SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI


THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
M A I L B A G

Politics as a profession to mint money

There is a general impression that the law of the land is meant for only the common man and not for the high and the mighty. Politicians and bureaucrats seem to be above the law (H.K. Dua’s front-page editorial, “When a criminal can sit in the Union Cabinet”, Nov 30).

Our memory is too short and we tend to forget the misdeeds of our leaders. Every fourth MP is facing criminal proceedings ranging from abduction for ransom to murder and even rape! Politics has become a profession for some people to mint money. Honest people no longer contest elections. And all these criminal-turned politicians are provided security! Do you think that Syed Shahabuddin, Pappu Yadav or D.P. Yadav need security? They have their own gangs to protect themselves.

There is very little hope because no political party is free from criminal elements. The only hope is the judiciary, but how long can it fight with a system which tends to absorb everything?


 

I am reminded of the couplet, “Barbad gulistan karne ko bas aik hi ullu kaafi tha/Har shakh pe ullu baitha hai anjame gulistan kya hoga?”

ARUN HASTIR, Babehali (Gurdaspur)

II

Sadly, political expediency is considered as a boon rather than bane. The ruling and Opposition parties must resolve to deny tickets to criminal elements. They are expected to rise above petty politics and also the “winnability” factor of the criminal-turned politicians.

The nexus between corrupt politicians, businessmen and bureaucrats is responsible for the present sorry state of affairs. Owing to this nexus, high profile corruption cases drag on for years. In such cases, it is often said that the law will take its own course. In reality, however, the law has been taking a particular course.

GURDERSHAN SINGH, Chandigarh

III

The two orders — one by the Supreme Court to the CBI to continue Ms Mayawati’s trial in the Taj Corridor case and the other by the trial court’s conviction of Mr Shibu Soren — proved that the judiciary will not allow the corrupt and the selfish political system to push the nation to chaos.

Our parliamentary system is responsible for the present mess. For, numbers are so important for the survival of a party or ruling coalition that sheer expediency gets precedence over governance.

One can feel Mr Dua’s anguish when he observes: “It is sad that no political party is hesitant about supping with criminals.” This state of affairs can be redeemed only if we switch over to the presidential form of government. Only then, we will have a political system which would not be “a sanctuary for the corrupt and the criminal.”

LAJPAT RAI GARG, Hisar

IV

When Jawaharlal Nehru wanted to defend his Finance Minister T.T. Krishanmachari who had invested Rs one crore in his concern, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad forced Nehru to ask the minister to quit. Later, Nehru consistently tried to shield Bakshi Gulam Mohammad, Partap Singh Kairon and Biju Patnaik, all the then Chief Ministers.

Indira Gandhi also backed criminal elements in politics and encouraged the Aya Ram Gaya Ram culture in politics. She dismissed non-Congress governments everywhere. Mr Shibu Soren was also the product of this culture. Both the NDA and UPA used him as and when it suited them. It was only Morarji Desai, the then Prime Minister, who preferred to go out of power instead of accepting the conditional support of the CPM for giving bonus to the railwaymen.

It is only the Supreme Court and the Election Commission who can save the political system from degeneration by banning those involved in heinous crimes from contesting elections.

Major NARINDER SINGH JALLO (retd), Mohali

V

Our ruling party leaders fully know that parliamentary democracy requires only reputed persons to become ministers. However, they are helpless to implement this golden rule because of coalition compulsions. There is lawlessness everywhere, but the people seem unable to do anything.

It is only the temples of justice — the High Courts and the Supreme Court — which can save the country from anarchy. They must prosecute criminal-turned politicians expeditiously. Surely, the best place for criminals is the jail and not Parliament, state legislatures and ministerial positions. Fast decisions will help tackle criminalisation of politics on a war footing.

Prof B.M. RAWLLEY, Nabha

VI

Criminals would continue to rule the roost at the Centre and in the states due to their crucial role in coalition politics. We should have a two-party or three-party system. The regional parties should be confined to their respective states.

We the people are also responsible for the criminalisation of politics. People should be educated to vote only for sincere and honest people with unimpeachable integrity. Sadly, people vote on the basis of caste, class and creed. Criminalisation of politics can be effectively rooted out if we vote for the right candidates.

AASTHA BAGGA, Jalandhar

Gender bias, IIT style

India is the world’s largest democracy. Its citizens enjoy equal rights under the Constitution and without gender bias in any sphere of life. However, the Joint Engineering Entrance test for admission to the prestigious Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) is a rare example of gender discrimination.

The cost of JEE application form is Rs 1,000 for men as against Rs 500 for women. When the salary for both men and women is the same for a particular post in the government or private sector, soon after their completion of graduation from an IIT or any other institution, why should there be such a huge difference in the fee for men and women? It smacks of gender bias.

D. K. KHOSLA, Panchkula

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