Friday, May 24, 2002, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi



Of loyalty and royalty: learning from Panchatantra’s ageless fables

This refers to “Of loyalty and royalty” (May 17) by Mr Hari Jaisingh. When the bureaucracy falters, the civil administration is paralysed and when the politician-in-power indulges in questionable practices, the security of the nation is jeopardised.

If anything, it brings to the fore some of the meanest elements in human nature, which makes the whole show a sort of survival of the meanest! Take the PPSC scam and each Sidhu putting on a holier-than-thou mask, the real faces and issues have got buried.

Practically all parties covet (black) money and corruption has become part of the system. We have destroyed practically everything worthwhile that we have inherited. The value system has gone haywire.

Since the true spirit of ageless fables has been replaced by a grab mentality, the country is now being treated like a milch cow! While the basic institutions of the Republic structurally remain intact, they have suffered a grievous blow both in quality and substance, thanks to their reckless collaborators within the administration and beyond.

For that matter, an organised fraud has been perpetuated on the middle class in the name of parliamentary democracy as the poor have nothing to give. The crisis consists precisely in the fact that the old is dying and the new cannot be born in present circumstances. In this interregnum a great variety of morbid symptoms appear and these are visible in the Indian situation.


The gap between the dictates of public morality and those of the private interests of politicians has thrown a distorted political culture, which can be probably rectified only through the ancient tales of the Panchatantra.


Value system: Abrahm Lincoln described democracy as a government of the people, for the people and by the people. But the present-day Badals, Rabris, Laloos, Modis and the like have changed this definition altogether. It seems that for them democracy means a government of the looters, for the looters and by the looters. The country has reached a shameful level of degeneration in value system. Morality has taken a thorough beating and has become “mortality”. The ethics have disappeared into thin air. A person cherishing the lofty values of honesty, integrity and truthfulness has become a helpless and hapless creature, suffering at the hands of political jugglers.

Mr Hari Jaisingh rightly says that the quality of governance has deteriorated sharply. The recent exposure of scams and the connivance of politicians, bureaucrats and judges in such corrupt practices reflects the quality of governance we are having. They have made a mockery of our democracy.

Dr DHARMINDER SINGH UBHA, Phallewal Khurd (Sangrur)

Sycophancy: If the sycophants of free India were to be shortlisted, the name of Giani Zail Singh would figure high on it. His hero(ine) worshipping of Indira Gandhi was unparalleled. So much so that his becoming President of India led to the coining of a joke which runs as follows:

A boy’s party went to a girl’s home to talk about matrimonial alliance. When asked whether the boy would look after her well, take her for outings, give her money for shopping etc. the boy replied in the affirmative. When further questioned as to whether he would sweep the floors, the boy burst out: “Do you want a ‘pati’ or a ‘Rashtrapati?”

Needless to add, there can be shortage of anything in India but not of “chamchas”

K. J. S. AHLUWALIA, Amritsar

Governance: I share the anguish of Hari Jaisingh over the deterioration in the quality of governance, alarming rise in corruption and bribery. Let us put a halt to this slide. At every level there is need for an honest, dedicated, committed, tough leadership which has a strong political will to take the corrupt head on.

K. L. BATRA, Yamunanagar

Reward the Army first

The war between India and Pakistan will cost billions of rupees. This can be avoided by deploying more well-equipped troops on the border so as to avoid the entry of Pakistan-trained terrorists in the country.

There should be serious rewards for the frontal Army. The frontal border force should be highly paid and their salary should be comparable to that of officers holding high ranks in the military who do nothing but just give orders.

The backbone of the entire nation depends on the frontal Army. If they fail to fulfil this serious duty, it is very easy for Pakistan-trained militants to enter our country and do a proxy war.

We are blaming Pakistan for sending trained militants in our country.

Is it not the fault of our border force also?

Jagdeep Singh Matta, Chicago


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