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‘Parking lot’ for aging politicians

Pratibha Patil is surely another rubber stamp President as described in Kishwar Desai’s article “The ‘token’ woman President” (April 15). Sonia Gandhi has actually played her cards well, when she chose Dr Manmohan Singh as a rubber stamp PM and also when she chose Pratibha Patil to be the Congress candidate for the President’s post. With our President and the Governors having no constructive contribution, these posts have become a ‘parking lot’ for most aging or sidelined leaders.

Public money is gulped down the throat to accommodate the expenses of these ornamental political posts. If you take a look at the working of the MPs, the say of an MP is very less.  

One can see TV channels decorating their talk shows with MPs advocating policies of their respective parties, but look at the condition of roads in their constituencies or any other developmental work. Most of these MPs, especially the ones adorning the Rajya Sabha, have actually become redundant as they do not play a constructive role in the present scheme of things.



Surely, our country deserves a better President; more so, since her predecessor was such an exemplary figure of simplicity and integrity and an inspirational role model for the country’s millions. Not unsurprisingly, her kin have been in the news even after her assumption of office for all the wrong reasons. That she has been indulging in extravagant foreign jamborees at an exorbitant cost to the exchequer and is going over and above the norms to have a sprawling mansion in Pune to ensure a life of luxurious splendour for her post-Presidentship days, is her parting slap on the country’s face, particularly its 30 per cent population living on Rs 30 a day.

It is high time the President and the Governors are made to shed the insane and shameful colonial extravagance.



After reading the news item ‘Patil’s foreign jaunts cost exchequer Rs 205 cr’ (March 26) and the subsequent justification given by the spokesperson of the Rashtrapati Bhawan, one is reminded of former PM Lal Bahadur Shastri and former President Dr APJ Abdul Kalam who led an exemplary austere life while being in public office. They rose above personal or filial considerations. It is a matter of national pride to know how Shastri good-humouredly rejected the proposal of providing big luxury cars to all cabinet ministers including him and of lighting up his prime ministerial house well in order to avoid any loss to the national exchequer or to his own pocket. Again, when Kalam’s relatives came to meet and congratulate him on assuming the highest office of the country, he footed all the bills of their stay in the national capital. Leaders are undeniably role models for out future generations.

DS KANG, Hoshiarpur

Rotten system

Food grains like wheat and paddy rotting in the open brings tears to ones eyes. Offering a solution, the editorial “Grain drain” (April 11) reads, “Farmers could be encouraged to hold their produce for a few months by offering increased payment for delayed sale”. Procurement can be carried out from April 1 to June 30 on MSP. From July onwards the price could be increased by Rs 20. A farmer who has 100 quintals will willingly hold on for three months to earn Rs 2000 extra. You are not doing the farmer any favour because the cost to the procurement agencies for holding the stock is more than that. It will avoid glut in the mandis.



Despite the Supreme Court’s repeated directions, the ministry concerned remains shamelessly adamant on letting the food grains get spoilt rather than distributing them to starved areas of the country. It is disheartening to see rodents being fed on hard-earned food and kids consuming mud to fill their stomachs. What can we expect such children to grow up as, national assets or Naxals?


‘Tolerant’ Indian populace

I just finished a month-long visit to India with my 28-yr old son. We visited parts of Maharashtra, UP, Rajasthan, Chhatisgarh, Delhi, Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh and HP. One common observation we both made was that India has made tremendous economic progress amid chaos, scandals and the unique feudal-democratic process of governance.

The moral compass on the daily life of a common person indicates that Indians tolerate everything — right from violation of traffic rules, general cleanliness, boarding a train, attitude towards women, police behaviour, politicians, paltry bribes to large scandals and many more. People do not find it offensive enough to demand correction. The only word one hears is "chalta hai bhai" or “yeh to aise he rahega”. This ends the story.

Individually, people complain and suggest very creative ideas and show intense anger at wrongs ailing our society. It is all forgotten the next moment. People have no faith in their own power to make a difference. Everyone complains. The British ruled India till the people tolerated them.

It is the people’s power, not the government (of any party) which can bring a change. People of India are very wise, active and assertive for their personal matter; but as a community, they have no time or passion to demand what is right. Until people care for collective good, they will not achieve individual good. People deserve the governance they get.




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