Time to make the system responsive

In his article “Make the system responsive” (The Tribune’s Special Supplement, “India: The Tasks Ahead”, Sept 24), N. N. Vohra has very rightly observed that governance has suffered because of progressive deterioration of the functioning of the executive, state legislatures and Parliament. The subordinate judiciary has long been tainted and malfunctioning. And in recent past, fingers have begun to be raised even at higher judicial echelons.

These words should awaken the sleeping conscience of the ruling elite of our country. There has been no serious attempt to study the dimensions of corruption and, more important, its adverse effect on the health of our Republic since the Santhanam Commission was constituted in the early 60s. Corruption is hindering development, accentuating inequalities and eroding people’s faith in the rule of law.

The ground situation is even more frightening as the corrupt and the crafty are having their way everywhere and the saner elements have been forced to lie low. As a crusader against corruption, I am a witness to reckless plundering of scarce resources by those who are meant to safeguard the same.


S. C. CHABBA, Ropar

Urban planning

Mr Jagmohan, in his interesting article “Save cities from collapse” (“India: The Tasks Ahead”, Sept 24), has rightly pointed out that during the last 50 years, India has, on an average, been adding about five to six million people to its towns and cities. The number of metro-cities is 40, and four of the Indian cities — Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata and Chennai — are among the 30 largest in the world. As such, the metro-cities in the country are getting dangerously congested.

In fact, the alarming migration from rural to urban areas has been responsible for the rising population explosion in metropolitan and large cities. Thus, housing, water, power and medical facilities are inadequate in relation to the needs of per capita urban population. Urban slums are a challenge for planners and administration.

There is need to formulate a comprehensive urban slum policy, housing policy and national urbanisation policy, which should emphasise, among other things, improvement of facilities both in rural and urban settlements. Development should be in the context of regional planning by ensuring integrated and viable rural and urban areas.


Judges’ role

This has reference to Fali S. Nariman’s article (“India: The Tasks Ahead”, Sept 24)). The very concept of the judiciary is based upon the need to give timely relief to the aggrieved sections and punish the offenders in accordance with the law. If the judiciary fails to do this with required care and honesty, it will lose its significance and purpose.

Consequently, the judges should set exemplary standards for others to follow. Mr Nariman has said that the selection of High Court and Supreme Court judges by the judges themselves cannot be trusted.

BALDEV SINGH KANG, Fatehgarh Sahib

Elusive progress

This has reference to H.K. Dua’s article “Ensuring quality of democracy” (“India: The Tasks Ahead”, Sept 24). The real progress of a country could be judged from the standard of primary education, health care, hygiene and sanitation, opportunity of employment and the condition of the roads.

In our country, the primary schools are without teachers and buildings, primary health centres are without medicines and other infrastructure. Not only villages but hundreds of cities are not getting clean and pure drinking water. There is jungle raj on the roads. Crores of young men both educated and others are without employment. The system is being run with a century and a half old criminal justice system and police rules.

The Constitution is almost a copy of the Government of India Act, 1935. Successive governments at the Centre did little to tighten the laws to check rampant corruption and rising population. As such, there is no hope of ensuring the quality of democracy under the present dispensation.


Food for thought

Following the glorious traditions of past, The Tribune has done a commendable job by bringing out a Special Supplement (“India: The Tasks Ahead”, Sept 24) on its 125th anniversary. The articles authored by eminent people are highly educative and informative. They provide us in-depth knowledge about our polity, judiciary, governance, Parliament, foreign policy and neighbours.

The articles caution us of the challenges before us like corruption, criminalisation of politics, falling standards of governance, poverty, burgeoning population, depleting natural resources and mismanagement, environmental degradation,

Besides, we are apprised of the potentials in the diverse fields of agriculture, science and technology, energy and awaken us about the social issues such as gender discrimination, health standards and education scenario.

These articles provide food for thought to the thinkers, are useful to scholars, researchers, practitioners, activists and the masses. I hope that The Tribune would continue with the tradition of providing the latest information to the readers.


We must tread with caution

India needs to be very careful in its relations with the United States. It is a double-edged weapon. If it draws closer to the US more than warranted, India will get trapped. Then, it will be very difficult to extricate itself from the clutches of this super power.

The US is known for using its “allies” as stooges to further its own interests. We should not get carried away by the US’ homilies or President Bush’s smiles. They have no right to infringe on our internal matters and neither should we discuss these with them. In today’s world, we have to be strong enough to fight our own battle. The more independent we are, the stronger we will become.

ANUSHA SINGH SAHARAN, (Student, Law Faculty),

Delhi University, Delhi


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