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

More light on Ranjit Singh

Being an author of one of the earliest biographies of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, I read with keen interest the full-page excerpt published in The Tribune.

It was followed by half a page of review by Mr Singh in Saturday Extra, with respect to Amarinder Singh’s Last Sunset – Rise and Fall of Lahore Durbar.

I regret to say that the reading was no pleasure. Rather, the book was a disappointment both content-wise and treatment-wise.

Out of 347 pages, Maharaja Ranjit Singh has been dismissed in 47 pages, which also include seven pages of Introduction and 2 pages of Prologue. There are XV Annexures, in which the lay reader is just not interested.

The local sources in local languages such as Punjabi and Urdu and the official language Persian remained untapped.

Surprisingly, the author has said nothing about the Maharaja’s revenue policy, which converted a dry Punjab into a land of plenty, resulting in mass migration of the people to Punjab from Delhi, UP, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh.

Also, the author has not done justice to Dewan Mulraj, who organised the first formal rebellion against the Company’s lords.

K. K. Khullar, New Delhi


I read the article “Magnificent Sikh Kingdom” by V.N. Dutta (Spectrum, April 11). The book written by Capt Amarinder Singh, The Last Sunset, on Maharaja Ranjit Singh may throw more light on the ruler, who was one of the greatest military strategists and statesmen of his time. The Sikh state still survived for 10 years in a period of great political turmoil, anarchy and perpetual bloodshed after the death of Maharaja Ranjit Singh. Had the Maharaja nominated as head of state Kanwar Nounihal Singh, instead of Kharak Singh, who was nothing more than a liability or had the Kanwar not died on the fateful day in the accident, the British perhaps would not have dared to look across the Sutlej river.

Capt Amarinder Singh is contemplating a book on Rani Jindan. The Rani was bold, imaginative, crafty and with immense fighting will. She was capable of sending her agents even from Benares Fort, urging the Sikhs to throw out the British from Punjab.

Maj Narinder Singh Jallo (retd), SAS Nagar

Falling literary standards in radio and television

The article on All India Radio makes interesting reading (Perspective, June 27). There is a need to arrest a recent negative trend, especially in Hindi and Punjabi programmes. A significant fraction of radio audience does not know English. And yet, the announcers (or radio jockeys) have become so insular, insensitive and illiterate that they cannot speak a single sentence in Hindi without bringing in English words and phrases.

RJs of today cannot describe the contribution of popular music director of yesteryears without resorting to snatches of English (trance, versatility, smoothness of voice, range). This is ironical because in his time the music director probably himself did not know English nor did the countless filmgoers who enjoyed his music then nor do his admirers today who have kept his memory alive.

Introduction of FM and DTH service has made listening to music on radio a pleasure, but must advances in technology be accompanied by fall in literary standards? An essential feature of Hindi and other languages is the assignation of gender to every noun which, in turn, determines the construction of the sentence. (Divali manayi gayi, but Divali ka tyohar manaya gaya.) And yet, AIR obviously does not test its RJs for their knowledge of the language. Nowhere in the world will you find radio and television announcers so ignorant of the language which is giving them employment, money and high profile.





HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Letters | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |