Saturday, March 24, 2001,
Chandigarh, India



India’s incurable ailment

A lot of dust is being raised over the so-called ‘exposure’ by tapes, without verifying the authenticity of the tapes. Even otherwise, the tapes have revealed nothing new. Such black deeds had started soon after the nation became free. The first ever scam that came to light was the jeep scandal for the bulk purchase of jeeps for the Army. This happened during the prime ministership of Jawaharlal Nehru and the name of the then Defence Minister, Mr. V. K. Krishna Menon, was linked with it. Since then, corruption at the government level has been going on unabated, and with increased intensity. No government deal, big or small, takes place without the active element of corruption. No department is free from this ailment.

Now unfortunately, even the private sector has been infected by this virus. The most alarming fact is that this virus has reached the armed forces. To find a person totally committed to honesty and hard work is as difficult as finding a needle in a haystack. Many of us are honest only by compulsion, because we do not get a chance to indulge in corruption. However, in the present episode, at least the Congress has no moral and ethical right to squeak. The kettle has no right to call the pot black.

Elections change the political leadership but the corrupt system remains intact. The ailment is incurable.

A. K. SHARMA, Chandigarh


Changing colour

The Defence Minister and the Samata party President did not resign immediately after the expose but waited for 24 hours. Their resignations were triggered by the withdrawal of support to the ruling alliance by the Trinamool Congress. The Defence Minister said that he was resigning to uphold the morale of the armed forces and to prevent further damage to the country.

It took one full day for the Defence Minister to realise that the morale of the armed forces, which are defending the borders of the country in adverse conditions, needed be upheld. This is not new to those who have followed the political career of Mr George Fernandes. In the past, he defended the Morarji Desai government on a no-confidence motion in 1979, only to resign and oppose the same government the next day. In 1977, he declared that he would not become a minister but later accepted a cabinet post in Mr Morarji Desai’s government.

The politicians should do what they are elected for — to look after the welfare of the state and its people. We must have clean political stables. The common man should be sure that fences are there to protect the field and not to eat the crop.


Defending the guilty

The RSS has clarified that Mr R.K. Gupta, implicated by in the arms scandal, is not associated with the Sangh.

But Mr Bangaru Laxman had to resign. The Government also suspended some army officers and bureaucrats involved in the case. Still Mr Mahajan and Mr Advani insist that there has been no wrong-doing.

If there has been no wrong-doing, then why did Mr Bangaru Laxman resign? Why did the Government suspend some army officers and bureaucrats?

Why are the BJP leaders trying to protect guilty politicians? Should they not punish “all” the guilty men and clean up the system to remove the threat to India’s national security?

D. N. PHANDNIS, Mumbai

Private practice

The Central Council of Health, after prolonged efforts, had succeeded in prevailing upon the state governments to ban private practice by government doctors. This was intended to improve patient care. After some initial dithering, almost all the states fell in line and accepted the recommendation to do away with private practice and pay non-practising allowance (NPA) to the doctors.

This arrangement has also been in vogue in Himachal Pradesh. Now all of a sudden, the state government has decided to revive the system of private practice, only to save the money being paid to doctors as NPA.

The move to allow the doctors to do private practice and forego NPA may save a paltry sum but a colossal damage will be done in the long run. The state government should abandon this penny wise, pound foolish policy and look for other options to tap financial resources. And one of these certainly is drastically cutting wasteful expenditure in all departments.

S. S. SOOCH, Jalandhar

Confusion of dates

There is often a confusion about the dates of our festivals. This time the controversy whether Holi was to be celebrated on March 9 or 10 continued for about 15 days. The Central Government should have announced a firm date well in advance.

There can be two holidays for one festival, but the date of the festival has to be one.

Finally Holi was celebrated on two days. The result was a festival without enthusiasm. I hope in future such confusion will be avoided.



Home | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Editorial |
Business | Sport | World | Mailbag | In Spotlight | Chandigarh Tribune | Ludhiana Tribune
50 years of Independence | Tercentenary Celebrations |
121 Years of Trust | Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |