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M A I L B A G

Costly weddings against Sikh ethos

In his piece, “Ostentatious weddings against Sikh ethos” (Aug 18), Maj-Gen Himmat Singh Gill (retd) has examined the code of the Delhi Sikh Gurudwara Management Committee (DSGMC). The intentions and initiatives taken by the DSGMC are good, but these people forget that such social codes cannot be implemented.

One can see, for instance, the fate of some codes like the Delhi Guest Control order, the Kamboj Biradaris code formulated by the late S. Balwant Singh, former Punjab Minister, the terrorist’s code and many more of different sects and deras. None of these could work for long.

These are mere political gimmicks for short-term gains. How many of these protagonists have performed simple marriages in their own families? Charity begins at home. Parents spend money on their children’s marriages according to their capacity and social status.

These campaigners don’t talk about the main problem - dowry. The government should strictly enforce the Anti-Dowry Act. All cases under this Act should be tried in fast track courts.

If this Act is strictly enforced, the problems of female foeticide and ostentatious marriages shall automatically go.

RAJINDER R. SINGH, New Delhi


 

II

The writer has rightly observed that marriages among the Sikhs have become extravagant. There is a garish display of wealth and societal standing.

He has rightly pleaded that the SGPC should come forward to set up a code of conduct for all its followers to perform a simple but dignified marriage as has been decided by the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee for the Sikhs residing in Delhi.

This social malady of ostentatious wedding is, obviously, against the Sikh ethos. No institution other than the SGPC is competent enough to execute this righteous crusade.

Dr KANWARJIT SINGH KANG, Mohali

Haj subsidy must go

Mr M.S. Gill, MP (Rajya Sabha), deserves to be appreciated for having raised the issue of providing Rs 400 crore to one lakh Muslims as subsidy towards their Haj pilgrimage in Parliament (Aug 24). He has asked the Union Home Minister to appeal to the Supreme Court to hasten the case pending before it.

In my opinion, the Centre can scrap this unconstitutional practice without waiting for the apex court verdict. This huge amount could be better utilised by way of giving scholarships of Rs 40,000 each to one lakh deserving poor students.

In fact, the then NDA government did not scrap this practice as it was afraid of being dubbed as anti-Muslim, a stigma from which its major constituent, the BJP, suffers. However, no one would call the UPA anti-Muslim if the Haj subsidy is withdrawn. Rather people will appreciate it for correcting the wrong and becoming more rational in its policies.

ANAND PRAKASH, Panchkula

II

The question of grant-in-aid for religious purposes raised by Mr Gill in Parliament is very important. Our Constitution appears to be irrelevant in the eyes of our elected representatives. Just for the sake of votes, they appease a particular community. Crore of rupees are doled out in the name of religious grant-in-aid to help them fly to their destination of faith.

Mr Gill has rightly asked the Centre to end this open appeasement of one religion at the cost of all others. All religions should be treated equally and there should be no pampering of any particular religion. This subject needs to be debated in both houses of Parliament and state legislatures.

R. P. GOEL, Sangrur

III

Right thinking people of all religions including Islam should support Mr M.S.Gill’s objection to the Centre’s Haj subsidy. For, the objection, unlike the Shiv Sena’s oft-repeated anti-Muslim protests, is not aimed at hurting the religious sentiments of Muslims. It is aimed at protecting our Constitution’s inherent secular persona that more than often is eroded by actions that are formulated only to appease gullible voters.

BALVINDER, Chandigarh

Ban eucalyptus

Haryana Agriculture Minister H. S. Chatha has rightly advocated a ban on eucalyptus trees which resulted in depletion of soil water, poor output of crop yield and further lowering of the water table.

There is a need to follow this everywhere in the country. The Forest department should take special responsibility in this regard. On both sides of roads, plantation of shisham (dalbergia sessoo), neem and peepal trees is necessary as these trees will provide shade and help check pollution.

The water soaking trees should cut off to give space to traditional trees such as shisham, neem and peepal. The revenue so earned by the Forest department should be utilised for improving the condition of the roads. The farmers whose lands fall near the roadside will be benefited.

KHUSH PAUL SINGH, Jatwar (Ambala)


 


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