Friday, March 10, 2000,
Chandigarh, India



Getting used to injustice

APROPOS of Mr K.F. Rustamji’s article “Getting used to injustice: factors behind decaying system” (February 16), policemen, as members of the most important law-enforcement machinery, should not fail to take note of at least two distinct developments which are taking place and which can lend enormous support to the police force. A large number of NGOs and voluntary bodies, who were merely critical of the police in the past, have begun to realise the role they should play to help the police to become a dependable and non-partisan instrument of law enforcement. The police will have everything to gain by taking advantage of such bodies to create the right atmosphere for insulating the police from political manipulations and partisan behaviour.

The other significant development is the increasing anxiety and concern being shown by the judiciary, particularly at the higher level, about the need to help the police become accountable and to ensure that they are not subjected to partisan and even illegal political directives. In the “hawala case”, the Supreme Court had directed the agencies concerned to investigate without the fear of political consequences. The ideal arrangement would be for a coalition of the judiciary, the police and the NGOs, which could herald a new era of justice and accountability.

  We cannot have the police and investigation agencies functioning as tools of the politicians in power and other powerful vested interests. Courts can only do a little to improve the situation. We need a permanent solution, a solution which protects innocent citizens from police vendettas as well as ensures that the law is enforced against all howsoever powerful they are and whatever position they occupy.

This is the time to bring about a reform, long advocated, to have a police and a prosecution machinery independent of the executive. One way of doing this is to appoint Police Commissions which should have the independence and position of the Election Commission. Citizens should have the right to approach the Commission to complain about both inaction and abuse of power. The Commission can also be authorised to entertain complaints from citizens about police excesses. If an independent body examines such complaints, not only will the citizens have confidence but police abuses will also substantially diminish.

The executive government must have the power to direct the police in certain cases. But such directions have to be confined to broad issues of policy; how the directions are to be carried out must be determined by the police itself.


Great expectations

When she is a daughter...
expected to share, learn ‘n’ obey;
When she becomes a sister...
expected to care more than play!
When she is a partner...
expected to listen; try not to say;
When she becomes a mother...
expected to pardon; throughout the day!
Let her now spread her wings...
‘n’ allow to scale new heights;
Get far away from the strings
that do not give way to rights!
Awareness is above all things...
Against winds; no doubt fights;
Brightness; ray of hope it brings...
helps move on; even during nights!


One rank, one pension

The problem of one rank, one pension is still pending to be resolved. In fact, such a formula has already been accepted by the Central government but it is yet to be implemented. Why is this delay?

It seems nobody is interested in giving any benefit to pensioners!

Balongi (Mohali)

Alarming situation

One can realise from the editorial “Enough is enough” (February 29) that there is a terribly alarming atmosphere along the LoC and in Kashmir because of the belligerent gestures of Pakistani troops and savage acts of Pak-trained terrorists.

It was felt that Pakistan would learn a lesson from the fate of its misadventure in Kargil and become an amicable neighbour. However, its then Premier, Mr Nawaz Sharif, warned to create many more Kargil-like situations. After deposing him, the military ruler, Gen Pervez Musharraf, instead of initiating a process of peace, repeatedly declares that Kashmir is the core issue, which cannot be brushed aside, and even utters threats of a nuclear strike against India.

Pakistani troops now more vehemently indulge in unprovoked firing on Indian posts and Pak-trained terrorists have also stepped up sanguinary violence and even frequently attack army camps killing security personnel.

The most afflicted victims of the Pak- supported terrorism are members of a minority community. The terrorists have turned the “paradise on earth” into a killing field and the ethnic cleansing by them has led to the exodus of lakhs of Kashmiri Pandits. The more we extend the hand of friendship towards Pakistan, the more hostile posture it adopts. Alas!

There is no doubt that tolerance is one of the highest attributes of humanity.“There is, however, a limit at which forbearance ceases to be a virtue”. Pakistani troops triggering flare-ups along the LoC and the terrorists shedding innocent blood in the valley should be ruthlessly dealt with.



Cricket: pleasant surprise

It was a pleasant surprise to watch the region’s well-known cricketer Navjot Singh Sidhu giving experts’ comment on the cricket series between Sri Lanka and Pakistan on an internationally known TV sports channel.

It was most heartening to note that the former India opening batsman was most impressive with his fluent views, and appeared in full command while analysing the game plans by the two teams.

Immaculately dressed, he and Harsha Bhougle made an excellent team for the job assigned. Hearty congratulations to both Harsha and Sidhu and thanks to the TV channel for providing quality cricket comment to viewers. Keep it up.


The prescription

This refers to the article “The prescription” (March 4). I strongly feel that the remedy suggested by Mr J.L. Gupta is a panacea for the tension-ridden Indian society. Traits like punctuality, the spirit of sacrifice, objectivity, sincerity, devotion to duty, moderation in desires and self-respect are the hallmarks of a gentleman. At this critical juncture our society needs badly any number of such people.

Modern society has never had such a prescription. As a result, there have been a lot of stress, strain and conflict, ultimately giving birth to various ailments.



Question: What is common between India and Pakistan?

Answer: Their recent drubbing in cricket.

Dhaulakuan (H.P.)


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