Wednesday, April 25, 2001,
Chandigarh, India



Curbing corruption

WE are a nation of one billion but it is a pity that the demon of corruption is dictating the conscience of this astronomical number.

This demon has reduced our nation to a state of degeneration where social, moral and ethical values do not count.

The need of the hour is to rejuvenate society. It will surely be, worthwhile, if we try the following measures — one short-term and the other long-term — to get rid of this national malady.

In every town, selfless, dedicated and mature persons should voluntarily come forward, from a team of 10 or 12 persons and open an office. People with genuine grievances against various departments of the government should approach this office. This team, after assessing the veracity of the complaint, should move to the official concerned and remonstrate with him and advise him to see reason.

It will be better if this team is given recognition by the government. There do exist grievances cells in the districts but these have become an eye wash. A grievances cell run by public-spirited people will be more result-oriented and it will also prove complementary to the official cell and enhance the efficiency of the government.


As a long-term measure, the government should introduce the subject of moral science in schools and colleges. The child, all through his student years should be constantly reminded of the need to assimilate virtues like truth, love, compassion, endurance, selfless service, honesty, sacrifice and devotion to duty.

K.K. SHARMA, Jagadhri

Firing on tribals

THIS refers to the editorial “State-sponsored killings” (Tribune April 18). There is, however, the other side of the story. Some NGOs have been inciting the tribals in the Khargone-Dewas belt to cut trees to assert their right over the forests. These NGOs are spreading the cult of violence among the tribals, holding rallies of armed tribals in nearby small towns and terrorising non-tribal residents.

It is the indiscriminate felling of trees in the forests, which caused an alarm. The forests have been badly damaged and large quantities of timber have been sold illegally. The officials, including the police, who went to the village of Mehendikhera, where the firing took place, to recover the illegally collected timber, were accompanied by a large number of tribals who are members of Van Samitis (Forest Committees), formed to protect the forests. The villagers resisted the attempt to recover the illegally collected timber, attacked the forces with guns and did not disperse in spite of warnings, firing of rubber bullets and firing in the air. Some policemen and members of Van Samiti were injured by the bullets fired by villagers. As a last resort, after repeated warning, the police had to open fire at the mob in which some persons unfortunately died.

L.K. JOSHI, Commissioner, Public Relations, Bhopal



A friend no more

First mutilations in Kargil and now in Bangladesh. The reaction of India’s impotent leadership is predictably the same. First Nawaz Sharif did not know what his army was doing and now Hasina Wajed does not know what her border forces are doing. Does this ignorance of the powers that be in these countries make the torture and mutilation of our soldiers less painful for us and less insulting to a nation of one billion?

Nobody should be under the illusion that we have a friend in Bangladesh. The Mullas and Madrasas have spread enough hatred against India to make it an enemy country. I earnestly hope that our slow-moving leadership will wake up from its self-induced hypnosis and allow our armed forces to give a bloody nose to the gangsters and “adventurers” from across the border.


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