L E T T E R S    T O    T H E    E D I T O R

India at war with itself

H.K. Dua’s front-page editorial, India cannot be at war with itself (Aug 8) was illuminating, objective and focused on the urgent need to solve the problem with exemplary promptitude so that the unity of the nation is not jeopardised. Surprisingly, though the BJP first agreed for positive steps in the all-party meeting held this week, it later took an altogether different stand for augmenting its vote bank. The BJP leaders perhaps expect to cash in on the Hindu sentiment and return to power in the 2009 elections.

As Mr Dua rightly pointed out, the then Governor S.K. Sinha made a foolish move to undo all the good work done in the Valley. If the acquisition of the land to the Amarnath Shrine Board was as vital and unavoidable as is being asserted by the BJP, why did they not do anything about it when they were in power? It is time all the political parties realised that the nation was above vote bank politics. No body should indulge in parochial politics.

S. M. MEHTA, Chandigarh



I agree with Mr Dua’s view that politicians should not be allowed to play with fire. Governors are expected to act as a fire brigade but in the current conflict, the then Governor S.K. Sinha ignited the fire.

Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil’s performance is a matter of utmost disappointment. He may keep his attire spotlessly clean, but his track record as Home Minister is full of blots. To set the house in order, his ouster is essential. Leader of Opposition L. K. Advani would do a great service to the nation if he keeps control over his ‘vani’.

Asking for a separate state of Jammu is most objectionable. If the people of Jammu would tell Muslims ‘Jao Kashmir’, the Muslims of Kashmir would definitely react by saying ‘Jao Hind’. Politicians and government factionaries should refrain from heading religious bodies.

K. J. S. AHLUWALIA, Amritsar


In a democratic set up, if one section claims all the rights and privileges on the basis of caste, creed, religion, etc. but refuses to grant any concession to the other section of society, there would be heart-burning. Heavens will not fall if the required land was transferred to the Amarnath Shrine Board to facilitate the pilgrims.

Even the so-called moderate Muslim leaders of the Valley like Farooq Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti have come to the fore to condemn the land transfer instead of asking the radical Muslims to be reasonable and liberal.

Mr Dua aptly inferred that resorting to violence, blocking the traffic and supplies to the Valley won’t serve any purpose except giving tools in the hands of Pakistan which is always ready in search of opportune time to strike. Therefore, it will be better if wiser counsel prevailed upon all sections to resolve the sensitive issue amicably.

R.K. MALHOTRA, Chandigarh


The writer has taken to task Lt-Gen S.K. Sinha, the BJP and the Congress but has not examined the dubious role of the PDP — the political face of the notorious ISI — in the sordid episode that has disturbed peace and tranquility in Jammu and Kashmir.

If, as we all like to point out, Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India, what is wrong if a small piece of land is allotted to Shri Amarnath Shrine Board for the benefit of pilgrims on a purely temporary basis?

The land belongs to all citizens of India and no particular community can lay claim to its exclusive ownership just because it is a religious majority in that part of the state! This will undermine the very basis and fundamental ethos of our nation — secularism.

It is, therefore, of paramount importance that all the parties to this ugly dispute give up their rigid positions and make sincere efforts to resolve the issue in a spirit of camaraderie.

Dr M.K. BAJAJ, Zirakpur


The Amarnath shrine land dispute has proved to be the tipping point. The Hindus of Jammu, smarting under Srinagar’s high-handedness for decades and tired of the brazenly biased administration, have decided that enough is enough and their latent, simmering anger has boiled over into uncontrollable rage.

If the Muslim-majority Kashmir has a psyche of which we should be mindful, the Hindu-majority Jammu too has a psyche which has been trampled upon by those who insist that Jammu and Kashmir is only about pandering to the Valley’s Muslims. In any case, peace must prevail in the state at any cost.



Squatters must be evicted

I read the editorial, Imbecile government: Shameful indictment by the apex court (Aug 7). Pulling up the government for its stubborn refusal to amend the law for launching criminal prosecution against those illegally occupying official houses by the Supreme Court cannot be called judicial activism.

It is a reminder to the politicians that irrespective of the party in power, they become one when issues concerning them crop up — whether it is hiking of pay and perks of MPs, MLAs or unauthorised occupation of government houses.

If the existing provisions of the Public Premises Act were sufficient to evict squatters as the Additional Solicitor-General has told the court, how is it that over 300 houses in New Delhi are occupied unauthorisedly?

LAJ PAT RAI GARG, Chandigarh



HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Letters | Chandigarh | Classified Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |