SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI



THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
O P I N I O N S

Editorials | On this day...100 years ago | Article | Middle  

Oped Security

EDITORIALS

A pre-election budget
It is business as usual for the Railways

T
he
UPA's railway budget, probably its last, has all the markings of pre-poll populism. In its entire term the UPA rail budgets raised fares only once - last year. To keep rail travel affordable the freight rates have been repeatedly hiked, burdening industry and making it less competitive. Lack of funds has delayed technological upgrade of the Railways, the launch of bullet trains and the laying of tracks to distant coal mines apart from failures to make trains safer and cleaner. New trains and projects are announced, but financial constraints, poor governance and lack of accountability cause inordinate delays in project implementation, leading to massive cost overruns.

Seeking stability
Nepal's new PM faces a tough challenge
A
new leader has been elected to lead Nepal. No political party had won a majority in the Constituent Assembly elections, the results of which were declared in November. Since then, there had been a deadlock. Now, Sushil Koirala, president of Nepali Congress, Nepal's largest political party, has secured the support of the majority, with 405 of the 553 MPs backing him to become the Prime Minister.



EARLIER STORIES

Keep politics aside
February 13, 2014
Betting and fixing in IPL
February 12, 2014
Tainted officials out of IOA
February 11, 2014
Delhi needs more powers
February 10, 2014
Will a third alternative work?
February 9, 2014
Lost: A job and a child
February 8, 2014
Protection for the corrupt
February 7, 2014
Thought for food
February 6, 2014
Regularising illegal colonies
February 5, 2014
Back to future
February 4, 2014



On this day...100 years ago


lahore, saturday, february 14, 1914
Kindergarten in the girls' schools of the Punjab
F
EMALE education in the Punjab is not by any means as bad as in the United Provinces. By the effort of the Kanya Mahavidyala, Jullundur, the Dev Samaj School, Ferozepore and the Sikh Kanya Mahavidyala, female education has become really popular, although parents have yet to learn that it is incumbent upon them to pay for the education of their girls as well as for that of their boys. Most of the girls are in the lower primary classes and the Inspectress deplores that as yet no Kindergarten teaching is given to them.

 

ARTICLE

Tunisia shines amid gloom
Arab Spring protests not in vain
S. Nihal Singh

A
fter
three years of turmoil and bloodshed in the Middle East and North Africa, where is the Arab Spring? Apart from the relatively tiny state of Tunisia, where it all started, the picture in the rest of the region that had been swept away by the storm looks bleak today. Egypt, the largest of the Arab world, seems to be retracing its steps to three decades of the Mubarak era, with the Army flexing its muscles. Libya, which never had recognised governing institutions during the long Gaddafi era, is seeking to emancipate itself from the unofficial rule of militias armed to the teeth.



MIDDLE

Gujarat development model
Wg. Cdr. S.S.Randhawa (retd)

I
ndians
, living abroad, keenly follow what happens back home. A friendís grand-daughter, living in America, asked me the other day for the following information.



OPED SECURITY

UK & Bluestar: Nothing unusual about it
Britain's cooperation with India is not unusual and neither is Operation Bluestar unprecedented. What is needed is a lessons learnt exercise to ensure there is no repeat of the politics that led to such a situation so as to put a closure to the unfortunate incident and to move on.
Dinesh Kumar

R
ecent
revelations that an officer of the Special Air Services (SAS), a British Special Force, reconnoitred the Golden Temple Complex in February 1984 and gave advice to the Indian government on the latter's request on how to flush out the armed militia led by Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale from inside the premises of the holy shrine has evoked considerable dismay and outrage among sections of the Sikh community both in India and overseas, especially among those residing in the United Kingdom. 'How could have the British Government rendered advice to the Indian government to attack the holiest shrine of the Sikhs? is their angry question.







Top








 

A pre-election budget
It is business as usual for the Railways

The UPA's railway budget, probably its last, has all the markings of pre-poll populism. In its entire term the UPA rail budgets raised fares only once - last year. To keep rail travel affordable the freight rates have been repeatedly hiked, burdening industry and making it less competitive. Lack of funds has delayed technological upgrade of the Railways, the launch of bullet trains and the laying of tracks to distant coal mines apart from failures to make trains safer and cleaner. New trains and projects are announced, but financial constraints, poor governance and lack of accountability cause inordinate delays in project implementation, leading to massive cost overruns.

There is no annual status report on trains and projects announced in the past. The UPA railway ministers have unabashedly favoured their own regions in awarding projects, launching trains and recruiting staff. The UPA's biggest achievement is the setting up of the Rail Tariff Authority, which may insulate fare and freight fixing from political interference. Dinesh Trivedi and Pawan Bansal tried reforms, but populist politics drove out Dinesh and corruption in postings triggered Bansal's departure. Mallikarjun Kharge has carried on the business as usual. His was the shortest budget speech ever made, thanks to protests over Telangana. Like his predecessors, he announced new trains, promised greater passenger safety and talked of wider private participation and monetising of railway lands. The freight business has picked up, possibly because of costlier diesel making road transportation less attractive.

Indian Railway is the fourth largest in the world after the US, China and Russia but it is run on subsidy and for providing jobs. A fast, efficient railway can accelerate economic growth. The corridor projects, to be funded by Japan and the World Bank, could have been taken up on priority. India built 1,750 km of new lines between 2006 and 2011 compared to 14,000 km in China. India moves slowly, living up to its global image of an elephant. Yet the Metro success in Delhi shows India can do it if it wants with the right person at the right place.

Top

 

Seeking stability
Nepal's new PM faces a tough challenge

A new leader has been elected to lead Nepal. No political party had won a majority in the Constituent Assembly elections, the results of which were declared in November. Since then, there had been a deadlock. Now, Sushil Koirala, president of Nepali Congress, Nepal's largest political party, has secured the support of the majority, with 405 of the 553 MPs backing him to become the Prime Minister.

The main task before Koirala is to arrive at a consensus on the new constitution, possibly in a year, as he has promised. As the head of a coalition government, with the support of the Communist Party of Nepal, he will have the numbers to give Nepal a stable government. The 75-year-old Koirala will be the fourth person from his family to become Prime Minister. He has never held a ministerial position. However, he has had a long political career, and has a reputation for simple living. He would need to reach out to his coalition partners, as well as smaller parties, while also dealing with the Maoists, who have just been voted out of power.

Nepal has suffered economically in the last few years and the new Prime Minister's first priority should be to bring in foreign investment. To garner the kind of support he needs for economic development, he will have to show political stability in Nepal. He will have to ensure that the power-sharing arrangement that has led to his government's formation remains steadily on course, even as he balances the pulls and pressures of coalition politics. Some fissures are already visible in the new coalition and it remains to be seen how they affect the new government. On the foreign policy front, Koirala has announced that he will work towards improving relations with Nepal's neighbours. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has been quick to congratulate him. India will, no doubt, play a significant role in reviving Nepal's economy and in helping its neighbour in other ways. 


Top

 

Thought for the Day

We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars. óOscar Wilde

Top

 
On this day...100 years ago



lahore, saturday, february 14, 1914
Kindergarten in the girls' schools of the Punjab

FEMALE education in the Punjab is not by any means as bad as in the United Provinces. By the effort of the Kanya Mahavidyala, Jullundur, the Dev Samaj School, Ferozepore and the Sikh Kanya Mahavidyala, female education has become really popular, although parents have yet to learn that it is incumbent upon them to pay for the education of their girls as well as for that of their boys. Most of the girls are in the lower primary classes and the Inspectress deplores that as yet no Kindergarten teaching is given to them. She writes: "In the Amritsar municipal board schools alone there are 600 babies who were much brightened up by the simple games and physical exercises which the Inspectresses spent several days in teaching to the mistresses and children. The teachers in charge of the infant class are, however, so old that they can hardly move about, much less play. If there were a capable Kindergarten lady in charge of these sections of the branch schools in towns, she could train infant class mistresses as well as manage the classes, and none of the very short school lie of the little girls need be wasted.

Schools and colleges of Delhi

THE Director of Public Instruction in the Punjab has excluded from his report for 1912-13 all the schools and colleges of the Delhi Province. That is perfectly understandable and no one will mistake the variations in the statistics presented by the Director. In the body of the report the Director does not however resist the temptation to refer to the schools and colleges of Delhi. For instance in paragraph 17 he says: "St. Stephen's College, Delhi, has now a staff of six Oxford or Cambridge University men, two having been added in the year." in paragraph 30, he writes: "Probably the best training in the practice of teaching is given in the Delhi Normal School." Thus it appears that Delhi, though sequestered, does count for certain administrative purposes in the Punjab.

Top

 

Tunisia shines amid gloom
Arab Spring protests not in vain
S. Nihal Singh

After three years of turmoil and bloodshed in the Middle East and North Africa, where is the Arab Spring? Apart from the relatively tiny state of Tunisia, where it all started, the picture in the rest of the region that had been swept away by the storm looks bleak today. Egypt, the largest of the Arab world, seems to be retracing its steps to three decades of the Mubarak era, with the Army flexing its muscles. Libya, which never had recognised governing institutions during the long Gaddafi era, is seeking to emancipate itself from the unofficial rule of militias armed to the teeth.

Nor is there encouraging news from elsewhere. Yemen has still a long way to go to achieve stability. Although the former ruler Saleh was pushed aside by a group of neighbours, he retains influence. And in Syria, in the throes of civil war, negotiations of a sort seem to be going nowhere. President Bashar al-Assad is disinclined to give up power as his country is literally being destroyed. It is clear that he cannot remain the ruler of a united country, yet it is uncertain when circumstances will compel him to go. Obviously, he does not accept the agenda of Geneva I leading to an inauspicious start to Geneva II requiring an effective transitional authority to govern Syria by replacing the present leader.

Amidst this deep gloom, it is instructive to examine the causes of the Tunisian success, tentative as it is. A key to the reconciliation in the country was the sagacity of the major Islamic party Ennahda and its leader Rached Ghannouchi, in recognising the fact that although it was the dominant political force, it would have to meet the aspirations of others, particularly the secularists. In fact, it took the murder of two Socialist leaders to bring to the Islamists the truth that their philosophy must be brought into the national consensus.

Going for Tunisia were its secular traditions and the freedoms women enjoyed. Significantly, the new constitution passed by Parliament as a technocratic government was formed is the most gender liberal in the Arab world. No wonder France's President Francois Hollande graced the ceremony marking the birth of new Tunisia while the European Union gave its own blessings. Much work remains to be done, but Tunisia is showing the way to the future in the entire region.

The starkly different picture in Egypt is more representative of the region. For a time after the Arab Spring, it seemed that the country was trying to break away from its military-dominated past. A president was freely elected for the first time in the country's history, with the military allowing him to take office. But the task for Mohamed Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood proved too arduous to manage. In short, he botched it, and as political dissent against Morsi and the Brotherhood mounted, a relieved Army under then General el-Sisi dethroned him.

Although Sisi, now elevated to the rank of Field Marshal, is being coy in announcing his decision to contest the presidency, it is a matter of time before the announcement is made. The administration has taken draconian steps to try to crush the Brotherhood, calling it a terrorist organisation and trying Mr Morsi. The Brotherhood is no stranger to suppression in its 85-year history, but it has survived by its grassroots support through its long tradition of charity work in feeding and caring for the poor. And Egypt is in dire economic straits, thanks to the three years of political turmoil despite the attractive aid package the Gulf monarchies have given the military dispensation to express their relief at the end of the Brotherhood experiment.

The Egyptian story is very much in the making because although the military will bask for a time in the popularity of Field Marshal Sisi, who is being presented as something of a new Nasser, the modern Arab hero, disillusionment will set in as he is crowned. Bred on military rule for more than half a century after the dethronement of Kung Farouq, there are few genuine democratic institutions for people to bank upon. Fattened on generous American military aid to further its own reasons and to protect Israel, the military has a vast economic empire. It is interesting that even during the year-long Morsi presidency, the defence portfolio was given to Sisi and the defence budget was beyond prying civilian eyes.

In short, the region of the Middle East and North Africa will remain turbulent for years and decades because the Arab Spring has broken the somnolence of at least half a century. It seems a matter of time before popular revolts will break out again. As it is, the continuing civil war in Syria is roiling the whole neighbourhood as its neighbours and others are seeking to cope with more than two millions of Syrian refugees, and that weathervane of the Arab world, Lebanon, is increasingly being subjected to the storms raging all around it.

The time frame for future events will be determined in part by how long it will take to douse the flames of war in Syria. The Bashar al-Assad regime shows no inclination of leaving office, having bought time to accept the Russian-sponsored deal to divest itself of its deadly chemical arms. Russia has an obvious stake in retaining its foothold in Syria but there will come a time when Russian support for the Assad regime will prove too expensive.

For the Tunisian street fruit seller who set off the Arab Spring by protesting against his suppression by the authorities through publicly ending his own life, it was a tragedy. But the larger tragedy has been the havoc and changes brought about by protestors leading thus far to a reassertion of the military in Egypt, thanks to the Muslim Brotherhood's fumbling in seeking to buttress its own position, instead of giving good governance.

But for the bright spot represented by Tunisia, the Middle East and North Africa will continue to roil until the US and Russia and the regional powers will make a genuine attempt to seek peace, instead of merely feathering their own nests.

Top

 

Gujarat development model
Wg. Cdr. S.S.Randhawa (retd)

Indians, living abroad, keenly follow what happens back home. A friendís grand-daughter, living in America, asked me the other day for the following information.

Uncle, I am a student of political economy, doing a doctorate in social resources. I have heard of the Gujarat development model. I request you to find out the journal in which it was published. I would like to read and refer to it in my thesis".

"My dear, you are referring to development work carried out by Narendra Modi. It includes the construction of highways, bridges, flyovers, schools, colleges, universities, hospitals, public toilets and many more things."

"Is he a builder?"

"No, he is the Chief Minister of the state."

"You mean the executive head." "Very correct."

"The concrete technology was developed by Egypt centuries ago. Other countries have been using it for ages. Pay to any ordinary builder and the job is done. There is no development in this. Why should a Chief Minister waste his time on this?"

"Here in India, this is what chief ministers do."

"Then who does the job of governance?"

"This is governance. Building infrastructure for the state is the main item of governance."

"Uncle, you are joking." "No dear, this is the job of a Chief Minister. It is because of this that he wins elections."

"I am sorry, uncle. This is not governance. Improving the quality of human beings is the function of a good government. Infrastructure is a departmental job. A "namazi" is important, not the masjid. That is what political economy teaches".

I got interested and wanted to know more. "What is good governance?" I asked.

"Uncle, we have natural resources like water bodies, arid lands and deserts, different types of climate, minerals, rain, air and even population. They all constitute natural resources. India is blessed with plenty. These are converted into economic and social resources, which are then used to improve human quality. This is the job of a government.

"Here are examples: Population is a natural resource. It needs proper nourishment to become an economic resource and then education to become a social resource like a teacher, doctor or engineer. A proper use of this resource improves the quality of mankind.

"This is the duty of the government. Similarly we have polluted rivers, waste lands, neglected forests, sun shine, air and water currents blasting the coasts. These must be developed to form economic resources. They can then, with the help of social resources, improve the lot of the people of the country. That is the job of a government. Development means doing something different and new," she explained.

"Here in India we work the other way. We make model towns without sewerage. There are model schools without teachers and there are model hospitals with patients waiting for doctors. We have model states with slums, malnourished children and 60 per cent youth unemployed. We make India shine for voters".

"Uncle, I am confused," she said.

"That is the aim," I said.

Top

 
OPED SECURITY

UK & Bluestar: Nothing unusual about it
Britain's cooperation with India is not unusual and neither is Operation Bluestar unprecedented. What is needed is a lessons learnt exercise to ensure there is no repeat of the politics that led to such a situation so as to put a closure to the unfortunate incident and to move on.
Dinesh Kumar

Recent revelations that an officer of the Special Air Services (SAS), a British Special Force, reconnoitred the Golden Temple Complex in February 1984 and gave advice to the Indian government on the latter's request on how to flush out the armed militia led by Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale from inside the premises of the holy shrine has evoked considerable dismay and outrage among sections of the Sikh community both in India and overseas, especially among those residing in the United Kingdom. 'How could have the British Government rendered advice to the Indian government to attack the holiest shrine of the Sikhs? is their angry question.

Notwithstanding, the fact remains that at the operational level it appears that whatever was the rendered advice, it was either not passed on to the Army or, even in case it was, it was not followed by the formation commanders during Operation Bluestar which had taken place less than four months after the visit of the SAS officer. The content of that advice is yet to be publicly revealed. As Lieutenant General Kuldip Singh Brar, who as General Officer Commanding of 9 Division in the rank of Major General had led Operation Bluestar, has repeatedly stated, the Army action was planned over barely five days (June 1 to 5) prior to Operation Bluestar and executed over a single night (June 5/6).

Saudi-French military action in Mecca

The short answer is that it is not unusual for countries to seek advice from each other. Neither was Operation Bluestar unprecedented. For, just four-and-a-half-years earlier, the world witnessed a similar operation inside the holiest shrine of the Muslims, the Grand Mosque in Mecca. The operation that lasted two weeks witnessed the active involvement of the French Special Forces, essentially Christian and non-Muslim and therefore 'infidel'.

The incident dates to 20th November 1979, the first day of the year 1400 according to the Islamic calendar, when Juhayman al-Utaybi along with 400 to 500 followers seized Islam's holiest shrine and proclaimed Mohammed Abdullah-al-Qahtani as the Mahdi or messiah. The gunmen smuggled their weapons into the mosque in coffins, declared the Saudi family illegitimate and held hostage hundreds of worshippers who were on a pilgrimage.

As was faced by the Indian Army in the Golden Temple complex, the Saudi Army had little intelligence of the number of gunmen or hostages taken, faced heavy casualties during a frontal assault, found themselves at the receiving end of ambushes and sniper fire and ended up using heavy weaponry including tanks while making no headway with announcements for surrender over the public address system. The gunmen eventually took refuge in the basement and finally the Saudi Arabian government turned to the Groupe d'Intervention de la Gendarmerie Nationale, the Special Forces unit of the French armed forces, which ended up commanding the Saudi forces but did not actually participate in the attack since non-Muslims are not allowed inside the holy city. The 14 day operation, which ended on 4th December 1979, resulted in the death of 255 persons including 127 Saudi soldiers and injuries to 560 including 451 soldiers. The unofficial figures are much higher. The one major difference, however, was that the Saudi's got the ulema to issue a fatwa permitting the use of deadly force to re-take the Grand Mosque from the terrorists. But even this fatwa came after three long days of persuasion. Unlike Bhindranwale who was killed in the Army operation, Juhayaman and 67 of his followers were captured, secretly tried, convicted and then publicly beheaded in different cities of Saudi Arabia.

When the ISI cooperated with RAW

The revelation of British assistance to India has also evoked similar surprise among a section of non-Sikh politicians in the country. 'How could have the Indian government compromised on their sovereignty and sought advice from the very country that until only 27 years earlier had colonised and ravaged India for over 200 years?' is their indignant question.

The fact is that truth is stranger than fiction and history is replete with examples of intelligence agencies, on occasions, cooperating with even their adversaries. The game of realpolitik, as any practitioner or theorist of statecraft ranging from Kautilya and Sun Tzu to Machiavelli will explain, is altogether different and, most will argue, is necessary.

Still a controversy

Operation Bluestar remains the subject of considerable controversy and continues to evoke strong negative emotion among large sections of the Sikh community. It is still perceived as an attack on the holy shrine rather than on a band of armed militia that had fortified the premises of the Golden Temple complex and buildings in the periphery after smuggling in weapons and explosives and from where they ran a virtual parallel government and spread terror across the state.

Incredible as it may sound, one such example of cooperation between two adversaries was between India's Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) and Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate (ISI), the very agency which has executed some major terror attacks in India. Interestingly, this phase of cooperation occurred at the height of terrorist violence in Punjab which was being fuelled by the ISI. All this occurred during the tenure of the much hated President Zia-ul-Haq, a former Pakistani Army chief who as an India baiter aggressively pursued the building of the Islamic (nuclear) bomb, pandered to Islamist radicals and under who the syllabus of Pakistani history school books were further Islamised and made stridently more anti-India and anti-non Muslim.

The cooperation was facilitated by Prince El Hassan bin Talal of Jordan who was a personal friend of Rajiv Gandhi when the latter was Prime Minister. Prince Hasan's wife is of Pakistani origin and he also personally knew General Zia-ul-Haq when as a middle-rung officer he had been earlier posted in Amman as a commanding officer of a Pakistani unit based in the Jordanian capital. Ironically, several years earlier during the 1971 India-Pakistan war, Amman had sided with Pakistan and provided them Jordanian Air Force fighter aircraft.

Prince Hassan had then separately contacted Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and President Zia-ul-Haq and suggested that the chiefs of the RAW and the ISI meet to discuss Pakistan's support to terrorists in Punjab along with other issues. The first meeting between the then RAW chief, AK Verma, and the then ISI chief, Lieutenant General Hamid Gul, was held in Amman with Prince Hassan personally present during the initial moments before leaving the venue of the meeting in order to allow the two Intelligence chiefs to continue their discussion. This was followed by a second meeting between the two in Geneva.

The two countries came close to resolving the Siachen issue as a result of these meetings and the ISI secretly handed over four Sikh soldiers who had earlier crossed over to Pakistan after deserting the Indian Army while posted in Jammu and Kashmir. Dialogue and cooperation between the RAW and the ISI had continued even after Benazir Bhutto came into power in elections held soon after General Zia-ul-Haq's death in August 1988 but came to a halt after Nawaz Sharif succeeded Benazir Bhutto as Prime Minister in the early 1990s. It was during Benazir Bhutto's tenure that the ISI's support to terrorists in Punjab had begun to decline although it correspondingly intensified in Jammu and Kashmir.

There is also the interesting example of the Mossad, Israel's external intelligence agency, training a contingent each of the Indian special forces, the Sri Lankan special forces and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) at the same time and at the same place in Israel during the 1980s long before New Delhi established diplomatic relations with Tel Aviv as is brought out by former Mossad agent Viktor Ostrovsky in his book By Way of Deception: The Making and Unmaking of a Mossad Officer. Then again, there is the incident of Indo-US intelligence cooperation during the height of the Cold War when in the late 1960s the two sides cooperated to install a US-supplied plutonium powered transceiver in the Himalayas to detect and report data on future Chinese nuclear tests following Beijing's first nuclear test in October 1964.

Key issues need to be addressed

The decision to order Army troops into the Golden Temple and the hastiness with which the operation was planned raises a question on the quality of governance and decision making. There is first and foremost a need for a serious debate on why and how the political executive and its advisors at that time allowed such a situation to build up in the first place that subsequently necessitated them to order a military action.

Secondly, although the Army can say it was following orders given by the government, the question remains on whether it made sense for the Army to plan and execute a close quarter battle (CQB) operation of such intensity and sensitivity on such a short notice and with abysmally minimal intelligence in one of the country's holiest shrine.

Thirty years on, Operation Bluestar remains the subject of considerable controversy and continues to evoke strong negative emotion among large sections of the Sikh community. It has since cost the country the life of a Prime Minister that in turn led to Congress party-inspired brutal killings of Sikhs in Delhi and other parts of the country and revived terrorism in Punjab that lasted a decade and which cost several thousand lives. For, the operation is still perceived as an attack on the holy shrine rather than on a band of armed militia that had fortified the premises of the Golden Temple complex and buildings in the periphery after smuggling in weapons and explosives and from where they ran a virtual parallel government and spread terror across the state.

Among defence analysts, there remains the question of whether the Army could have executed Operation Bluestar in a better way so as to have inflicted minimal damage and casualties inside the complex. The debate is endless but what is disconcerting is that the Army never conducted a post-Operation Bluestar lessons learnt exercise. One other critical question remains, which in fact did arise at a later date in May 1993 with respect to the holy Charar-e-Sharief sufi shrine in the Kashmir valley with disastrous consequences: What would the Army have done if some of Bhindranwale's armed militia had taken armed positions inside the sanctum sanctorum, the Harminder Sahib? Unlike with the Akal Takht, the temporal seat, on which the Army fired about 20 tank shells to neutralise the heavily fortified positions, the Army would have been constrained to launch an assault on the sanctum sanctorum had the latter been similarly fortified. A retreat would not only have resulted in a loss of face to the Army but would still not have served the purpose of vacating the shrine premises of the armed militia.

There is need for both the Congress and the Akalis to introspect on the politics they played in the 1980s that had culminated in an Army action aimed at vacating Bhindranwale and his gunmen from the holy shrine. Similarly, the Army should also have carried out a lessons learnt exercise following Operation Bluestar (and the Charar-e-Sharief episode) on how they could have handled the operation better. This would be necessary in order to once and for all put a closure to Operation Bluestar. For how long can a country, society and a community hold on to the past?

Top

 





HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Letters | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |