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Need to develop sensitivity over turban issue

While Kendri Sri Guru Singh Sabha appreciates the editorial Honour the turban ( Dec 10), we are rather anguished at the response of Tarsem Singh (letter, Dec 10). While the editorial has given a justified and balanced opinion on the issue, the Mr Singh’s letter smacked of doubts on Sikhism and the concept of Khalsa arising out of the bani of Sri Guru Granth Sahib.

We are of the opinion that a sustained effort must be undertaken worldwide to educate the governments of various nations regarding Sikhism and educate them on what the “dastaar” and the “five kakaars” mean for the Sikh. Efforts are already underway to formulate a comprehensive programme on this front at the Kendri Sri Guru Singh Sabha. While we respect the law of the land, we are sensitive to the feelings of all its citizens.

Keeping the insensitive stand taken by the French government, even after the issue was taken up by the Prime Minister of India with the French President, we want the entire Sikh Panth to boycott all French products and appeal to Akal Takht to issue a “hukamnama” to this effect.

Governing Council, Kendri Sri Guru Singh Sabha (via email)

Bus travel hike

The editorial, Costlier bus travel: Private gains, public losses in Punjab (Dec 15) has hit the nail on the head and has rightly mocked at the Transport Minister’s helplessness. The BJP, the alliance party of the ruling Akalis and whose MLA holds this Ministry’s charge, owes an explanation to the people of Punjab in this regard.

BALVINDER, Chandigarh

Majitha Fort

Kudos to The Tribune for highlighting the discovery of historic Majitha Fort near Amritsar. Now that the architects have unearthed this site of great historic significance, the government should step in and ask the Archaeological Survey of India to conduct a survey of the place. If the ASI verifies the findings of the architects, then it may bring to light more facts about the historic fort which has found little mention in history books.

I would also like to express my anguish at the state government’s indifferent approach towards places of historical significance. What to talk of the historical structures that vanished with time, even the existing ones in Punjab are not looked after well. One can see encroachments around them in clear violation of the ASI norms. The government must preserve the heritage of our glorious state.


Lesson for India

The US President came to India and brought with him over 300 CEOs of leading American business houses. It is learnt that these persons did their homework for more than six months. They prepared themselves fully about the US companies’ potential vis-a-vis Indian market requirements for those goods and services for which the US companies were looking for markets in India. They even came with well-prepared drafts of MOUs and details of contact persons in Indian companies. The result was fantastic gains for the US companies and, to a lesser extent, for Indian buyers and users.

And, now, Chinese Prime Minister has come to India. Once again the Chinese Prime Minister is outsmarting the US President by bringing nearly 400 businessmen. These businessmen, it is learnt, have done their homework even more professionally and seriously.

India needs to learn a lesson from this and make itself stronger economically. Indian dignitaries too must know the market requirements of other countries and prepare in advance before visiting them.


Security checks

After Ambassador Meera Shankar was patted down for security search, India’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Hardeep Singh Puri was asked to remove his turban again for security check at one of the US airports. It is good that gutsy Mr Puri put his foot down firmly and was finally spared humiliation.

What do our so-called excellent relations with the US stand for, if even our envoys who represent the Government of India are treated in such a shabby way? Broad smiles and sweet words of mutual friendship should not be meant only for banquets and press conferences.

In the modern world, where all countries want equality and respect on equal footing, the US Government should sensitise its security staff at its airports about the cultural and religious sensitivities of all foreign passengers.

In this modern age of advanced technology, it is unbelievable that there is no method other than the physical frisking for security checks.

However, in order to stop the maltreatment being meted out to our diplomats at the hands of the gruff and insensitive security agents at the US airports, the privileges and facilities being extended to their diplomats in India should be reviewed. This is not a matter of a tit for tat but of reciprocity. Our security is not less important than theirs.


Reward honest people

The country seems to be caught in a vortex of scandals, and the noise on the issue of 2G spectrum allocation refuses to die down. The first and foremost requirement for making any headway in anti-corruption cases is that persons who have remained unruffled by the winds of immorality and have stood their ground against the sweeping winds of corruption in their respective spheres should be honoured and given top assignments based on their performance credentials. This is not being done in any state of the Union and even by the Union government itself.

In Punjab, the Maharaja Ranjit Singh Award for honesty was instituted almost a decade ago by the government but has never been given to any person till now and perhaps the government has forgotten about it. Similarly, a deeper study of the filling of vacancies at the senior level in Punjab reveals that persons with impeccable integrity and established performance record are not considered.

It seems that every political party is interested only in paying a lip service to the campaign against corruption and is ready to use any opportunity to help its kith and kin when its turn comes.

S C CHABBA, Patiala



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