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Iraq largely peaceful

I live in Basra at present and have also travelled to Baghdad. Only a few cities in Iraq, including Mosul, near Syria, and Tikrait, are in turmoil. In the rest of the country, there is no turmoil at all. Business is as usual in Baghdad and all areas south of Baghdad, right up to Basra. The country is growing at 10% GNP per year and has doubled oil production in the last three years. Basra, which is responsible for 80% of the oil production, has had a peaceful environment for the last eight years and is attracting huge investments. There is no danger in 85% of Iraq.

Indian TV and newspapers are just bothered about their TRPs and readership and are over-reacting. Some politicians are shedding crocodile tears. Some fundamentalists have taken over a part of Sunni-dominated areas. The government wants to use minimum force and will first cut their supply lines from Syria. It will take 10 to 14 days before the government takes back those areas. But this will not disturb peace in the rest of Iraq. Incidentally, Iraqi policemen are very honest as they are well-paid.

If agents are minting money from poor workers, that is a problem of the Indian government and it must tackle it. Ordinary Indian workers want to work in Iraq and do not want to return.

Eight years ago, I left Chandigarh. I was pushed to the wall when I was not paid by various government departments for 36 of my design projects. I did not give bribe. The payments came after three years of struggle. There is little respect for professional workers in India. So, people move out, taking risk. I have worked in six countries during this period.

Surinder Garg, Basra (Iraq)

Cut court holidays

This is in reference to the news item regarding CJI RM Lodha’s suggestion that courts be kept open for 365 days (June 6). The courts and departments do not work on Saturdays and Sundays, and also have 20 holidays in a year. The summer and winter holidays as well as the Christmas holidays are not justified. This practice started during the British rule as the Englishmen could not bear the high summer temperatures of the plains and went to hill stations. But now there are facilities like ACs in offices. Thus, no summer or winter holidays should be observed by the judiciary. Just as the lower courts work on Saturdays, the higher courts must also work on Saturdays. Too many holidays have led to the compilation of crores of litigation cases.

SHER SINGH, Ludhiana

Opportunity lost

The article “Sikh community’s self-inflected wounds” by Kanwar Sandhu (June 17) informed us about the history of the sword or kirpan carried by the Sikhs. Observing the 30th anniversary of the progrom at the Golden Temple is an opportunity lost by our leaders. The clash near the sanctum sanotrum should have been avoided by the leadership.

It is sad that Punjabi youths are being hoodwinked into taking drugs, there is large-scale unemployment in the state, farmers are reeling under debts and snatching incidents are happening daily.

We have the tradition to die first for the well-being of others because we believe in “Sarbat da bhala”.

This incident has again showed that our youth can be misguided easily and their passion is channelled by the forces that are an obstruction in the development of Punjab and Punjabiyat.

I hope that such tribute-paying gatherings highlight the concern for the dogmas and evils our society and religion are facing.

Dr Jasvinder S Humsafar, Maloudh

Sikh issues

The ugly events that took place in the Golden Temple complex on June 6, the thirtieth anniversary of Operation Bluestar, are condemnable. The blatant display of naked swords between members of SAD (Amritsar) and the SGPC has once again damaged the image of the Sikh community in the world.

The writer, Kanwar Sandhu, gives the example of the traditional Scottish dress that includes a dagger called ‘sgian dubh’ which led to similar controversies in the United Kingdom. They have found a remedy to this problem by putting the dagger in the checked baggage while journeying by air. The Sikhs should also follow this practice. All controversial issues of the Sikhs must be solved by the high priests at the Akal Takht.

RK KAPOOR, Chandigarh

Have open minds

This is in reference to the two articles on the developments in the Golden Temple and Akal Takht published on June 17. While the one by Kanwar Sandhu has a rational approach to the subject, that by BG Verghese is a product of a sick and biased mind. I don't know why The Tribune has become a den of articles written by old sick minds. It needs writers with open minds.

The Middles have improved ever since the space is being given to writers of all hues rather than sticking to a chosen few.

Urvashi Goel, Theog

Unfortunate happenings

The SGPC headed by Gurcharan Singh Tohra in the 1980s should have prevented the militants from entrenching themselves at the Akal Takht. The Central Government also committed a blunder. It should have taken some other step to flush them out instead of resorting to the Army attack on the Golden Temple complex and, that too, on the martyrdom day of Guru Arjan Dev, when a throng of people was there to pay obeisance. This resulted in colossal loss of life and destruction of the Akal Takht and Sikh reference library. Hundreds of devotees rounded up from the holy precincts were incarcerated in Jodhpur jail without trial for years. A Sarbat Khalsa was convened with the connivance of the government and the construction work of the Akal Takht was entrusted to a Nihang chief against Sikh traditions. Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was assassinated in revenge for the Operation Bluestar. This triggered a massacre of Sikhs. About 4,000 Sikhs were ruthlessly killed in the national capital alone. Terrorists indulged in a bloody campaign of violence in Punjab. Had the militants been prevented from gathering at the Akal Takht, the unfortunate events which took place subsequently would not have occurred. An Urdu bard has rightly said: “Ye jabar bhee dekha hai taareekh kee nazron ney khata kee thee sadiyon ney saza paaee.”

Bhagwan Singh, Qadian

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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