No place for religious intolerance

The attack on a television news channel’s office in Ahmedabad because of an SMS supporting M.F. Husain’s name for the Bharat Ratna needs to be condemned in the strongest possible terms. It is against all cannons of decency and is indicative of religious intolerance. The attack was a deliberate attempt on the part of a political party to propagate the Hindutva.

With the Lok Sabha elections due next year, the BJP is bent upon boosting its campaign in its typical Hindutva style to augment its vote bank.

It is time Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and his associates understood the true spirit of all religions and Hinduism and shed their dogmatic approach in the interest of national unity, integrity and peace.

S.M. MEHTA, IAAS (retd), Chandigarh

Ratna for Rafi

I endorse some political parties’ demand for the award of the Bharat Ratna to Mohd Rafi. If the award is primarily given for one’s selfless service to the nation, he will pass the test. He sang for the country and inspired a generation of people. Rafi sang such immortal songs as “Suno Suno Ai Duniya Walo Bapu ki ye Amar Kahani” (after Gandhiji passed away in 1948), “Sipahi Dete Hain Aawaz Mataon se Behnose” (after China attacked India in 1962), “Watan ki Aabroo Khatre Mein Hai Hoshiar ho Jao” and Aawaz do Hum ek Hain” (for documentaries to inspire our soldiers and the people).

Rafi’s songs “Aaram hai Haram” and “Kar Chale Hum Fidan Jan-O-Tan Saathiyo” motivated the youth to join the Indian Army. He sang “Buss do ya teen bachchey” to check population explosion. Politics should not come in the way of recognising Rafi’s contribution to the nation.

B.D. SHARMA, Chandigarh


Political interests and selflessness are like two rails of a railway track which can never meet. Then, why pollute the sanctity of this rarest of rare honour? Sadly, no one would be able to get it without political support.

Bhagat Puran Singh of Pingalwara has been a fit case for long for this award, but has never been considered. If Mother Teresa could get it, why not our own humble and selfless Bhagatji?

Lt-Col BHAGWANT SINGH (retd), Mohali


The Bharat Ratna is given for one’s “exceptional service towards the advancement of art, literature and science and in recognition of public service of the highest order”. Of the 40 personalities who got this award so far, no Sikh has been honoured so far. Sports legend and our hero of the Third Asiad in Tokyo in 1958, Flying Sikh Milkha Singh should be awarded the Bharat Ratna for his magnificent achievements in sports.



This highest civilian award should be kept above all controversies. Politicisation of Bharat Ratna will only devalue the award. It should be conferred on a person who has excelled in his field and is non-controversial to the core. The Union Cabinet should select the most suitable person for the award and it should not entertain recommendations from anyone in this regard.


Scrap all sops, subsidies

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is an embodiment of honesty, integrity and hard work. Under his four-year stint, Indian economy has grown by about 9 per cent per annum. This is an all-time record. In the US, however, despite efforts to keep the economy afloat, we are in a recession.

Let us hope our leadership in Punjab also learns some Manmohanomics. Punjabis are very self-respecting people. Even in 1947, when they became paupers from lakhpatis and came empty-handed, they refused to become beggars. Within 20 years, by dint of their hard work, they transformed the economy of Delhi and composite Punjab, which included Haryana and Himachal Pradesh.

Today Delhi and the NCR, having a large concentration of refugee-entrepreneurs from West Punjab, constitute India’s fastest growing area. For God’s sake, let’s stop giving free electricity, free canal water and subsidised wheat and dal to our brothers in Punjab. If they get uninterrupted power supply, they will progress on their own and international capital will flow into the state.

HARJAP SINGH AUJLA, Monmouth Junction, New Jersey (USA)


Polluted water

The people of Narwana are happy that a model park, with fountains, is being raised at a cost of Rs 46 lakh with the efforts of the Public Health Minister at Water Works area. However, of the two water tanks, one is lying idle. The second tank is full of grass, dead birds and so on. A visit to the tank will be enough to draw inference on the poor quality of water. The authorities should get the water tested before resuming its supply.


Promote cycling

I appreciate the Chandigarh Administration’s awareness campaign to popularise cycling. Cycling promotes healthy living. It is a natural exercise for the students and all others. Chandigarhians must keep the unique beauty of the green belts as this is a planned city in the country.

While more and more vehicles are polluting the fresh air, cycling will not only reduce the number of vehicles but also save fuel and check environmental pollution. It is useful for the students, the youth and the aged.


Disturbing trend

The increasing cases of divorce, murder, etc, are the result of the fast changing lifestyle of the youth. The life partners are vying with each other in pursuing materialistic ideas, devoid of spiritualism and completely ignorant of Indian culture.

The time is not far off when the sacred concept of marriage would be debased and marriages on contract would be a reality. Ironically, while those in the West are attracted towards our culture, we have failed in understanding its virtues. Let the ego among the family partners be replaced with love, fellow feeling and mutual understanding.




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