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N Korea testing patience of the world

It is unfortunate that North Korea which strives hard to feed its population, is expending its energy in pursuit of more and more weapons, benefits of which are more emotional than real (editorial ‘N Korea does it again’, February 14).  The country’s latest nuclear test is more risky and marks a dangerous escalation.

Even the US has expressed fears that the poverty-stricken state may be aiming to become a full-fledged nuclear power by possessing warheads and missiles that could threaten its neighbours. China without any reservation on its part should react more sensibly and responsibly to prevent North Korea from sliding down the path of self-destruction.

Also, the alleged Pakistani role in bringing up the nuclear warhead in North Korea is a cause for concern. With every nuclear test, North Korea has been testing the patience of the international community, and is now reaching a stage where patience can’t be tested anymore, without fatal consequences. Nuclear proliferation is the most serious threat to global peace and stability. It must be handled with the seriousness it deserves.


Nab the culprits

When such scams as the VVIP chopper scam are unearthed, the focus is generally on the defence services, whereas the major players could be politicians and bureaucrats. It is high time, the real culprits are exposed and punished.

We must remember that corruption in defence deals will continue as long as individuals involved in the purchase are kept above board and they themselves remain insincere to their service. It was not for naught that the former Army Chief Gen V K Singh had reported corruption in the senior ranks and he himself became a target of arms lobbyists. The three services must take stock of such scams seriously and tighten the loose ends on their part.

Col R D SINGH (retd), Ambala Cantt


On the basis of investigations by Italy, the Indian government is now enquiring into the matter as to who has received kickbacks in the chopper scam and who the beneficiaries were. While pointing out unpreparedness of the Indian armed forces, the former Chief of Army Staff Gen V K Singh had time and again mentioned about rampant corruption at high level in the forces which is now being felt to true. The CBI and the Enforcement Directorate are now enquiring into the 'big deal' to find facts, till then we will have to wait.


Status of Kashmir

While issuing a fatwa against the all-girl rock band, the Grand Mufti of J&K made an unfortunate statement implying that Kashmir is not a part of India. He stated, “Shameful incidents like gang rapes, that happened in Hindustan recently, are a result of all this”. He, like many other Kashmiri Muslims feels that Kashmir is not a part of Hindustan.

Unfortunately, it is our own short-sighted policies that have given rise to such separatist feelings. Kashmir being an integral part of India is only on paper. J&K has a separate constitution, a separate state flag and a special status under Article 370 unlike other Indian states. If we continue to dither on its full integration with the rest of India, we may lose Kashmir one day.

Hindus having been driven out of Kashmir and people from other states are not allowed to migrate to Kashmir and settle down there. The separatists are upbeat about the head count going in their favour if a plebiscite is to be held. A recent statement of a senior leader of the ruling National Conference reviving the bogey of plebiscite to settle the Kashmir issue is ominous (News report ‘Plebiscite Front best option to settle K-issue: Kamaal, February12).

Wg Cdr CL SEHGAL (retd), Jalandhar

Political lollipop

The politicians’ ‘lollipop’ of laptops to adolescents is nothing else but an allurement to the youngsters to grab votes. Laptops are a luxury to students who sit in classes without tables and chairs, lavatories, fans, books and most importantly teachers. The Rs 110 crore which the government spent on buying tablets could have been used to fulfill many basic needs of school children.

Moreover, the unnecessary information which the Internet provides could cause more harm than good. The gullible people should not fall in for such appeasements and understand the political gimmicks of political parties.


Bouts of uncertainty 

It is really shocking to know that wrestling will be pushed off the Olympic mat in 2020. It is indeed a body blow to a sport that was part of the ancient Olympics in Athens and figured in the inaugural modern games in 1896 and every subsequent edition except 1900.

The editorial ‘Money over sport’ (February 15) has rightly mentioned it as the original sport. The game is a part of folklore as the test of strength and agility. In India, wrestling dates back to hundreds of years. In the Hindu epic ‘Ramayana’, we hear of ‘Mal Yudh’ (wrestling bouts) between two brother kings, Sugriva and Bali, for showing their supremacy.

In Sikhism, the second Sikh master Guru Angad Dev had started the traditions of ‘Akhadas’ (wrestling arenas) in the sixteenth century. One wonders if there could be any rural Indian, above the age of forty who as a boy, has not tried his hand at ‘Pehalwani’ on ‘mitti da akhara’(earthen arena) or in open fields.

Wrestling and Kabaddi come to Punjabis, especially village folks, and Haryanvis as naturally as leaves come to trees. That Indians have so far won four medals in this sport in Olympics proves it.




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