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The essence of all religions

In ‘Spiritual Discourse’, a review of Dr S. Radhakrishnan’s book, An Idealist View of Life”, (Spectrum, Feb 14), the writer says religion assumes that God, the creator of the universe, is the benevolent father of all mankind.

Most of the religions accept this, but Buddhism, the fourth largest religion in the world, is doubtful of his existence, and Jainism altogether denies it. More than one billion people in the workd are agnostics/atheists.

The fundamental essence fo all religions is the belief in God but they differ on the paths of knowing and worshiping Him. Even the major religions are subdivided into orders i.e. Christianity (Roman Catholics, Protestants), Islam (Sunni, Shia), Hinduism (Vaishnavites, Shaivites, Shaktas) et al, who have been fighting among themselves for supremacy.

This enigma has been aptly described by Akbar Allahabadi in his couplet, ‘Nai tehzib main diqat ziyada to nehin hoti/Mazahib rehte hain qayam, faqat imaan jaata hai’. (New civilisation doesn’t give much trouble, the religions remain intact, only the essence/faith is lost.

V.K. Rangra, Delhi

Ode to a monarch

I read Expressions of an Envoy (Spectrum, Jan 31). Navtej Sarna has done a service to the nation by writing a book, The Exile on the life of the late Maharaja Dalip Singh. The Maharaja was deprived of his sovereignty and welth and persecuted by the then Governor-General Lord Dalhousie for no fault of his in the revolt of Diwan Mulraj in Multan and later in the uprising of Chutter Singh, the governor of Hazara, and his son Raja Sher Singh. He was ten years old and under the protection of the Regent of Lahore, being the sovereign of Punjab. He was separated from his mother who was confined to the fort of Shiekhpur.

The Maharaja was later sent to England. He had been writing lengthy letters to the Queen, the british Prime Minister and the Governor-General of India for the restoration of his legal rights but in vain. He then left England and settled in Paris. He died there in 1893 as a desolate person.

Maj Narinder Singh Jallo (retd), Mohali


In his article (Saturday Extra, Jan 17), Khushwant Singh has asserted that Sikhs, like Hindus, believe in immersing the body (bathing) in river or pond (sarovar) declared as holy, to wash the sins and has misquoted from Gurbani: “Gur Ram Dass Sarovar nahate sab utre paap kamate” to support has argument.

However, the correct wording is “Ram Dass sarovar” and not “Guru Ram Dass”. Even the pond is not known as “Ram Dass sarovar”. It is simply known as “Amritsar Sarovar” and the name was given by Guru Arjan Dev.

Daljit Singh Dhillon, Chandigarh

Why compare Sachin with Bradman?

I read Donald Banerjee’s piece on Sachin Tendulkar (Spectrum, March 14). Sachin definitely is a great player but his comparison with Bradman is odious. Test average of runs is one definite parameter of a batsman’s superiority. Bradman could score 29 centuries in 52 tests with a run average of 99.94 per innings.

Sachin’s average is 56.57. Bradman’s average in domestic cricket was equally impressive i.e. 96.47. His only contemporary in greatness was Major Dhyanchand in hockey. Besides scoring a heavy pile of runs, he had other rare traits in his game which other players did not have in equal measure. (Only four players stood to Bradman in the batting prowess — Wally Hammond, Len Hutton, Gary Sobers and Rohan Kanahi.

Brandman rarely allowed a bowler to bowl a maiden over to him.He never allowed any ball to pass across his bat into the gloves of the wicket-keeper. Gavaskar played many great innings against genuine fast bowlers of West Indies, Australia, England and Pakistan. His 96 at Bangalore on a turning pitch against Pakistan in 1985-86 and 187 against an International Eleven at Lords in 1987 are the most memorable innings.

In 1999 World Cup, Sachin scored only one century against Kenya. It was Dravid who batted all the way and topped the batting average against all the players of the World Cup.

Qualitatively, Kapil Dev’s 175 not out against Zimbabwe (India was 17 for 5 at one point) in 1983 World Cup was definitely better than Sachin’s 200 against South Africa. The most sensible thing Sachin did was that he decided not to play as Captain and concentrate on his game. This is the reason he could bat so well with an unstressed mind and score many centuries and half centuries.




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