Heritage versus growth

This refers to the news-item 155 years heritage school building faces demolition” (Oct 27). The Government Saragarhi Memorial Secondary School in Amritsar Town Hall area is a landmark building in the heart of the city. It is the first school established in Punjab after annexation by the British. It is also a memorial to the valour of 21 Sikh soldiers who fought against heavy odds in the battle of Saragarhi (now in Pakistan).

The school in question and the Saragarhi Gurudwara across the road are regarded as two great memorials that made history. Though one would like such heritage institutions to be preserved for posterity, one has to consider the greater good that will result from the construction of a multistory parking complex as part of the elevated approach road to the Golden Temple, the foremost tourist and religious attraction of the city. Presently, inadequate parking facilities and crowded approach roads to the temple leave many visitors and tourists disappointed.

The heritage of the school building could have been preserved by constructing the new school as a replica of the old in the same architectural design with wide-open arched verandah all around. The other concern — the students’ safety because of the high tension electric lines — must be taken care of by the authorities concerned.

Brig H.S. SANDHU (retd.) Panchkula


Morphing pictures

A.J. Philip’s middle on morphing pictures, Photo finish (Nov 11) was interesting. Just as it was not the editor of The Searchlight who was fired for publishing a manipulated picture, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh also cannot be blamed for the omission. His media minions, who did not hire a professional visual-artist for the job and depended upon some unsighted IT professional who knew only about the technical aspects of using tools of some photo-editing software, are at fault.

Captain Amarinder Singh should “shrug off”, not the publication, but his media advisers immediately who have put him in an embarrassing position.

BALVINDER, Chandigarh

Row over veil

The ongoing row over the use of veil by Muslim women at their offices in the UK is preposterous. Some sections say, this creates an obstacle in the interaction between the colleagues at the workplace and also call it a mark of separation. But they are least bothered about the moral deprivation of humanity and lowering of the women’s esteem when they put on the skimpiest of clothing and move about in society and even in their offices.

The women too are to be blamed for this since they have over the years become pawns in the hands of men and are ready to outdo each other in nudity just for a few dollars — be it in the fashion pageants, movies, advertisements, soap operas or dance shows.

What more is required to prove the degradation of man than this that we cannot accept a female dressed decently and respectfully but would love to see her in utterly compromising costumes and try to put forward the most inane and senseless reasons to support our argument.


No certificates

I had taken M.Com (Part I) examination in April 2002 (Roll No. 1039) and M.Com (Part II) examination in April 2003 (Roll No 2001) from Panjab University, Chandigarh. However, till now, I have not received the certificates from the university.

In the absence of the certificates and marks cards, I am unable to join any course and try for employment. The university authorities say that they have sent the documents by post. However, I have not received the same till date. I appeal to the authorities to send me the certificates soon.

GURVINDER SINGH, Mehma Sarja (Bathinda)

No pension

The Punjab government has not yet implemented the gratuity scheme for the retirees of the private aided colleges (functioning under the 95 per cent aiding pattern). This is most unfortunate. Ironically, Punjab is the only state where teachers of private aided colleges do not get pension-cum- gratuity.

Before every election, the political parties have been promising the same. But after the elections, the ruling party forgets about its promise.

K.K. KHOSLA, Ludhiana


Traffic cops, please

Thousands of manhours and hundreds of litres of fuel are wasted daily at the traffic jams between Pinjore and Parwanoo on NH 22. The work on the construction of a bypass has not even started. Apparently, the people will have to live with the problem for some more years.

The Haryana and Himachal Pradesh governments can resolve the problem by posting traffic police. The stretch between Pinjore and Parwanoo should be declared a ‘No Overtaking Zone’; callous drivers who create 3-4 vehicle lanes on the two-lane NH should be spot-fined and detained. Buses should not be allowed to stop anywhere except at the Kalka and Pinjore bus stands. The Himachal Pradesh government should provide a bus stand at Parwanoo.

Finally, at the end of the ordeal, tourists and travellers should be provided with cold water and not fined for entering Himachal Pradesh.

Dr L.R. SHARMA, Solan




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