|E D I T O R I A L
P A G E
Monday, November 29, 1999
force in UP
why so much hue and cry
Fair triggers traffic chaos
Kalyan force in UP
WITH his one foot out of the BJP, suspended former Chief Minister Kalyan Singh has a few days to plot his next move. His options are not very promising despite his brave allusion to allowing the mango to ripen. He can, however, console himself with the thought that he has forced the party to punish him and thus make him a martyr to no particular cause and that at least the state level leaders are quite nervous of the likely fallout. Both the political party and the leader waiting for his expulsion are whistling in the dark while anxiously weighing the consequences. Mr Kalyan Singh can do one of the two things. He can strike a hawkish Hindutva stance and accuse Prime Minister Vajpayee of cynically exploiting the mandir issue to win elections. He has raised this bogey earlier but it will not take him far. The hardliners in the Sangh Parivar, including the VHP and the Bajrang Dal, do not consider him their leader and anyway the upper castes, the real upholders of these causes, are hostile to him because of his politics. It is not certain if he can retain the present base, which is yet to be tested, by waving the temple flag. He is obviously aware of the pitfall in the Hindutva road and hence told reporters in Delhi on Friday that with Mr Vajpayee abandoning the core plank of the party, there was no use to make it his one-point programme. The second course open to him is to whip up an anti-BJP feeling among the backward castes and finally join hands with Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav. This too is not very appetising. Even if he succeeds as a backwards leader, he will still be a junior partner in the joint political venture and his ego will revolt at this prospect. Also, his strident Hindutva past has made Mr Yadav wary of a tight embrace fearing that his Muslim following might melt away. His religious past will be a burden in his backwards march! In the caste-ridden state his politics and Hindutva work against each other and he has to abandon one of them. The big dilemma before him is which one to give up.
The BJP is not on a
strong wicket either. Its electoral chances depend
entirely on getting a share of the backward caste votes.
If there is a consolidation of all OBC, dalit and Muslim
votes the party will face a dire future. Right now the
hope is that Mr Kalyan Singh will not damage the party
strength and in due course will become a political
non-entity with a bright past and no future. It sees a
Shankarsinh Vaghela in him and he sees in himself a
potential BJP version of Mr Mulayam Singh who left the
Janata Dal and emerged as a big leader. Both the party
and its estranged member will know the truth in the
coming weeks. He has asked his followers to organise
meetings of backward castes across the state where he
will lambast the Prime Minister and test the political
water. He is a known crowd-puller and in the past got his
candidates elected from impossible constituencies. The
party plans to counter the clout by appointing a backward
caste man as the state unit chief. The name doing the
rounds has irony writ into it. Mr Om Prakash Singh is a
Kurmi leader but a close friend of Mr Kalyan Singh. He
has apparently agreed to accept the post and that is not
good news for the former Chief Minister, and nearly kills
his chance of organising large-scale defection. There is
a different fallout. The sequence of events clearly shows
that Mr Vajpayee is today the only leader in the BJP. The
unsolicited rejoinder to Mr Kalyan Singh by Home Minister
Advani and the harsh words of general secretary
Govindacharya are eloquent statements of their total
loyalty to the new strongman. Until very recently these
two were staunch friends of Mr Kalyan Singh!
A right decision, but...
PROMISES have been made from time to time to take all the necessary measures to translate into reality the dream of elementary education for all. But not much has been done beyond this so far. Now that a proposal to make elementary education one of the Fundamental Rights of all children up to the age of 14 years has been approved by the Education Secretaries of the states at their Delhi conference, one hopes the Union Government will come out with a Bill in Parliament soon to achieve this objective on a priority basis.The Secretaries have played their role appreciably by endorsing the idea of a central piece of legislation to make it obligatory on the government to implement this constitutional scheme at the governments expense so that it does not add to the financial burden of the targeted parents, for whom it would be a Fundamental Duty as the guardians of these children. Obviously, this will require additional fund allocation. The enactment will, therefore, have to be matched by a substantial increase in the budgetary allocation for this most significant social sector. The Education Secretaries want the expenditure on education to be raised to 6 per cent of the gross national product (GNP) over a period of five years. The coming budget will show how sincere the Central Government is in this regard. The BJP, which leads the coalition government, should come out openly on the question of increasing the governments expenditure as it had promised through its manifesto to bring it to the level of 6 per cent. In the absence of adequate financial support, the goal of eliminating juvenile illiteracy in the first decade of the coming millennium appears impossible to achieve.
When Prof Amartya Sen
the other day emphasised the point that elementary
education is a prerequisite for the upliftment of men and
women and impressed upon the government to accord
financial priority to it, instead of higher education,
his appeal did not go well with university dons. But the
Nobel laureate had made a significant suggestion. Except
for universalising elementary education there is no way
to make all sections of society share the fruits of
growth. It is shameful that India, perhaps having the
worlds largest elementary education system, enters
the new millennium with a large army of the illiterate.
This is despite the fact that the 1986 National Education
Policy was introduced with an inbuilt promise to provide
free and compulsory education to all children up to the
age of 14 years till the conclusion of the current
century. Still 36 per cent of our population is
illiterate! The governments at the Centre as well as in
the states should act fast to make India free from the
scourge of illiteracy, at least among children.
WTOs MINISTERIAL MEETING
THE trade ministers from 135 countries beginning their four-day meeting at Seattle, USA, tomorrow (November 30-December 3) will be confronted with the most divisive issue of inscribing labour standards and the environment on a new global trade agenda which industrialised nations are promoting, fuelling new fears of protectionism against developing countries.
The Third Ministerial Meeting of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), the monitoring body for world trade, is being sought to be made the springboard for the new round of trade negotiations with a wider agenda, ignoring the legitimate concerns of developing countries. However, not all developing countries are opposed to the launching of a new round, and this has certainly become a dividing line which would be taken advantage of by the developed nations, even if there is a consensus among the former against labour and environmental standards being made part of the WTO agenda.
Indias major task at Seattle is to see that the gains which were expected from the Uruguay Round agreements, from trade liberalisation, are first realised and that the existing agreements, especially those relating to agriculture, textiles and anti-dumping, are fairly implemented before new issues are taken up for multilateral negotiations. The built-in agenda which mandates further negotiations on agriculture and services has to be focussed on from the new year.
Weeks of negotiations by trade officials from both developed and developing countries at the WTO headquarters at Geneva ended without agreement on a draft Seattle Declaration. They were bogged down by serious differences over not only the question of need for launching a new round of global negotiations but also over agriculture and the implementation of earlier Uruguay Round agreements. Decisions on a whole range of issues will thus have to be taken by the ministers at Seattle.
Legions of protesters have begun converging on Seattle for one of the biggest demonstrations that an international conference has ever witnessed, and they represent a variety of interest groups, labour unions, ecologists, human rights activists and those opposed to globalisation and multinationals. The US Confederation of Labour, blaming cheap labour abroad for job losses at home, is making common cause with protectionist groups while environmentalists will be denouncing the WTO for trade measures which they see as threatening the environment. All kinds of causes will be aired pro-and-anti-free market outside the WTO Ministerial Conference venue from which neither developing countries nor developed nations could draw sustenance.
The WTO, in its five-year existence since the Uruguay Round was completed with a series of agreements, has so far proved ineffective in advancing the interests of low-income countries though the agreements were clearly one-sided in several cases, putting the disunited developing countries during the eight-year tortuous negotiations at a considerable disadvantage. Developing countries have had to continually modify their laws to conform to their obligations to the WTO and fulfil their commitments even if those worked against their immediate interests. Unlike the IMF and the World Bank, decisions in the WTO are by consensus and there is no weighted voting; yet, by virtue of their total dominance of world trade, the industrial nations are able to set the directions of global economic and trade policies. For the developing countries, multilateralism is the best guarantee in a world of unequal partnerships.
In view of agriculture becoming the main barrier in the pre-seattle negotiations, with the European Union and Japan not willing to reduce their high level of subsidisation for their farmers as against a 15-nation alliance of developed and developing countries (Cairns Group), with less vocal support from the USA, insisting on tariff reductions, both sides are attempting to widen the range of issues for a new global round, thereby hoping to mollify lobbies at home. Thus, it is possible that developed countries would try to produce a compromise and ensure the launching of the Millennium Round.
For India and for other developing countries as well, any temporary success in warding off the threat of inclusion of non-trade issues like labour and environment standards could only provide negative satisfaction. They cannot certainly claim that they won the battle at Seattle. These issues are bound to be kept alive by the industrial nations in some form or the other. What really matters for developing countries, especially India, is how far they could negotiate effectively on reducing the present inequities in the working of the Uruguay Round agreements and ensure some mechanism by which access to the markets of developed countries, especially in textiles, is rid of protectionist devices.
The issues proposed for the new round include industrial tariffs, e-commerce, investment rules, competition policy and government procurement, apart from labour standards and environment. What is expected in the hard negotiations that would take place at Seattle is a string of compromises on various issues, and it is here that India will be put to test in safeguarding its national interests and maximising the gains from the existing agreements, the key objective with which it has approached the Third Ministerial Meeting at Seattle.
On the new issues again, not all developing countries share a common view. The USA is not keen on investment and competition issues at present but would focus on tariffs, e-commerce and government procurement, without easily giving up its proposal for a working party to review the issue of linking the labour standards to the trade policy. The US Administration is under pressure from trade unions, which have been opposing trade liberalisation for years on the ground that it hurts them (workers) and, therefore, wanting curbs on imports like steel.
India has kept an open mind on the discussion of new issues other than labour and the environment, and feels that a mere reduction of tariffs will not be meaningful unless non-tariff barriers are removed. Even if the peak average rate is further brought down, these countries will have room to adjust duties to protect domestic industry. Though the USA has a low peak duty, it keeps high rates on the imports of special interest from developing countries which would have given the latter billions of dollars, as a recent UNCTAD study brought out. E-commerce is an area where India would not find great difficulty in entering into negotiations.
Trade analysts in India have urged that India would have to negotiate with firmness as well as flexibility in order to make the most of the impending trade round which will include a review of the existing agreements on agriculture, services and TRIPs (trade-related intellectual property rights). What is essential is a commitment by all trading nations that there should be an evaluation of the working of the Uruguay Round agreements so far to determine their contribution to helping the developing countries gain greater market access for their exports. In order to win support from all sections at home, the Indian delegation at Seattle would also have to satisfy itself that any concessions it gives or commitments it makes are compatible with the countrys policies and laws, and do not infringe its sovereignty in decision-making.
There are, however, limits to India pursuing its own options within a multilateral system bound by legal commitments. Aggrieved countries can have recourse to the dispute settlement mechanism of the WTO which has been used against India in at least two major areas TRIPs and QRs (Quantitative Restrictions) on imports which New Delhi has been maintaining on a variety of goods, mostly consumer items, for balance of payments considerations. India has also secured rulings in its favour on occasions.
Seattle offers a unique
opportunity to the developed nations, themselves
realising how damaging globalisation has become for
groups of countries, to advance the cause of trade
liberalisation further by balancing their own interests
with those of the poorer countries, which make two-thirds
of the WTO. A few concessions to the least developed
countries may be offered but even this would not help to
bring a region like Sub-Saharan Africa to integrate
itself fully into the world trading system.
Investment in higher education: the
PROF Amartya Sen has said that since the returns from higher education in India have been low the government must spend more on basic education. University teachers, on the other hand, are crying hoarse that it is only because of lower government support that higher education is collapsing. Both are actually pursuing their own agendas while the real issue of improving the quality of higher and primary education remains sidelined. Professor Sen seeks to promote a development strategy that perpetuates the superiority of the Western educational establishment for whom he works. The teachers oppose him because they see a threat to their benefits. Neither is interested in the issue of the government changing its role from making provision for education to regulating it in both sectors.
Professor Sen has a point: since higher education has not produced the desired results why spend on it? One would also agree with his implicit assumption that reforming the government-funded university system will be an uphill task. But there is another alternative that of privatisation along with the regulation of private education. Instead of exploring this, or other similar alternatives, Professor Sens call amounts to an abandonment of higher education per se. He ignores that higher education is necessary if we have to become equal to the West.
World Bank economist Joseph Stiglitz appears to be correct on this point. In his 1998 Wider Annual Lecture, he said that funding of universities is justified not because it increases the human capital of particular individuals but because of the major externalities that come from enabling the economy to import ideas. But Professor Sen does not see this need. He is content that people of India should ever grow tomatoes.
Now, of course, if India were to perpetually depend on foreign investors to put up power plants, then we need not invest in higher education ourselves. The engineers produced in Trinity College will put up our power plants.
Thus Professor Sen highlights the fact that while Trinity College has got 35 Nobel laureates, Indias universities have got none. He forgets that English education has been funded, in part, from the exploitation of countries like India. It would be interesting for Professor Sen to ascertain how many of these Nobel laureates were secured while the flow of colonial loot was continuing unabated. Even the present heavy private and government expenditures on higher education in the West are being propped by profit repatriations from foreign investments and poor terms of trade for the developing countries engineered by the Trinitians. Mr Bill Gates, for example, donated $ 20 million to Cambridge University. The same person is under scrutiny by the US government for stifling competition from other companies by unfair means. Professor Sens argument is tantamount to India accepting its intellectually subservient position vis-a-vis the West.
University professors are no better. They have their own axe to grind. They want the government not only to provide more funding to sustain their easy lifestyles but also to preserve their monopoly. At a seminar organised by the Delhi University Teachers Association they complained that higher education has been made a source of income by those with vested interest. They criticised the government for not checking foreign colleges from collaborating with the private colleges. One wonders whose vested interest they are talking about. They are unwilling to lay to scrutiny their own high incomes with little results. They are more worried about the emerging competition from the private sector. Is it not strange that one who is supported by the government is afraid of competition from the private colleges? Their game is simple. They want their fat paychecks with no accountability.
Both Professor Sen and the university teachers are not interested in the real issue that of improving the quality of basic and higher education. The reason is that the argument of both is based on a wrong premise that it is the responsibility of the government to provide education.
It is necessary to distinguish between public and private good in education. Public good is that which a person cannot acquire himself even if he wants to. The expenditure on the regulation of private medical colleges is for public good. A student of a medical college cannot go to the market and buy the regulation of his college. The regulatory regime is either provided by the government or it is not.
The correct role of the government is to work for public good in the field of education regulation, research, deciding the curriculum, etc, and leave the provision of education to the private sector. This holds both for higher and basic education. (For the weaker sections the correct solution is to provide them with assured employment so that they too can buy education from the market).
Professor Sens argument that government provision is needed because education has many benefits for the community does not stand to reason either. Neither does Mr Stiglitzs argument that higher education brings externalities. If we stretch that logic then the mother who teaches her child to fight for his nation should be paid because of the benefits to the nation. A farmer who grows rice in his fields should be paid because he provides food security. Instead of paying for social benefits we must inculcate the value of dharma it is ones duty to fulfil ones self-interest in synergy with society. Payment for such externalities does not work.
When Professor Sen points out poor returns from higher education in India, he is indeed correct. The reason, however, is that our government has taken upon itself the responsibility of playing the role of the private sector too. There is no regulatory authority which can extract work from university teachers. But the situation is no better in the basic education sector either. Improvement cannot come by paying the errant school teacher instead of the errant university professor.
What India must learn
from the West is to privatise education. Private
universities have much greater accountability than the
government ones. The same is true of schools. We should
privatise them both.
I HAD then just taken my masters degree in English when I was literally shown the proverbial mirror at no other platform than that of a railway station. A course-mate of mine had to leave for his home in Pune and I was there on the platform to see him off. Approaching the bogey with fast steps and burdened with luggage hanging by our neck and shoulders, my friend suddenly announced he had lost his ticket and the purse.
We put the luggage near a tea-stall and making a request to its owner to take care of it, rushed to the reservation window.
On being informed of the loss of ticket the man on the counter did not at all look quizzical to us when he said, You seem to be educated guys, how come you lost your ticket? He stressed educated and with accentuated you told us to see the ASM (Assistant Station Master): We had to eat a humble pie.
The ASM, while ogling at some beautiful passengers rushing and pushing on the platform lent us his ears only to ask the PNR number. My friend very innocently said he did not remember it. What we received then was an all-attentive and frowning ASM and as if he had gathered all his contempt for us, obviously having been disturbed, shouted: You padha-likha fellows should know whom to approach at the loss of a travelling-ticket...!, I could not but mumble, And Sir, Whom to report the loss of purse?. GRP, he said it straightaway in a matter of fact manner and went on to elaborate the abbreviation to us, the labelled illiterates, Government Railway Police.
We went to the SHO and narrated our tale of woe. A silly question he asked us was, which pocket you had put your ticket in and which one your purse? My friend said, The ticket was in the purse Sir, and purse in the hip-pocket. The seemingly all-indulgent cop emptied the entire cup of his experience when he very categorically stated and chastised us: Why should you, even educated people put your purse in the hip-pocket? Dont you know the pick-pockets find it the easiest to operate here?
Having missed the train
and securing back the luggage from the tea-stall, we came
out of the railway station. Exasperated physically and
tormented mentally for our being dubbed as illiterates by
several experts we moved to a water-trolley.
Both of us had two to three glassfuls of water and we had
to pay the money. It was the turn of the vendor. When we
asked him the amount, he looked at us in a casual manner
and waited for the money to be paid. Already grilled a
little too much, I asked the water vendor, Come on
now, how much?. Educated ones? Isnt it?
Calculate and pay. He blurted.
Conversions: why so much hue and cry
HAVING been a devout atheist most of my adult life, I was in the enviable state of being free from the fears and anxieties of most religious people. Now that state of bliss has been disturbed by the clamour and controversy that surrounds faith of all kinds. The Popes visit, far from soothing excited feelings, has only worsened the atmosphere.
What did he mean by great harvest of faith on the vast and vital continent (Asia)? Harvest by whom? the Vatican? For what purpose? By what means? Jesus may have asked his disciples to be fishers of men but fishing is always on a small scale. Harvesting suggests an operation on a grand scale. Whatever the Pope meant, such talk is indiscreet, to say the least.
But then, one shouldnt be surprised at such talk coming from the Catholic Church, the richest and most commercialised and centralised branch of Christianity. It is also traditionally the most dogmatic and intellectually intolerant. There are, of course, among Catholic leaders, progressive and even revolutionary men, like those who propagate liberalisation theology in Latin America. There are also distinguished scholars who have studied world religions and have tried to build bridges between Christianity and Hinduism and Buddhism. But their influence has been negligible among the Catholic hierarchy.
The Pope has on occasions asserted the importance of religious tolerance in the maintenance of peace. But in his early years at the Vatican he was mainly concerned about the struggle for religious freedom in the Soviet Union and in the countries of the Warsaw Pact. It is interesting, however, that when Ayatollah Khomeini condemned Salman Rushdie to death, Osservator Romano, the official Vatican newspaper, was one of the few journals in the world to express solidarity with Ayatollahs views.
There has been, of course, a very slow and gradual change in the conservatism of the Catholic orthodoxy over the years, but yet on vital issues like birth control or papal infallibility, the Church, and particularly the Pope, has held on to dogmatic position. In Europe, Catholic priests who have questioned the wisdom of opposing contraception or who have dared to question the doctrine of papal infallibility have been subjected to punishment.
In Catholic universities in Europe, distinguished professors who have advocated a scholarly and open-minded approach to Biblical studies have been deprived of their licences to teach.
The religious tolerance that the Pope advocates for the Communist world and non-Christian faiths, apparently doesnt apply to the Pope himself.
If Churches, both Catholic and Protestant, dont attract large congregations these days in the Christian world, it can only be because the Church, generally speaking, has not aligned itself with the major concerns of modern youth. In the West, young people when they discard traditional teachings of the Bible occupy themselves with issues such as racism, protection of wildlife or the promotion of environmental health.
But sermons in churches still are efforts to make the congregation hold on to their faith in every story in the Bible, even if they are fantastic fiction.
In England, Im told, for instance, one of the favourite stories of evangelical preachers is that of Abrahams wife, Sarah, giving birth to Isaac when she was over 90 years old. They seem to get away with it, and the audience, made up of the professional class, doctors, nurses, teachers, sit silently without ever questioning the stories, because they are in the Bible.
Of course, all religions dwell on such stories, and because they are part of the scriptures they acquire sanctity from rational scrutiny.
Why is religion (and the superstition that goes with it) so necessary to mankind? To say that only religion can show the moral path is, to my mind, absurd. Or, if religion is important, why not leave it to our children to choose one that they fancy when they are old enough to discriminate?
In one of the newspapers recently a reader remarked that imposing your religion on your children is a form of forced conversion. He is absolutely right. Some 25 years ago, writing in the Illustrated Weekly on the humbug of secularism I advocated the principle of allowing ones children to have a choice in the religion they adopt for themselves, or none, if they so choose. It raised a howl of protest from all quarters, especially from some of my Christian relations who were obviously shocked at the waywardness of one of their progeny.
There is, in my view, only one way to create religious harmony in the world, and that is to allow a free flow of ideas between religions and between the atheist and the religious person.
I support the idea of
conversion. If a man or woman wants to change his or her
religion, it should be at least as easy as changing their
passports. After all, thousands of Indians emigrate to
the USA and Europe and sooner or later opt to become
citizens of the country they have settled in. No one
gives it a thought, so why the hue and cry if a few
people want to change their religion? Abu
Trade Fair triggers traffic chaos
ASK me about what is not happening here at this time of the year! As I had mentioned last week the evenings lie crammed with events and people do seem to possess the energy to be spotted at these (alas! the same set of people). This when traffic too is at its worst. The ongoing India International Trade Fair is said to be one of the major reasons for this chaos but another could be the sudden burst of the car bubble on the unprepared Delhi roads. In fact, this week when I had to go down to Pragati Maidan to attend an official lunch hosted by ITPOs senior general manager Yasmin Saifullah, it became almost impossible to reach the venue. The heavy traffic forced the car to move at snails pace and then no parking space could be found. Amazing sight to see hundreds of people queuing up on a working day afternoon. Queries revealed that most visitors are not necessarily shoppers but enthusiastic viewers of all thats on display. After the curtains get drawn, frustrations shouldnt run amok. Anyway, moving ahead, this week also marked the visit of a high-powered business delegation from Greece. The Greek ambassador to India, Mr Yannis Alexis Zepos, hosted a reception in their honour on the embassy lawns. And though, as of now, trade between the two countries isnt exceptionally high but efforts seem to be made and one of the most prominent Indians spotted that evening was the former bureaucrat turned Lt-Governor of Delhi turned Ranbaxys top man Tejinder Khanna.
Midweek the Ambassador of Israel to India, Mr Yehoyada Haim, hosted a dinner in honour of Israeli singers Etty Ankri and David DeOr. He is one of those ambassadors who lives in a hotel suite (some sort of permanent residence) and its there he and his spouse Shoshana hosted this dinner. A number of India singers, dancers and vocalists were to be spotted, along with the Israeli musicians and singers who looked fatigued as their flight had landed just a few hours back. But just a days rest seemd to have worked magic and the music that filled Ashokas convention hall won them a standing applause.
And on Friday evening, as I file this column, The Pioneer is hosting a big bash at the IIC to celebrate the launch of its arts magazine on the net. Its the first and only arts magazine in the country to be on the net.... 300 web pages which covers not only the art scene be it weekly reviews of theatre, arts, films and dance or else emphasis on the heritage, but even has an advisory cell, to help corporate buyers says Alka Raghuvanshi-the arts editor of The Pioneer and the person who is manning this arts magazine. And though the idea and the effort is new but the response has been far more than encouraging. Excellent response from NRIs and also from art enthusiasts in Bangalore and Delhi itself.... Not surprising, for this web magazine shows you what the artists and galleries have to offer that week and together with that an advisory cell to help with the intricate details.
Last week also saw the launch of Praful Bidwai and Achin Vanaiks much awaited book on the nuclear politics. Titled South Asia On A Short Fuse (Oxford) the thrust is obviously on nuclear politics and disarmament prospects a passionate argument for non nuclear alternatives and feasible steps to abolition. Not really very surprising for right after we went nuclear-in May 1998 - both these Delhi based anti-nuclear activists have not only been fighting for the cause of disarmament and largely responsible for those anti-nuclear rallies and demonstrations held in the capital but are also the founder members of MIND Movement in India for Nuclear Disarmament.
Junior Mulayams wedding bash
Tying the knot maybe
more cumbersome for many than untying it. After all those
talks of the simple marriage ceremony of Mulayam Singh
Yadavs son now comes the news of three wedding
receptions lined up after the big event-one reception is
all set to be held here in New Delhi today (the day I am
filing this column November 26) and it will be a
filmi affair. Not only a number of filmstars are invited
but I am told that Shilpa Shetty is tying her ankle bells
for a special dance-number. Then the coming week will
witness two receptions, to be held in Lucknow. And one of
these will be hosted by Amar Singh and the other by
Mulayam Singh Yadav. Yet to be seen whether these will be
for the samaaj at large or just for the chosen whos
WE join our voice to that of the Punjab Council in the congratulation it offered at its meeting the other day to Sir M.S.D.Butler on his elevation to the Governorship of the Central Provinces. Sir M.S.D. Butler is, indeed, a lucky man.
It was only five years ago we think that he was still the Deputy Commissioner of Lahore.
For one in that position to be elevated to the Presidentship of the Punjab Legislative Council was itself a big step.
But even this post was, in his case, only a stepping stone to some thing better and higher, and he soon relinquished it first to join the Imperial Secretariat and then to become President of the Council of State in succession to a man who left it only to become Home Member.
And now within a few
months of his promotion to that high office he has
reached an even higher rung of the official ladder and
become actually Governor of a Province. Rise like this is
uncommon even in the Heaven-born Service in this best of
all lands for members of that service.
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