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Importance of charity in one’s life

Khushwant Singh’s write-up For the love of their kin (Saturday Extra, Oct 3) was interesting. The piece reminds that Theognis cried: “The worst of miseries, worse than old age or wearisome disease, is poverty.”

One can’t bear to think of men, women, and children suffering the pangs of hunger or shivering in the bleak winter, when there is plenty of food and fuel in the world. No one would like to see his family in such misery.

Charity thus should be an important part of one’s life and one should give money, food, drink, or clothes or any other type of help to the poor persons whom one knows or happens to meet.

Remember Spencer’s wise precept: “Good is no good, but if it be spent.” Make charity a first charge on your family budget. One per cent or more of one’s income should be earmarked for this “permanent poor fund”. But one should be on guard against professional beggars and imposters.

ADITYA N. CHOPRA, Kurukshetra

Maya’s economics

Khushwant Singh has depicted the UP CM’s real character in his inimitable style (Saturday Extra, July 18). Mayawati has earned notoriety in arrogance, manipulation, craftiness and fickleness. She is least concerned about ameliorating economic conditions of Dalits.

Ms Mayawati’s sole motive is to amass wealth, wield political power and exploit the sentiments of Dalits. She has been erecting her own statues to glorify herself. She is using her shrewdness to make hay while the sun shines.

Had she been interested in the welfare of Dalits, she would have distributed crores of rupees that were spent on her statues among the poor Dalits.

Dr M. H. KIDWAI, Delhi

Poet par excellence

Sahir (Sahir — the magic lives on. Spectrum, Sept 20) was a lovelorn poet. He wrote about social injustice, racism, women oppression, poverty and exploitation. This woman-respecting poet raised his voice against these evils. He sympathised with the underdogs and the unprivileged. He is no more with us today but his poems and songs are still on the lips of millions of his admirers. A poet like him is rare to find. May his soul rest in peace!

Mehnga Ram, Patiala

Be responsible

It was shocking that some Central ministers stayed in five-star hotels (In the same league, Saturday Extra, Sept 19) on the ground that their bungalows needed renovation. Renovation can be carried out even with them staying in the houses. Recently External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna and his Minister of State Shashi Tharoor had to shift from five-star hotels following the directions of the Congress high command.

Leaders like Tharoor must keep it in mind that they are responsible members of the Union Council of Ministers and thus they should not make a mockery of their position by getting involved in controversies, whether it is the hotel stay or the twitter remark.


Remember the martyrs 

No place in history (Spectrum, Oct 11) has rightfully pointed out the need for raising a world-class memorial or monument at Chapar Jehri to commemorate the spectacular battle fought between Sikhs and the Mughals. Tyrant, Wazir Khan was killed and the flag of Khalsa fluttered on the citadel of Mughal power at Sarhind.

Guru Gobind Singh initiated Banda Bahadur into the fold of Khalsa brotherhood and invested in him the political and military authority to vigorously launch a crusade against the forces of evil and to punish the perpetuators of heinous crimes and the ruthless administrators of Mughal regime.

After having blessed him with temporal authority, Guru Gobind Singh honoured Banda Bahadur and despatched him along with 25 Sikhs to Punjab to end tyranny, oppression and injustice. Question arises? With no money, no arms, no shelter and no base to accomplish the mission set forth, how could a handful Sikhs shatter the citadel of mighty Mughal empire.

This feat, however, speaks volumes about Banda Bahadur’s towering personality, his military acumen, organisational skills, coordinated efforts and above all his illustrious leadership that he surged like a hurricane to take the Mughal Empire head on. Undaunted and unfazed against heavy odds, he led his men in the most magnificent fashion crushing the forces of evil one after the other.

However, these brave warriors lie forgotten in the pages of history. The state government has not bothered to build a memorial to immortalise the valour of these brave men who shook the foundations of the Mughal empire. Sikh organisations, too, have made no attempt to raise a memorial for its war heroes.

Recently, a 20-member delegation of British Army officers came all the way from England to pay tributes at the memorial built by them at Aliwal (barely 30 km from Ludhiana) for their 144 men killed in action during the first Anglo-Sikh war fought on January 28, 1846. Sikh losses were estimated to be over 2,000.

Though the Sikh army had lost the battle, Henry Smith, the commander of the British forces was so much impressed with their gallantry that he described it as the most glorious battles fought on Indian soil. It is, however, a sad commentary that no Sikh institution or our so-called leaders in power or in opposition were present to salute their own heroes.

D.S. SAGGU, Chandigarh



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