Suspense and speculation about Netaji

The assertion of 102-year-old Nizamuddin, claiming to be Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose’s driver-cum-bodyguard, that Netaji did not die in an aircrash in 1945 (May 21) has compelled me to write this letter.

While serving the Indian Navy, I had the privilege of visiting Thailand, Penang, Hongkong, Singapore, North Borneo, Saigon and many other places. But not a single person told me that Netaji had died in an air crash in 1945.

Some ex-soldiers of the INA told me that Netaji did board the plane but came out of it as he suspected some secret agents shadowing him. Netaji was a great military strategist but Japanese would not let him go alone anywhere. This was confirmed even by the locals at Port Blair who saw Netaji with Japanese landing at Port Blair. Since such matters are not for the soldiers, I kept it to myself during the last 53 years. Its truth or otherwise is for the politicians to find out. But one thing is certain. Netaji had not died in 1945.




Sleeping babus

Dr Manmohan Singh addressed the first Civil Services Day function at Vigyan Bhavan in Delhi on April 21. While the PM was asserting that the civil services has to reorient itself and be trained to deliver better services and calling upon the civil servants to acquire new public-service orientation in their thinking, the Secretaries to the Government of India were sleeping to their glory as is shown in the accompanying photograph taken by Mukesh Aggarwal of The Tribune.

This not only shows their general attitude towards governance vis-a-vis the aspirations of the people but also exhibits utter contempt to none else than the Prime Minister himself.

It is unlikely that anyone in the government, including the PMO, has questioned the sleeping babus as to their display of such “character”, right in front of the Prime Minister of India. However, we the people of India do need to know whether we deserve such persons at the helm of our country’s affairs?

Lt-Col JIWAN SHAROTRI (retd), Kasauli (HP)

Excluded from list

The District Election Officer, Ludhiana, deputed various teams to prepare voters’ list of the residents of Ludhiana. These teams worked for about a month and submitted their reports. It is really astonishing to note that the entire population of Mandeep Nagar, adjoining Rishi Nagar, has been excluded from the voters’ list.

We made repeated requests to the Tehsildar concerned and his staff and also rang up the SDM concerned. We were assured every time that the supervisor concerned of the team would visit the area within the next couple of days to do the needful. However, nobody turned up with the result that the whole population comprising about 160 houses having about 400 voters has been deprived of its fundamental rights of voting. We, therefore, request the authorities to intervene and instruct the staff to do the needful even now because the Assembly election in Punjab are due in February, 2007.

SATISH GOSWAMI, President, Mandeep Nagar Welfare  Society, Ludhiana

Teachers ignored

The teachers’ demand for pension and gratuity is still hanging fire and there doesn’t seem to be an end to this problem. On 3-4-1992 Dr Kewal Krishan (Finance Minister) replying to the debate on budgetary proposals for 1992-93 in the Vidhan Sabha had announced that private college teachers would get pension on the pattern of universities. For five years this demand remained unimplemented.

The Congress was voted out of power and then came the Akali-BJP Government in 1997. Pension and gratuity was in the manifesto of the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD). Though the bill for pension and gratuity was passed in 1999, it was not implemented by this government. Again the Congress party has come to power. It is in the manifesto of the Congress party also. Our leaders are interested in issuing statements only and are not concerned about the welfare of the people.

Prof B.S. SALARIA, Pathankot

Vanishing tigers

This refers to the editorial, “Vanishing tigers”, (May 18) and the article, “Give tiger a chance” (May 20).

On the whole, the dwindling ratio of the tigers is a serious threat to our eco-system.

First, it’s important that strict action should be taken against those indulging in their smuggling. Second, poachers must be penalised and placed behind the bars.

Third, forest guards should be given more power. Fourth, the Wildlife Act and the Forest Conservation Act need to be amended and followed in letter and spirit.

Fifth, dependency on forests by some people for their livelihood should be minimised.

And finally, general awareness among people needs to be encouraged in order to save the wildlife.

SOURABH BAMBA, Ferozepore City

Plaque of pride

In good old days all important structures, especially bridges and mansions, used to have a stone of responsibility.

The names of the designers, supervising engineers, contractor etc involved in the construction used to be inscribed on a well-grinded quartzite stone and fixed or displayed at a prominent spot. Sometimes the information was inscribed on raw cement plaster itself.

Will it, therefore, not be just and proper that today’s plaques of pride, displayed on various structures, also carry the name(s) of the designer, supervising engineers and the builder, in addition to those of founders and inaugurators; as also the amount expended!

K.L. NOATAY, Shimla


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