Portraying turbulence

This refers to Ranjit Pawar’s “Turbulence documented” (Spectrum, April 8). To say that Akali leader Master Tara Singh failed to clinch a better deal at the time of Partition is far from the facts. The June 3 Plan, prepared by Mountbatten, was hurriedly prepared in which communal majority was the main factor for the division of Punjab.

In the terms of reference, the word “other factors” was a vague term, which did not elaborate the “other factors”. The Akali Dal suffered because they did not have any support from Nehru, who was very close to the Mountbattens.

When there was a hush-hush talk that other factor implied to take into East Punjab the Sikh shrines, Jinnah, threatened that in that case he would boycott the June 3 Plan. Under the circumstances if Nehru wanted, Montgomery district could have been included in East Punjab. Mountbatten could have pacified Jinnah that Sikhs had lost everything and they must be compensated to some extent.



Gifted with spiritual illumination

This refers to Khushwant Singh’s "Year of the Dervish" (Saturday Extra, February 10).

Maulana Jalaluddin Rumi’s verses not only breathe strong mystical fervour but also touch almost every aspect of human life. Shams Tabriz, a highly respected dervish, was his teacher. Both were gifted with spiritual illumination. Despite being a scion of a Hindu family, Allama Iqbal proudly declared: Mara bingar ke dar Hindustan deegar namey beeni/Brahman Zaada-ee ramz aashnaaey Rume-o-Tabris ast (Behold me, as in India you will not see any other person having descent from a Brahmin ancestory well-conversant with the philosophy of Maulana Rumi and Shams Tabriz).

Having a liberal disposition and secular temperament, Rumi did not favour strict insistence on outward forms and customs in religion to obtain union with God.

Rumi warned: Az mukaafaat-e-amal ghaafil ma-shau/Gandum as gandum bi-royad jau zi jau (Do not remain unmindful of the retribution for your deeds, as wheat springs from wheat and barley from barley.) He advised: Pas javaab-e-oo skoot ast-o-sakoon/Hast ba ablah sukhan guftan junoon (Reticence is the safest reply to a fool./It is lunacy to talk to him). Omar Khayyam also said: Khaahi ke ba-daani ba yaqeen dozakh cheest/Dozakh ba jahaan sohbat-e-na aihl bavad (Do you want to know definitely what is hell in the world? It is the company of a fool).

When asked by Sehba, the First Lady of Pakistan, at the lunch hosted by him for Gen Pervez Musharraf on his last visit to India, as to who influenced his thoughts most, President Abdul Kalam named Rumi, recited a verse from his kalaam and translated it in English.


Game of lords

This refers to “Madness called cricket” by Khushwant Singh (Saturday Extra, March 31). Notwithstanding its being time consuming and interminable, cricket is an interesting game to watch. It is perhaps the only game where each player gets the chance to show his deftness as a batsman. Bowlers, too, individually show their dexterity.

But the way the Indian public is slobbering over the game discouraged by the US, the Continent, et al is extremely nauseating.

The good players like cine stars deserve to be admired but they cannot be treated as icons.

It is a painful irony that Indians try to ape the Britishers blindly. While the meritorious features of the British society such as social security and public health service schemes, etc have been ignored, cricket, a game of lords and loafers, has been picked up.

The introduction of one-day cricket matches is a welcome development. The pre and post-Jamaica World Cup match jamboore has made us look puerile.

The media is mainly to be blamed for projecting the game to “nirvanic heights”. It is high time the newsmen learnt the sense of proportion while running stories on their channels and in papers.



I fully endorse the writer’s views that we tend to go overboard in our enthusiasm for cricket. Even before a ball was bowled in the World Cup, Team India was lifted to the sky by all and sundry. Paeans to its strength and ability to win the cup were being sung. It was dubbed as the strongest team India ever fielded in the World Cup. But the moment it failed disastrously to enter the Super 8, it was disowned, castigated and left to fend for itself.

This is the height of insanity and exposes the capricious nature of ordinary mortals.

It must be kept in mind that Sachin, Dravid, Yuvraj and Dhoni are human beings with human foibles. They are liable to succeed and fail. In the first place they should not be deified but if they are adored, they should not be crucified when they fail to perform. After all cricket is a game of glorious uncertainties. A team that plays well on a given day wins irrespective of being a giant or a pigmy.




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