Sikhism stands for service to humanity

I am surprised at the use of the term ‘Moderates’ to describe a certain section of Sikhs by the media. Sikhism, like any other religion, has believers and non-believers.

The media should realise that Sikhs are not fanatical. Sikhism is not forced on anyone and Sikhism is not into conversions. Post 1984 riots, when Gurudwaras were burnt outside Punjab and Sikhs singled out because of their identity and butchered, there was no retaliation in Punjab.

Yes, kirpans were brandished post Dera chief’s blasphemy, but the point to be noted is that no one was killed and there was no damage to property by the Sikhs brandishing kirpans. A religion that believes in service of mankind will always try to live by its motto and not cause any pain to mankind. And response to Dera’s blasphemy is an example. Despite the hurt and the rubbing of salt into our wounds by the Dera Chief, not only the act but also the so-called sham apology by the Dera, Sikhs have not caused harm and responded with dignity. See what the Dera followers did in Bathinda.



Limited choice

In his write-up “Growth neglected in UP” (May 22), S. Nihal Singh praises Mayawati as if she had become a divinity after her victory. The first thing she will apply herself to is to exonerate herself from cases pending against her. To begin with, the Taj Corridor case will be put in the cold storage.

And things seem to have started moving in that direction. She has raised the slogan ‘Down with Goonda Raj’ and lo, she has included in her Cabinet 22 ministers with criminal background! If Mayawati has won elections in UP, it is only because the people had a limited choice before them. It was to be either Mayawati or Mulayam. It may be Mulayam next time, despite his goonda raj this time.

It is a tragedy of our democracy that political parties impose their candidates on the people. Where are people’s candidates, those whom people want to elect? Such people can really be produced by following JP’s political thought.

IQBAL SINGH, Jalandhar City


Can Mayawati look after the interests of the poor in the face of the high and the mighty? Can she give a human touch to the wounded lot? Can she tame the insensitive bureaucracy? Can she reign in the self-styled vulgarity at large? Can she keep her flock together in the face of their temptation to grow rich at the cost of the hapless people?

To win an election is one thing. But providing a clean and effective government is another. Mayawati’s stamina, statesmanship and will power will be put to test in the days to come.

Mayawati has the majority and the opportunity in UP. If she consolidates and expands her vote bank in the state as a secular and clean leader, she can capture people in other states and can become a leader with a national vision.

Prof HARI SINGH, Kheri Jat (Jhajjar)


Have a heart for vendors

The editorial “Ban on roadside food” (May 24) was timely. The need of the hour is to remove encroachments by roadside vendors which have infringed upon the pedestrians’ right to free passage. The eatables sold, though cheap, are unhygienic and often result in spreading diseases like diarrhoea.

The Delhi Metropolitan Corporation’s ban on roadside cooking is justified and hence rightly upheld by the Supreme Court. The Centre’s pilot project to enforce norms on food, check vending of unhygienic eatables and the use of unclean water is welcome. Ironically, while shoes, clothes, etc. are sold in neat and clean malls, eatable are sold in the open roadside.

The poor roadside vendors will have to be suitably rehabilitated. Sadly, whenever any new project or scheme is launched, it has been at the cost of the local people. That is why people oppose the building of roads, dams, malls, SEZs, etc.

If a proper rehabilitation package is offered in advance to the displaced people, they too will involve themselves in the development process and help expedite growth.


Revered figure

Kuldip Nayar’s article: “Battles old and new: The 1962 debacle and a “devil’s advocate’” (May 21) was timely. Having served under Sam Manekshaw in 1963 when he was my Corps Commander, I fully endorse his remark: “Manekshaw is a loved and revered military figure and his service record is a testimony to his outstanding contribution to the nation.”

I did not expect Karan Thapar, leading anchor with military background and son of Gen P. N. Thapar, former Chief of Army Staff in 1962, to ask former Pakistan Foreign Minister Gohar Ayub that almost suggested that Manekshaw was the guilty officer (duly pointed out in the article).

In all fairness, Karan Thapar should accept Kuldip Nayar’s advice and write to Sam Manekshaw regretting the impression created by the interview.

Lt-Col ONKAR CHOPRA (retd), Chanankhera (Abohar)

Without logic

The suggestion to merge Associate Banks of the SBI into the SBI itself merely because these had been initially established by respective princely states is without logic (Letters, June 1). It is also contrary to the studies reporting that the SBI is too wieldy at present.

Following the enactment of the State Bank of India (Subsidiary Banks) Act, 1959, the Government of India took over these banks and placed under the SBI’s control. Since inception these have been handling government treasury business, rendering good customer service and progressing well. They also played a significant role in the government’s socialistic policies including micro credit by financing of small business, industry and agriculturists, by opening branches in rural and semi-urban areas.

The State Bank of Patiala, the only Associate bank in this region, has been many times graded first based on various performance indicators. To save their identity and face competition from large banks, these should be merged to form an Indian States Bank.

Lt-Col N.K. GHAI (retd) Ludhiana

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— Editor-in-Chief 



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