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

Divide and steal

Article “Mai Chup Rahungi” (Fifty Fifty, Oped, April 1) by Kishwar Desai raises many pertinent questions about civil-army relations. There is lack of trust between the Army and ministry officials. The situation has arisen due to lack of communication. There are vested interests and a powerful lobby out to exploit the fluid atmosphere. When Gen V.K. Singh tried to curb corruption, some unscrupulous elements started playing games to create a divide.

— S.C. Vaid, Greater Noida

Unholy alms

Apropos ‘Katra’s shame: Parents force children to beg’ (April 1), it is really shameful that children below 10 are involved in begging. Children are at times pulled out of school by parents and made to beg. It is really sad when even the children get used to the evil practice. As one boy was quoted as saying, “I used to find it hard to beg earlier, but now I love what I do.” Devotees at shrines also encourage this evil by giving alms to children in the false belief that it is a noble deed. Little do they realise they are ruining the children’s lives.

— Shivani Dua, Jalandhar

Mafia park

Apropos “Parking lot contractors overcharging in Patiala” (April 8), this business is run by a mafia. They cover the parking rate list boards so people may not realise they are being overcharged. At Mini Secretariat, people are charged even if they have to park the vehicle on the road.

— Ajay Jain, Patiala

Save Patiala

Apropos “Parking lot contractors overcharging in Patiala” (April 8), this is a practice in play even in front of the Mini Secretariat where there are shops for sale of application forms, etc. The parking contractor’s men behave more like hooligans to intimidate even women into paying the amount they demand. Rules are flouted in other ways too right under the nose of the administration, like forms worth Rs 2 are sold for Rs 20. Patiala, considered a town away from the pollution and devious ways of metros, may soon be the same.

— Parminder Kaur, Mohali

Unbelievable Bibi

Apropos “I feel I’m in a hostel, not jail: Bibi” (April 8), in which Bibi Jagir Kaur is quoted as saying: “They tell me they have never seen such a ‘mela’ at this place. As I distribute all the eatables I receive as gifts, they say they have never had such a feast.... They see me as a reformist sent by none other than Guru Nanak.” She also says: “I do not know any Kamaljit (her daughter’s fiancé). I do not want to talk about insects.” It is unbelievable these are the words of a convict in jail for abetting forcible abortion of her daughter!

— Harnam Khaira, Canberra, Australia

All in the word

This refers to “Writers change the world” by Robin Gupta (Spectrum, April 8). First, the idea germinates, sprouts, and is then followed by action and marching first step. The rest is self-generated momentum, be it knowledge, adventure, discovery, invention, et al. All great men are shaped by what they read. Barrack Obama told Indian Parliament: “What I am before you is all because of Mahatma Gandhi.” Others like Martin Luther King Jr and Nelson Mandela have said the same about Gandhi. Gandhi himself, besides reading the scriptures, also read Plato, William Saltir, Thoreau, Tolstoy, John Ruskin... My question to any “learned” man always is, “Sir, who are your favourite authors?”

B.M. Singh, Amritsar


Chinks in India’s armour’ by Dinesh Kumar (Perspective, April 8) should act as an eye-opener not only for the government but also the common man. It seems the government has not learnt any lesson from the 1962 Chinese aggression, when an ill-prepared India was mauled. It is sad that no defence minister, except George Fernandes during NDA rule, has tried to understand the real needs of the forces. The politician-bureaucrat-middleman nexus has played havoc with defence preparedness. Self-reliance is the only answer.

— A.K. Sharma, Chandigarh

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