SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI


THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
L E T T E R S    T O    T H E    E D I T O R

The Sikhs' kirpan

In the write-up "Sikh community's self-inflicted wounds" (June 17), Kanwar Sandhu has rightly remarked: "The kirpan is one of the five symbols of the Sikh faith and connotes power and dignity. But with it of course comes responsibility". Guru Gobind Singh enjoined the initiated Sikhs to wear the sword. He regarded it as the emblem of power and made it an object of worship. He equated it with god, whom he called Sarb Loh (All Steel). God punished the oppressors and so did the sword, he said. While glorifying the divine sword he said, inter alias "sukh santa karning, dur-mat darning, killing harming as sarning/Jai Jai jag kaaran, srisht obaaran, mam pritpaaran, jai tehing (I seek protection of the sword-comforter of the saints, scourge of the wicked, destroyer of the sinners. Hail to you, the creator of the world, uplifter of the creation, my protector, hail to you. But the sword had to be grasped in self-defence and not to spill innocent blood. The Guru unequivocally declared: Choon kaar as hama heelty dar guzash/Halaal ast burdanba shamsheer dast (When an affair cannot be resolved by tact and diplomacy, it is lawful to have recourse to the sword). The Sikhs, who indulged in skirmishes by wielding unsheathed swords as Akal Takht on June 6, not only desecrated the supreme temporal seat of Sikhism and disturbed the celestial atmosphere of Harmandar Sahib, but also brought disgrace to the community. None of them has shown retribution for his unruly behaviour. The SGPC should take foolproof measures to prevent such nasty incidents in future.

Bhagwan Singh, Qadian



Jail, a den of drugs

Faridkot Jail has been a deathtrap due to drug addiction by the inmates in the past. It is horrifying that a jail where interaction with people outside is restricted and where the inmates are supposed to reform as good citizen has been used for free flow of drugs. The report of the Chief Judicial Magistrate is comprehensive and put enough dig on the functioning of Jail Deptt. (Drugs poor healthcare blamed for inmates death in Faridkot Jail (June 15). Jail Department officials, the minister in charge, the MLA and DC of the area should inspect not only jails occasionally but also other institutions like hospitals, schools, thana, juvenile centres, ashrams, mahila mandals and anganwaris centres. Any laxity found should be followed by appropriate action.

Rishi Dass Thakur, Hamirpur

No pension

Under the Punjab Panchayati Raj Act, 1994, the Punjab Government had decided to grant pensionary benefits to the employees of panchayat samitis and zila parishads in 1995. Intimation of this decision was conveyed to the officers of the institutions concerned and the representatives of the employees. The government delayed the matter unusually for about four years and implemented the pension scheme w.e.f. July 1, 1999 instead of May 11, 1995 as against its own commitment. As a result, some employees, including me, were deprived of pension. The Chief Minister should reconsider the matter sympathetically and give relief to the affected employees by getting the scheme implemented w.e.f. May 11, 1995.

Karnail Singh, Bathinda

Check travel agents

Since a large number of Indians reach foreign shores illegally, the exact number of those stranded in strife-torn Iraq is not known. Apropos the news item "Govt fails to tighten noose around fake travel agents" (June 23), it is disgusting to know that only 48 out of 6,000 travel agents operating in the Doaba region had applied for the mandatory licence from the Punjab Government.

It is not difficult to find how the unauthorised travel agents are working and plundering the youth interested in greener pastures abroad. With the connivance of police and politicians everything is possible, when you are ready to share the booty of fishy deals with the powers-that-be. The lucrative business of human trafficking is going on for decades, but the successive governments have failed to stem the rot.

Illegally transported youths of Punjab who sold their lands to land in foreign shores are working like bonded labourers there or serving jail terms after being caught. Their return is impossible without passport and money for the ticket. We must learn a bitter lesson from the Iraq crisis and regulate immigration rules so that innocent youths don't fall prey to unauthorised travel agents.

KARNAIL SINGH, Kharar

Temples of learning

The new government is embarking on an enterprising course in the field of human resource development. Its primary goal is to give a thrust to technology. It aspires to bring talented young India in the mainstream of governance.

More temples of learning such as IITs and IIMs are needed. The editorial Temples of learning (June 18) rightly points out that the IITs are yet to figure in the top 200 lists of major global higher education rankings, though their graduates have brought India much pride globally. The Modi government plans to set up an IIT and IIM in every state under the plan of 'Skill India'. With this plan, it wants the growing literate population to help in the country progress. The Prime Minister is keen to create a force of teachers.

For this, an adequate resource, stimulative culture and positive environment are needed to be created in the institutions of learning, where teachers and students focus on learning and research. They should be allowed to realise their lofty visions in science and technology.

Tek Chand, Abada Barana (Una)

Drive safe

With rampant breaking of traffic rules and rash driving, nobody travelling on Indian roads is safe. There is no check on the age of a driver and there are no speed-breakers or speed detectors and CCTV cameras. Common causes of accidents are overspeeding, overloading, non-use of seat belts and drunk driving. America is safer because of awareness among motorists, police assistance and medical aid. The Indian Government and motorists should take some responsibility and ensure that ghastly road accidents are minimised.

Prince Malik, Karnal





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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