Friday, May 11, 2001,  Chandigarh, India



Rising graph of economic offences

This has reference to Mr Hari Jaisingh's article 'Rising graph of economic offences' (Tribune, May 4). The picture depicted by the writer makes us hang our heads with shame. Political leaders are busy amassing wealth. They have formed a strong nexus with manipulators, shady dealers and middlemen who are hijacking all economic benefits at the cost of the common man. According to a survey made by an international organisation, India figures very low in the honesty index — 73rd among 100 countries. Much of the corruption occurs at the top and the guilty are rarely punished. Ill-gotten money is smuggled out to safe havens.

The survival of our political system appears to be at stake because corruption and moral degradation have made inroads in every department and even defence, the most sensitive area, is not spared. Governance is considered a kind of business in which the national interest is completely subordinated to personal gain.

We are in a state of drift. Ours is a rich country but the people are poor, only because of the poor quality of governance. Nature is kind and bountiful to us but our leaders and administrators are unkind. We would not expect any miracle from these politicians. No doubt, there are men of integrity who are a dedicated lot, but their number is shrinking every day. Let there be a heart-searching among good thinking leaders belonging to different walks of life. Let us try to revive value-based politics. If this drift is allowed to continue, no miracle will be able to save us. Time has come for the people in general and the youth in particular to assert that we deserve better governance and a corruption-free, transparent administration. Let a vigilant opinion, a free and kicking press and an impartial and unbending judiciary act as a deterrent to the deceitful persons in authority.

K. L. Batra, Yamunanagar


Authors and publishers

It is a pity that there seems to be a growing discord between authors and publishers. Noted writer Talveen Singh, in one of her articles, has pointed out that the publishers are exploiting the authors for their selfish gains. It is a well-known fact that an author takes immense pains, taxes this brain and undertakes a thorough research on his chosen subject. He is, however, not given his due by the publisher. The author has eventually to settle for a paltry remuneration.

It is imperative that substantial incentive is provided to the author. There should be a proportionate distribution of profit between the author and the publisher based on the value of the publication.

The publisher must stop playing the Big Brother to avoid bitterness. I have been a victim of this syndrome. I have written 16 books which were all published by renowned publishers. But I have received negligible returns. It would be worthwhile if the Federation of Indian Publishers looks into this aspect and finds an amicable solution by calling a joint meeting of publishers and writers.

M. L. Batura, Karnal



Immune to scams: Our country has become immune to scams and scandals which are unearthed belatedly but precious little is done to stop their recurrence. For a little while, they remain in the news but the moment dust settles on them, the vicious circle of malpractices starts as usual.

Corruption is a universal phenomenon. But in our country a major portion of funds earmarked for development is siphoned off by the powers-that-be. Rules are meant for the weak whereas the strong flout them with impunity.

I agree with the writer that accountability has to be a part of our working democracy. Democracy is a boon, but the forces which are running it have converted it into a bane. We need a system of governance that works for the welfare, development and prosperity of the country and its people. Otherwise no form of government is going to be effective.

Tarsem S. Bumrah, Batala

Fear of punishment: Every political party over the years has promised accountability and transparency of governance, but they fight for justice and the people's rights only when they are in the opposition. The fight ends when they enter the corridors of power. Our leaders' concern for the poor and their protests for the aggrieved turn to no more than a whimper when they reach the Treasury Benches. The business of corruption and a hypocritical concern for the nation go on and so do their shady and dubious deals in all fields without even sparing defence and national security.

To expect the political leadership to root out these evils from the system, is like asking a thief to order his own imprisonment. Again, most of our citizens are neither enlightened nor vigilant. The only ray of hope may come from the judiciary. Most of our problems persist because our redressal system is neither fast not deterrently effective. If we could confiscate all movable and immovable assets of politico-economic criminals during the pendency of a case, they would not run for adjournments but help the judiciary to reach a quick decision. Only the fear of quick and deterrent punishment can keep the criminal away from crime.

Ved Guliani, HisarTop


Polity debased: Ours is essentially a feudal and socio-economically undemocratic society with a callous disregard for the underprivileged and the poor. We are worshippers of power, glamour and wealth. Years of insecurity and deprivation have made us excessively security-minded and we are unwilling to take risks for the sake of ideals.

Again, we are not public-spirited by nature. We are pre-occupied with the pursuit of personal and family interests. We live happily with the notion that rules are not for the rulers.

The last four decades have seen the decay of the party system and the rise of a class that looks upon a political career as a means for personal aggrandisement and pursuit of power. With such persons exercising power, the debasement of the polity was a foregone conclusion. The first priority, therefore, should be to change the kind of persons who exercise power. Economic offenders, caste brokers, and convicted smugglers should not find their way into legislative chambers.

K. M. Vashisht, Mansa

Accountability management: The work of the government is shrouded in mystery and the Official Secrets Act gives it legal sanction. What is required is accountability under which the citizens have a right to know what exactly goes on. The decisions should be reasoned and contain innate logic. The bureaucracy considers itself accountable to procedures as if the procedures constitute an end in themselves.

The government must draw up a comprehensive system of accountability management. This system will ensure smooth functioning, whoever be the players of governance.

Corruption has survived more in the democratic set-up. Accountability has suffered because either the law lacks adequate teeth or the politicians cover up the misdeeds of one another.

Assets of all ministers should be probed and the surplus confiscated. This will be a deterrent to scams, muddles, bribes etc.

Umed Singh Gulia, Gohana

Long battle ahead: It seems that scams and scandals have become a way of life in our country. The scamsters have often taken the country for a ride.

There is nothing wrong with the system. No system can succeed unless corruption is rooted out. The malaise of corruption is so deep-rooted that perhaps only God can help this country.

To bring about economic emancipation, the nation will have to fight a long battle against corruption which flows down from above.

The power of the ballot comes to the rescue of corrupt politicians and bureaucrats. Political power infuses new life-blood in economic offenders. Once they enter the corridors of power, all their sins are washed away. Victory in an election should not become a legal sanction for corruption.

Iqbal Singh, Bijhari (Hamirpur)

Two sets of rules: It is a matter of grave concern that there is no accountability and transparency in governance. Every deal or decision, in the final analysis, tends to be a matter of manipulation. The most shocking aspect is that big guns are involved in it and no strong action is taken. We all know the result of previous scams. None has been declared guilty.

It is our duty to ensure that two sets of rules — one for poor and the other for the rich and the famous — are not followed. The law should be allowed to take its course.

Subhash C. Taneja, Rohtak

Code for teachers

It is unfortunate that the Government fees the need for enforcing a code of conduct for college and university teachers. In this age of commercialisation when education has become a service, the teachers have to work harder. No idealistic code of conduct can bring about any change unless the teacher sets for himself his own code keeping in view that his profession involves not only making the career of the present generation but also guiding posterity.

The touchstone of a teacher's conduct is the respect he commands from his students. A conscientious and committed teacher wields moral authority and he does not require any imposed code of conduct. A teacher who does not possess a moral stature has no right to stay in the profession of teaching. A teacher in the real sense is guided by his conscience and any code of conduct will be repulsive to him. The need of the hour is to search for right persons and purge educational institutions of teachers on whom the teaching job has been undeservedly thrust.

Sarojani Nautiyal, Ambala Cantt

Ammunition depot

The encroachers in the periphery of Badowal Army Cantonment near Ludhiana should learn a lesson for their own safety and the safety of their families from the recent fire at Mamoon near Pathankot. A major fire was averted in the Dappar Ammunition Depot near Chandigarh on May 13.

If such a mishap occurs in Badowal one can guess the fate of the “palaces” and “resorts”, which have been built unlawfully in the prohibited area.

Some persons have advocated that the Badowal ammunition depot should be shifted to another site. They forget that in any emergency like earthquake, flood, cyclone etc. it is the Army, which comes to the rescue of the civilian population. The farther the Army from the locations, the greater the chances of loss. The encroaches should obey the court's order and remove the illegal constructions in the larger interest of Ludhiana dwellers.

Jagsharan Bir Sandhu, Pahuwind (Ludhiana)

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