Punjab Minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa on Sunday said politicisation of the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev should be avoided and any controversy at this stage could put a spanner in the preparations. The senior Congress leader asserted that the State government was committed to celebrate the occasion in full tandem with the Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC) under the aegis of the Akal Takht (highest temporal seat of Sikhs). “The politicisation of the occasion as sacred and pious as the 550th ‘Parkash Purab’ of Guru Nanak Dev should be avoided at all costs as the occasion is fast approaching and any controversy at this stage could put a spanner in the preparations,” Mr. Randhawa said in a statement here. But the recent development in which SGPC chief Gobind Singh Longowal went with the delegation of the Shiromani Akali Dal , led by its chief Sukhbir Singh Badal to invite Prime Minister Narendra Modi “smacked of politicising” the sacred occasion, he alleged. The Congress leader said it would have been better had the invitations been extended jointly on behalf of the Punjab government and the SGPC as the State government is duly-elected by the people . ‘Need for coordination’He also said the coordination between the SGPC and the State government was the need of the hour as it would send all the positive signals concerning the celebrations. On July 1, the SAD delegation had invited Mr. Modi to attend a function to mark the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev on November 12 at Sultanpur Lodhi in Punjab.
The Man Behind the Mask”General Pervez Musharraf should quit playing hide and seek. Mullah Musharraf ‘s mask is now badly ruined. It’s time for Pervez Attaturk to come forth.” – Shaheen Niazi, on e-mailCurtain CallGeneral Pervez Musharraf is nothing if not a great actor, well-versed in the art of dissimulation,The Man Behind the Mask”General Pervez Musharraf should quit playing hide and seek. MullahMusharraf ‘s mask is now badly ruined. It’s time for Pervez Attaturk tocome forth.” – Shaheen Niazi, on e-mailCurtain CallGeneral Pervez Musharraf is nothing if not a great actor, well-versed in the art of dissimulation (“At Your Service, Sir”, October 1). He can blow intensely hot and frigidly cold in the same breath. Yet he is walking on the sharp edge of a sword-a momentary loss of balance and he tumbles down, consigned to the dustbin of history, hated and reviled by the same people who are singing paeans in his honour.- Santosh Kapoor, NoidaMusharraf has always adopted a dual role: that of a rigid fundamentalist at home and an extreme liberal abroad, but it is time to take a decisive stand on one. However, he is right in asking India to “lay off”. After all, of what use is India when he and his fellow hypocrites are adequate to destroy Pakistan?- Premchand Beura, on e-mailMusharraf’s present predicament is symptomatic of the age-old saying: “Men fall into the ditches they dig for others.”- A.U.S. Lal, KolkataThe Pakistani general cannot soar with eagles while working with turkeys. He is caught between the devil and the deep blue sea and it is only a matter of time before he is forced to step down or is thrown out in a coup.- A.S. Raj, on e-mail Changing Colours The issue of the nurses’ uniform has nothing to do with male ego or aboutthe army being a male bastion (“Nursing a Uniform Grouse”, October 1).Instead, it is about nurses trying to be something they are not – armyofficers. The fact that all nurses are females has been exploited. Hadit been about male vanity alone, there would have been strong objections to the female doctors in the army and hundreds of other women officers. – Flt-lieutenant Manisha Rao, Hyderabad advertisementMembers of the military nursing service who were wearing a white uniform since 1943 said that they didn’t like “western-styles” likeskirts and requested the army authorities for a change of uniform. Aneasy answer would have been an Indian dress but by a series ofmanipulations they tricked the authorities into allowing them the olivegreen uniform – the exclusive privilege of officers who are subject tothe Army Act. Nurses are part of the auxiliary service. It’s clear thatthey simply wanted the uniform of the officers of the armed forces.- Brigadier R.S. Randhawa, DelhiUnholy Anomaly Terrorism should be treated as a social problem (“Jehad Against the World”, September 24). Associating a religion with terrorism is objectionable. Terrorism, in whatever form, is a criminal act and no particular religion or its followers should be targeted for a condemnable act of a few insane minds.- Mohd. Amir Idrees, LucknowWhatever action US President George W Bush opts for in retaliation, his presidency will go down in history as a period of enlightenment on two counts: one, it exposed the weakness of the “world’s most dynamic democracy” in handling tightly fought elections because of the inability to count votes properly. Secondly, it showed that the world’s superpower could be flummoxed by a few well-wielded scalpels.- Devraj Sambasivan, AllappuzhaThe way India and Pakistan are going all out to offer support to the US is indicative of the fact that America is a superpower without an iota of doubt. Sadly, our Government does not possess the same capability. We allow our people to be killed in our country and do nothing about it, except go on the defensive and launch monologues. Yet we go out of the way to extend logistical support to a foreign country. I wonder if Pakistan would have pledged similar support to India in case of such a strike here.- Prateek Kaul, PuneWhat about America’s own involvement in various terrorist activities in other countries conducted without fear of a backlash from the oppressed (“Fusion Reaction”, September 24)? It is like a pot calling the kettle black. This attack, although condemnable, has demonstrated that it is brain power, rather than money power, that reigns supreme.- Sophia Ajaz, DelhiPotent Supplement Sri Lanka’s win shows how planning and preparation remain the bedrock of success in sports (“The Will to Win”, September 17). The free hand that administrators in the island nation have given coach Dave What-more has already led Sri Lanka to a World Cup win. We remain oblivious of the fact that tactics must supplement talent for success to be achieved in today’s competitive sporting world.- Ranjan Sahay, Cooch BeharWith the growing frustration of cricket lovers in India, it may be pertinent to apprise the national selectors and Sourav Ganguly of an old Arab proverb: “A n army of sheep led by a lion will defeat an army of lions led by a sheep.” An apt obituary of Indian cricket.- Rathnakar Rai, on e-mail An Uncertain Future Thecontroversy surrounding the status of astrology as a science isunwarranted (“Science or Sham?”, September 17). After all, it is not asthough the UGC promotes only science subjects. Besides, all art subjects use some degree of interpretation. Does that render them irrelevant? – Sharada Kumaraswamy, on e-mail advertisementWhile science is an attempt to explain the unknown in terms ofthe known, astrology is a subject that gives indications of what thefuture holds. Thus in a certain way astrology can also be studied as ascience. It follows the methodology of science and clearly states thatwhatever predictions may be made on the basis of its data are mereindications. – K. Parameswaran, Thiruvananthapuram The damnation of vedic astrology stems from the fact that while anythingborrowed from the us becomes globalisation, our indigenous heritage isperceived as saffronisation.- Abhinandan Singh Rathor, on e-mail Ugly Encore There are striking similarities in the bureaucratic and political response to starvation deaths in two events almost 70 years apart (“Lethal Diet”, September 10). In Discovery of India, Jawaharlal Nehru had written about the 1943 Bengal famine: “Up to the last moment, the famine was denied. When it became impossible to deny, each group in authority blamed some other group.” His words ring true in the Orissa famine as well. The Government blames the starvation deaths on poisonous mushrooms and contaminated mango kernels. And all the while the Central Government washes its hands off, saying that the Public Distribution System is a state subject.- Dr B.N.S. Walia, on e-mail Not Worth Emulating Your cover story on the Arjuna Awards overlooks two important facts (“Prize and Prejudice”, September 3). First, Dronacharya is a model of what a teacher should not be. He sacrificed his best student to ensure political patronage. Secondly, Arjuna never won any contest without subterfuge. By naming our national awards after these two, these base principles have been propagated.- Dr A.K. Basu, Ranchi Negative Publicity Your story on the Uttaranchal chief minister appears to be a deliberate attempt to defame Nityanand Swami (“The Swamy of Inertia”, September 3). The statement that he has never won a popular election and has instead preferred the safe route through the Dehradun-Hardwar graduate constituency seat is mischievous. Swami was elected an MLA as a Jan Sangh candidate from the Dehradun constituency in 1969. Moreover, none of his aides is either an architect or an RSS full-timer. And Swami, as chief minister, has more achievements than putting up traffic lights in Dehradun. The worst insinuation is that Swami was nowhere around when the agitation for Uttaranchal was at its peak. As chairman of the Vidhan Parishad, he represented the hill state’s case in Lucknow as well as in Delhi.- Anil Kumar Sharma, Executive Director and Under Secretary to the Chief Minister, Dehradunadvertisement