Officialdom: the missing politeness

The Tribune editorial carried on May 29, brings out a very apt evaluation of the rude and rough treatment meted out to the common man—educated as well as uneducated—by the officers and their subordinates in a most brazen fashion. Both look to have mastered the art of putting off the needed and the genuine to be done with such excuses the veracity of which the common man cannot test or verify by any method.

He has but to believe when he is told by the peon that Sa’ab is busy in a meeting, or has gone to attend a date in the court, or is busy in making arrangements for the visit of a minister, or is on short or long leave, etc. The man in trouble frequents the office, meets also the same answers everytime and suffers a heavy loss of time, energy and money. It is not the culture of the country’s officialdom to solve the problem on the phone.

It is extremely rare when the work is done at the very first instance. Not to speak of the common people, even the educated ones are not shown the courtesy of making them to have a chair.

The Tribune’s chastisement, in most unequivocal terms, and the Punjab Chief Secretary’s letter may goad them to be humane and cordial not only to the MPs and MLAs but to the ordinary also.

C.L. ARORA, Ferozpore City


Tigers as pets

Yes, there are confirmed reports that in Texas alone there are more than 4,000 pet tigers. They live within secure and vast enclosures on the very extensive ranches in Texas. Most of these private land-holdings (ranches) are bigger than the Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve in Madhya Pradesh which at one time had 20-30 tigers in the wild. So, these pets are not in the same class as s Siamese cat or a Dalmatian sharing the space inside your bedroom!

These tigers in the US are deemed “pets” simply because they are not “wild”. No matter where these pets in Texas came from, but the home in Texas they have is away from “home”. And over a period of time they will lose the genetic purity of the species and will undergo the kind of genetic change as from a Negro to an American Negro (with due apology to all Americans). Scientists, I believe, call this process the creation of “genetic bottlenecks” leading to hybridisation.

The Cheetah in India was driven to extinction in November 1947. But the Cheetah still survives in Africa in the wild. Is that any source of comfort or pride for us Indians? Similarly, if the Royal Bengal Tigers were to perish from India but survived as “pets” in Texas, would that be a matter of solace or shame for Indians?

The bald-headed eagle is America’s national bird and its emblem. American laws will not permit the domestication (pests) of its national bird neither on American soil nor outside the US. Almost all their nesting sites have been catalogued and local communities voluntarily mount day and night vigils to prevent any mischief from nesting all the way to the fledging stage of the progeny of their national bird. We in India (Punjab) have the now infamous case of an SDM shooting several of India’s national bird way back on February 29, 2004, but he has yet to be charge-sheeted.

Incidentally, the Royal Bengal Tiger is an officially declared “national animal” of India. If you have not seen one in the wild, turn to the reverse of a ten-rupee Indian currency note. Is not the tiger beautiful! So, let us not confuse the concern for its threatened extinction from India with abundance of pet-tigers in the US. The tiger in the wild is our heritage handed in trust from one generation to another.

Should we in India not prevent the extinction of the tiger as a species from the wild.

Lt-Gen BALJIT SINGH (retd),


Shameful conduct

Your editorial Shameful incident (May 17) rightly calls for the award of exemplary punishment to the co-accused officers—the commanding officer and a major—of an air defence regiment for outraging the modesty of a woman officer, unbelievably for over a year! Such animal-like conduct disgraces the entire elite officer corps. This disgusting episode must be dealt with promptly and severely.

The court of inquiry has already indicted the culprits. It is a point for consideration whether such cases should be tried by a time-consuming General Court Martial where the offenders can challenge the verdict in a civil court and thus delay dispensation of justice, or deal with summarily to throw the guilty out of service instantly.

Brig. H.S. CHANDEL (retd), Una

Sensex shocks

In the editorial Sensex shocks (May 23) you have missed to comment on the CBDT circular which was also an important contributory factor for the historic fall in the sensex. When the securities turnover tax (STT) was introduced, the Finance Minister had clearly stated in his media briefing that a higher rate of STT was being proposed for those transactions of shares which resulted in delivery because the profit on these transactions would suffer a lower rate of income tax.

Where the delivery of shares is not taken, or the rate of STT is lower, the amount paid as STT is to be set off against the tax liability on the profits made and such profits are taxed at the normal rate of 30 per cent. This appeared quite logical and reasonable as nobody will disagree that an investor should suffer a lower rate of tax compared to a day trader.

The CBDT circular now gives discretion to the assessing officer to decide whether a person is a trader or investor.

N. K. SINGH, Mohali


HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |