L E T T E R S    T O    T H E    E D I T O R

Quizzing of Service Chiefs uncalled for

Summoning of the three Service Chiefs by a parliamentary panel is a futile exercise. Is it the prerogative of the committee to summon the Service Chiefs? Our Constitution is based on the principle of independence of legislature, judiciary and the executive. A parliamentary panel summoning the service chiefs amounts to undermining the independence of the executive. The defence minister and the PM are answerable to the Parliament, not the Service Chiefs who only report to the ‘Raksha Mantri’. We cannot afford to have duplication in accountability. Service Chiefs or MoD officials may assist or be present at the briefing, if required.

Brig BS GILL (retd), Chandigarh

Dynasty with democracy

Making Nehru-Gandhi dynasty a punching bag for dynastic rule by the political opponents is simply a vote-catching gimmick, which has, so far, not worked in the opponents’ favour. If the Congress is down at this juncture, it is due to other reasons as has very deftly been analysed by S Nihal Singh in his article ''Stocktaking by Congress'' ( April 10, 2012 ).

Dynastic politics is a much maligned word in Indian politics, though no political party can do without it. Every political leader of some merit in India has a son or daughter ready to step in his/her shoes all the time. There is nothing wrong with the phenomenon if the process evolves within democratic parameters. However, indulgent political patriarchs should not thrust their merit-less scions on the party or the nation.

Such an act proves fatal for the party and the leader both. On the other hand, a deserving young politician’s entry should not be frowned upon simply because of dynastic succession bogey. After all, there cannot be a better school of politics than a household of a successful leader.

Er L R SHARMA, Sundernagar (HP)

Eco degradation

Illegal mining is the biggest mafia-controlled business going on unabated in the country (‘Mining mafia’, April 10). Why do the authorities act only when the media exposes it? The government workforce is hand in glove with these thieves. It is not merely theft of sand and gravel but a danger to the environment and bio-diversity. It adversely affects the soil and its fertility and agriculture. A strong movement backed by the civil society and proactive media men is needed to get rid of this menace.


Maoists’ blackmail

The Maoists are blackmailing the Odisha government which is certainly at the receiving end (“Maoists want 30 men freed in exchange for MLA”, March 9). Exploiting the helplessness of the government, the demand for release of captured Maoists has been increased to 30. Then more demands for the release of many more jailed Maoists would follow.

This is certainly not the way to tackle the niggling problem. The government must deal with them with an iron hand to control the situation. Fighting with the back to the wall and yielding to their pressure tactics will not bring desired results. Succumbing to their demands once would mean more such tactics. The public is at greater risk and the government can not leave everybody at the mercy of the Maoists.


Death penalty must

If the Punjab government amends the Indian Penal Code, as recommended by Justice Sachar in his article “Case against death penalty” ( April 9 ), would  it not make Punjab a safe sanctuary for murderers without any threat to their own lives?

More importantly, the suggestion  to amend the IPC to bye-pass the Central Government and to give it retrospective effect is dangerous. The apex court of the country has already awarded death penalty to Rajoana. Overlapping of jurisdiction and different forms of legislations for the same case would make the confusion more confounded.

RM RAMAUL, Paonta Sahib

Speedy justice

The judicial courts in the country should run in two sessions- forenoon for criminal cases and afternoon for civil litigations. Hearings should be programmed and informed to the petitioners and respondents observing their alphabetical sequence strictly. In clean cases with obvious conclusions, judgements should not be postponed beyond two months. Legal literacy camps, Lok Adalats and legal aid cells are helpful aids in tackling litigation of mild nature. Due consideration should be given to senior citizens in speedy summarisation of their cases.

Prof MPS CHANDRAWAT, Baru Sahib, Sirmour

Political game

Nirmal Sandhu’s article "Politics over Hanging" (April 7) has elaborately brought out how state politicians unethically try to take political mileage on important issues concerning national security, SC decisions concerning anti-social elements, and constitutional matters. This is a dangerous sign which has started because of the unfair approach of the central government. Law should be permitted to take its course and nobody at any cost should be permitted to intervene.

Lt-Col GURDEV SINGH (retd), Bathinda

Terror, trade, talks! 

Natwar Singh’s opinion on Pakistan President’s visit, ‘Zardari’s visit did scatter some dark clouds over Indo-Pak firmament’ (April 10), does not augur well with Pakistan’s behind-the-scene actions. When the ISI and the Pakistani Army are calling the shots in Pakistan and the Hate India dictum is an integral part of their official policy, expecting anything fruitful from Zardari's pilgrimage to India or Manmohan Singh's reciprocal visit to Pakistan is meaningless. The Indian government must show some spine and instead of wasting time, money and energy on futile talks, it should firmly tell Pakistan that terror, trade and talks cannot go hand in hand.

AK SHARMA, Chandigarh



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