SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI


THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
M A I L B A G

Safeguard Taslima’s rights

We, concerned scholars of South Asia, condemn the attacks on Bangladeshi writer, Taslima Nasreen, by extremist forces in West Bengal who claim to speak for Muslim community. Freedom of speech, dissent and expression must be defended everywhere and at all times by those who are genuinely and consistently committed to these values.

The Government of West Bengal has regrettably not fulfilled its obligation to do so even as it disregards the real interests of Muslim communities, forcibly acquiring land for industrial development, much of it from poor Muslims.

We also deplore the hypocritical opportunism of Hindu chauvinist groups,   including the BJP, who having themselves participated vigorously in attacking artists and filmmakers such as M.F. Husain and Deepa Mehta, are claiming to defend Ms Nasreen against Islamists.

We call on the Bangladeshi and Indian governments to safeguard Ms Nasreen’s rights to dignity and freedom of speech and to ensure that she does not become a pawn in an ugly stand-off between Hindu and Muslim chauvinist forces.

Dr SUSAN DARUVALA,  Dr ANUJ DAWAR,  Dr PRIYAMVADA GOPAL,  Dr SUBHA MUKHERJI, Dr FARZANA SHAIKH
(Cambridge University)

Prof BARBARA HARISS-WHITE, Dr NIKITA SUD (Oxford University)

Prof GAUTAM APPA, Dr UTTARA NATARAJAN, Dr HARSH V. PANT, Dr SANGEETA DATTA
(University of London)

Dr DWIJEN RANGNEKAR,
Prof BENITA PARRY
(University of Warwick)

Prof KEYA GANGULY, Prof TIM BRENNAN (University of Minnesota)

Prof SUVIR KAUL, Prof ANIA LOOMBA (University of Pennsylvania)

Dr TABISH KHAIR
(Aarhus University, Denmark)
Dr MANAV RATTI (Queens
University, Belfast) 

Prof RAJESWARI SUNDERRAJAN (New York University)

Prof SABINA SAWHNEY
(Hofstra University)

Prof AISHWARY KUMAR
(Stanford University)


 

Maya on Gandhi

I was shocked to read Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati’s remarks on Gandhiji (Oct 28). Surprisingly, no political party, including the Congress dared to refute her malicious charge against the Father of the Nation that he divided the country on a caste basis. Clearly, no political leader or social activist can match the efforts of Gandhiji. His contribution towards the social uplift of the Dalits is phenomenal.

Dr B.R. Ambedkar had opposed the Quit India Movement along with Jinnah, Hedgewar and Hindu Mahasabha leaders. When Congress ministers resigned in 1939, he, along with Jinnah, joined the celebrations of “Day of Deliverance’ and managed to get a place in the Viceroy’s Council.

Still, Gandhiji allowed Jawaharlal Nehru to take Ambedkar in the interim government.

Churchill later admitted, “I respect Gandhiji only for his angelic work for the uplift of depressed classes.” Indians must reinvent Gandhiji when the UN has declared October 2 as Non-Violence Day and the Nobel Prize Committee admitted its mistake of not conferring the Nobel Peace Prize on Gandhiji.

RAM NIWAS MALIK, Gurgaon

II

It is common knowledge that Mahatma Gandhi is the apostle of non-violence, peace, unity and understanding among mankind. He is also the liberator of India from foreign rule. And now we are told by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati that Gandhiji had “divided the country on caste lines”.

Sounds utterly unbelievable! Gandhiji, in fact, had done everything possible to create a feeling of amity and reconciliation among the Indian people.

Do we have to necessarily run down Gandhi to speak highly of Dr B.R. Ambedkar? Strange indeed are the ways of our political leaders who often indulge in pontifical pronouncements to feed their angst and arrogance.

S.C. KAPOOR, Hoshiarpur

Obese cops

According to reports, the security personnel of the Punjab Chief Minister are suffering from high blood pressure. However, the reasons cited like stress, long hours of duty without even weekly off etc. do not give the true picture.

Over 70 per cent of Punjab’s policemen are overweight. Their seniors have to tell them to control their eating habits so that they will become slim and trim. Only then, they would be able to check their high blood pressure.

Dr BALDEV SINGH, Faridabad

Feather in Hodsonians’ cap

Hodson’s Horse (now known as 4 Horse) celebrated its 150th anniversary on November 30. It is a historic day for the Regiment. It heralds an important milestone for the Regiment which has produced national heroes like Major

Bhupinder Singh, MVC, international athletes like Capt Parduman Singh and Capt Kernail Singh, Army Commanders like Lt-Gen Gurinder Singh and Lt-Gen RM Vohra, renowned soldiers like Brig Iqbal Singh Dhillon, Major Kamal Nanda, Brig R.S. Kanwar and many more. The late Col P.S. Gill, former Goa Lt-Governor, and later, his son Maj-Gen Himmat Singh Gill, have commanded this illustrious Regiment.

The Regiment has never lost in athletics to any unit whereever it has served. It has always won the formation championships, a rare distinction. Ever since its raising in 1857, it is covered with gallantry awards in all the operations, starting from World War I to 1971 operations.

The best thing about this Regiment is that it does not forget its soldiers. Once a Hodsonian, always a Hodsonian. I owe my grooming to this fine Regiment, a pride of the Cavalry.

Col R.D. SINGH, Commandant, 213 Transit Camp, Jammu


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