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India needs to tackle Iran, US diligently

Iran, in view of its persistence with the ongoing nuclear experiments, is suspected of developing nuclear weapons.

The Middle East had reached a flashpoint after the demise of Iraq as a power to reckon with. Iran exudes boldness. Its borders are secure. When Saddam was at the helm, Iran was more restrained.

America, since its misadventure in the Iraq war, has lost steam of going to war. However, if Israel shows haste, it would entangle Uncle Sam.

Iran derives covert support from Russia and China. Pakistan helps North Korea and Iran in providing the know-how of nuclear energy for anything other than peaceful purposes.

India per se has to balance its diplomacy of not annoying Iran, its bulk oil supplier, and simultaneously keeping America in good humour. India should not make a mistake. It should diligently and deftly play its cards (Dealing with sanctions in Iran, Feb 2).

India needs to learn from history. Turkey and Portugal subtly proceeded with dynamic neutrality during WW-II and remained unscathed.

Periodically, the world is engulfed in messy, sticky situations. Sweden showed survival skill during the Napoleonic wars in Europe by sticking to neutrality. The two world wars enabled America to become a super power, with Europe and Japan devastated in 1945.

Astuteness should be the hallmark of approach with sanctions being clamped on Iran.

VIK SHARMA, Jalandhar

Homoeopathy myths

Dr Vikas Sharma has made a nice attempt at demystifying the myths associated with homoeopathy (Myths about homeopathy, February 8).

I, however, disagree with the writer on his view that use of onions and coffee along with homoeopathic medicines does not alter the action of these medicines. I quote from Dr William Boerick and Dr Oscar E. Boericke’s book, ‘Homoeopathic Materia Media’, page 644, where it is mentioned that ‘cutting pains in epigastria-cannot eat onions’. In a chronic case where a patient is using this medicine (Thuja occidentals) and eats onions, the system may confuse the case. The same author on page 534 states: a patient does not improve while using coffee.

To convince the writer, I would quote a book, “Drug Relationship”, by Calvin B. Knerr. He has roughly covered 800 medicines. Out of these, 4.50 medicines may be antidoted by the use of coffee.

Thus if we generalise and allow coffee and onion to patients, it may prolong their treatment. A medicine like ‘sporinum’ works for months together and does wonders in chronic cases but the patient does not improve while using coffee.

I have been practicing homoeopathy for the last 48 years and realised that the use of certain substances along with homoeopathic medicines can hinder the progress and treatment of the patient. Taking a simple diet along with prescribed medicine by the patient will definitely progress the course of treatment.


Using toilets correctly

India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru had during one of his speeches remarked that the day we learn how to use public toilets properly, democracy will have truly arrived in this country. The news item ‘Sit or squat, the big question’ (Feb 13) was indirectly a lesson in facility usage because in the absence of training, people act according to the requirement of the moment without considering the next user. Some of us just won’t distinguish between a seat and a squatting arrangement or even a urine pot. Therefore, the detailed posters with diagrams and instructions put up by Swansea University, UK, to caution and inform users are welcome and may even be emulated in India, particularly in our trains and public toilets.

Dr Pankaj Garg’s write-up (Wellness, Feb 15) on the urgent need for caution and care against anal fissures caused by toilet jets is highly relevant. This American invention has no doubt enhanced personal hygiene, but stopping the use of water-jets is very important if there is an anal injury.

Prof MOHAN SINGH, Amritsar

Motherhood: God’s gift

The news report ‘Man can’t force wife to conceive, rules High Court’ (February 12) appropriately describes the judgment as pregnant with significance.

The court has held that the wife is the best judge whether to continue or terminate a pregnancy. In Indian culture, important decisions like termination of pregnancy are best taken by mutual consent, not by the husband or the wife alone.

The court further avers that a woman is not a machine in which raw material is put and a finished product comes out. Childbirth is a natural and sacred process. Becoming a mother is a God gift. It is sinful to call her a child-producing machine.

 Wg Cdr CL SEHGAL (retd), Jalandhar



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