Parents’ role in the age of awareness

THIS refers to Age of Awareness by Chitleen K. Sethi (Spectrum, July 2). Parental and institutional intervention should start from childhood and it should be augmented during adolescence. Children should be educated to imbibe kindness and compassion. They should be told at schools and homes that the Almighty is supreme and has only one religion.

Both sexes should be made aware of the mode of infections of HIV and Hepatitis and the precautions to be taken. Honesty, charity, ahimsa and moral values should be preached in intelligible ways. The consequences of drug addiction, gambling and vandalism must be made clear. Constant vigilance on the activities of the adolescents and their companions is necessary. Counselling should also be resorted to.

The CBSE should study the impact of Karuna clubs in Chennai schools for adoption with modification and additions.





What should be age-appropriate methods for inculcating among adolescents knowledge about practical life? Whatever the methods, age or system, the CBSE uses to create awareness among the adolescents, all will remain ineffective in this age of consumerism till time-tested values are inculcated among them.

Parents and teachers are the role models for children and adolescents. Unfortunately, nowadays both have no time to teach moral values.

If we are interested in value-based growth of a healthy society, we will have to inculcate among them the lives, teachings and values propagated by great men like Buddha, Kabir, Guru Nanak, Swami Vivekananda, Raja Ram Mohan Roy, Mahatma Gandhi, Lal Bahadur Shastri, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, and, presently, A.P.J. Abdul Kalam.



Truth and falsehood

This has reference to Khushwant Singh’s write-up The truth about lies (Saturday Extra, June 3). It is very difficult to utter what accords with the reality when falsehood rules the roost. Yet those having the courage of their convictions call a spade a spade. Their moral maxim is: Haq baat taih-e-tegh o sar-e-daar karein gey / Ye jurm jo zinda hain to sau baar karein gey (We will speak the truth under the sword and on the gibbet. If it is a crime, we will commit it a hundred times till we are alive).

Gandhiji always spoke the truth. According to him, it nourished the soul, while the untruth corroded it. Yet quite often, the truth-tellers alienate even their near and dear by their outspokenness. Poet Iqbal said: Apney bhee khafa mujh sey hain begaaney bhee naakhush / Main zaihr-e-hilaahal ko kabhee kaih na saka qand (My relatives and strangers are angry with me, because I could not call the deadly poison sugar).

Liars are shrewd manipulators. I have seen many exegetes telling lies even in the presence of their Holy Book. A bard has rightly said: Nikal jaati ho sachchi baat jiskey munh se masti mein / Faqeeh-e-maslahat-been sey voh rind-e-baada-khaar achchha (An inebriate, who speaks the truth in a state of intoxication, is better than a religious jurist, who tells a lie as a measure of expediency).

Bhagwan Singh, Qadian

Allama Iqbal

This has reference to “Allama Iqbal and composite culture” (Spectrum, June 25). Iqbal was a great Urdu/Persian poet and a pan-Islamic ideologue. In his verse quoted by Bhagwan Singh Hai jo peshani pe Islam ka teeka Iqbal/Koi Pandit mujhey kaihta hai to sharm aati hai, he seems to be allergic to his Hindu Brahmin roots and does not want to be reminded of that even through an oblique reference. In fact ‘Pundit’, according to the dictionary, only means a learned man/scholar.

Rabindranath Tagore, his contemporary, had been knighted in 1915 on being awarded the Nobel Prize in poetry. He renounced his title in protest against the massacre in Jallianwala Bagh in 1919. Strangely enough, Iqbal despite being a Punjabi didn’t feel obliged to follow suit. Iqbal considered the British as benevolent rulers but forgot that they had dispossessed the last Mughal king who was also a great poet, deporting him to Burma where he died in penury yearning for ‘two yards land for his grave’ in the motherland.

V.K. RANGRA, Delhi


The write-up Grab in the name of God by Khushwant Singh (Saturday Extra, June 17) is an eye opener for all those who cherish better urban designs. The problem has not spared even the modern city of Chandigarh. There were only a few gurdwaras and temples in Chandigarh when land was acquired for planning this modern city. But now hundreds of gurdwaras and temples have cropped up on public land. Parks and open spaces have been encroached upon in direct violation of zoning regulations and byelaws of the city.

The gullible public and our administrators together made a mockery of the regulations. Merely planning an urban area and framing byelaws is not enough. Better management and organised implementation of the byelaws only can produce results. Otherwise, grabbing in the name of God will make our urban scene even more pathetic and grim. We should learn something from the example of Singapore, one of the best-managed and organised cities.

M.S. BHELLA, Bathinda


I fully support the views put forth by Khushwant Singh. These activities are flourishing in all parts of our country. It is imperative that the authorities concerned initiate steps to curb this menace. The people, too, need to differentiate between a religious place and an unauthorised structure. n




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