Kashmir: India must take bold action

This has reference to editorial “Planned, not sporadic” (June 27). Pakistan’s aim regarding Kashmir is to grab it by any means. At the time of Independence, Pakistan attacked Kashmir to get it by the use of arms. From the very beginning, India had no clear policy.

When Pakistan continued to attack Kashmir even after its accession to India, India did not act tough. Any other country would have attacked Pakistan at its most vulnerable border. At that time, India had the resources to capture Lahore and Sialkot. However, the Indian government sent its Army to fight the enemy on the snowy mountains. Then we went to the UN to seek justice.

During the Lahore bus ‘yatra’ by Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayee, while both the Prime Ministers were gleefully busy in chit-chat in a jovial mood, the Pakistani Army was making inroads into Kargil. This time, too, instead of attacking Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir at some weak point, we preferred to fight on the snow peaked mountains.

We seem to suffer from ‘defence psyche’ and we seldom take bold and offensive action. The initiative always lies with our enemy. Consequently, our enemy sits secure in its area and we remain at the receiving end. Unless we make the enemy realise by some bold action that he is playing a very dangerous game, he will not desist from killing our countrymen at will.

V.P. MEHTA, Chandigarh


Is mayor a non-entity?

During a recent visit to the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation (CMC) in connection with my school project, I was shocked to see the clout and authority enjoyed by the Municipal Commissioner over the Mayor. While the Mayor sat in a small and ill-equipped office, the Municipal Commissioner had a very big and grand office in the building!

I thought that the Mayor, as CMC head and City Father, should have a larger office since he represents the power of the people. The Commissioner, in contrast, is merely an IAS officer like so many other bureaucrats. Flaunting so much power on his part sends a most incorrect message to the public that the Mayor is a non-entity as compared to the Commissioner.

UDIT VINAYAK, Student, Yadavindra Public School, Mohali

Why punish us?

The illegal houses owned by the influential politicians and bureaucrats are bound to turn legal and neither an alert judiciary nor public outcry will stand in the way. Why then, punish the common man who builds his house with his hard-earned money out of which he also bribes the municipal authorities and staff?

While the court meted out punishment to those who bribed to build houses, it left untouched the people who were bribed. Legalising all the buildings as they stand today is the best way out. The bulldozer will, in the absence of such a step, always stop short of the MLA’s factory and SP’s house, as it did in Jalandhar and New Delhi.

Instead, let us use all our energies to stop the coming up of illegal buildings in future. The municipal officials should be charged with the responsibility of ensuring that no unauthorised house or shop is built in their respective areas. This can be easily done if the officials visit their jurisdictions regularly. The buildings do not come up in a day. Accountability must be fixed on the officials for lapses and they must compensate the builder if demolition becomes necessary.

Dr L.R. SHARMA, Solan

Web of corruption

Too much familiarity breeds contempt and too much power breeds corruption. Practically, corruption is more pronounced in public life. Traders and hoarders also indulge in corrupt practices. After Independence, lack of accountability and control led to corruption. Corruption is indeed a global phenomenon. In India, there is rampant corruption in every walk of life. Concerted efforts are needed to tackle corruption.


Wrong attribution

In Sanjeev Gaur’s write up (June 22), the couplet “Chand tasveer-e-butan, chand haseeno ke khutoot/ baad marne ke yeh saman mere ghar se nikla” has been wrongly attributed to Mirza Ghalib. In the most illustrative and authentic work ‘Dewan-e-Ghalib, Kamil (complete) Tareekhi Tarteeb Ke Saath’ by Kali Dass Gupta ‘Riza’, an authority on Ghalib, the above mentioned couplet does not exist and thus does not belong to Ghalib.

The veracity the of second couplet of Ghalib goes like this: “Tum shehr mein ho to hamein kya, gham jab uthenge le aayenge bazaar se ja kar dil-o-jaan aur” in place of existing stipulation.

T.N. RAZ, Panchkula


I wish to point out some factual errors in Sanjeev Gaur’s piece. One, Keat’s girl-friend was Fanny Browne (not Brown). Two, John Keats (1795-1821) died in his 26th year, not at the age of 23. And third, the poem with the French title mentioned in the article is La Belle (not Bella) Dame Sans Merci’.

USHA VERMA, Chandigarh

Check pollution

The potters have been polluting the environment of Dogar Basti (right side) as they use dung cakes in the open furnaces situated in residential houses to bake. The open furnaces emit a lot of smoke which causes respiratory ailments like asthma and tuberculosis.

The potters were requested many a time to shift their workshops from the residential premises, but they do not bother. The Punjab Pollution Control Board Engineer has failed to shift them out of the mohalla. The municipal authorities should arrange the shifting of the furnaces to non-habitat areas like brick-kilns.

RAJINDER SINGH, Dogar Basti (Faridkot)



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