Thursday, May 18, 2000,
Chandigarh, India



Concept of good governance

THE essence of all political systems is effective governance, but today this is the most neglected function. In a state having a plethora of rules and regulations the answer lies not in excessive controls but in more transparency in state performance and adherence to the established law for good governance. Good governance must reflect in the improved system of administration.

Kautilya mentions that the duty of the state is to safeguard the welfare of the people, promoting their economic wellbeing and preserving their means of livelihood. All these are possible only if order and stability are maintained. Thus the science of government is also the science of upholding order by just punishment.

An integral part of good governance in the Arthasastra is “dandaniti”, the enforcement of law by a voluminous and comprehensive set of deterrents and punishments. A ruler has a threefold duty of protection of the state from external aggression, the maintenance of law and order within the state and safeguarding the welfare of the people. The prosperity of the state and its citizens cannot be maintained unless law and order is maintained.

  These basic duties of the state were true then and are true even today. Aristotle, the teacher of Alexander the Great, categorically states that an ideal state is the highest form of community which aims at the highest good of all. The state’s ultimate aim is to ensure good life for its citizens. How can the highest good be attained when schools and colleges are closed, girls are burnt in buses, scams are widespread and the state treasury is looted and culprits walk the streets freely. Societal prosperity can never grow luxuriantly in a state of anarchy.

Today when the world is changing so fast and the nations are getting integrated into one whole, not merely rules of governance but a strong machinery to transform them into practice, to make good life possible are essential for sheer survival. Good governance not only creates stability but also provides ideal conditions for wealth creation and national prosperity.


Disposal of garbage

The Municipal Committee, Nahan, is disposing of its garbage at Asha Rori on the Dehra Doon-Chandigarh national highway with utter disregard to the norms of hygiene and sanitation. No doubt, the waste is disposed of from the town, its effect has to be borne at the cost of the environment of the villages in the area.

There is no incinerator at Asha Rori. The ignorant municipal staff burn the garbage, as a result of which forest trees catch fire. Every summer the Home Guards have to undertake a fire-fighting exercise, and our forest wealth gets destroyed. It is high time the administration took serious note of this and ensured that the area for the dumping of garbage was covered with a wall, as it was in the middle of a reserved forest, and immediately an incinerator was installed.

The ensuing rainy season is going to wash away garbage into the nearby Markanda river. There are a number of IPH irrigation and drinking water schemes over a stretch of 10 km from Bikaram Bagh to Kala-Amb. The villagers are utilising the same polluted water for drinking purposes. The chances of gastroenteritis cases will be on the increase. Poor villagers are unaware of this. The district administration advised to undertake this project on a priority basis to avert this imminent tragedy.

Lt-Col IPS SOLENKEY (retd)

For better policing

In the editorial “Police and the laws” (April 26) it has been rightly pointed out that “Despite repeated condemnation of the functioning of the police in India, it seems there is no effort to improve its image.” One need not to go farther. Just open page 4 of The Tribune of the same day. It has a mention of two cases filed in the High Court, the first being of “beating up Deva Singh and two others and forcibly taking away their belongings, including a gold bracelet, by the police in Lambi while stopping the three from attending a rally organised by an opposition party”.

The second case is of a sub-inspector of Dera Baba Nanak who has alleged that “the SP and the Head Constable, Gurdaspur, accepted Rs 30,000 after demanding illegal gratification of Rs 50,000 from the sub-inspector”.

There is a mention of another case on the same page. Harpreet Kaur, daughter of SGPC President Jagir Kaur, “is reported to have died ‘unnatural death” but her body was speedily cremated without holding any inquiry as a cover up operation in which high-ups, including the police, were involved”.

Such incidents of unlawful behaviour and police excesses are regularly reported in papers. One wonders as to why the police administration has become so insensitive and takes no action to improve as is apparent from the recurrence of such cases.

Commissions have given recommendations for the improvement of the police system but “no will exists to improve”. Under such conditions there appears to be two alternatives: either disband the police forces or “force them to change”. As both are extreme steps, a via media can be adopted for which steps suggested are: better planning and deployment patterns, higher recruitment standards and an improved recruitment system, an improved performance evaluation system, proper delegation of authority, dedicated motivation and maintenance of morale, improved police-public relations, more attention towards their welfare, quick exemplary punishment for the corrupt and the wrong-doer, suitable awards for better and hard-working personnel, an improved communication system, and faster automation.

Col (Dr) D. S. GREWAL
Registrar, Sant Longowal Institute of Engineering & Technology
Longowal (Sangrur)


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