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India-China war: How Nehru faltered

When Pt Jawaharlal Nehru took over the reins of the government of free India, initially he was inclined to disband the Indian army, following the footsteps of emperor Ashoka. However, he was corrected by Field Marshal Auchinleck, the outgoing Commander-in-Chief of the Royal Indian Army of British India. Sooner than later, his eyes opened when the tribal invasion of J&K at Pakistan government’s behest took place in subterfuge.

Krishna Menon, earlier High Commissioner, was inducted by Nehru as Defence Minister. Menon set in motion the game plan of bullying high ranking army officers and employing army jawans for labour work in projects like Amar Project. Merit was ignored while considering promotions in the upper ranks of the army. The idea of improvisation was consigned to cold storage.

Sardar Patel tried to alert Nehru in November 1950, through an eye-opening letter, which was sidelined and put into oblivion. The climax was the resignation of Gen Thimayya who was persuaded to withdraw it then. However, later he was castigated and humiliated badly.

The Nehru-Menon axis was unwilling to lend an ear to the army higher-ups regarding the dangers imposed by China, which had swallowed Tibet and compelled India to withdraw its network from Lhasa.

Field Marshal Montgomery once told British Prime Minister Churchill “Prime Minister, you are not a professional soldier. I am. You do not know how to fight a battle, I do”. He brooked no interference.

While humbling competent generals to catapult Gen Kaul, the favourite of Nehru-Menon, they rattled India in 1962. Ignoring Patel’s letter and humbling war veteran generals made India eat the humble pie.

The Henderson Brook’s report has not been declassified. What mystery is there in keeping it away from the nation’s eye? In a democratic set-up, transparency is paramount. Parliamentarians are merry men who remain oblivious if fed on perks and privileges.

VIK SHARMA, Jalandhar

To women’s rescue

From Phoolan Devi and Bhanwari Devi to Ruchika, Arushi, Fiza, Geeta Sharma, Shivali and Shruti, and many more unnamed and unreported victims, the list of women sufferers is endless. Though changing fast on the Western pattern, our society still continues to be governed by an old patriarchal mindset. It simply does not tolerate the educated, intelligent and empowered women. Women are perforce leading oppressed and miserable lives.

Instead of protecting them, the society blames women for these crimes and casts aspersions on their clothes and and free movement. Society at large needs to be made gender-sensitive. The mindset of the misguided, drug-addicted and perverted youth must be changed.

Fast-track courts should be constituted to give timely justice to the traumatised victims and their distraught families, and exemplary punishment to the perpetrators of criminal violence against them. Last but not the least, all possible financial and legal help should be provided to rehabilitate these victims who have to live with the indignity of sexual abuse and the social stigma attached with it.

DS KANG, Hoshiarpur

Honorable paralympics

The physically disabled sportspersons have shown the world that they are far better than the able performers who had the privilege of getting trained professional coaches and equipment. Despite the government’s lackadaisical attitude, they competed with sheer zeal and effervescent commitment (OPED article “Spectacular show of Indian paralympics”, September 17).

Central and state governments and prestigious sponsors showered crores of rupees and promotions to winners of Olympic medals but none for these underprivileged sportspersons. No such professional and monetary benefit has been announced for the Indian paralympics till now.

RAMKUMAR MV, Kakinada (Andhra Pradesh)

Food basket needs renewal

Free power and no check on the falling level of ground water is a recipe for disaster. Political compulsions have compelled the Akali Dal to oppose FDI, which could prove beneficial to the farmers.

The editorial “Talk of diversification” (October 9) has aptly expressed views to say goodbye to paddy and boost production of pulses, oil seeds, maize, etc. It will save the ground water for future generation. The area for paddy cultivation should be restricted and MSP should be discouraged, rather it should be given for growing other crops. The Commission for Agricultural Costs & Prices (CACP) is also in favour of higher MSP for pulses and oilseeds. The government must ensure to pick up whole produce of these diversified crops from mandis.

AS ANAND, Ludhiana



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