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Why seek Unesco tag?

The hunt for the Unesco tag for Chandigarh (“Will UNESCO tag help Corbusier legacy?”, April 11) is an exercise in futility. I had established way back in 2006 in the first symposium on Chandigarh that despite its young age, the city is a priceless world treasure of creativity in town planning and architecture. When we view the city in terms of its outstanding universal value, which is the United Nations Organisation’s prescription, the conventional criterion of old age is at once transcended, and Chandigarh assumes the status of modern heritage.

The UNO has clarified that “universal value” is the key to world heritage. It means that the importance of World Heritage properties transcends national boundaries. Their qualities are extraordinary so that no matter which country they are found in and who experiences them, they evoke a sense of wonder and admiration. And it further says that the work must meet at least one of 10 selection criteria in which number one is to represent a masterpiece of human creative genius.

Chandigarh fulfils these two criteria. Then, why are we hunting for the Unesco tag? My answer is that we are doing so out of sheer ignorance, apathy and intellectual inertia.

Though not formally trained as an architect, Le Corbusier was the greatest architect of the 20th century since Michelangelo. His oeuvre has taught the world crucial lessons in modern urbanism. In this sense, Chandigarh is more famous as his creation rather than for its intrinsic merits. Therefore, seeking Unesco evaluation is like getting a D.Litt. degree certified by a secondary school teacher. However talented the assessors of Unesco may be, they are, in my opinion, puny in stature compared to the gigantic genius of Le Corbusier.

The other covert consideration of engaging international police for safeguarding this legacy is a shameful reflection on our gross inability to do so ourselves.

Chandigarh is a world city. Let us awaken to the incomparable value of this modern heritage and preserve Le Corbusier’s legacy with our own unremitting love and care steeped in befitting national pride.

Dr SS Bhatti, via email

Hire or refund, PSWC

It’s been more than five months since the PSWC advertised for 140 jobs in November, taking a fee of ~800 from each aspirant. The fee was confirmed in the first week of January. But since then, nothing has been said about the date of  the examination.

In today’s competitive world, one gets very few job opportunities in the public sector. This attitude of the PSWC is causing agony to the aspirants. The PSWC should update the candidates on their status and if it has no plan to go ahead with the recruitment process, it should refund the money.

Nishant, via email

DNA of politics

Dynastic politics is gaining ground. Every politician wants his progeny to be a successful politician since it is a lucrative profession. One becomes a multi-millionaire within a few years. No doubt, the Constitution does not stop them from fighting elections.

But our tragedy is that our politicians are corrupt and they amass wealth by sinful means. Guru Nanak Dev has said: “It is not possible to accumulate wealth without sinful means, yet it does not accompany one after death.”

Politicians spend money recklessly and use muscle power to ensure their wards’ victory.

Our electoral system is too costly for even an upper middle class person to contest election. The EC has fixed ~70 lakh for one Lok Sabha seat. But the politicians do not stick to this norm. They employ unscrupulous means to flow money like water during campaigning. At times, the amount runs in several crore rupees. Not surprisingly, on winning elections, they opt for unscrupulous practices to secure the money spent in the elections.

Bansi Ram Rahul, Hoshiarpur

OROP a poll stunt?

With reference to the news item “Government committed to pension plan”, the Defence Minsiter seems to be serious about giving one rank one pension (OROP) to the defence personnel. But the directive to initiate the necessary steps in this regard has not been implemented.

This has given rise to speculation that the OROP announcement may be just an election propaganda/stunt.

G D Sharma, Talwara

Ban rallies, save oil

Finance Minister P. Chidambram has been appealing to the people to avoid buying gold to bring down the current account deficit (CAD). To discourage the practice, the government has gradually increased the import duty on gold from 2 per cent to 10 per cent during the past few months. But what Chidambram has chosen to forget is that the import of oil puts a much higher burden on our economy as it is imported in much more quantities than gold.

Oil consumption can be reduced drastically if politicians refrain from holding rallies so often. Unfortunately, they have made attendance at their rallies a barometer of their popularity. Every other day, hundreds of vehicles are pressed into service to carry people to and from the sites of rallies.

Also, these rallies cause a massive loss of manhours as people waste time to please their leaders. Ruling parties even misuse official machinery and employees remain absent from their duty to ensure the success of these shows. This adds to the woes of the common man.

In this age of TV, newspapers and internet, political parties can easily send their message to every nook and corner of the country. Then why are they allowed to waste tonnes of petrol and diesel on rallies? Is it not a cruel joke on the poor people of our 


Tell voters IT limit

No political party is clearing its stand on the income tax limit. The prices of essential items are increasing day by day. The income tax limit should be at least Rs 4 lakh. The Congress, the BJP and the Third Front should announce the income tax limit for the coming year as it could be the criterion for the voters to choose the candidate.

Anil Mittal, Chandigarh

Letters to the Editor, typed in double space, should not exceed the 200-word limit. These should be cogently written and can be sent by e-mail to: Letters@tribuneindia.com




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