Friday, August 10, 2001,
Chandigarh, India



Managing scam-stuck polity

This has reference to “Managing scam-stuck polity” by Mr Hari Jaisingh (August 3). The scam has once again highlighted the cancer of corruption that has afflicted the Indian democracy. Mafia leaders and a political coterie have successfully subverted the system with the help of slush funds. Civil authority has come to be eroded by the combined onslaught of vested interests.

The BJP and its partners are no different from the earlier Congress which they all once decried for promoting personal and short-term interests.

In the game of power for money and money for power, the politics of sycophancy has gained ground at the cost of established norms and principles.


Unfit to govern: After the Tehelka episode, once again the Shiv Sena has accused the PMO and the foster son-in-law of the Prime Minister of involvement in the UTI scam. Mr Vajpayee, in fact, is neither physically nor mentally fit to keep the divergent flock under his control. There are forces inside the BJP who want a change at the top. The Shiv Sena, the VHP and the Bajrang Dal have a different agenda. Barring a couple of alliance partners of two dozen parties, the other are only passive spectators and have no capacity to play an effective role. They just give a nod to any decision taken by the BJP.


Take the case of increase in the retirement age of central government employees from 58 to 60 when there are ten crore unemployed youth. Unemployment is, to some extent, responsible for forcing youths towards militants. Unfortunately, none of the other parties resisted the move.

With the deteriorating conditions in J&K and insurgent conditions in the North-East, the hotch-potch arrangement at the Centre will not be able to meet the challenges before the country.


Debilities: There is no doubt that the present ruling National Alliance suffers from various debilities. There are serious faults worse than nepotism and corruption. The debasement of the morality of politicians, the absence of collective responsibility in the Cabinet, lack of cohesion amongst the members of the ruling alliance, the various scams, the poor state of the economy, the U.T.I’s scandal and such other evils have added to the present ferment.


Free for all: At present we find a free-for-all environment in the country. The rule of law has been replaced by the law of the jungle. Musclemen, smugglers, mafia groups, manipulators and criminals have free access to the corridors of power. This is why the performance of the government is dismal.

Let our worthy PM assert his authority. We badly need a dashing and stern PM. His government remains or not is not the question. It is the survival of the nation and our system which is at stake. This has to be safeguarded at any cost.

K. L. BATRA, Yamunanagar

Stability: If political stability is to be insured and corruption controlled, the party forming a government at the Centre should have the required two-thirds majority so that independent and bold decisions can be taken.

ATUL TANDON, Nirmand (Kulu)

Inefficient: “Too many cooks spoil the broth.” This saying has been proved true by the BJP-led alliance. The whole energy is being wasted on keeping the flock together. How much the government is efficient, we have seen during the Agra summit. It has not been able to handle national problems seriously and effectively.

O. P. CHAUHAN, Gujarwas

Wake up: I fully endorse the writer’s views that effective coordinated governance, transparency, accountability and faster pace of economic reforms is the need of the hour. The government is doomed to be forgotten soon if it still does not wake up from its slumber to deliver the goods.


Brutal killings: for how long?

Pakistan-backed terrorists have turned the “paradise on earth” into a killing field resulting in the exodus of lakhs of Hindus. They are bent upon ethnic cleansing of the valley, so that Kashmir could secede from India as a Muslim state.

The lackadaisical handling of the Kashmir affairs by the successive governments at the Centre has resulted in an alarming situation in the valley.

Before the echo of the Union Home Minister, Mr L.K. Advani’s assertion, following the brutal killings that terrorism will be crushed with a heavy hand, ceases, the terrorists more vehemently perpetrate yet another massacre and the peace-loving people, living in the shadow of bullets, wonder:

Kab nazar mein aaey gi be-daagh sabzey ki bahaar.

Khoon key dhabbey dhulein gey kitni barsaaton key baad.



Agra Summit

It is unfair to comment on the Kashmir proxy war from the protected environments in Delhi and Mumbai. Kindly move around without escort, and your heart will then go out for the local populace and displaced Kashmiri Pandits. The art of being wise is knowing what to overlook — inflexibility was the one at this summit. What was the harm in declaring an agreement on issues which had no disagreement? Kashmir and CBT could have been on the agenda for the next summit. Every intricate problem takes its time to be resolved but if the atmosphere gets vitiated everytime, then the legacy may have to be resolved by the next generation. I hope this is not the political intention. The military option will be too costly.

The majority of secular Indians are now pondering: what next? The suggestions to the leadership in Delhi are: tighten the internal law and order maintaining agencies, strengthen bonds of secularism and adopt a proactive mode. Detailed preparatory work must be ensured before the next summit. The economic and internal situation in Pakistan should also play a predominant role in deciding the course of action for the next summit, as and when held.

Lt Gen B. S. RANDHAWA, Chandigarh

Keep it up

As part of the Kargil Vijay Divas ceremonies to pay homage to the martyred soldiers (July 26), the Indian Air Force flew a box of three aircraft with one blank slot signifying those who made supreme sacrifice for their country. It is a poignant reminder of our brave pilots who fought for their motherland and never returned home. To all of them who are no longer with us today we express our deepest reverence, commendation and gratitude. Their families will miss them for ever, so will their dear friends and colleagues. Many of us may not have personally known them, yet we too feel the anguish at the loss of the gallant sons of our country.

There is no doubt that the “blank slot” of the missing pilot would have meanwhile been made good by another daring colleague of his who will have happy take-offs and landings for years and years to come. He will, of course, provide as much of hope and protection to his countrymen as he will strike terror for those who may ever dare to violate our borders.

Good luck to you all, soldiers, sailors and airmen of the Indian armed forces. We are proud of you. You are doing a wonderful job! Keep it up!


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