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Of hollowness and mean mentality

Apropos the middle ‘Of red lights and pomp’ (August 21) by Rajan Kashyap, it is indeed a pathetic sight to see so many vehicles with a beacon atop them, mostly owned by those who are not legally entitled to it. It may or may not reflect their official stature but it certainly bespeaks their mean mentality to look superior.

In fact, these people suffer from an inferiority complex and their fragile attempt to look bigger and powerful is vain. Superiority complex is nothing but inferiority complex doing 'sheersh aasan', upside down or more fittingly 'downside up'.

The pompous behaviour of these people reminds one of the famous poem ‘The hollow men’ by T S Eliot:

“We are the hollow men

We are the stuffed men

Leaning together

Headpiece filled with straw.”

But these people are so full of themselves that they have forgotten Guru Nanak’s words, “Mitthat neeveen Nanaka gun changiaaian tat (Sweetness and humility are the essential qualities of a great man.)


Marriage Act

This refers to the ‘Broken marriages' (August 31). Keeping in view the plight of women after marriage in the present set-up of society, the amendment to the Hindu Marriage Act is necessary to make it more women-friendly.In fact, there is an urgent need to protect women’s rights more because the Indian society is still quite patriarchal. This historic piece of legislation is a message that MPs are on the side of women in our patriarchal society. The women on the termination of marriage feel handicapped and to start from zero some finances are required. Nnow with the amendment Bill, they will have a right to a share in the property of the husband.


PM's failure

Dr Manmohan Singh has failed to prevent corruption which has been found in every area of governance. No one expected this from him because he was never a leader or even a politician. People believed that the fiscal health of the country would be safe in his hands as he was projected as a financial genius. So he cannot escape from the blame for the current 1991-type economic disaster.

Moreover, the fiscal policies, pursued by his party were aimed at short-term and not long-term gains. Though India was projected as a potential market to the world, no serious efforts were made to promote brand India and consequently exports, except in the IT sector. Agriculture, the very base of our economy, has been a casualty. In the past nine years the Congress and the Prime Minister have stressed only on doling out freebies to embolden their vote-banks. So a huge amount of the country’s wealth has been sucked in by populist schemes, putting the country into a pit of financial crisis.

H L SHARMA, Amritsar

Crowded Shimla

Shimla is breaking at the seams due to overcrowding. The ever-expanding volume of traffic, uncontrolled/unauthorised construction activities and the location of all government offices in Shimla are the major sources of woes (editorial ‘Queen of Hills? Allow Shimla to breath' (August 19).

The main problem of Shimla is that besides being the seat of all HP government offices, central offices, judicial courts, university, medical colleges, hospitals, boards, corporations, tribunals and commissions, district offices and all sorts of hotels and restaurants, it remains flooded with tourists all the year round.

Unfortunately, successive governments have failed to reduce congestion by way of constructing passenger ropeways, escalators, an elevated rapid transport system, development of satellite towns, etc. However, the practical solution is to shift the state capital to the lower Shivalik foothills like Una or Nalagarh, bringing it closer to more than 80 per cent people of 10 districts. But the question is: Do we have the political will?

R M RAMAUL, Paonta Sahib

Journey of rupee

The Indian rupee has been in the news for the past few months for its constantly falling value against the US dollar. A couple of days ago, I received an email from a friend in the US with the startling information that in 1917, the Indian rupee was equal to 17 US $ in value. I did more research and found that in 1913, the rupee could buy 11.5 US dollars.

In 1925, it was 10 $ to a rupee. In 1947, it was equal 1 $. From 1950 to the mid-60s, one dollar was equal to Rs 5. Then in 1966, one dollar was Rs 7.5, in 1985 it was Rs 12. From 1990 to 1995, one US dollar was Rs 7. The recent downward slide of the rupee is well known.

PROF M R CHAWLA, Panchkula

Saving forex

The Government of India must stop immediately the import of gold as well as goods which are manufactured in the country. Our trading communities are importing from China such items as are injurious to health. These include kite-flying string, hardware products, photo frames and deities' photos. We must also stop the import of cement from Pakistan. By doing so, our maximum forex will be saved. An appeal to NRIs to contribute maximum remittances should also be made. Our opposition parties are also responsible for this ugly economic turmoil as they never discuss the ailing economy as well as development of the country. I request all national as well as regional parties to rise above their own petty interests and contribute towards nation building.

K L GOSWAMI, Amritsar

Unwise advice from Sukhbir

Apropos of the news report ‘Deputy CM asks SGPC to focus on dharam parchar’ (August 19), it was not wise on the part of Sukhbir Badal to issue directions to the SGPC to close educational institutions. Asking the SGPC to stop establishing schools/colleges and hospitals is not understandable when the organisation has huge funds for the purpose.

Moreover, providing education and health care is a noble cause and the Sikh Gurus taught us to promote the same. If people are not educated and their health is not good, then what is the purpose of propagating religion?

The purpose of formation of the SGPC was not only to promote Sikhism, but also to ensure the overall development of the Sikhs and society. The institutions run by the SGPC are making a remarkable contribution to the well-being of Sikhs and society as a whole. Moreover, it is seen that religious institutions are doing public welfare works, which the government has failed to do, without expecting anything in return.




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