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

Ban on books is not in right spirit

The editorial “Brooking no dissent: Books should be read, not banned” (Apr 1) has hit the nail on the head by concluding that it is up to the readers to accept or reject Joseph Lelyveld’s book ‘Great Soul: Mahatma Gandhi and his Struggle with India’.  

Had Mahatma Gandhi been alive, he would have been the first person to condemn the ban on the books written on him irrespective of the nature of comments contained in them. His life was an open book, free from duplicity and casuistry. Unlike the present-day leaders, he did not consider himself infallible and was not afraid to face the truth, whatever the cost. Politicians are raising a hue and cry over the book just to remain in the limelight or to divert the public attention from their own failings and misdoings coming to light now and then. Instead of clamouring for a ban on it, they should try to make India of Mahatma Gandhi’s dreams.

HEMA, Langeri, Hoshiarpur


The editorial has well advised the powers that be to let people themselves judge Lelyveld’s Mahatam Gandhi’s book. Curiously, the demand for a ban on this book is coming from politicians whose   own credibility and probity are at the lowest ebb these days. It is, therefore, not a surprise if a common man takes their exhortation or advice only with a pinch of salt if not derision.

Even otherwise in this scientific age, the ban will prove to be counter productive. Any information is now readily available on the Internet. 

One wonders what democracy represents if the dissent and opinions are suppressed on frivolous and flimsy grounds. Democracy does not mean only voting in the elections and accepting what our leaders say or do.

 People’s love for and faith in what Mahatma Gandhi stands for is not so fragile that any uncharitable reference to his personal traits and political conduct will prejudice them against him. They will continue to accept him as their idol for all his strengths and weaknesses.        


Mother’s presence

The middle “Mother”(Mar 30) by Jupinderjit Singh was emotional and interesting. The writer has honestly and in a simple way tried to project his genuine feelings that can be shared by us all. But the bitter truth is that the inevitable reality of death has to be faced by everyone one day. The circle of life moves on. The fear of losing our dear ones continuously looms large on the mind.

It is only the faith in the Almighty that allows us the power to face various ups and downs and to overcome the loss of our dear ones. I lost my mother in the year 2003. More than seven years have passed and the entire family has learnt to live ‘with her sans her.’ Her memories and her catch phrases have become a part of our day-to-day living.


Hostile witnesses

I fully endorse the views expressed in the editorial “Actor Shiney’s conviction” (Apr 1). The verdict pronounced by the Mumbai fast track court pronouncing seven years rigorous imprisonment punishment in a rape case to Bollywood actor Shiney Ahuja for raping his maid despite the victim turning hostile during the trial is praiseworthy. It will definitely send a strong message to the culprits involved in such heinous and inhuman crimes, irrespective of their position and status.

This timely verdict will also put a fear in the minds of certain unscrupulous people who either being witnesses or deponents change their statements by filing false affidavits or personally appear before the courts concerned which ultimately leads guilty to go scot-free. Judicial proceedings should also be undertaken against all witnesses who turn hostile in such criminal cases.


Handle pirates

The editorial “Pirates running amuck” (Mar 12) highlighted the surrender of world’s most advanced sea-borne devices to a band of thugs operating off the Somalian coast.  Pirates took as many as 1,181 hostages in 2010. Defence Minister A K Antony’s statement further underlines that India is a weak state. The navy should be allowed to hunt those pirates.


College lecturers

I appreciate the efforts of The Tribune for highlighting the cause of lecturers of un-aided colleges of Punjab (news report, March 22) It has also pointed at the ineffective functioning of Panjab University and its syndicate which do not see to the proper and thorough execution of its resolution and decisions.

Privately-aided colleges simply receive letters of the university and file them because there is no follow-up action by the university.


Khalsa College’s standing

The editorial “Status of Khalsa College” (Mar 30) was balanced and rightly opined that before making any change in the status of the college it should be ensured, after debating the issue fully, that the change would bring perceptible improvement and restore its glorious academic past.

In sixties, while as a student of Chandigarh’s School of Art, I participated actively in a foolishly conceived agitation to get its nomenclature changed from a school to a college. Ignorant of the higher professional status of schools, such as London’s Slade School of Art or even of the J.J. School of Art, we considered a school lower in standing than a college.

Sadly, we achieved our goal through a prolonged agitation. And its highly damaging result is before us all.

Today its ‘professional’ pass outs are considered equals, in the job market, to all those students who come out of ill-equipped non-professional ‘academic’ Art departments that have mushroomed in almost every university in the region.

BALVINDER, Chandigarh



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