Friday, May 25, 2001,
Chandigarh, India



Issue-less Mamata no match to Marxists

Apropos Mr Hari Jaisingh’s Friday column (May 18), the Marxists have won another term in the Writer’s Building. It was Mamata Banerjee’s inability to present a cogent and convincing agenda that failed the Trinamool to take on a pragmatic Buddhadeb Bhattarcharjee, who has his fingers on the pulse of the people.

It had taken years of hard toil and labour for Mamata to establish herself as a crusader against the Left. But she seemed to have stopped short of acquiring the stature for voters at large to identify her as a possible “first among equals” at the Writers’ Building.

The steps she had taken in the months prior to the poll — starting with her threat to resign on the oil price hike, her threat to resign if she was not granted a Railway Budget of her choice and finally her resignation on the Tehelka issue — paint her as one who is “honest but irresponsible, a fighter but whimsical, a lady with a mercurial temperament”.

S. S. JAIN, Chandigarh


Pro-poor image: Under the able guidance of Mr Jyoti Basu and Buddhadeb Bhattarcharjee, the Left Front has kept up its winning streak since 1977 and now has won 199 of the 294 Assembly seats. This is their sixth continuous victory.

With sober and honest intentions, political maturity, pragmatism, pro-poor image, very frugal lifestyle and a clean image, the Marxists are deep rooted in Bengal’s soil. Buddhadeb Bhattarcharjee has projected himself as a people’s man by keeping his fingers on their pulse.

Dr L. K. MANUJA, Nahan

Real victory: The elections in West Bengal have clearly shown that democracy, which has taken a long time to produce effect, does show the substance of progress. Thus the Marxists have every reason to feel proud of their victory which is more real than theatrical.


A laughing stock: Ms Mamata Banerjee’s political immaturity, naivety, fickle nature, lack of clear-cut ideology and agenda led to her drubbing at the hustings. She had become a laughing stock in the eyes of the people in general and Bengalis in particular by resigning from the NDA government time and again and then withdrawing her resignations. The arrogant and self-willed politician failed to remember that power can not be captured by breathing out fire, throwing tantrums, indulging in gimmicks and personalising politics, rather it requires qualities of head and heart.


Issue-less politics: While Tamil Nadu may tend to convey that corruption and criminalisation of politics have ceased to be strong issues in public mind, West Bengal has rightly declared that personalised and issue-less politics won’t serve the needs of a nation, particularly at a time when it is moving towards globalisation of its economy.


Clean governance: Actually the credit for this victory goes to Mr Jyoti Basu, who for 25 years gave the state very honest and clean governance. his successor Mr Buddhadeb Bhattarcharjee is a simple, honest politician.

The results of all Assembly elections have shown that people want business and not mere empty slogans from politicians. It is high time that the leaders of all political parties feel the pulse of the people and become honest. The people want “bhadraloks” in the government.

D.P. JINDAL, Mandi Gobindgarh

A clean image: A clean image of Mr Buddhadeb Bhattarcharjee helped him to come to power. He set an example by continuing to live in his two-bedroom flat instead of moving to the CM’s residence. Secondly, he restarted 300 small and big factories which provided employment to many youth.


It corrupts: Power corrupts ..., but the continuous rule by the able Marxist leadership in Bengal may falsify the adage. It may take a few more years when absolute power may corrupt them absolutely and then they may be discarded by the people.


Proved right: Mr Bhattarcharjee has always been known as a Stalinist, a much admired label by the Marxists. But how responsibility breeds common sense! These days he has not been only talking of responsible trade unionism, but is also in favour of the contract system even if it ushers in the American practice of “hire and fire”, which had long been lambasted by the leftists as a typically anti-worker capitalist ploy.

Mr Bhattarcharjee recently startled a group of businessmen with his view that he wanted to shed the burden of running sick units by dis-investment.

It is not clear if there had been a breakdown of communication between the CPM’s offices in New Delhi and Kolkata. What was being said by the party’s stalwarts in the national Capital was the exact opposite of what its Chief Minister was saying in West Bengal. And the latter has been proved right.



Check noise pollution

Loudspeakers are being used at a very high volume during the marriages, various social functions and at religious places. The problem has often been highlighted but things do not seem to improve.

The Deputy Commissioners have also been issuing ban orders from time to time against the use of loudspeakers, particularly after 10 p.m. But in the absence of strict enforcement measures, the social evil persists.

I suggest the following treatment for this disease:

(a) Let the state government examine the present law on the subject and amend or replace it with more stringent and easily enforceable legislation.

(b) Ensure strict accountability of the law enforcement agencies with legal or administrative action against the officials found to be lax in this respect.

(c) Set up suitable enforcement cells at the block/tehsil levels and take the help of voluntary social organisations and human rights groups to create public awareness about this social problem.

(d) Award deterrant punishment to the defaulters. The punishment should include imprisonment in addition to fine.

(e) Give vide publicity through the print and audio visual media to the cases where the defaulters are booked and punished.

Lt-Col GURDIP SINGH (retd), Mohali


Water crisis in Shimla

This refers to a news item “Thirsty residents block traffic” (May 16) in which it has been stated by Mr H. N. Kashyap, Municipal Commissioner, that enough water is being made available by the Municipal Corporation to the colony (Vikas Nagar), but it is not reaching many areas because of the faulty distribution lines for which the H.P. Housing Board is responsible”.

This is not based on facts. The distribution lines in the area have been maintained by the Municipal Corruption since 1998. The present crisis is due to the non-supply of adequate water by the corporation. The housing board is in no way responsible for it.


Students’ hopes on PMT

As per newspaper reports, corrupt practices were adopted at the Lucknow and Merrut centres by various coaching institutes and candidates in collaboration with the local authorities supervising the C.B.S.E. PMT. It was reported that there was a leakage of question paper and unauthorised distribution of answer-sheets.

Although it was reported that the persons involved in the scam have been arrested and a case has been filed against them, but there was no work from the C.B.S.E. authorities about the cancellation of the test at these centres. Delay in taking action in this matter is causing strain to honest and hard working students.

The reputation of the PMT conducted by Guru Jambeshwar University, Hisar, last year was also tainted. Students preparing for this test hope that this year the PMT to be conducted by Kurukshetra University will be fair.

SHASHI SOOD, Faridabad

Pension for teachers

The report "Sangat darshan — economic and social justice to all at their doorstep" sounds hollow to the retired teachers of the government aided private colleges of Punjab.

These teachers have been denied retirement benefits of gratuity and pension and are thus forced to do odd jobs to eke out a living for themselves.

For the first time, a pension scheme was envisaged in 1986 and notified in 1996 to be made applicable w.e.f. 1992, but was never implemented.

The present SAD-BJP combine passed a unanimous resolution in the Assembly to grant these college employees pension and gratuity in lieu of the CPF. The Governor too gave his assent. However, the scheme is yet to see the light of the day.

Meanwhile, the college employees go on retiring, half of their PF being retained by the colleges in anticipation of the elusive scheme.

AMAR BHADWAL, Nawanshahr

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