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

Create facilities to develop HP tourism

The Himachal Pradesh government must take immediate remedial measures to prevent the state from becoming a non-destination for tourists (news report, “Ideal tourist hotspot: HP has miles to go”, May 10). The tourism department must be headed and managed only by professionals. Besides, the state government, the MPs from the state must prevail upon the Centre to upgrade and modernise the existing airports and create more infrastructure to facilitate the tourist inflow.

All existing national and state highways and the lateral roads must be improved, smoothened and regularly maintained for the easy flow of traffic. Movements of load carrying vehicles should be restricted to night and their load carrying capacity should be regularly checked to prevent damage to the roads. On the lines of Uttaranchal, senior and responsible citizens should be co-opted to check and regulate traffic inflow and violations.

Adequate and clean civic amenities should be provided. Adequate parking facilities do not exist in any of the towns in the state. This is so due to lack of proper planning. This problem must be tackled head-on. Training should be given to taxi-operators, traders and locals so as to make them tourist friendly.

Above all felling of trees and concretisation of green hills must be immediately stopped.

Lt-Col JIWAN SHAROTRI (retd), Kasauli

Life over death

In her article “Quitting life early” (April 29), Nonika Singh has lucidly analysed the suicide syndrome among youth. As observed by Charles Wilcox, “Death has a subtle charm in youth which it loses in old age”. In fact, it is age-old psychological human malady, prevalent even in other species.

Devoid of worldly experience, the adolescents fall easy prey to frustrations and end their lives to escape harsh realities of life. Suicide is sheer cowardice. Some factors like heredity, intoxicants and broken love affairs do play some contributory role.. The families afflicted by “Chorea” (St. Vitus Dance), a genetic disease of nervous system, have been found to be extremely prone to suicidal tendencies.

S S BENIWAL, Chandigarh


Not only the media or academic pressures but the family structure and social factors are equally associated with the rising trend of suicides among youth Undeniably suicides among youth are a matter of great concern.

There is an urgent need to develop the bond between parents and children. Our attitude towards circumstances can be changed accordingly to cope with the situation. Suicide is not a solution to any problem. Rather than quitting life early youth should be taught to choose life over death.

ANJU D ANAND,Chambaghat, Solan

Caste politics

Inder Malhotra’s article “Caste is again the king” (May 14) clearly stated that the distressing move on the census is just to oblige the Yadava-trio. Today it appears to be a matter of adding just one column. But it is not difficult to imagine what the casteists will do with the figures that would become available.

Moreover, what will it prove except that independent India is as casteist as ever. We must adopt an economic criterion for the purpose of reservations. The rich Dalits oppose this suggestion because it will debar them and their children from the benefits now available to them.

Dr L R SHARMA, Jalandhar City

True modern artist 

The middle “Picasso and his paintings” (May 6) by Roopinder Singh was revealing. It laid bare the little-known truth how a non-artist, especially a journalist whose rushed jaunts at nosing his way to newsworthy “stories” rarely let him see beyond what meets the eye, can be so passionately involved in understanding the whys and wherefores of art to transcend the smug feeling “Picasso was a bit like me, someone who couldn’t paint and thus odd shapes like triangles for the nose!”

His ability, finally, “to discover the greatness of an artist” points to a state of mind and its psycho-emotional preparedness to further learn to discern the profound beauty of modern art. Picasso is one of the very few modern artists — and an epoch-making figure at that — who have correctly grasped the import of modernity as a view and way of life grounded in a perception that comes, albeit unconsciously, from Albert Einstein’s revelation that time is the fourth dimension of space. Here is an unprecedented mode of seeing reality whereby one’s notions of it becomes dynamic and relativist rather than static and absolute.

Picasso’s creative act of breaking the human face to reassemble it with strange adjuncts of triangles for noses and snail-like symbols for ears — and some features breaking loose from the visage to appear precariously hung in mid-air — is the alarmingly new, way of apprehending and representing reality in the modern idiom. It is an intellectual resolution of the conflict between the two-dimensional surface of the canvas and the four-dimensional time-space continuum.

In this extremely important respect, Picasso is a true modernist in the same sense as Le Corbusier is in architecture, and Henri Moore is in sculpture. All others are ‘contemporary’, not modern, artists. They are busy exploiting new materials, methods, means and manners which incredible advancement in technology has served on a platter at their doorstep.

Even if it be once in a blue moon, it is heartening that modern art has finally (re)awakened the long-slumbering spirit of free enquiry that had laid the foundation of modernity in the fertile soil of renaissance.

Dr S S BHATTI, Chandigarh 



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