India’s tryst with destiny

Independence Day, being celebrated today, reminds each one of us of the sacrifices of the innumerable freedom fighters who passed into oblivion without even witnessing the rising sun of Independent India.

The day also reminds us of the oppression under a colonial rule. However, a glimpse on the other side of the history would present the British rule in India a blessing in disguise. Before the advent of the British, India was an autocracy with the rulers and landlords exercising their unlimited powers to oppress the people. Religions and castes were relatively graded. The sages and saints were crucified at the whims of fanatic rulers. Infighting among provinces, illiteracy and mysticism were rampant.

Came the British and the scenario changed. The biggest gifts of the British, promoted by progressive Indians, were education, the largest network of railways, eradication of social evils like Sati. The British also gave us the concept of justice, though to suit their own interest. Unification of India was also an indirect outcome of the British effectively implemented by the great Sardar Patel. Let us make India, a country of the dreams of Mahatma Gandhi, Subhash Chandra Bose and Bhagat Singh.

Dr A.K. THUKRAL, Professor, GND University, Amritsar



No doubt, we are citizens of a sovereign, socialist, democratic republic, but democracy has been kidnapped by the rich where the poor have no time to think about India. Since India attained Independence on August 15, 1947, the rich are becoming richer and the poor poorer.

Corruption is spreading fast in every nook and corner of the country. Every political party promises to remove corruption during elections, but forgets about it soon after the elections. Worse, the political parties, especially the ruling party at the Centre and in the states, themselves indulge in corruption. Who will get rid of corruption and restore the rule of law?

N.M. HANSI, Ludhiana

Our forgotten martyr

Mandan Lal Dhingra, whose 97th death anniversary falls on August 17, is a forgotten hero. Born in a rich family, he could have lived a comfortable life. Yet, he gave it up and took the difficult path of revolution.

While studying in London’s University College of Engineering, he came under the spell of firebrand revolutionary Shyamji Krishan Verma. Even as his activities attracted Scotland Yard’s attention, Madan Lal shot Sir William Curzon Wyllie who was very unpopular with revolutionaries.

After Sir Wyllie fell dead, Madan Lal surrendered, but refused to defend himself. He believed that he had killed an oppressive regime’s representative and had thus done his duty towards his country in the cause of freedom. He was hanged on August 17, 1909.

They say, Shahidon ki chitaon par lagenge har baras mele-watan par marne walon ka yahi baki nishan hoga. But alas, we have forgotten this hero of yore! A befitting tribute would be for the Amritsar Municipal Council to install Madan Lal Dhingra’s statue at a suitable crossing near the Jallianwala Bagh.

D.P. SHARMA, Dharamsala

Jihad in Pak schools

There are reports that jihad is an integral subject that is taught in Pakistan’s schools. Pakistan is an ideological state with Islam as the state religion. No one should have any problem with teaching the concept of jihad to the students, interpreted as “self-abnegation” and “war against evil” by Pakistan Education Minister Qazi Ashraf.

The trouble arises when the over-enthusiastic, over-zealous and bigoted teachers preach exclusivism and start injecting communal poison and animus against those nations that are secular or ideological states of different persuasions not in agreement with Islam. The teachers have a great role to play in the way they interpret concepts to their students. The experience so far has not been happy. Neither Qazi Ashraf nor anyone else can guarantee that there will be no overstepping the interpretation that he has put on the concept.

R.J. KHURANA, Bhopal

Trade trends

I refer to the editorial “Tough times to trade” (July 31). It is interesting to note that developed countries, while treating the virtues of free trade to developing countries, have been resistant to bringing down peak tariffs, high specific duties and tariff escalation that effect imports from developing countries.

The heavy subsidisation of developed countries’ agriculture is well known from the current trade negotiations in the context of WTO Agreement on Agriculture. The process is not leading to the growth of world trade either.

The developing countries, with the exception of China, have not been able to increase their share in world trade to a great degree. Unless and until remedial steps are taken to check this trend, it will put a question mark on the very existence of WTO.

Dr MANDEEP SINGH, Yamunanagar

F-16s for Pakistan

It is a really a shame that the United States has decided to give F-16 aircraft to Pakistan to enhance her weaponry. The Bush Government has ignored the fact that it was Pakistan-supported Taliban’s terrorists who inflicted  the heaviest harm to the US on 9/11.

It is a pity that the US ignored all that and still regards Pakistan as their true friend and rewarding for Pakistan’s help to push Russia out of Afghanistan. It is equally shameful for the UPA Government not to strongly condemn Pakistan, a home of Islamic terrorists, operating against India. It is time both India and the US realised their responsibilities and checked Pakistan’s nefarious designs.




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