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

This is not defiance

I read the editorial, “Uncalled for defiance” on the
action of the Service Chiefs (Sept 30). There was
absolutely nothing wrong or defiant on the part of the
Service Chiefs in taking up the cause of their officers
and troops. While they took up the issue with the
Defence Minister, they withheld instructions for the
release of new pay and allowances.

It was essential for the troops and officers to know
that they would have to await the final response from
the government and quash any possible adverse
rumours. The point about security classification of
the Naval Headquarters letter is simply laughable.

While the Press is quick to make non-issues sensational,
it misses on the ramifications of larger issues. Take the
Services case on the dispensation of the Sixth Central
Pay Commission.



Ms Sushma Nath was a member of the Sixth Central Pay Commission which created the problem for the Services in the first place and then made a member of the Committee of Secretaries formed to look into the mischief of the Pay Commission. Could the Press not see the absurdity of the situation? The prosecutor turned into a judge in the same case!



It is so easy for anyone in this country to chide Service Chiefs — politicians, bureaucrats, judiciary and the Press. They all form the four pillars of Indian democracy. But they forget that India’s armed forces are the bedrock on which these pillars stand.

There is a definite need for our politicians, bureaucrats, judiciary and journalists to study and understand military ethics and what goes into serving in the military. Only then, they will realise the difference between acting in the larger interest of the service and willful  defiance of orders.

After all, Hitler’s order to exterminate Jews too had the government stamp but generals and soldiers who executed that order, forgetting military ethics, were tried as criminals against humanity.

The Chief of Naval Staff has committed no offence. The Admiral has acted as per ethical-dictates of the military. If the government, in its wisdom, imposes punishment on this eminent soldier sailor, then so be it. After all, there is always a price to pay for upholding truth and duty. That is what soldiering is all about.

Maj-Gen K. KHORANA (retd), Panchkula

Controlling crowd

As in Naina Devi temple, many innocent lives have been lost in the Chamunda Devi stampede. We need to draw a national policy on crowd management at religious places, especially during fairs and special occasions. Draw a two or three-tier system of crowd management to ensure that if the first line of action fails, the second one automatically comes into play and like wise.

Secondly, ensure adequate police/ paramilitary presence at these places. Take the help of individual volunteers to assist the law enforcing agencies. If required, a small batch of devotees be allowed inside the place and when they come out, let the other batch in.

Thirdly, use IT tools which are cost effective and convenient. Make the digital token system, as in Tirupati’s Lord Venkateswara temple, mandatory for all the religious places. This system ensured registration and orderly flow of pilgrims. And finally, CCTV cameras and a two-way system for entry and exit from different sides to control the movement of pilgrims are a must.

Dr RAJEEV KUMAR, Univ. Business School, PU, Chandigarh

Debatable decision

Jamia Millia Islamia University Vice-Chancellor’s decision granting assistance to two supposed student-terrorists raises many questions. First, student involvement in radical politics is not new. In the late 1960s, with the outbreak of Naxalism, hundred of students were arrested and tortured by the police.

True, there were custodial deaths of students from institutions like the Presidency College of Kolkata and Jadavpur University, but no institution defended them on the principle that is being asserted now that one is innocent until proven guilty. Why should the exchequer’s money be spent like this?

Secondly, Did the Jamia authorities take legal opinion before taking the decision? For any police action, some preliminary action is essential and a suspected violator of the law cannot be kept in police custody for more than 24 hours. With so many safeguards and checks and balances available to a citizen, where was the need for preferential treatment to alleged terrorists by the university? Is this not a violation of the rule of law?

Thirdly, if a student or a group of students are involved in arson, dacoity or any other serious crime in future, will the university use the same yardstick and extend generous help being extended now? And finally, if the two alleged terrorists are convicted, what will be the justification of the university to have incurred expenses 
drawn from the public exchequer?

Dr SUBRATA MUKHERJEE, Professor of Pol. Sc., University of Delhi

Blow to skeptics

Robert Amyar, Director-General of the European Organisation for Nuclear Research, and the associated team for the particle collider experiment deserve all appreciation for the eagerly awaited success. It is a strong blow to the skeptics who made a hue and cry that its failure will lead to the creation of the micro back holes and eventually imperil the earth.

Even our electronic media has created fears in the minds of the people that the byproduct of the collision experiment could be microblack holes, subatomic versions of the collapsed stars whose gravity is so strong that they can suck in planets and other stars.

The experiment will help reveal more about the “dark matter”, antimatter and hidden dimensions of space and time. Let us wish the science community all success in future experiments too.

Dr S. K. AGGARWAL, Amritsar



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