Towards a world of peace

I refer to A.J. Philip’s article, “Greatness in apology” (Perspective, Sept 24). The creator has intricately infused sane and insane qualities in the human being. At the same time, He has left it to his/her discretion which quality to choose and how to behave and conduct himself.

Sadly, with rapid advancement in knowledge, human beings are becoming more and more wicked and wild. The real diplomacy has turned into conceit and cunning. Some religious zealots are afraid of losing their realm of turf among their faiths as they, over the years, have acquired a deep-rooted mindset of playing the game of ascendancy of their faith over the others. They refuse to countenance the “greatness of apology” as rightly stated by the writer. They prefer to be wild and insane rather than compassionate and rational.

I do not claim to posses deep knowledge of all religions, but I have read the Hindu scriptures,  Guru Granth Sahib.


I have also listened to the Urdu translation of the holy Koran from learned Maulwis many a time in India and West Asia. I have also attended services in Churches of almost all Christian faith and sects during my tour in Europe and no where I found human beings devalued. Instead, they are rightly accepted as the sons and daughters of the creator who is all pervading. All religions value forgiveness. Instead of digging century-old confrontation, why not work on reconciliation and make this world brimming with peace and harmony?

Lt-Col CHANAN SINGH DHILLON (retd), Ludhiana


The protagonists of Islam regarded some portions of his speech anti-Islamic and blasphemous. This led to violence and vandalism. But the Pope allayed the fears by making a timely apology.

All religions lead to the same goal without preaching hatred. It is only the bigots who exploit the religious sentiments of the masses for reasons best known to them.



It is a debatable point whether Pope did the right thing by withdrawing the statement of the historical fact. It is, however, intriguing that he has never cared to think before uttering nasty remarks about non-Semitic faith.

One thinks “greatness” has been generated only when Islamic terrorism takes on Pope menacingly.


The Radcliffe Award

This refers to C.R. Joshi’s reply to Kuldip Nayar’s ‘Line of division, real and imagined’ (Spectrum, Oct 8). Joshi is right that there was a change in the boundary line effected at the last minute, on Aug 10-11, 1947. 

This is evident from a letter dated Aug 8, 1947, addressed by the Private Secretary to the Viceroy, G. Abell, to S.E. Abbot, Secretary to the Punjab Governor Jenkins. But the change made was not in respect of Gurdaspur, but of Ferozepur and Zira for which Jawaharlal Nehru, and Sardul Singh, Maharaja of Bikaner, assisted by K.M. Panikkar, exerted great pressure on Mountbatten. Sardul Singh was Mountbatten’s close friend  (for details, see my article ‘Lord Mountbatten and the Punjab boundary question’ in Pangs of Partition, edited by S. Selter and Indira B. Gupta and published by the Indian Council of Historical Research, New Delhi, 2000, pp.18-40).

M.C.  Setalvad, who was representing the Indian National Congress, claimed for East Punjab, the boundary along the river Chenab. Speaking for the Muslim League, Sir Zafarullah Khan demanded for West Punjab, the boundary extending to the river Sutlej.  

The reality is that the Radcliffe Award for Punjab almost corresponds to the river Ravi  with   minor   changes,   which  Justice  Mehar   Chand   Mahajan   had suggested  to  Lord  Radcliffe  in  his  note  as  a  member  of  the  Boundary  Commission. Regrettably, this vital point is often missed.

V.N. DATTA, New Delhi

Lyrical Lata

This refers to M.L. Dhawan’s “Queen of cadence” (Spectrum, Sept 24). Lata Mangeshkar has over the years captivated the hearts of millions across the country as well as the world. Her voice has been full of joy, love, sacrifice and suffering as brought out in thousands of her songs.

The romantic lilt in the song, Thandi hawaein lehra ke aainye from Naujwan is most compelling. The bhajans Ae maalik tere bande hum from Do Aankhen Bara Hath and Jo tum toro piya main nahin toroon re from Jhanak Jhanak Payal Baje, both under the baton of Vasant Desai, were a class apart.

The lullaby Dheere se aa ja ri akhian mein nidia aaa ja from Albela is probably only next to the famous K.L. Saigal’s So jaa raaj kumari, so ja in perfection. The soulful slow Aye mere dil kahin aur chal from Daag brought out pangs of pain. And who can forget the earlier gems like Hawa mein urta jaye mera lal dupatta malmal ka from Barsaat and Ghar aaya mera pardesi from Awaara, both R.K. banner films.

Lata has sung in every Indian language. Her songs from Punjabi films like Madari, Rassi utte tangya dupatta mera dol da, Saade pind wich paa ke hatti te moh layee bulbul wargi jatti from film Vanjara and Naale lamhi te naale kaali, hai way chhana raat judaiyan wali from Lachhi were hits in the 1950s. Lata, no doubt, is a reincarnation of Goddess Saraswati.

H.S. SANDHU, Panchkula


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