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Naval Chief committed no defiance

Your editorial, “Uncalled for defiance: Admiral Mehta’s conduct inexcusable” (Sept 30) was unexpected and way off the mark. It is based on misinformation and shows poor understanding of the military functioning. You have castigated Admiral Mehta wrongly for the letter and failed to write who is responsible for the Sixth Central Pay Commission mess (despite warnings) and why the Naval Chief wrote this letter to his command.

The letter has nothing to do with mild-mannered Defence Minister A. K. Antony. And where is the defiance? Do you believe the Government would have appointed the Ministers’ Committee if the Service Chiefs had not raised this issue so strongly in the interest of the welfare and morale of their subordinates? Your views will contribute further to the resentment amongst serving and retired armed forces personnel.

General V. P. MALIK (retd), Former Chief of Army Staff, Panchkula


Those of us who, at one time or the other during the past many decades, had been in the part of the country where The Tribune is most widely read or had the opportunity to have access to it know it for certain and can vouch, without an iota of reservation, the profound concern and tender feelings the newspaper has always displayed towards the armed forces of this country. As regards the pay scales or order of precedence, perks or promotion avenues, status or social recognition, the armed forces officers have invariably been given a shoddy deal over the decades. Otherwise, why is there an acute shortage of officers in the Army? Aren’t we playing with the paramount security needs of the nation?

The Sixth Pay Commission has provided the last straw on the camel’s back, thus triggering the unfortunate stand-off between the government and the defence personnel. Why has no representative of the defence services been ever associated with the pay commissions while deciding the fate of over 13 lakh-strong armed forces of the country? Why are the defence forces sidelined in the very things that concern them so intimately? This is gross injustice.

Wg-Cdr S.C. KAPOOR (retd), Noida

Treat the disease

Maja Daruwala’s article, “Ineffective policing” (Oct 9) was timely. I think systematic whipping up of communal polarisation to capture the reins of political power has emerged as the worst expression of vote bank politics. I strongly feel that the spread of terrorism is not because of soft laws but is because of a well established network of bitterly alienated families.

These families staying abroad hate India so strongly and virulently that they assist in terrorist acts which depend on a critical mass of individuals in India that provide the terrorists with secure bases of operation in cities. Whether it was Gujarat then and now Orissa, Karnataka and Assam where minorities have experienced the worst communal violence will definitely increase the number of bitterly alienated minority families providing a fertile ground for terrorism to take roots.

If the government, political parties and all secular minded people failed to react strongly against this brand of politics, the virus of terrorism, whose definition changes when it comes to the Hindutva extremism, is going to stay in India. It is in the interest of the Indian nation that we treat the disease of communalism and terrorism.

 Dr VITULL K. GUPTA, Bathinda

Barbaric act

The rape of a Christian nun in Orissa is deplorable and should be condemned by all. We agree with your editorial, “Dialogue is welcome” (Oct 10) that Mr L.K. Advani should bridle the goons committing violence against the peaceful Christians.

According to the Indian Constitution, every citizen of India has a fundamental right to follow any religion according to his/her conscience. There is no logic in the argument of some people that they are preventing “the forcible conversations”. The Christian missionaries have done a laudable work for the poor and the downtrodden and there is no reason for perpetrating violence against them.

AMAR JIT SINGH GORAYA, Griffith NSW (Australia)

Bhajji’s image takes a beating

Harbhajan Singh has been kicking off avoidable controversies. Sometimes it is an ad with hair flowing backwards over the shoulder (grown up Sikh gentlemen desist from doing so in public). Or doing a Ravana act with minor starlet Mona Singh depicting Sita.

The VHP is rightly incensed with the act of Ravana dancing with Sita as Hindu religious texts make no mention of such a happening and then Ravana also belting out a song for Sita. The Akal Takht also has upbraided Harbhajan for his wayward behaviour. Even otherwise, for God’s sake, why would Ravana be dancing with Sita?

Harbhajan should check himself and stop hurting the sentiments of Hindus and Sikhs with his stage play. He should understand that the money he makes in ads and television shows comes at a huge cost to him and the Sikh community. It is his image off the field that is taking a beating.

Most Sikhs want Harbhajan to invest in a few turbans and leave his standard trademark the patka just for the cricket field. I feel that the television channel that aired the show and Harbhajan and Mona Singh who willingly accepted to do this depiction, must be pulled up and made to apologise. The I&B Ministry also should control channels that air such shows hurting religious sentiments. And if Harbhajan is indeed employed in the police, the DGP should stop Singh from prancing about on the stage as men in uniform are not permitted to do that.

Maj-Gen HIMMAT SINGH GILL (retd), Chandigarh



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