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Emulate China to tackle corruption

IN his article, “Web of corruption” (Perspective, Sept 2), Abhijit Bhattacharyya has rightly emphasised the need for India to emulate the Chinese model of anti-corruption drive. In the field of economic advancement, we generally compare ourselves with China. But as for tackling corruption, India seems to be lacking in political will. China too is facing the scourge of corruption. But Beijing has opted a hard line to check this cancerous disease.

We must ruthlessly fight corruption with an iron hand as in China. A complete overhaul of the existing system including laws like the Prevention of Corruption Act 1988 and the IPC is needed. Besides, investigating agencies and the justice delivery system should be revamped.

S.K. KHOSLA, Chandigarh



II

The article is a concise and terse depiction of the degeneration of our polity and bureaucracy. The dimensions of this malady are so vast that the Supreme Court’s observation holding “rampant corruption in the country responsible for the current mess” seems to be an understatement.

Numerous palatial mansions on premium land in posh colonies are mostly a product of such profligacy and are proof enough if the owner is a serving or retired public servant or politician. But even when the instance is brought to the government’s notice, hardly any action other than an “endless inquiry” into the case is initiated to feed the media or the public and the matter ends there. You can’t expect the corrupt to punish the corrupt. Anti-corruption institutions are themselves in league with such criminals.

The writer has extolled the recently introduced punitive measures in China where the culprit is shown the door or even eliminated with the bullet, because that is the only solution. However, it is futile to expect such stringent punishment in India.

MOHAN SINGH, Amritsar

W(h)ither age

“Laugh away the burden of age” by Khushwant Singh (Saturday Extra, Sept 8) was thought-provoking. Singh, because of his age and contribution to the world of letters, deserves respect but right now he has completely run out of fresh and stimulating ideas.

It is a puerile over-simplification to say that the burden of age can be laughed away. It needs energy to burst into a guffaw. Where does one get the energy when one is past one’s prime? There is a rule that old age makes one self-centred. An elderly person is, most of the time, absorbed in the thoughts of his ailments, real or perceived. He has no time to observe the foibles of the people, much less his own.

The burden of the old age can only be lessened by spiritual development. One has to gracefully accept that death is a fait accompli and as stated in the Bhagavadagita, death is only a change in body. The soul is immortal. Singh should know that old age is not a laughing matter. However, one can take to the bottle to lessen the burden of age, as Singh does. One would like to know why Singh himself does not exchange the bottle with laughter?

GEETANJALI KORPAL, Amritsar

II

I would like to quote a pertinent story about Nehru’s life. In the first week of May, 1964, Vijayalakshmi Pandit told Nehru: “Jawahar, you are in good health.” Nehru stated a Urdu couplet, “Jab logon ko dekhte hain to mere chehre pe raunq aati hai, log samajhte hain ke mareez ki halat achchhi hai’. On May 26, he came from Dehra Dun and signed the files and told his private secretary “I have done my duty.” After that, he passed away on May 27, 1964.

RIKHI DASS THAKUR, Hamirpur

Liberate people from the neo-feudal mindset

I differ with the argument that caste, religion and ideology be regarded as factors in the private domain, not in the public domain by R. W. Desai (Sunday Oped, Sept 2). Will these institutions, then, stop acting as determinants of behaviour of Indian people?

Both the institutions of caste and religion start influencing the minds of people from the childhood, not necessarily positive all the time. The religion has the potential of contributing towards the enlightenment of civil society but it cannot be said about the caste which has been dividing society into numerous compartments.

Sadly, Indian sociologists have failed to point out the pernicious role of the caste. As an endogamous system of marriage, caste has not only kept the walls of ‘social exclusion’ in tact but also added more and more social groups and individual pairs into its fold over the centuries. Many Indian sociologists and the intellectuals have made efforts only to understand caste in relation to the policy of reservation.

Secondly, how can we forget the use of caste factor by the so-called upper castes to keep the vast majority of lower castes as their political keeps? How can the state keep itself aloof from such negative social phenomena which caste contributes to sustain? The role of state has been positive in abolishing the curse of untouchability to a greater extent, though at times quite weak also.

Ranbir Singh’s article (Sept 4) deserves the attention of the political leadership, the media, academia, NGOs, particularly of Dalits, in creating an atmosphere of liberating people from the neo-feudal mindset.

G.S.BAL, Jalandhar

 






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