Being wise after the event

This has reference to A Minister Remembers(Spectrum, July 30). Jaswant Singh, writing about the Kargil conflict, says that the Indian Air Force was not used in the initial stages of the conflict to avoid loss of fighter planes and helicopters. This is a classic case of some of our politicians projecting their failure as a piece of wisdom. After dithering for some time, the Air Force had to be used and we also lost two fighter planes and a few helicopters. It was just like being wise after the event. Had the Air Force been used at the very beginning many precious lives of our ground troops could have been saved.

Handling of the hijacking of the IC 814 showed inability and ineptitude to deal with this type of eventuality. When the plane landed at Amritsar, instead of bursting in impotent rage, a clear and firm order should have been given to the security forces to burst the tyres of the plane with machine gun fire and commandos to rush into the plane. Of course, loss of some lives could have been there. But for national honour such risks were worth taking.

Our soldiers are almost daily killed in Kashmir to uphold the national honour. And what humiliation the nation had to bear when the plane was allowed to fly from Amritsar and when it landed at Lahore our government naively expected that Pakistan would help us and thereafter at Kandahar, the nation had to suffer great humiliation when our Cabinet Minister went there after accepting all the demands of the hijackers. The lady who caught our worthy minister by the throat was not too wrong.

V. P. Mehta, Chandigarh


Acid test

This is with reference to Khushwant Singh’s “We’re hardly peace loving”   (Saturday Extra, July 22). It is incorrect to say that Indians are not peace loving — despite the incidents of arson and violence in the past, as quoted by the writer. Indians have by and large been peace loving as has been displayed during the Mumbai blasts recently. It was an acid test for Mumbaikars who maintained peace despite huge loss of human life and property.

The happenings of the past were in retaliation and had been initiated by goons. People’s sentiments were exploited for petty personal gains. On the basis of such stray incidents, people cannot be dubbed as warmongers. It is correct to say that the Muslims should never be equated with criminal outfits like the LeT. Muslims too should vehemently and openly condemn heinous acts committed by terrorist groups in the country.

PURAN SINGH, Chandigarh

Magic of voice

This refers to “Magic of Voice” by M.L. Dhawan (Spectrum, July 16). Besides heroes and heroines of Hindi cinema, many of the character actors, including villains, had their own distinct way of delivering their lines.

Rahman had a very unique voice and his acting in Pyaasa, Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam and other films had an added shine because of his impressively delivered dialogues. Dev Anand came up with an entirely different dialogue delivery as Major Verma in Hum Dono which lifted the character. And who can forget the verbal duel between the two greats, Dilip Kumar and Amitabh Bachchan in Shakti and between Nutan and Asha Parekh in Main Tulsi Tere Aangan Ki?

Actors like Murad, Jayant (father of Amjad Khan), Jagirdar, K.N. Singh had a unique voice. And the great villain, Pran’s few words while talking to Bhagat Singh in Manoj Kumar’s Shahid, left a great impact on the film goers. 

H.S. SANDHU, Panchkula


Help farmers tackle their debt burden

I refer to the article, “Suicides tell no tale” (Perspective, July 23) by Mohan Guruswamy and others. A well researched piece, it focuses on the genetic traits rather than the environment responsible for suicides. The write-up really explodes the myth of causes of debt behind suicides.

As a doctor, I definitely agree with the writers that the suicidal tendency in a person is dictated by the DNA and is only triggered by the economic condition in already predisposed to suicide. I think only those commit suicide who are depressed beyond hope, without much social support or those who wish to sacrifice their all so that others may benefit. That is why only those helpless farmers crushed by heavy load of debt who are predisposed to genetic trait of suicides commit suicide to escape the vicious circle of indebtedness.

Death by suicide is not a matter of economics, but how people respond to social or economic adversities which, in turn, are among the most horrible consequences of the government policies.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, while addressing the first meeting of the Advisory Council on Artificial Recharge of Groundwater recently, stressed that lack of institutional support leads to farmers’ desperation. This, I feel, acts as an important precipitating factor of suicide in a predisposed person.

The media should build public opinion to move the apathetic and insensitive government to help the debt-ridden peasantry. The writers aptly said that instead of short-term sops, the government should resort to long-term measures like rejuvenating the economy to ensure the sustainability and profitability of farming.

Such write-ups should goad the government to adopt an integrated approach of human resource development. We must help farmers tackle their debt burden to save the country.

Dr VITULL K. GUPTA, Bathinda



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