Tuesday, July 25, 2000,
Chandigarh, India



Thackeray: the challenge before govt

TWO major institutions in India are being closely watched by all Indians, the law of the land and the decision of a democratically elected government of a state and how the Prime Minister reacts or acts at this time of keen observation. For, his arms are being twisted by his Cabinet Ministers to blatantly protect Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray.

If the law of the land is to be upheld then Mr Thackeray should face the court and prove his innocence. On the other hand, if his involvement is proven in the Bombay riots then he must, as a true Shiv Sainik, suffer punishment. The land of Shivaji should not allow the pious Shivaji’s name to be tarnished under any circumstances. Shivaji’s name itself represents the history of the fight for justice.

Mr Thackeray should step forward and allow the court to judge his innocence, and not the people on the streets with the threat of burning the country.

Mumbai is the financial capital of India and any circumvention of law would have its bearing on investor confidence.

The expectations from Mr Vajpayee are that he will prove that he is a statesman. In India, now it seems that the powerful can, under all circumstances, get away with all their shady deeds.

Los Angeles (USA)


Disciplining cops

With reference to the news item “Cops chase cops” (July 20), I want to congratulate the Police Commissioner of Calcutta for taking effective steps to discipline the erring police personnel. The police officers concerned in Panchkula should draw suitable lessons.

On many occasions I have seen police personnel in uniform driving a two-wheeler without wearing a helmet. Even at the police nakas for checking the wearing of helmets, the police personnel manning it do not wear helmets when they leave the naka. For such wilful violations of law, traffic police personnel should be punished by mandatory removal from service. It may seem to be a harsh measure but sometimes you have to amputate the gangrene-affected limb to save the remaining body. The earlier it is done the better it will be.


Cleanliness in Chandigarh

Last June the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh planned and started a cleanliness and sanitation drive. But it failed to inform the citizens and various (NC) agencies. In Sector 18 even the President, the General Secretary and the Executive Committee members of the Social Welfare Society (regd) were not informed. Citizens remained unaware of this campaign and, therefore, it was turned out to be a farce.

After this thoughtless campaign, there was a lot of garbage and debris still on the roads, footpaths and parks. The parks are under serious threat. Two interesting examples are mentioned here. Parks or green belts along Sector 18-A and 18-D facing Sector 17, near house Nos. 43 and 44 (Sector 18-A) have become an unauthorised garbage dumping centre.

A rehra stand is another major example. Near Aggarwal Dharamshala in Sector 18-D park a rehra stand has been established. Horses roam around freely in this park and destroy its greenery.

Citizens lament at the working of the Health Department. No sweeper has been seen in the morning cleaning the street/roads. Jamadars rarely visit the streets to see for themselves whether the sweepers have cleaned them or not. The supervisory staff also take little interest and keep themselves busy somewhere else. The health officer has no time to attend to the problems of the people. The Health Department is not ensuring that there is proper supervision.


Speight a terrorist

In the media Mr George Speight of Fiji has been commonly referred to as a “rebel leader”. This is a misnomer. Mr Speight along with his armed accomplices stormed the parliament complex of the Republic of Fiji in Suva and at gunpoint captured the constitutionally elected Prime Minister and his Cabinet colleagues, and held them hostage for 55 days with the demand that indigenous leaders should be installed as the rulers of the country in defiance of all norms of democratic functioning and justice. It seems he has largely succeeded in his mission.

Mr Speight is more of a terrorist, a traitor, a blackmailer and a thug, all rolled into one, than a “rebel leader”. A fit case for trial for treason in any country wedded to the rule of law.


Corruption-free public service

Apropos of the news item concerning the suggestion by the Chief Vigilance Commissioner, Mr N. Vittal, to make “corruption-free service in public offices” a fundamental right, it cannot be gainsaid that this point must he placed before the Constitution Review Committee so that it is accorded priority while considering constitutional reforms.

The aim of this provision should be not to allow the corrupt to have a sound sleep and to make them realise that corruption ultimately does not pay, if considered in a holistic sense.

New Delhi


What does Dr Soch’s extension as Vice-Chancellor, Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, indicate?

Answer: The Punjab Government does give due “soch” before taking decisions!



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