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THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

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M A I L B A G

Gurdaspur, Pathankot link to J&K

This refers to Kuldip Nayar’s Line of division, real and imagined (Spectrum, Sept 24). I would like to draw the attention of the readers to a glaring error regarding the Line of Divide between East Punjab (India) and West Punjab (Pakistan) as drawn by Lord Radcliffe, the then Chairman of the Boundary Commission.

The writer has mentioned that Lord Radcliffe was pressurised by Lord Mountbatten, the then Viceroy of India, to give Ferozepur and Zira tehsil to India to serve as a link between India and Jammu and Kashmir state.

However, if one just has a casual look at the map of India, one would find that Ferozepur or Zira do not touch any part of Jammu and Kashmir and hence Nayar’s assertion does not seem to have any factual base.

According to my knowledge, it was Gurdaspur and Pathankot tehsil in Punjab, which provided the said link to Jammu and Kashmir. According to the criterion adopted by Lord Radcliffe, Gurdaspur, being a Muslim majority district, was earmarked to go to Pakistan.

Likewise, Lord Radcliffe had decided that Lahore, with a Hindu/Sikh majority, would go to India as mentioned by Nayar himself.

Since I was working in the office of then Governor, Punjab, E.M. Jenkins, at Lahore in those days. I had a little knowledge about things regarding Partition. There was definitely a change in the award effected at the last moment (Aug 10-11, 1947) on the personal intervention of Lord Mountbatten by which Gurdaspur district (minus Shakargarh tehsil) was given to India to provide the desired link and in return thereof Lahore was given to Pakistan to strike a sort of balance between the two countries.

C.R. JOSHI, Ludhiana


 

Longest poem

In the review of The Mahabharata: An inquiry in the Human Conditions by Chaturvedi Badrinath (Spectrum, Sept 17), it has been observed that it is through this “everyday-ness, with its complexities as with its simplicity, that the Mahabharata still rings true”.

Written as early as the second BC, it consists of 100,000 couplets and is by far the longest poem that has ever existed.

It is eight times the combined length of the Greek epic poems, Iliad and Odyssey, both by Homer. Though the central story of this epic deals with a war fought among cousins for the succession to the throne, the main action is interspersed with moral digressions, combined with religious, ethical and romantic complications.

Capping them all is the long dialogue between Arjuna, the hero of the epic, and his charioteer, Lord Krishna, an avatar of Vishnu.

The dialogue, reprinted separately as the Bhagavadgita (Song of the Blessed Lord), is the great devotional classic of Hinduism, containing the essence of Hindu theology, much as the Sermon on the Mount presents the essence of Christianity.

DEEPAK TANDON, Panchkula

Hidden blot

In “Trapped in the trade” by Usha Rai (Spectrum, Sept 3), the writer has dared to expose the hidden blot on the face of modern society, that is, the lower strata is being ruined by the upper one. The situations cited by the writer prevail in every state.

The living conditions of Scheduled Tribes and nomads have not changed at all, despite the government’s tall claim of being a welfare state. These tribals are still living in penury. They have no access to education, health facilities, two square meals and job opportunities .

Though the Indian economy is the fastest-growing economy in the world, about 60 per cent of its population is poverty-ridden. Welfare policies on paper, and in symposia are futile exercises.

Result-oriented actions are required jointly by the government, political parties and NGOs with the involvement of members of these communities and strict enforcement of existing laws. Otherwise, the consequences would be worse.

R.S. TAGGER, Gurdaspur

 

Women suffer most in live-in relationships

This has reference to Vimla Patil’s Live-in-couples and their issues (Spectrum, Aug 27).

Live-in relationships, a short-term relationship or a temporary phase of contentment, is no doubt increasing in today’s crowded life. Such relations have always been questioned or viewed with suspicion.

How can Indian society which believes in moral ethics, give acceptance to such relations? These will always be questioned for their morality. So why don’t couples get married if they want to live together and have babies?

If partners love each other, there should be no reason for separation.

ANJU D. ANAND, Chambaghat (Solan)

II

The write-up is a matter of grave concern. Women are the pivot for social values, traditions and culture. Some blemishes such as extramarital relationships, alcoholism or degradation in basic human values, etc are responsible for the distrust in the sacred institution of marriage.

Who is more responsible for this degeneration is a point to be pondered. Women would be greater sufferers than their male counterparts as far as live-in relationships go.

There are still voids where no rays of law, however great, can enter. It is high time that the modern generation learns to honour customs, ethics and cultural values.

ANJULA KATOCH, Dharamsala

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