Friday, March 23, 2001,
Chandigarh, India



The system is corrupt, nothing fake about it

THIS has reference to Mr Hari Jaisingh’s front page editorial, “System is corrupt, nothing fake about it” published on March 15. Our politicians and bureaucrats have not learnt any lessons from the past scams and scandals. The offenders have always gone scot-free without any punishment because of various legal lacunae. Resultantly, corruption has been flourishing at all levels. Bribes are given and taken openly without any check. Corruption stands legalised in our country and this is the major cause of the poverty and illiteracy of the masses.

It is unfortunate that in a country of one billion there is no need for any academic qualification for entry into legislatures. Illiterate and goonda elements are ruling the country and in the process looting the people and filling their own coffers. It is time the people realised the evil designs of the leaders and threw them out in the ensuing Assembly elections and in all future elections. Only men of integrity and honesty should find place in the legislatures. Unless this happens, things cannot improve in our country. I am sure that those involved in the Tehelka scam will be cleared of all allegations and the vicious circle of scams and scandals will go on unabetted.

D. P. JINDAL, Mandi Gobindgarh


Ban fund collection: Collection of party funds should be banned under the law and elections should be held at government expense, taking a reasonable amount from the candidates. Scams involving politicians or officials should be dealt with under a time-bound process. Politicians should retire from public life if they are found involved in such cases.

SHER SINGH, Ludhiana

No surprise: The exposure of shady defence deals need hardly cause any surprise. The comptroller and Auditor General’s report on the way some purchases of crucial defence hardware were made, had evoked considerable anger and apprehension. The report says that the Sukhoi 30, touted as the fighter aircraft which will give the IAF an unbeatable advantage, is not what it is claimed to be, and that the submarines which were bought for the Navy have turn out to be grossly underpowered and much else.

The unscrupulousness and avarice of the politicians and bureaucrats apart, the fault lies in the system, as aptly pointed out by the writer. But what is the system? This is a grey area, an area of vague generalities and theories. It became painfully clear with the unfolding of the Bofors affair. It will become clearer when the mystery of the acquisition of the Sukhoi fighters and the submarines is cleared. It is a fact that the decision to buy such equipment is taken by people who are neither knowledgeable nor experienced enough to take these decisions.

Substitution of these officers with professionals from the armed forces or other organisations is, too facile a solution. Errors of judgement, avarice and what is conveniently called “vested interests” are not the exclusive preserve of the civil services. What is undoubtedly clear is that it is time that clear lines of responsibility were drawn, agreed to by everyone and then followed.


A conspiracy: It has been aptly observed by the writer that stalling the proceedings of Parliament is not the answer.

The basic question is why the Congress and other opposition parties are averse to discussion. It is a fact that the Congress and other opposition parties themselves are involved in big scandals. A fake company in the name of West and International was created to defame the Vajpayee government. This is a clear case of conspiracy by vested interests who want to create chaos and lawlessness in the country.


Order fresh poll: The BJP president, Mr Bangaru Laxman, Ms Jaya Jaitley and Mr George Fernandes have resigned. The NDA which came to power on the promise that it would provide the country with a clean government has proved no better than the Congress. Mr Vajpayee had said in the House more than a year ago that the MPs would submit the accounts of their assets and liabilities and copies of these statements would be kept in the library of Parliament for anyone to see. But nothing of the kind has happened. Mr N. Vittal, the CVC of the country, had made some suggestions to the NDA government to check the menace of corruption but these have been ignored. Rather, the powers of the CVC have been curtailed. Under the situation, the only honourable course for Mr Vajpayee is to resign and order fresh elections.

Major NARINDER SINGH JALLO (retd), Kapurthala

Even the armed forces: What has shocked the people is the fact that the armed forces which were once seen by the people as the only institution in India they could be proud of are now involved in corruption.

Now that Mr George Fernandes has stepped down, he can defend his position and allow the law to clear his name. He should be treated like any other accused. The BJP that once stood for a clean system now finds itself caught in the whirlpool of corruption. Its president has publicly admitted having taken a bribe. His contention that the amount was for the party cannot protect his personal position. It is a tragedy that our politicians have become the symbols of scams and scandals.



Guests from abroad

I fully endorse the views of Mr Ashok Sharma regarding registration of NRIs on their arrival in India ( The Tribune Feb 22). My parents came from the USA in November last to stay with their relatives and friends for about a year. But after going round in circles in various offices to get themselves registered — they decided to leave their motherland early to avoid paying hush money to unscrupulous everyone expected some money for the “help” — elements.

I would like to urge the authorities concerned that instead of making loud noises about providing facilities to NRIs, it should frame rules to stop unnecessary harassment of our guests from abroad.


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