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Allow Sikhism to flourish

I read Khushwant Singh’s piece, Down with fanaticism (Saturday Extra, Nov 20). I am surprised to learn about the incident in a gurdwara at Noida. He has rightly reacted to the incident and each learned person would like to follow him.

I doubt tomorrow the persons who are zealously enthusiastic about some cause may come forward to say that a blind Sikh cannot sing gurbani/ kirtan in a gurdwara because he is a not a complete Sikh, being physically challenged. Such fanatic reasons don’t allow a religion to flourish at the global level and are confined to limited geographical areas. In fact, like combing the hair, hearing and reciting the sacred word is a way to comb all negative thoughts out of the mind.

In the 1980s, I was not allowed to enter the Golden Temple with a cap and had to cover my head with a ‘patka’ at the entrance. The tradition is that one should show respect while entering the gurdwara by covering the head.

Sometime back, about 40 scholars had toured Punjab to make people aware of Punjabiat. Their children didn’t study in Punjabi schools and none conversed in Punjabi.



I agree with Khushwant Singh’s views against a Gurdwara granthi at Noida in South Delhi. However, the use of words like ‘Khoteya’ (donkey) and ‘slapped’ are not befitting of a person like Khushwant Singh.

I think when any person is allowed in a Gurdwara, he should be honoured. There are many examples when very honourable persons of this country have been insulted and humiliated due to religion and caste as dress code, which is condemnable.

A.S. ANAND, Ludhiana

An eye-opener

Raghav Bahl’s review of the book Super Power is oversimplified (Spectrum, Oct 17). It was expected to create many ripples in the placid politico-economic scenario in India but in vain.

Bahl has raised a very important issue of China’s real and India’s putative growth. China has become the Goliath of the 21st century while India is still grappling with hunger, poverty and squalour. Remember China was more underdeveloped than India in 1950s? Therefore, the book written in a racy and absorbing style is an eye-opener for the people in general and planners and rulers of India in particular.

Now China is preparing itself for an economic aggression of the whole world the way Hitler prepared Germany before World War II. Crumbling of oligarchical political structure midway or like Hitler going too far in industrial production only can upset its applecart.


Of rags and royalty

I read the article,Rare find by Subhash Parihar (Spectrum, Nov 21). I find the details about Emperor Shah Alam reminding us of the sad and gloomy period of Indian history. In 1803, when the British victoriously entered Delhi, the blind Emperor Shah Alam still occupied the throne in a decayed state.

Lord Lake, who led the British forces, found “the unfortunate vulnerable Emperor, oppressed by the accumulated old age, degraded authority, extreme poverty and loss of sight, seated under a tattered canopy, the remnant of his royal state with every external appearance of the misery of his condition”.

The Emperor was graciously pleased to confer on General Gerald Lake Bahadur the titles ‘Futeh Jung’, the Sword of the State, the Hero of the Land, the Lord of the Age, and the Victorious in War. Although his own title, ‘Shah Alam’, literally meant Emperor of the Universe, his writ hardly ran beyond ‘uz Dilli ta Palam’ (from Delhi to Palam).

V.K. RANGRA, New Delhi



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