Tardy system of Indian governance

The article “Blot on Mumbai” by Shiv Kumar (Spectrum, February 24) hit the readers in the face. It is not only a blot on Mumbai but also on the tardy system of Indian governance.

Two important features identified by the framers of the Indian Constitution were regions and language, both of which were not tackled with an honesty of purpose.

Though the United Provinces and Bihar had a diversity of regions, culture and languages they were not touched for reorganisation. The purpose was to secure a heavy weightage in Parliament and ascendancy of Hindi over other languages.

The utter lack of development in these states has been the compelling reason of people from these states to seek better economic pastures. Politicians thrived on caste and communal factors in these states, leaving the people miserable. The dominant Punjabi-speaking state of Punjab was reorganised on narrow parochial political considerations.



Babur’s assessment of India

The book review of “Absorbing history” (India: Definitions and clarifications) by regional Massey (Spectrum, February 17) was interesting. Babur’s stay in India was only for four years (1526-1530) and those too were spent in the battlefield to carve out an empire. He was therefore not expected to have made a reasonably correct assessment of India and its people.

His remarks: “The beauties of social life are unknown to them. Intellectually they are duds. Uncouth of manners, they are incapable of understanding the viewpoints of others,” are surely uncomplimentary and unpalatable.

In his memoirs he had to say something good about India too: “The chief excellence of Hindustan is that it is a large country and has abundance of gold and silver. The climate during the rains is very pleasant. Another convenience of Hindustan is that the workmen of every profession and trade are innumerable and without end. For any work or any employment, there is always a set ready to whom the same employment and trade have descended from father to son for ages.” (Reference: History of India by Michael Edwards, Asia Publishing House, 1961. pages 132-133)

V.K. RANGRA, Delhi

Anger unveiled

The article “Shades of anger” by Khushwant Singh (Saturday Extra, January 12) was informative. Anger is the first step towards physical violence. Anger, individual or organised, should be nipped in the bud.

In Indian jurisprudence too, sermons are available, thus Akarodha veetraga (The man who is not sinful of anger is released from worldly attachment). The more one shuns anger, the more an individual will be free from beastly nature.



Anger is one of the most loathsome vices. Not only does it spoil the tranquility of mind but also causes some diseases. I have seen many people shaking, even becoming speechless, with frenzied rage and slamming fists on their heads.

Horace rightly called anger a “momentary madness”. Many murders are committed in a fit of rage. During his stay at Delhi, Persian invader, Nadir Shah’s anger flamed forth on seeing the dead bodies of some Iranian soldiers.

He ordered a general massacre. Within seven hours 30,000 innocent people were slain. In a paroxysm of rage he had the eyes of his son, Raza Quli, gouged out.

Even some saints, who ought to act with aplomb, lost temper and call down curses on the victims of their wrath.

An Urdu bard advises: Chhor do ghussey kee baatein ishteall achchha nahin / Itna ranj, itna gila, itna malaal achchha nahin.

Sometime, a person is filled with righteous anger. Once an arrogant thanedar insulted my teacher. A dervish, who happened to be there, threw him on the ground with his face towards west. He got up and said the holy man had shown him Mecca and vowed never to be rude to anybody.


Tiger, tiger losing fight

This refers to the article, “Tiger, tiger, vanishing fast,” by Vibha Sharma (Saturday Extra, February 23). It is a matter of grave concern that our national animal is fast becoming an extinct species. The years of unrestricted hunting of tigers have left their numbers severely depleted.

At present, there are 1411 tigers. The day is not far when there will be none if the unchecked hunting for pleasure, skin, meat, fur, bones and lard is not banned absolutely. Not only that, the ban ought to be enforced in letter and spirit.

Realising the gravity of the dwindling number of the tiger population, the Union Government has earmarked a sum of Rs 50 crore in its budget 2008-09 to conserve the rare species.

Besides, the Project Tiger, which is functioning only in name, should be reactivated to stop the ruthless and wanton killing of the tiger.




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