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

Of Gandhi & Partition

This is in response to Rashmi-Sudha Puri’s article, “A tragic day for Gandhi” (Spectrum, Aug 15). She asks why Gandhi, the patron-saint and Father of the Nation, did not participate in the Independence Day celebrations in New Delhi on August 15, 1947.

Gandhi was engaged in assuaging the lacerated wounds of the people who were suffering from the eruption of communal violence in the country. Of course, his achievement in trying to restore Hindu-Muslim harmony in critical times is worthy of commendation.

However, the writer emphasises the conventional view, which some of the leading Indian historians express and propagate, that Gandhi did not accept Partition. The question is whether he opposed Partition.

In 1940, he had said that he would die rather than accept the vivisection of his motherland. At the Congress Working Committee meeting held on June 2, 1947, in his prayer meeting of June 4 and the AICC meeting held on June 14, 1947, he observed that the decision for Partition had been taken in consultation with all leaders.

Gandhi had no strategy or a well-devised plan to scuttle Jinnah’s scheme of splitting the country. In 1947, he knew he was a defeated man. Whether we like it or not, the fact is that Pakistan was created at the point of Jinnah’s bayonet.

V.N. DATTA, Professor Emeritus, New Delhi

Baba Kharak Singh

In the article, “A tribute to heroes” by C.D. Verma (Aug 14), it seems the writer has forgotten the contribution of Baba Kharak Singh, who lead the Jhanda Morcha in spite of the ban imposed by the Britishers. He was ready to face the bullets when all leaders of that time had backtracked.

It was because of him that the kesri colour came on the top, white in the middle and green at the bottom of the Tricolour at a time when the Muslim League wanted the green colour on top of the flag.


No Indian becomes less patriotic by learning English

I read Khushwant Singh’s comment that the words of foreign languages that have found entry in the English language belittle the importance of this link language of the world (Saturday Extra, July 31). He states: “Neither the French nor the Spaniards accepted words from other languages to enrich itself — it has over 10,000 words of Indian origin — and is today the most widely spoken language in the world.”

Actually, English has not ‘stolen’ words from foreign languages to enrich itself, but borrowed them to meet the needs of expression in day-to-day life in other countries. Now, for example, we have Indian English, American English, Japanese English and so on and so forth. The borrowing of words from foreign languages by English has provided beauty and colour to it.

In India, English has flourished more after the British left India. Now, it has found wider use than before. No Indian becomes less patriotic by learning and using English in day-to-day life. We need to shed this narrow thinking.

IQBAL SINGH, Bijhari (Hamirpur)



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 |