Tarkeshwari, a mix of wit and beauty

AJ. PHILIP’s article A beautiful politician (Aug 22) was interesting. Tarkeshwari Sinha rendered the Sansad Bhawan cosy not only with her doe eyes daintily dressed with kajol, an elegantly made up coiffure and rouge tinted fluffy cheeks and fragrance of an exotic perfume wafting from her torso but also with her sparkling recitation of poetry.

Her famous verbal duel with Dr Ram Manohar Lohia is still etched in the memory of those who were present in the House at the galleries on that day. Lohia, in his inimitable style, was pleading that Svetlania, Joseph Stalin’s daughter, who fled to India from behind the iron curtain, wanted political asylum. He argued that as Svetlania was married to an Indian, Brijesh Singh, a close relative of the then External Affairs Minister Dinesh Singh, she was entitled to asylum.


When Lohia pleaded that the government must appreciate a widow’s feelings, Tarkeshwari said, “Lohia Sahib, how can you talk of marital sentiments when you yourself are not married?” He quipped, “Madam, when did you give me an opportunity to marry?” There was great laughter all around. Tarkeshwari interrupted Lohia’s speech and said, “You are very much concerned about women from abroad while you do not care for the Indian ladies”.

He seized the opportunity and replied, “Madam, rest assured, I do care for you. I am always full of thought about you”. “Maybe, but let it be known to you, I care not a whit for you”, she calmly replied. Indeed, because of her wit and beauty, Tarkeshwari was a unique MP.


RTI in Punjab

I read the report, Justice at doorstep (Aug 17). The Punjab Information Commission has not been able to decide two cases as per the provisions of the RTI Act in the sitting courts at Chandigarh. The officers/offices who denied information and/or have violated the RTI Act have neither been penalised nor any strictures passed against them.

It appears that the Commissioners concerned are afraid of carrying out their functions and duties under the law on account of the very important offices involved. The law has been gagged in both the cases. Let us see to what extent justice would reach the doorsteps.


Not in Canada

In the middle(Aug 21) by Harinder Singh Bedi, the aunt goes to Vancouver and she had to stay on for a mandatory period, being a Green Card applicant. Let the writer be enlightened that the Green Card system is in vogue in the US only. Vancouver is in Canada and there is no such requirement in that country.

S.S. BENIWAL, Chandigarh

Interim relief

The Central Government employees and pensioners have been expecting interim relief (IR) at par with Punjab government employers and pensioners who have been accorded 5 per cent IR from November 1, 2006. The Cabinet has denied IR to 26 lakh employers and pensioners.

The Central pensioners are deprived of most benefits extended to those by the Punjab government. These include permission to withdraw increments at the rate of 5 per cent of basic pension on completion of 65 and 75 years of age. A demand has also been made for 10 per cent increment on completion of 80 years of age at par with legislators and parliamentarians with the Sixth Pay Commission.

Punjab employees and pensioners get Rs 350 a month towards medical reimbursement. They also get LTC every two years. Why are Central employees deprived of these benefits? There is need for a separate pay commission for defence services to help soldiers of all ranks and officers.

Capt R.N. SINGH (retd), Nabha


Enforce discipline in colleges

The editorial Death of innocence (Aug 20) rightly examined the causes of indiscipline in professional colleges. In hostels, some students consume all kinds of intoxicants. Ex-students with criminal record find easy access to spend evenings in hostels without any check. Poor and meritorious students are forced to indulge in unwarranted activities in the name of ragging.

A few spoiled children of VIPs with money and muscle power dictate terms to the rest. College authorities fail to check this kind of indiscipline. They pursue a commercial approach by imposing hefty fines which the parents are forced to cough up.

The principals and the management rarely find time to inspect hostels and interact with the students. Hostels are breeding places of all evils. The government should shoulder the responsibility and fine the institutions (and not the parents) for torturing the newcomers in the name of ragging.

M. L. KASHYAP, Kalka



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