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

Vijender Singh dents image of sports

The involvement of Olympic bronze medallist Vijender Singh in the Rs 130-crore heroin racket has been unfortunate. A large amount of heroin was recovered from a vehicle that belonged to Vijender's wife, Archana Singh.

Vijender's acquaintance with drug lord Anoop Singh Kahlon has certainly raised suspicions over his involvement in the drug trade. However, since the matter is in court, Vijender's role is bound to be ascertained soon. Until now, he has denied all charges levelled against him.

This incident has surely dented the reputation of sportsmen in the country. After decades of being in the shadows, India had finally begun to make its mark on the international arena. The nation had won medals in various disciplines at the Olympics and other international events. As sportsmen from various disciplines were bringing glory to the nation, people's negative perception of sports was slowly changing. More and more middle class families had begun to send their children to play badminton, golf, football, etc. Sports was no more just about playing cricket.

Non-cricketing sportstars, including Vijender Singh, Sushil Kumar, Saina Nehwal were the new generation of role models for children.

Vijender's involvement in this racket has reaffirmed the people's perception of staying away from sports. This will have far-reaching consequences. It is unfortunate!


Predicting the unpredictable

Despite procuring a new instrument that could predict weather accurately for up to a week, a few months ago, officials of the Meteorological Department are unable to give accurate weather updates.

If they cannot predict sudden weather changes, they just blame it on "western disturbances". This has now become a common practice. They failed to predict rains that stopped play on the first day of the third Test of Border-Gavaskar Trophy at Mohali. I guess it is difficult to predict the mysterious ways of God. Despite man's best efforts, he can't fully understand nature.

GUGU GILL, via email

Save House hours

We know that all politicians in India are the same, we know that they hanker after power and by now we should also know that they just take turns to be in power.

The number of scams that have been uncovered over the last few years should reaffirm this fact. Despite being exposed to their true character several times over, politicians have the ability to surprise us. Take for instance, the ruckus in the Punjab Vidhan Sabha when the Congress MLAs captured the Speaker's chair.

They insult the sanctity of the House and often stage walkouts, wasting away precious hours when important legislations could have been passed for the betterment of the people.

It is high time that new rules and regulations should be laid down for elected members so that House hours are not wasted. The members must be asked to speak from the dais. It should be mandatory for all members to submit at least one point during their tenure and those who are unable to do so should not be given a ticket the next time.

Elected members should not have to abide by party whips and give their honest opinion on issues. Elected members are public servants and should be held accountable.


Heritage buildings

No doubt, the Punjab government is staggering under a huge debt. But the state government's move to demolish and auction the Patiala Central Jail was unjustified. There has to be some accountability on the part of the government. These heritage buildings belong to the public and should not be demolished to earn revenue.

In fact, the government should encourage tourism, as the state has the potential to become a popular tourist hub. Though tourist footfalls in the country have gone up in recent years, the state has not benefited proportionately in this sector. The state's fiscal health can only improve if the government is serious about providing good infrastructure, improving connectivity of roads, promoting tourism and so on.


Stop the rot

Apropos the editorial 'Clouds persist on horizon', (March 14) Finance Minister P Chidambaram may be able to control the fiscal deficit and put the economy back on track. He has the acumen and foresight in economic matters. On the one hand, wheat flour prices are spiralling, while on the other, wheat stocks are left to rot in the open because of lack of storage facilities. The UPA government must release food stocks in the open market to give immediate relief to the poor.


Take RTI to villages

In a democratic set-up, the Right to Information (RTI) Act, 2005, not only provides information sought by a candidate but also ensures transparency in the functioning of government departments.

It ushers in a new wave of democracy in our country, bringing in transparency and holding responsible officials accountable. The RTI Act is also an important step towards reducing corruption.

But at the same time it cannot be a panacea for all the ills of our governance. The RTI Act needs to be implemented with equal fervor in villages too to bring about lasting changes in governance. An informed citizen can make the government functionaries responsive. RTI can change the way we govern ourselves.


Keqiang's call encouraging

In an encouraging move, Li Keqiang, the newly elected Prime Minister of China, telephoned Prime Minister Manmohan Singh asking him for suggestions to boost bilateral ties.

However, past experience should remind us that we should be wary of China. India should capitalise on this opportunity and settle the disputed border with China. We should also try to work out a water-sharing agreement over Brahmaputra in the east.

It was reported recently that China was building new dams on the Brahmaputra. If China decides to release a large quantity of water from these dams in the future, a lot of damage could be inflicted on India and Bangladesh.




HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Letters | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |