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Quicken the pace of justice

Pushpa Girimaji’s article, “Justice delayed is also negligence” (Spectrum, Aug 31), was interesting. She has nicely blended delay in the provision of a service constituting deficiency and negligence with the pace of justice in our country.

When the consumer law itself considers the delay in service to be deficiency and negligence, deliverance of justice in the case of Sham Bir after as many as 16 years is also negligence.

The maxim, “Justice delayed is justice denied” gets confirmed once again when the justice is being
delivered after the death of Vidya Devi, his widow
and the complainant.

I agree with the writer that given the speed at which courts are delivering justice, time may come soon when compensation is collected by the children or the grandchildren of the original complainants, as happens in civil courts.


Vidya Devi’s case is not the first case but an addition to the series of previous cases where complainants and litigants have died waiting for the justice.

Despite the introduction of fast-track courts, the pace of justice doesn’t seems to be speeding up accordingly. And if the memories of Panch Prameshwar are afresh on the minds of readers, with complete computerisation of our judicial system under the National e-courts Project, should we hope for the justice depicted in the Munshi Prem Chand’s story?


Shameful conduct

The “hidden and marginalised” homosexual men (Saturday Extra, Aug 23), “living in constant fear of law and society”, should be ashamed of themselves. Sex is a natural instinct meant for the purpose of reproduction. Homosexuality is unnatural as even in animals and birds such behaviour is not witnessed and human beings should not fall below the level of animals by indulging in such acts.

There is already a problem of rape in society and such tendencies would cause another serious problem. Actually, the anti-gay law should be stricter than the one against rape.


Ode to bravery

Saga of guts, gore and glory” (Spectrum, Aug 24), by R.L Singhal highlighted the courage and commendable contribution of the Indian soldiers on the battlefield as well as during crisis during peacetime.

The East India Company started giving commission to the Indian soldiers to motivate them as till 1747, sepoys of the Madras Presidency were called Peons. The rank of Subedar Major was introduced in 1818 AD to instill a sense of pride among Indian soldiers. The other facilities extended to the Indian soldiers were the right to receive the Victoria Cross (1913 AD).

During First World War, Sepoy Khudadad Khan of Ist Battalion, 129th Duke of Cannaught became the first Indian soldier to win the Victoria Cross, bringing one of the greatest military honours to the country.

The medal (VC) was presented to the brave soldier on the battlefield itself. During Second World War, Captain Ishar Singh of the 28th Battalion of Panjab Regiment was the first Sikh soldier to be decorated with the Victoria Cross. Late Field Marshal K.M Cariappa was awarded OBE, Mentioned in despatch and legion of US during the war. Late Sham Bahadur Manekshaw was awarded Military Cross on the battlefield during the campaign of Burma.

But for the Indian soldiers the British would have never won the wars. An inscription on a massive monument made at Kohima in the memory of the soldiers who died while fighting for the British in some of the toughest battles in Burma reads:
When you go home, tell them we gave our today for their tomorrow.

The words written on the supreme sacrifices made by the great sons of India move even the stone hearted. Out of 2.5 million Indian soldiers who fought for the crown during Second World War. 1,08,000 were killed.

Out of 27 Victoria Cross, awarded during the Burma Campaign, 20 went to the brave Indian soldiers. It is a pity that during the war, the soldiers are worshipped but the moment, war is over, the soldiers are treated like a waste paper, wrapped in a useless bag.

Readers would be shocked and surprised to read that when Sir Robert Lockhart, the 1st Commander-in-Chief of the independent India presented to Prime Minister Nehru a paper on the proposed size and plan of the Army, Nehru angrily retorted. “Rubbish, total rubbish”, we don’t need a defence policy or plan. We follow the philosophy of “non violence and the police is good enough to meet our security needs”.

When the Chinese attacked India in 1962, these policy makers and the enemies of the armed forces were shocked. Nehru never recovered from this shock. As a retired soldier, I would like to thank the Chinese for awakening our leaders.


Moving verse

Khuswant Singh’s pen portrait of Janhavi Malhotra (Saturday Extra, Aug 23) was moving. Her poems are remarkable for brevity, perception of realities of life and sensitivity to the music of words.

The lines referring to her fast approaching end are heart-rending. All poets, young or mature, have written about death in different ways. Janhavi’s poems have reminded me of another poet, Toru Dutt, who died at the age of 21. The poet refers to death in Our Casuarina Tree, “Mayst Thou be numbered when my days are done”.

Same sentiment is echoed in Keats’ poem When I have fears that I may cease to be. Shelley also expresses similar views in To the Night. How prophetic were these poets about death!


Inimitable Faraz

Ahmad Faraz ( “Popular poet of his time”, Sat Extra, Aug 2) was one of the greatest Urdu poets of the 20th century. His full name is Syed Ahmad Shah Faraz. Once his father bought Eid clothes for him and his brother. He didn’t like the ones meant for him and preferred the ones brought for his brother.This led him to write his first couplet:
Laaye hain sab ke liye kapde sale se,
Laaye hain hamaare liye kambal jail se

During his college days, Faraz was very much impressed by Faiz and Ali Sardar Jafri. He worked as a scriptwriter in Radio Pakistan, Peshawar. He also taught Urdu at Peshawar University.

In 1976 he became Director General (later Chairman) of the Pakistan Academy of Letters. He was awarded Hilal-e-Imtiaz in 2004, but he returned it in 2006. He was very outspoken about politics and against monopolisation of religion. He wrote:
Mazhab ko mudaam bechtey  hain ye log,
Imaan to aam bechtey hain ye log,
Jannat ke ijaradaar bankar shabo roz,
Allah ka naam bechtey hain ye log.

Faraz had great self-respect as reflected in his couplet:
Zindagi teri ataa hai to ye  jaane waala
Teri bakhshish teri dehleez pe dhar jaayega.
(This life, which is a gift from you, shall I leave at your threshold, when
I leave this world).

He also exposed hypocritical friendship in the following lines.
Mujh ko khud apne aap se  sharmindgi hogi,
Woh is tarah ke tujh pe bharosa bala ka tha,
Vaar is quadar shadeed ke dushman hi kar sake,
Chehra magar zaroor kisi aashna  ka tha.
(I feel ashamed of myself when the tremendous faith that I had in you, was shattered to pieces, though the terrible blow I received could undoubtedly have come from a sworn enemy, yet his face seemed familiar).



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