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Army as an institution stands tall

The helmsmen of Indian defence forces now appear to be on the path of setting their house in order (“Lt-Gen Rath found guilty”, news item, Jan 22). The court marshal of Lt-Gen Rath is a landmark decision and should prove a strong deterrent in the top hierarchy of the forces.

However, this is not the only scam involving the elite of our forces. There have been many in the past and quite a few at present. The scandal in the procurement and supply department of the Army in the recent past is fresh in public memory. The Adarsh housing scam is doing considerable damage to the reputation of our security forces. Perhaps this is the worst as it involves the top brass. The people are disillusioned with the defenders of the nation turning corrupt.

The need of the hour is that the helmsmen ought to do an analytical study of the malevolence in the defence forces and find out the genesis of the recurrence of the malady which is bringing disrepute to its illustrious history and submit its findings to the government.

Of course, the people know the cause of rampant corruption. The politicians are brazenly involved in big scandals and yet manage to occupy important positions in the government. This has created a wrong impression that corruption has gained acceptance and respectability not only in the top echelons of power but also in society. Unfortunately, this perception percolates down from the top to the bottom. Let the rulers first be honest.

L.R. SHARMA, Sundernagar (HP)


Lt-Gen P.K, Rath was found guilty by a military court of charge of corruption (Jan 22). It is heartening to note that the armed forces move fast to curb corruption in their ranks. While a large number of cases against the corrupt ministers and other politicians, members of the bureaucracy and the judiciary remain pending for years for one reason or the other and all sorts of pressures are applied to kill them, it goes to the credit of the Indian Army as an institution that has acted swiftly against Lt-Gen P.K. Rath in Sukna land scam case.

It is an example worthy of emulation by the Centre and the states. Prosecution against the corrupt should be held in special courts that should conduct hearings on day-to-day basis and their properties confiscated till declared innocent. No case should take more than six months in a court of law. Unless stringent laws are put in place to curb corruption, it will be well-nigh impossible to rid the country of this fast spreading cancer.

R.J. KHURANA, Bhopal

Naxalite menace

Kuldip Nayar’s article, “Handling the Naxalites” (Jan 22) rightly portrayed the real picture of the Naxalite problem and the failures of the government. Even though they are a threat to Indian democracy, decency, civility and to human values, yet we cannot finish off movements by shooting people.

The killing of over 70 policemen in the thick forests of Dantewada in Chhattisgarh was the Naxalites’ deadliest attack on the security forces so far. It has rightly been pointed out that we have not learnt any lesson from this incident so far. In fact, it is the lack of political will which is responsible for the spread of the Naxalite movement which is the single biggest internal security challenge ever faced by our country and losing the battle against them. They pose a grave threat to peace and progress in large parts of the country. It can have serious consequences for the defence of the country and needs to be dealt with urgently because of India’s weakened incapability of effectively dealing with the increasing external terrorist threats.

The Naxalities claim to be supported by the poorest rural populations, especially the Dalits and Adivasis and they are highly motivated and trained. Deployment of security forces to control the disturbances would not help resolve the problem permanently. The government has to take care of their fight for improved land rights and more jobs for neglected agricultural labourers and the poor as the use of force cannot suppress the discontented community.

The Naxalites will not gain people’s sympathy if they don’t stop killing innocent persons. They should give up weapons, talk to the government across the table and explore ways and means for the successful implementation of socio-economic and welfare programmes.

HARISH K. MONGA, Ferozepur City

Incorrect report

Please refer to The Tribune report, “State doesn’t remember this heroic warrior” (Jan 20). Capt Karam Singh was the hero of the battle of Tithwal (Oct 13, 1948). During his lifetime, he has been provided with all benefits entitled to the highest decorated gallantry awardee. After his death in 1993, his wife, Mrs Gurdial Kaur, has been receiving all the benefits up to her death in June 2010. The report as it appears is factually incorrect.

At Sangrur, a statue of Capt Karam Singh commemorates his sacrifices and is honoured each year on Oct 13. Mrs Gurdial Kaur was invited to all Republic Day and Independence Day celebrations. Invitation card in the last Republic Day was delivered to her by the District Sainik Welfare Officer, Sangrur, well in time.

Maj D.S. Brar, District Sainik Welfare Officer, Sangrur, attended the Bhog ceremony of the late Capt Karam Singh on Jan 20, 2011. It is being ensured that sacrifices of all heroes are acknowledged at an appropriate place and date.

DIRECTOR, Sainik Welfare,  Punjab, Chandigarh

A day to feel proud of

We will celebrate Republic Day tomorrow. It is a day to feel proud of. The contingent parade in New Delhi showcases the strength, unity, and rich heritage of our nation. It displays our national will, unity in diversity, and a patriotic fervour. The armed forces showcase their splendour, while we remember those who sacrificed their life for us. As we see the smart marching contingents, our chest swells with pride. The nation is dressed up bright, in a secular thread, during the various functions held at the national level and in each state.

So, let’s not just sit indoors and take a holiday because it is cold outside. Watching the Republic Day parade on TV and sleeping off is not enough. Let us go out and be part of the celebrations wherever we are, join in singing the national anthem, salute the national flag, and pay homage to our martyrs. If possible, share some food and clothing with the poor who are out there on the footpaths. They are also our fellow countrymen.

Let’s rise above the narrow confines of caste and religion or political affiliations, and hug one another as Indians. Tomorrow, let’s not talk scams but achievements. Can you imagine, when over 1200 million people are rejoicing together, how happy a nation we will be! And a happy and united nation can do wonders in peace and progress.

Col R.D. SINGH, Ambala Cantonment



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