Indian POWs: Need for a quick solution

This refers to “Story of a Loss in Victory” (Spectrum, April 8). It is a matter of great pity that the fate of 54 Indian prisoners in Pakistani jails has become the matter of a fiction. After 37 years in prison, they have almost lived their life through and must have become old and mentally wrecked.

The situation is treacherous and violative of human rights. There is no reason that they should not have been repatriated by now. No one should adopt a callous attitude on the issue. If the prisoners are alive, they should be brought to their homeland and if dead, they should be declared dead so that the next of kin may get what is their due. The human right groups the world over should come to grips with the issue and seek an immediate solution.

Col M.S. BEHL (retd), Gurdaspur


Drug firms

This has reference to “Drug firms under scanner” by Pushpa Girimaji (Spectrum, March 18). It is a painfully shameless fact that the medical profession, too, has taken to profligate and inquitous practices.

The lure of lucre has taken so vice-like a grip on the minds of the doctors that they form cabals with the drug manufacturers and government officials to cause panic among the unsuspecting public.

Many believe that those who wanted to profit by it, hyped the recent propaganda about Hepatitis B and AIDS.

The Indian Medical Association (IMA) will do well to take drastic steps to restore the pristine glory of the medical practice. Meanwhile, the provisions of the Consumers’ Protection Act vis-a-vis doctors should be made stringent.


Bhagat Singh

V.N. Dutta’s well-worded article, “Understanding Bhagat Singh” (Spectrum, March 11) has given us a slice of history about one of the greatest sons of India who, from the very childhood, had a bent of mind to fight for the freedom of the country, by whatever means, ensuring that the British were forced to leave India at the earliest.

This great country had seen none like Bhagat Singh, possessing so much courage and ruling over the hearts of the masses. He was determined to get them freedom from the shackles of slavery. It was a great loss for the country when the British hanged him on March 23, 1931. He was just 23 years, but he displayed a splendid spirit. When he was being interrogated handcuffed, he had a smile on his face instead of being sad and sunk.


A towering figure

This refers to “A way of life, with words” by Aruti Nayar (Spectrum, February 4). Indeed Dr Sansar Chandra is a towering figure in the literary world. He is especially known for his essays couched in chaste and pure satire.

His satirical essays evoke spontaneous laughter and at the same time present a vivid picture of the cunningness of the shopkeepers. A-1 Joota and Bijli ka Pankha, two satirical pieces, are some of such examples.

Dr Chandra’s style is very easy to understand and fluent. Ideas flow through his pen in an effortlessly easy manner. Some of his collections of satirical essays are Satak Sitaram, Soney Ke Daant and Apni Daali Ke Kaantey.

Dr Chandra is also a great essayist. He served as the Head of Hindi and Sanskrit Department in Sanatan Dharm College (Lahore), Ambala cantonment. He also rendered services as a Reader in Punjab University. 



Spreading awareness through sex education

Seema Bhatia’s article “Demystifying sex education” (Sunday Oped, April 15) reflects the true face of today’s youth, especially in the 15-24 age group.

The writer has rightly mentioned that increasing trends and attitudes of today’s teenagers towards smoking, drinking and sexual behaviour are alarming. The fast spreading incidence of HIV/STDs cannot and should not be taken lightly by responsible citizens.

Undoubtedly, the onus of creating awareness regarding this issue lies on parents, public servants, doctors and NGOs, but maximum responsibility lies on the shoulders of teachers, particularly those teaching medical science to classes VIII onwards where students are more vulnerable.

This category of teachers should guide and counsel the youngsters; they should empower their colleagues, i.e. co-teachers, so that maximum number of students get a real picture of pros and cons of this avoidable problem in the classrooms.

Indian students hold their teachers in high esteem. So this drive to impart knowledge and create awakening among youth should be mainly entrusted to teachers.

The NCERT has done an appreciable job by including a complex topic on ‘Reproductive health’ in explaining simple language in biology for XII (Pages 57 to 65) Non-medical/Arts/Commerce students should also taught such topics (only basics) for information sake.

ANITA KATARIA,DAV Public Sr. Sec. School, Patiala

Utter twaddle

This refers to Khushwant Singh’s “Lust in times of boredom” (February 17, Saturday Extra). The writer is above 90 but age does not appear to have caught up with him. He is still curious to know as to how long sex stays on one’s mind. A poet says, Piri mein aa rahe hain jawani ke valvale/Goya namood subho ki khwahish ho din dhale (Romantic feelings of youth are being recalled in old age, as desire for dawn in the dusk).

An eminent writer of his status should not have chosen to write, quote and opine on a highly volatile issue like sex. He should have left it to sex specialists. This write-up appears to be more of an advertisement for a book on sex matters by Dr Sudhakar Krishnamurthy. It is wrong to project India as the impotence capital of the world as impotence is not India-specific.


Good piece of satire

This refers to Khushwant Singh’s Ant & grasshopper (Saturday Extra, March 3). It is a very good piece of satire. It holds a mirror to every one of us. The media, the politician, the NGO, the lawmaker and, above all, the busybody—all are shown their place. The piece is commendably imaginative and delightful.

Such writings serve a useful purpose as they expose the hypocrisy of those who are wearing the mantle of greatness. They contribute to the awakening of the gullible populace to see how they are being cheated by big slogans.



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