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EDITORIALS

Never say ‘no’ to dialogue
It serves the cause of extremists
B
JP President Nitin Gadkari is not realistic in saying that “India should not hold any talks with Pakistan —- our party is against it”. He has come out with the negative viewpoint during an interview with The Tribune at a time when India and Pakistan are poised to resume dialogue at the political level.

War on litigation
Promising start to new CJI’s innings
T
he new Chief Justice of India Justice Sarosh Homi Kapadia began his innings well on Wednesday by issuing a stern warning against filing of frivolous public interest litigations.


EARLIER STORIES


THE TRIBUNE
  SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS


Exit from World Cup
IPL fatigue and poor tactics did us in
I
ndia’s ignominious exit from the Twenty20 World Cup after all the hype about the possibility of it bringing home the cup should lead to introspection and some hard decisions. While Indian skipper M.S. Dhoni’s much-heralded captaincy left a lot to be desired in this tournament, his contention that the Indian Premier League post-match parties and the gruelling travel schedule took their toll cannot be brushed aside.

ARTICLE

Caste is again the king
Distressing decision on census
by Inder Malhotra
T
HERE can now be no escape from the caste-based census that independent India had wisely never had before. Even during British days when caste of everyone was recorded during the enumeration of population, the pernicious and divisive practice had ended in 1931, exactly 80 years ago. Bad and depressing in itself, the decision of the Congress-led UPA government is, it was taken most casually.

MIDDLE

What happened to the bistarband?
by Aradhika Sharma
T
he ubiquitous bistarband or bed-roll, as it was called in its literal translation, was such an essential part of travel that it was with something like shock that I realised that it was almost obsolete. The only people you see carrying these nowadays are faujis on furlough. The realisation came when we were sorting out the store-room one Sunday.

OPED

Pakistani conundrum
US policy must change
by Gautam Wahi
T
he arrest of Faisal Shahzad for plotting to bomb the Times Square in the heart of the financial capital of the United States has again brought the terror crosswire onto Pakistan.

The ‘doctoral' disorder
by Balvinder
I
n good old days only a few genuinely bright students and teachers used to go into the rather laborious and genuine research-based task of getting a doctoral degree. No wonder, they used to get well-deserved exceptional respect in academic circles. 

Mumbai Diary
RNRL shareholders in shock

Shiv Kumar
S
hareholders in Anil Ambani’s Reliance Natural Resources Ltd were left shell-shocked as the Supreme Court ruled in favour of Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries Ltd. 

Corrections and clarifications



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Never say ‘no’ to dialogue
It serves the cause of extremists

BJP President Nitin Gadkari is not realistic in saying that “India should not hold any talks with Pakistan —- our party is against it”. He has come out with the negative viewpoint during an interview with The Tribune at a time when India and Pakistan are poised to resume dialogue at the political level. First Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram will visit Islamabad on June 26 for a briefing on the trial of the arrested 26/11 plotters and then External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna will be there on July 15 for talks with his Pakistani counterpart, Mr Shah Mahmood Qureshi. India will continue to put pressure on Pakistan to honour the commitment it has made on fighting terrorism. But it is prudent that it decided to move forward when Prime Minister Manmohan Singh interacted with Pakistan Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani at Thimpu (Bhutan) during the recent SAARC summit.

It is true that India and Pakistan could not settle any major contentious issue during the composite dialogue process, which continued for a long time. But the peace process, which was interestingly initiated during the BJP-led NDA government headed by Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayee, did result in opening rail and road links between India and Pakistan. The peace constituency on both sides of the border also expanded considerably owing to the two countries remaining engaged with each other. There were demands for increasing people-to-people contacts as much as possible. Track II diplomacy had reportedly led to a blueprint being prepared for resolving the Kashmir question. The world had started noticing the atmospheric change in the subcontinent.

This, however, did not suit the enemies of peace. They struck a heavy blow to the peace process by enacting the Mumbai death dance. Terrorists and extremists in Pakistan feel uncomfortable when they see New Delhi and Islamabad busy finding solutions to the contentious issues keeping them apart. The BJP will be playing into the hands of such elements if it sticks to its “no talks” line.

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War on litigation
Promising start to new CJI’s innings

The new Chief Justice of India Justice Sarosh Homi Kapadia began his innings well on Wednesday by issuing a stern warning against filing of frivolous public interest litigations. He said that these PILs not only make judges “work like tehsildars” but also waste valuable time of the court. His warning that heavy costs would be imposed on those filing such petitions comes at a time when concern has been mounting over the huge backlog of cases in various courts. There are over three crore cases pending in courts of which 2.5 crore are in lower courts, 40 lakh in high courts and about 52,000 in the Supreme Court. Remarkably, Justice Kapadia has set an example by hearing 37 cases in 29 minutes on his first day in office. Equally noteworthy is his decision to dispense with the daily practice of oral mentioning of urgent cases before lunch. Hereafter such urgent matters will have to be filed a day before to be considered for listing the next day.

Justice Kapadia’s fast track approach is particularly commendable because despite so many recommendations by expert committees over the years, the wheels of justice in the country move at a snail’s pace. Consider the problem of the Supreme Court itself. Though it is meant to decide only constitutional matters of great importance, nowadays it is expected to scrutinise every judgement passed by about 600 judges of 22 high courts and a large number of tribunals. Consequently, this has increased the workload of the court by leaps and bounds.

Unfortunately, despite the apex court’s guidelines to govern the effective management and disposal of PILs, the courts are not exercising due discretion while admitting them. Though the original intent of PIL was to protect the interests of vulnerable sections, vested interests have misused it as a tool of harassment since frivolous cases could be filed without the heavy court fee as required in private civil litigation and deals could then be negotiated with the victims of stay orders obtained in the so-called PILs. This abuse of PIL can be regulated if the court ensures that every petition is genuine and not aimed at making personal or political gain. All this is not to undervalue the importance of PILs, some of which have blazed a new trail. It is the misuse of this potent weapon that is our concern.

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Exit from World Cup
IPL fatigue and poor tactics did us in

India’s ignominious exit from the Twenty20 World Cup after all the hype about the possibility of it bringing home the cup should lead to introspection and some hard decisions. While Indian skipper M.S. Dhoni’s much-heralded captaincy left a lot to be desired in this tournament, his contention that the Indian Premier League post-match parties and the gruelling travel schedule took their toll cannot be brushed aside. It was indeed very difficult for the squad to maintain the intensity with which the members had played for six weeks in the IPL that preceded the World Cup. There is no denying that the Indian players looked jaded and tired through the World Cup. Lacking discipline and application, players tended to often stay up partying the whole night. A sense of responsibility was lacking in the team. Making huge money in the IPL, the players tended to over-indulge, disregarding the effect that it would have on their game when they would wear India colours. Besides, the IPL robbed the players of the necessity of travelling to the West Indies at least a week before the tournament to acclimatise to the conditions.

It cannot be denied that it was not the fatigue factor alone that caused India’s defeat. Indian batsmen have always been found wanting against rising deliveries and so were they in this World Cup. From the slow Indian pitches in IPL, they went to the Caribbean tracks where short balls flew past the nose.

It is time we learnt a few lessons from the experience in the West Indies. Crass commercialisation is grievously hurting our performance. Not merely the excessive partying but too much involvement in ads and in TV reality shows too is disturbing the sense of application and concentration of players. Also, there is need to prepare wickets which have the kind of bounce that we encounter abroad. Overall, the accountability of players needs to be sharper. The unacceptable part is not that we have lost an important tournament. It is that we did not look like a winning side with poor drive in leadership and lack of fire in the team’s attitude.

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Thought for the Day

It is sometimes necessary to repeat what we all know. All mapmakers should place the Mississippi in the same location, and avoid originality. — Saul Bellow

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Caste is again the king
Distressing decision on census
by Inder Malhotra

THERE can now be no escape from the caste-based census that independent India had wisely never had before. Even during British days when caste of everyone was recorded during the enumeration of population, the pernicious and divisive practice had ended in 1931, exactly 80 years ago. Bad and depressing in itself, the decision of the Congress-led UPA government is, it was taken most casually. Hardly had Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram concluded his reasoned speech politely declining to include caste in census forms than the Yadav trio - consisting of Mulayam Singh Yadav, Lalu Prasad Yadav and Sharad Yadav - forced an adjournment of the House. Thereafter the three Yadavs met Pranab Mukherjee, the ruling alliance’s ace troubleshooter, and the deed was done.

For, as soon as the House reassembled Prime Minister Manmohan Singh made a short statement indicating that his government was aware of the sentiment among all parties and the “Cabinet would take a decision soon”. Ignoring this, the beaming Yadav leaders marched to the treasury benches, thanked Mr Mukherjee (who later made the decision public) and were even more profuse in expressing their gratitude to Congress president Sonia Gandhi. To be fair, there is strong sentiment in favour of caste-based census even within the Congress party. The Cabinet itself was divided on this issue. However, the 180-degree change in the established Congress policy is rooted in the need to placate the Yadav threesome. It was with their support that the government comfortably defeated the Opposition’s cut motions. It needs their backing to see through the controversial Nuclear Liability Bill and deal with similar contingencies. In other words, political expediency has prevailed over high principle.

Another way of looking upon this dreary development, with profoundly deleterious potential, is that today’s rulers have slapped it on the country rather like V. P. Singh had Mandalised India in 1989 primarily to contain his deputy and rival, Devi Lal. Ironically, this did not save his government. But it enabled Mulayam Yadav, Lalu Yadav and others of their ilk to come to power. After the 2009 Lok Sabha election, the general impression was that the caste-based and regional politics had “run its course”, and that was welcomed. What an irony it is that the victors of 2009 have surrendered to the demands of the vanquished. Caste is now to the fore again. It has been a divisive force in the past and it will remain divisive in future. The casteists would consolidate their waning power. Moreover, because the flawed first-past-the-post electoral system suits the divisive forces eminently, its perpetuation also seems unavoidable.

Since Sonia Gandhi and Dr Manmohan Singh are the principal makers of the decision that should never have been taken, it would be useful to recall the firm stand that Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi took against the Mandal report when they were Prime Ministers. It was the Janata government, headed by Morarji Desai, that had appointed the Mandal Commission on the “Other Backward Classes”. Mandal, who converted classes into castes (listing as many as 2,399 of them), submitted his report when Indira Gandhi was back in power. She mothballed the report. Nobody squeaked. Rajiv Gandhi followed her policy. When one of his ministers asked him what he proposed to do about the Mandal report, he replied: “It’s a can of worms. I wouldn’t touch it with a bargepole”. When V. P. Singh implemented the Mandal report to reserve 27 per cent government jobs and seats in educational institutions for OBCs, the Congress opposed him strongly. When virulent anti-Mandal riots began, Rajiv told two of his aides: “V. P. Singh is the most divisive Indian after Mohammed Ali Jinnah”.

It is a different matter, however, that after Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination when the Congress was back in power, with P. V. Narasimha Rao as Prime Minister, the party clambered on the OBC bandwagon. So did the BJP that had opted for the Mandal versus Mandir fight to prevent the fragmentation of the Hindu society. Last week, the UPA found itself in a tight corner. But was it necessary to give the exploiters of caste divisions such a tremendous boost at this stage?

There has been an important change in the scramble for privileges in the name of caste since the unleashing of the Mandal genie. The demand that the OBC reservations must be shared with the backward castes among Muslims and Christians has been gathering momentum. The Rangnath Mishra Commission’s recommendations are roughly on the same lines. The judiciary, too, has endorsed the concept. The writing on the wall is thus clear. It is all the more necessary therefore that whatever is done for the sake of minorities is done on the ground of backwardness and caste, not religion; also within the overall OBC quota, not in addition to it. The argument that there are no castes among Muslims and Christians simply would not hold water. There was a chief minister of Pakistani Punjab who was proud of being a Jat, indeed a descendant of Maharaja Ranjit Singh. He also held a ceremonial meeting with a fellow Jat, the then Chief Minister of Indian Punjab.

Two warning signs about the shape of things to come because of the encouragement to casteists need careful watching. The first is what the medieval khap panchayats of Jats in Haryana are doing. They are making a virtue of killing young couples that dare to marry out of caste or within the same sub-caste. The state government has done absolutely nothing about it. When the Jats of Haryana burnt down the entire Dalit colony in Mirchpur village, Rahul Gandhi visited the spot, and Sonia Gandhi admonished the state Chief Minister, to no visible effect. On the contrary, Congress MPs, including the sophisticated Navin Jindal, have had the temerity to announce that they would seek an amendment of the Hindu Marriage Act to give effect to the Khap creed!

Secondly, a former Prime Minister and Janata Dal (Secular) leader, H. D. Deve Gowda, has let the cat out of the bag. He has declared that the share of OBCs in reserved jobs is restricted to 27 per cent because of the ceiling of 50 per cent imposed by the Supreme Court on all reservations. Because he believes that the OBC population is much larger than at present estimated, after the census he plans to challenge the 50-per cent ceiling, and seek enlargement of OBC reservations. To go by the Tourism Ministry’s slogan, India is indeed incredible.

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What happened to the bistarband?
by Aradhika Sharma

The ubiquitous bistarband or bed-roll, as it was called in its literal translation, was such an essential part of travel that it was with something like shock that I realised that it was almost obsolete. The only people you see carrying these nowadays are faujis on furlough. The realisation came when we were sorting out the store-room one Sunday. From one of the battered trunks emerged a bistarband, looking a bit worse for wear but with its leather straps and buckles in tact. We put it out in the sun to get rid of the mouldy smell.

“Didi, what’s that lying outside?” My young maid asked, when she came to clean up.

“What?”

“That green cloth thing…

It’s a bistarband! Don’t tell me you’ve never seen one before! I admonished.

“No didi, I haven’t. What do you do with it?’

“You travel with it…you carry things in it.” Although I hadn’t travelled with a bistarband for decades now, I suddenly felt a rush of defensive affection for this symbol of travel in the past, lying on the terrace soaking in the sun. I’d been thinking of donating it to the maid, but seeing the disrespect the girl had exhibited, I decided that she didn’t deserve it.

The girl, supremely unaware that she had failed miserably in my value judgment, cheerfully went about her work, leaving me to reflect upon how much a part of travel the bistarband used to be.

My parents preferred first class train travel and that, for a family of four, entailed two bistarbands (a couple of suitcases, a trunk and a surahi to keep water cold, a basket of food and another hamper of goodies). This much luggage was essential for a month-long vacation, to our grandparents’ home in Chandigarh.

The bistarbands were laid out flat on the ground and then packed with neatly folded mattresses, sheets, towels, and if it were winter, blankets or thin quilts.

On either side, which was folded inwards, would be stuffed pillows, and extra clothes for the journey and the books and games that we needed for entertainment. Once my mother even put a watermelon in there (to eat on the way, of course).

After asking everyone, if anything else needed to be put inside, my father would roll up the bistarband tightly and then heave mightily at the thick leather straps to try and make it as compact as possible. It was no mean task, I tell you. It would leave him breathless. In the train, the bistarband would be unrolled and everyone would be handed out their quota of ‘bedding’.

The bistarbands had long lives. I don’t recollect replacing ours too often. They used to come in two sizes — smaller and larger. They were mostly in two colours: dull olive green and a duller khakhi.

Would I carry one for old time’s sake?

Umm…well…no, actually. I’ll take a pass! Prefer to travel light you know.

And OK…I’ll take my value judgment back! The maid gets the bistarband!

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Pakistani conundrum
US policy must change
by Gautam Wahi

Terror scare at the Times Square
Terror scare at the Times Square — PTI

The arrest of Faisal Shahzad for plotting to bomb the Times Square in the heart of the financial capital of the United States has again brought the terror crosswire onto Pakistan. Every time the spectre of a possible terror attack looms large on the American firmament, there is the usual noise about the genesis of the same being in the lawless tribal belt of Pakistan.

It is surprising, therefore, that there is still a talk in the American establishment about "Good Taliban" and "Bad Taliban". In spite of all signals to the contrary, there is still a worldview that persists in the American establishment that distinguishes between what it claims to be different entities.

The most obvious example of a similar folly that was committed by the US in the 1980s is how the Frankenstein created by the Americans to fight their ideological proxy war against the Soviets in the scraggy mountains of Afghanistan turned around to hit back the US with a vengeance on 9/11.

While it is to the credit of the American law enforcement agencies and their strict security drills that the country has so far staved off a major terror strike, however it still does not seem to have dawned on the American establishment that the oxymoronic "Good Taliban" is just another version of its real enemy, al Qaida, which has not trained its gun on the US yet. No amount of mollycoddling the same would yield any result. The moment the situation becomes more conducive to this fanatical breed of tribesmen, it would most certainly get back at the US.

It needs to be understood that the current state of Pakistan polity is but an outcome of years of radicalisation of all institutions of the state in Pakistan. What made perfect sense during the Zia-ul-Haq regime of the 80s has turned out to be the biggest headache for the Americans.

However, it is strange that the United States is investing in the outcome of the problem rather than treating the malaise itself. What is required is not just a military operation on ground with the aim to eliminate the highly motivated armed militia. What is required is a purge of the Pakistani establishment of all the fanatical elements that have infested it.

It needs to be understood that thanks to the fanatical discourse being doled out to generations of the Pakistani establishment, there is now an overwhelming support to all radical activity against the so-called 'aggressors' which are often seen as the West, Israel and India.

There seems to be a martyrs syndrome prevailing in Pakistan where every ill is blamed onto external forces with little introspection. The greater challenge is that the very raison d’etre of the Pakistani nation is an exclusivist vision of an Islamic state. So long there is any entity which is based on an exclusivist worldview there is little possibility of its peaceful mutual co-existance with any other entity that is deemed to be the "other" by it.

The radical "Islamisation" of the institutions has to be painstakingly reversed. The process has to start from changing the very pedagogy and by incorporating massive changes in the syllabi of Pakistan's educational institutions. It would take a generation of effort to reverse the radical thought process. It is here that the Americans need to make a more proactive intervention.

Instead of linking the dollar flow to just military co-operation, American assistance should be linked to efforts being undertaken by the leaders of Pakistan to bring about a change the mindsets of the people of Pakistan. A greater monitoring of the public discourse and school syllabi has to be undertaken.

It is time for the leaders in Pakistan to bite the bullet and take effective steps to bring about institutional changes in that country. The US can ensure that the Pakistanis look at Turkey as a worthy example to emulate and thereby prevent Pakistan going down the dangerous slide whereby the country becomes a peril not just to the other nation states but to its own very existence.

The US policy of differentiation between the so-called good Taliban and bad Taliban will have to go. At the same time the situation is ripe for serious introspection by the Pakistani establishment and set its house in order.

It is amply clear that using terrorists as an instrument of aggression by any nation is not only a morally wrong option, but also at the practical plane is akin to riding a tiger which would one day devour its rider.

The writer is an Assistant Commissioner of Customs in Mumbai. The views expressed are personal.


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The ‘doctoral' disorder
by Balvinder

In good old days only a few genuinely bright students and teachers used to go into the rather laborious and genuine research-based task of getting a doctoral degree. No wonder, they used to get well-deserved exceptional respect in academic circles. 

What has brought the situation to such a pass that now the once-exalted Ph.D. degree has lost both respect and relevance needs to be probed rather thoroughly. 

For now a majority of literary doctors are seen, more than often, with suspicion, especially when one knows, rather intimately, their inherent incapability in basic communication skills and the mean means through which one can buy “original research” with ease! 

The rot began perhaps with an irrational decision that the UGC (University Grants Commission) took long ago. It made research-oriented degrees mandatory for getting a teacher’s post in colleges and universities.  

This certainly created a big market for these degrees and initially gave a sharp rise to the number of ghost writers. A simple economics formula of keeping a balance between demand and supply led to a big money-spinning racket, which rests chiefly on cut-and-paste plagiarism. 

Here it would be interesting to note that while appointing even a nursery schoolteacher one is required to have certain specialised skill in the craft of teaching toddlers. But while appointing teachers in colleges and universities the candidate need not have any professional training in pedagogic skills.

Is it not funny that an irrelevant doctoral degree, which in no way prepares one to learn teaching methodologies, is considered a must. Of late even lawyers are required to pass a professional test before being allowed to practise in law courts. A very sensible and practical decision indeed, as one often encounters lawyers who are incapable even of drafting a case correctly.

There is a craze for acquiring the Ph.D. degree even if this degree is not needed for promotion or other benefits. Maybe because the charm of being addressed as “Doctor Sahib” gives a high, a boost to the ego and higher status at least amongst the less enlightened!  

Perhaps that is why the use of “Dr” before one’s name by a literary PhD holder is reportedly considered as a criminal offence in Germany and can lead one to a jail term.  

Giani Zail Singh flaunted for quite some time an honorary doctoral degree that was awarded to him by a local university. It is another matter that he soon realised its drawback and dropped the tag. 

In this context I must add that this malice is not the sole property of us Indians alone.

In one of the issues of PUNCH, a British weekly magazine of humour and satire that ceased its publication in 2002, I had read an illustrated article that gave a graphic picture of many renowned universities of London where ghost thesis writing professors were available at an affordable price of Ł 15-20 per hour! 

Interestingly, the article had also published copies of a couple of forwarding letters that were appended with a thesis. For, as per the local convention every seeker of the degree was expected to write a brief forwarding synopsis in his/her own hand. Surprisingly, they were awarded degrees despite those illustrated letters were penned in an atrocious language.  

The only saving grace was this that these degree holders, chiefly from Asian countries, were never given any weight while giving a job or admission even by those very varsities that were awarding them doctoral degrees for a price. Obviously, these were meant for Asian consumption alone.  

No wonder we have many snob “Doctor sahibs” having maneuvered doctoral degrees from prestigious English universities, sitting on high positions in our institutes of higher learning. 

What worries one the most is another sad fact that now college teachers are also being considered to be given the authority to act as guides to new research scholars.

My worry is based on the fact that I have observed, during my more than three decades of teaching career in a college, that a majority of my colleagues rarely visited the college library, leave aside getting even a single book issued in their name, textbooks being the only exceptions. 

However, the rot does not stop here alone. When my both daughters entered the local university after doing their under-graduation in the nineties I asked a close teacher friend at the varsity for his guidance in selecting some profitable course of study that they should pursue. “Since your daughters have scored well in their previous examinations, they will have the choice of joining any course. Let them have their choice and keep your own weird ideas to yourself. However, never, I repeat never, allow them to do a PhD here. I know the entire community of wolves in the guise of teacher-guides!” was his piece of sincere, may be a bit exaggerated, advice.

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Mumbai Diary
RNRL shareholders in shock
Shiv Kumar

Anil Ambani
Anil Ambani

Shareholders in Anil Ambani’s Reliance Natural Resources Ltd were left shell-shocked as the Supreme Court ruled in favour of Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries Ltd. The stock, originally positioned as an arbitrage play, buying gas from RIL’s Krishna Godavari basin at US$ 2.4/MMBTU for sale at nearly double the price suddenly looked like junk.

The scrip plunged sharply and closed more than 22 per cent lower. Punters who accumulated RNRL in the run-up to last Friday’s court ruling in the hope of making a killing saw huge erosion in capital.

But, as they say, stocks are bought on hope and sold when reality bites. And eternal optimists are those who make the markets. Several analysts popped up on television indicating that something may still be salvaged by those holding this stock.

Among the rosy scenarios touted by the optimists include a possible takeover of RNRL by Mukesh Ambani’s RIL or if nothing at least some gas sale deal which would allow the company to earn some trading profits. All eyes are now on Kokilaben, mother of the Ambani siblings, who they hope will ensure justice is done towards the younger brother.

Meanwhile a close look at the ticker indicates that the smart money had exited RNRL long ago and the stock was down sharply in the past year even as the overall market showed a sharp recovery.

Wanted: a hangman for Kasab

Kasab
Kasab

The Maharashtra government is looking for a hangman. The vacancy was last filled till 1997 when the then incumbent, R Jadhav, retired. Since then no one has come forward to take up the job despite unemployment being rampant in the state. Each hanging will get the hangman a ‘fee’ of Rs 150.

There are 11 convicts on the death row in the state with the latest, Mohammad Ajmal Amir alias Kasab, joining them last week. Those earlier in the queue were convicted for assorted murders with several of them found guilty of carrying out the serial bomb blasts in Mumbai in 1993.

But no one seems to be interested in taking up the job though there wouldn’t be any shortage of people willing to hang Kasab, admit senior police officials. The last hanging in India was of Dhananjay Chatterjee who was found guilty of the rape and murder of a 14-year old school girl.

Husain’s long-distance film direction

Out of sight is surely not out of mind for M F Husain. The veteran painter, who renounced his Indian citizenship for a passport from Qatar, is coming up with new ways to be in the spotlight back home. The buzz is that Husain is directing yet another film. While Husain has already completed the script of the yet untitled film, he is busy preparing to direct it as well. Or rather direct it by proxy. Husain’s son, Owais, will be doing the actual direction based on instructions given by the veteran painter by email and over the phone.

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Corrections and clarifications

n In the news report, “Mother-in-law, bride killed” (Page 1, May13), it is mentioned that the two were hacked to death. Subsequently the report says they were shot dead.

n The headline, “Gadkari dresses down UPA govt” (Page 3, May 13, Chandigarh Tribune), is wrong. It should have been gives a “dressing down to…”

n In the news item “Nepal intensifies parleys on extension of assembly tenure” (Page 15, May 12), it would have been apt to say the govt, instead of Nepal.

n The news report, entitled “Memorial school incomplete after 13 yrs” (Page 4, May 7), says, “Unfortunately, the SAD-BJP combine could not complete a school at Hakumat Singh Wala village of this district in the memory of Saragarhi martyrs for the past 13 years”. The report also claims that the foundation stone of the school building was laid by Badal on May 16, 2000. It would have been appropriate to say that school is incomplete after 10 years.

Despite our earnest endeavour to keep The Tribune error-free, some errors do creep in at times. We are always eager to correct them.

This column appears twice a week — every Tuesday and Friday. We request our readers to write or e-mail to us whenever they find any error.

Readers in such cases can write to Mr Kamlendra Kanwar, Senior Associate Editor, The Tribune, Chandigarh, with the word “Corrections” on the envelope. His e-mail ID is kanwar@tribunemail.com.

Raj Chengappa, Editor-in-Chief

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