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

Avoidable row over invitation to Big B

The editorial “Bachchan row: Congress has done no service to itself” (March 29) has rightly commented that the whole controversy over the invitation extended to megastar Amitabh Bachchan during the inauguration of the second phase of the Bandra-Worli sea-link by Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan is churlish.

It is a matter of regret that politics now has become a lethal combination of personal prejudices, likes and dislikes. The Congress by its childish behaviour has turned an occasion of celebration into an unsavoury controversy.

The Congress also showed its discomfort when Abhishek Bachchan was blanked out from an Earth Hour function, attended by Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit. Indeed, the whole storm in the teacup is over the fact that the Bachchan family has fallen out with the Gandhi family and is also associated with the Samajwadi Party. For public consumption, it is being made out that they are objecting to the presence of this particular star because he has been appointed the brand ambassador of Gujarat. But the Congress should remember that the public cannot be fooled all the time.

The editorial has rightly concluded that political differences should not be blown out of proportion to such an extent that they make even routine interaction difficult. Amitabh Bachchan is right in pointing out that it is petty politics to blacklist somebody just because he is associated with Gujarat. Modi is not Gujarat and Gujarat is not Modi. Hats off to him for saying that he would be working to promote the state and not any individual. The Congress leaders should realise that Gujarat, Maharashtra and New Delhi belong to the country and not to a party or an individual.

DILBAG RAI, Chandigarh

Veterans’ pension

Lt-Gen Harwant Singh (retd)’s article, “Raw deal for veterans” (March 27) has made a strong case for one rank, one pension for the retired armed forces personnel. It will be an unsavoury development for the country and its security scenario if the disaffection, disgruntlement and demoralisation currently prevalent among the veterans and their kin gets transmitted to the military combatants in service.

We should also not forget that, in a large number of families with strong Army tradition, the children have been cheerfully joining the Army like their fathers and forefathers before them.

Henceforth, this may not be possible. It is high time the issue of one rank, one pension is taken out of the ambit of bureaucratic control and dealt with directly by the political leadership for a fair and durable solution.

Wg Cdr S C KAPOOR (retd), Noida


We as a nation need to look at the institution of armed forces in the larger context. This institution should not only be capable of delivering physical results during actual conflicts but more than that should inspire fear and awe in any potential internal or external adversaries to dissuade them from any misadventure against our national interests and established systems of governance.

To achieve this end, the armed forces not only have to be equipped, trained and coordinated well but also have high morale and self-confidence. The nation owes itself to continuously maintain these personnel at the highest motivation levels. Worth considering is the point, whether you can just by monetary incentives, motivate any person to willingly expose himself to threat of limb or life besides opting to live for long durations in difficult conditions of deprivation and extremely adverse climatic conditions. What motivates people is a sense of belonging, being wanted and honoured.

The question arises — do various articles appearing in the media reflect this? Also is it in the national interest to highlight the so-called corruption cases connected with armed forces? It is worth remembering that they have self-correcting mechanisms by way of much faster court martial procedures and punitive powers.

Another issue needing consideration is the shortage of officers in the armed forces. To find a real solution the issue needs to be viewed as a symptom rather than as a problem.

Col RAKESH BERRY (retd), Ludhiana


The unfortunate return of medals by the veterans to the President is sign of disgruntlement and anguish. There is an unquestionable need for fair treatment of the brave soldiers responsible for the sovereignty, integrity and security of the motherland. The observations made by Armed Forces Tribunal should be studied in letter and spirit.

Commandant RS GURUNG (retd), Kangra

Ad gaffes

Committing blunders in advertisements issued by various ministries of the government has almost become a norm. Only some time ago, the Ministry of Women and Child Development erred by featuring the picture of former Pakistan Air Force Chief Tanvir Ahmed alongside that of Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress President Sonia Gandhi.

More recently, the Railways Ministry goofed up as its advertisement curiously showed Delhi in Pakistan territory. To apologise later for such a Himalayan blunder is certainly inexcusable. Those responsible for the faux pas must be made accountable.




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