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Right moves retain Anand’s crown

We salute Vishwanathan Anand, the 42-old Indian gem who has demonstrated to the world that Indians can excel in sports other than cricket and that the crown of the biggest medal in chess can be adorned on the head of an Indian. He has many firsts to his credit, including first grandmaster from India, first person in the world to win world championship 5 times, first sportsperson to win Padma Vibhushan, first to win Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award, and many more (editorial ‘Grandmaster Anand’, May 31).

He was at the top of the world rankings five out of six times, from April 2007 to July 2008, holding the number one position for a total of 15 months.

Famous chess expert Lubomir Kavelek calls him the most versatile world champion ever. Anand is the only player to have won the world chess championships in many formats including tournament, match, rapid and knockout chess.

Prof HS DIMPLE, Jagraon

Preserving documents

This is in reference to Prof Kirpal Singh’s article ‘So little left, so badly ignored’ (May 31) relating to pitiable condition of historical records. Billions of rupees are spent on buildings and upkeep of religious places, but not even 5 per cent of that money is spent on preserving historic documents. The lack of original records and historians with objective and scientific perspective has led to all kinds of controversies. Prof KK Aziz in Pakistan and Prof Krishan Kumar in India have highlighted how the school textbooks in both countries have falsified history with blind unverifiable prejudices.

The records of magisterial trial of Bhagat Singh are lying in Lahore with no accessibility to scholars. In the absence of proper and inspiring academic atmosphere in our universities and institutions, we do not see dedicated scholars coming up anymore. The atmosphere of sycophancy in universities has killed the spirit of budding scholars.

A proper state archives should be built with ample space and technology-driven devices. Both sides of Punjab governments in India and Pakistan should exchange copies of old records available in their institutions. The geography of the land may be divided, but the history and culture of Punjab remains undivided.


Spiteful act of revenge

The government should amend the law dealing with acid attacks. Nothing less than life imprisonment for this cowardly act can stop miscreants from the thought of doing anything as cruel as this (editorial “Distorting Face”, May 30). The cases of acid attacks have increased in recent years. The agony caused to the victims in these attacks has many dimensions, ranging from emotional, social, personal and professional.

Dr NEERAJ SHARMA, Chandigarh

Unnecessary taxes

The central and state governments have become immune to public protests. In the past, taxes which were very few in number were raised marginally only in the annual budget keeping in view the interests of the general public. There was rarely any mid-term hike in prices. There are already cumbersome taxes which a person other than a Chartered Accountant cannot understand. Taxes should be minimum and simple.

The government should set its own house in order and take stern measures to control growing corruption and inflation to win over the confidence of the common man. Restlessness and frustration amongst denizens leads to bandhs and protests.

DP JINDAL, Mandi Gobindgarh

Public freedom

Shailaja Chandra has drawn pertinent attention to the debate personal security vs public freedom in her article ‘Citizens’ right to public space’ (May 30). Le Corbusier or Lutyen would never have imagined that public freedom would be sacrificed at the cost of individual security in the cities planned so well by them. The judiciary, however, has come to the rescue of public freedom ensuring displacement of encroachment over footpaths and green cover. But the high-ups hardly give credence to public freedom when their own comfort or security comes in way. In countries like UAE where traffic rules are too stringent, public freedom especially to pedestrians is ensured. No vehicle crosses the zebra line unnecessarily on light points. Lady pedestrians are given due respect while crossing roads. Public freedom is ensured while using footpaths and green areas.

The administration and the civil society should join hands in making footpaths and green covers free of any encroachment. Awareness programmes should be launched every now and then. The citizens should also imbibe traffic sense not only in the interest of public freedom but also for public safety.

Dr S KUMAR, Panchkula

Last resort

Both the state and central leaders claim that much-needed normalcy has returned to the Kashmir Valley. Ironically, the Kashmiri Pandits have been unable to return to their homes in the Valley (news item “Pandits pray for their return at Kheer Bhawani shrine”, May 30). The government is faced with the onerous and arduous task of creating conducive environment for the much- awaited return of Kashmiri Pandits to their home state. The Indian political bigwigs have been shedding crocodile tears at the plight of the exiled Pandits for the last two decades. The Kashmiri Pandits have been left with no option but to pray for immediate return to their native land. Showing up of the mainstream separatist leaders at the Kheer Bhawani Mela is a positive sign for an early solution to the nagging problem. CM Omar Abdullah has got this opportunity to prove his political acumen and dexterity of a seasoned leader to mark the beginning of an era of lasting peace, communal harmony and all round prosperity in Kashmir with the Kashmiri Pandits on board.




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