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Meet external threat with resolve

The article “India can’t do a ‘Geronimo’” (June 8) by Lt-Gen Harwant Singh (retd) was insightful and candid. The article eminently highlights the major fault lines in our defence mechanism, which have led to many of our unflattering performances in meeting both the external attacks as well as dealing with internal threats to the territorial integrity and sovereignty of our country.

Be it the question of a Obama-like strong political leadership at the Centre, the long-outstanding appointment of the Chiefs of Defence Staff, the acquisition and dissemination of accurate and actionable intelligence et al; the fact remains that there is an urgent need for an informed public debate on all these and many other security issues so that we too can one day hope to become capable of doing the like of a “Geronimo”, because at present we are definitely not.

It is an accepted and age-old principle that the armed forces of a country constitute the “Ultima ratio regum” (L) - the King’s last argument, the only hope when all else has failed! That’s why like other emerging world-powers (notably the US and China), we too need to invest heavily in making our armed forces modern and strong. It will be interesting to recall here the advice Chanakya gave to Chandragupta: “The day your soldier has to demand anything; you will have lost all moral sanction to be king”.



The article paints a dismal picture of country's defence preparedness. The Army and the politicians do not appear to be on the same page. This can be gauged when Gen V K Singh says the country is capable of successfully undertaking such strikes, and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh pronounced that we will never carry out a US type operation. It would have been better not to discuss the strategic matter in public. People expect the Indian Army to be strong enough to guard its borders even in worst case scenario. In case of Pakistan's attack, counter offence will be the best defence.

The Army has to critically examine its present capabilities and upgrade those to the levels of modern warfare techniques. Government, politicians and bureaucrats must extend all the required support to equip the defence forces accordingly. For an aspiring super power it should be an easy preposition. This aspect has to be given top priority as unstable and unpredictable Pakistan can spring any kind of surprises. To meet the challenge of any adverse move, preparedness and readiness can't be neglected.

SC VAID, Greater Noida

Develop rural areas

Jayshree Sengupta’s article “Plight of India’s slum-dwellers” (June 3) and the editorial “Scarred by slums: India should focus on rural development” (June 4) voiced deep concern over the slums as the explosive growth of cities is turning chaotic. The Centre’s decision to provide affordable houses, along with basic needs in slums, in 250 cities is commendable and timely. Undoubtedly, slum-dwellers neither have basic amenities like toilets nor regular access to clean drinking water nor any other healthcare facility. Their children are out of school. Is it not a slur on India?

The trend of migration of villagers to cities has to be stopped by investing more on agriculture, agro-industries and rural infrastructure. Youth trapped in poverty must be provided with work opportunities before they turn to crime. Only good governance and proper planning can ameliorate their living conditions, reduce sharp disparities and improve cities.

Capt S.K. DATTA, Abohar

Unwanted remark

To the news report “Ramesh: IIT, IIM faculty not world class but students are…” (May 24) I would like to add that Jairam Ramesh, himself an IIM graduate discounting faculty’s contribution in chiselling, shaping and providing a platform to the students where their appetite to learn more and of diverse nature is whetted was most inappropriate and out of place.

Our IITs and IIMs have been creating globally recognised and competitive administrator business men and executives alike next to none. Hasn’t it been often observed that bureaucrat turned politicians (Tharoor’s cattle class’ still afresh) gurgle out unsavoury and insensitive statements creating discomfiture not called for?

Major BALDEV SINGH, Ambala

Starry dreams

The middle “About a faded passion” (May 28) by BK Karkra, has a message for the youth, who are obsessed with the glamorous film world. Many of them shun their academics and race towards Bollywood and are ultimately lost in the dark lanes of Mumbai or end up doing petty jobs. Thus their budding careers come to a premature end.

Amitabh Bachchan, Dharmendra, Sunil Dutt, Manoj Kumar could make it because of sheer hard work, talent and luck. But Abhishek Bachchan, Sunny and Bobby Deol, Sanjay Dutt and Kapoors were born with silver spoons in their mouths. Even Rajender Kumar’s son Kumar Gaurav and Raj Kumar’s son Puru Kumar didn’t click. Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s film “Guddi” had the same theme in which the protagonist essayed by Jaya Bahaduri was obsessed with stardom. The younger generation must be practical and shun starry dreams.

HARBANS SINGH, Ambala Cantt.


This refers to a report dated February 25, 2011 published in the online edition of
The Tribune under the headline “Elderly couple awaits daughter’s body from UK”.  The report was based on the complaint given to the police by the distraught parents of Asha Kaur.  The in-laws’ family of Asha Kaur in England has clarified to The Tribune that Asha Kaur died of tuberculosis.  Her body was not flown to India as her family were largely in and around England.  They however, offered to fund Asha’s mother and brother to travel to the UK and the funeral was delayed for two weeks, but the offer was not taken.  According to her in-laws, there was no life insurance policy nor any link suggested directly or indirectly and the death was by natural causes.  Both the post-mortem report and the death certificate identify the cause of her death as miliary tuberculosis. 

--  Editor-in-Chief

Police’s humane face

The middle “Babe di full kirpa” (May 24) by V K Kapoor was interesting and thought-provoking. It threw light on the bright and humane side of the police force. The policemen, who are human beings with human foibles, remain much maligned despite their being faithful, loyal, sincere and dutiful. Still they receive brickbats from the temperamental public which shifts its stance mercurially. ‘A bad name is worse than a bad man’.

Faith in God and faith in one’s own self play a significant role in shaping the fortune of a person. Life becomes worthwhile if every responsibility, obligation, circumstance and situation is met with confidence and unwavering faith. He who has no faith in himself can never have faith in God, the guiding and motivating force of everything around us. But life becomes worth living if a deep consciousness of personal allegiance with God and faith in him is developed. Dependence on him and absolute assurance of his guidance and protection works wonders in one’s mundane life. The purpose of life is to think of other people, to serve them sincerely without any cheating. This was amply demonstrated in the middle.

There is nothing that is absolutely evil. The good and the evil have a place here and have to co-exist. In this type of scenario, faith in oneself and in God is of greatest help. If faith is taught and practiced extensively, a big chunk of evil and misery can vanish. So not only the cops but everyone else ought to arise, awake and stop not till the good is achieved.




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