pride: Hain aur bhee duniya mein sukhanvar bahot achchhey / kaihtey hain ke Ghalib ka hai andaaz-e-bayaan aur. Yet he rued that his poetry did not receive the acclaim it deserved.

In his book Mehr-e-Neemroz he pointed out to Bahadur Shah Zafar that Shah Jahan’s court-laureate, Kaleem, was weighed against gold and silver and he wished that at least his verses should be weighed against those of that poet.

He did not consider his kalaam inferior to that of Kaleem. He declared: Shohrat-e-she’ram be geeti ba’d-e-man khaahad shudan (My verses will get world-wide fame after my death). The lovers of Urdu poetry read and hear his verses with keen relish and give vent to their feelings through his couplets even after 137 years of his death.



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