Saturday, January 8, 2000,
Chandigarh, India



Priorities of politicians

THIS is with reference to the writeup of Tavleen Singh on Dec 25. It is on record that the politicians and political parties have been wasting time and that is the reason they could not solve the problems faced by the people of this country. Time has come when a politician is elected only if he possesses the following qualifications:

1. He should be a graduate within the age group of 40-65 years.

2. He should possess sound health so that he could devote whole time for the service of the people.

3. He should understand the problems of the people of this country and should have the knowledge and wisdom to find out the ways and means by which those problems could be solved.

  4. He should be well trained and should possess expertise so that if need be he could be appointed as a minister and could guide his subordinate officers and should possess more knowledge so that officers may not be in a position to overrule him and convert this democracy into a bureaucracy.

5. He should possess strong conscience and in the House he should not be working under whips. He should speak and express his opinions and if need be vote as per his own conscience. The people who are governed under the partywhips and never speak a single word in the House are not fit to be elected.

6. The people joining politics should bear good moral character and they should see that they remain honest and sincere to the people of this country throughout the period they are in politics.

7. The time in the House/Houses should not be wasted in futile discussions and every minute spent in the House should be on important points and through these useful discussions they should bring new laws which could solve problems of the people of this country. We have noted that we are still being governed by those laws which were framed by the Britishers to keep us slaves. Till we adopt new laws, we would not be in a position to bring complete democracy in this country.

People who are in politics or people who are willing to join politics should see that they are possessing these qualifications and are willing to accept all these minimum requirements and only then they should join politics or continue in politics. If need be we should introduce such clauses in the Constitution itself because without such adoptions, we shall never be in a position to solve problems of the people of this country. We have already wasted half a century and we are sorry when we are entering the 21st century with all these shortcomings.


Crime against humanity

After carefully reading your editorial on December 27 against manufacturing and sale of spurious drugs under the heading “Crime against Humanity”, I fully endorse your views. All qualified medical practitioners will also agree with you.

The practice of manufacturing and sale of spurious drugs has been going on for more than a decade and this has become a racket in our health care delivery system. This trade has been flourishing at the cost of human lives with the connivance of drugs authorities. In fact, there is no check from any authority at any point from its manufacturing to the counter sale. Anyone can buy any number of tablets or injection without the prescription of the doctor from the chemists.

There are no stock entries with chemists or with distributors and all the spurious drugs are sold in the name of patent brand drugs. Not only this, each and every person is prescribing life-saving drugs without any rationale. Similarly all these quacks practising in allopathic system of medicine have been using these spurious drugs which are cheaper, for all serious illnesses. By the time a patient comes to a hospital or to any duly qualified doctor, he is already in a very serious condition by the use of such drugs given indiscriminately.

We hope that national and state governments will have a proper regulatory system so that the racket of spurious drugs is eliminated from our country.




What ails power sector

Apropos of the letter “Power Sector Reforms in Haryana” by Mr H.R. Sarwar of 27th Dec, 1999, to an extent it is worthy of consideration, but this issue cannot be blamed for all ills plaguing the department — corruption and inefficiency, not at technical level but at level of meter reading, billing and the accounts. The reason cannot be bureaucrats heading the institution. Corruption and inefficiency are incurable maladies with us. It is more in this department because it is one department which deals with everyone and everyone has the need — almost everybody. So this is one department which can well afford corruption and inefficiency, as every one needs its services, high or low, rich or most poor even.

So change at the helm of affairs is no remedy. What difference would a technocrat make in place of a bureaucrat? Remedy, however, lies elsewhere. Are politicians qualified to run all aspects of the country, knowing little of anything technical, may be engineering, may be medical or you name any branch?

To tackle corruption and inefficiency, there should be a senior officer whose job should be to deal with complaints. Vigilance officers’ cell should be in all departments and the culprits should be banged by them. There should be a policy of hire and fire. No lengthy trials and so on, as justice delayed is justice denied. Public should go to consumer courts, who should be responsive on individual complaints by penalising the guilty so that it may turn out to be a deterrent for future.


Corrupt, inefficient

Is Haryana Vidyut Prasar Nigam (HVPN) — more corrupt or more inefficient? It is both, up to a particular level, the meter readers, accounts officers, other office staff up to the middle range level are both corrupt and inefficient. Ask the honest consumer and payer and he/she will tell you tales (on assurance of anonymity to avoid further and future harassment at hands of these unscrupulous persons.

To avoid the huge losses to exchequer there should be a high power committee of some honest people from the public and officers of known integrity. It should go into electricity accounts of consumers in big bungalows with large number of airconditioners, and other electric gadgets of all kinds as to how they get very small bills, whereas consumers in small houses with few electricity gadgets get huge bills.

Anybody can guess what is going on and it is not difficult to get at the root, if there is will and the Government is not afraid of offending the corrupt and agitationists.



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