Wednesday, August 29, 2001, Chandigarh, India



Why not “no work, no pay” for MPs?

Mr Yashwant Sinha, the high priest of austerity, is a different man when austerity is to be applied to his colleagues. The members of Parliament are to get a three-fold increase in their salary, allowances and perks, besides mobile phones under a Bill approved by the Union Cabinet. Today's politicians are totally hypocrite in their approach. Whatever they say is for the public, not applicable to them.

The government has increased the salary of an MP from Rs 4,000 to Rs 12,000, the daily allowance by 25 per cent, the constituency allowances from Rs 8,000 to Rs 10,000 p.m and the transport allowances from Rs 6 per km to Rs 8 per km.

Free electricity and water are proposed to be doubled to 50,000 units and to 4,000 kilolitres. Besides, each MP has Rs 2 crore as the constituency development fund at his disposal. How well this fund is being utilised, we all know it.

There is no mention of walkouts which our worthy MPs undertake. Parliament is made to look like a fish market. At least it is expected that the rule of "no work, no pay" should be imposed on our MPs. They are "rehzans" and not our "rehnumas".

Dr NARESH RAJ, Patiala


A bad decision: The Cabinet, by passing a Bill to increase the pay, allowances and other perks of the MPs has taken a wrong decision.

India, being a poor country ,can ill afford to spend so lavishly on its MPs. The President should withhold his assent to the Bill.


Milkha Singh

The letter of Mr K.D.R Vohra (Aug 21) has not substantiated his arguments with facts and figures.

Milkha Singh, during his tenure as Additional Director, Sports, Punjab, interviewed as the Chairman of the selection committee about 5,000 candidates for appointment as DPEs for Punjab schools. He went strictly by merit.

Milkha Singh, as Director of Sports, produced top athletes like Mohinder Singh Gill, a triple jumper, who won a silver medal in the Commonwealth Games.

After retirement Milkha Singh has adopted a nine-year-old son of a Kargil martyr. He is doing social work also like "shramdan"' at the Sukhna Lake. He gave Rs 10,000 from his own pocket to former Asian Games gold medalist Parduman Singh.


Why belittle his achievements?: I highly regret the effort of Vohra to belittle the man and his achievements in the international level and the credit Milkha Singh has brought to the nation. The Tribune should not have become a party to belittle the man and his performance.

P. S. BAJWA, Mohali

Concern: I have read the letter written by Vohra with great concern. I do not know of Mr Vohra's calibre to be eligible to write such a letter about such an international personality who has represented his country 80 times in international events and won 70 times and some of his records are still unbroken. If the Flying Sikh is proud of his achievement, Mr Vohra called it "arrogance".



Class IV views: The views expressed by Vohra and the language used by him clearly shows frustration in his mind. The letter shows that his feelings are that of a Class IV person. I strongly condemn his views about Milkha Singh.


A great athlete: The letter is not only in bad taste but also smacks of the writer's hatred for the great athlete. The pathetic case made out by him is that Milkha Singh, despite his gross inadequacies, is being doled out the Arjuna Award by an indulgent government.

It goes to Milkha Singh's credit that by dint of his talent and hard work he could attain such enviable heights despite having risen from not so favourable a situation about which he himself makes mention here and there.


Mudslinging: Mr Vohra's letter is full of negative thinking and mudslinging. I don't think any patriotic Indian will buy his highly biased theory against legendary Milkha Singh. The letter has hurt the sentiments of countless Indians who hold the flying Sikh in high esteem. In a democratic country, even a cook has got the right to rise high in life. If Milkha Singh was born in an ordinary family, was it his own fault? Mr Vohra desires to writes off all his achievements with one stroke because Mr Milkha Singh had served the Army as a cook earlier.


Do it with dignity: Mr Milkha Singh, decline the award by all means. That, sir, is your prerogative. But being a role model for innumerable impressionable sportsmen and women in our country, it was your duty to do so in a dignified way, without flying off the handle, without throwing tantrums, without denigrating other recipients.

Prof VISHVAMITTER, by e-mail

Well done: Milkha Singh's refusal to receive the Arjuna Award is a slap on the face of the Sports Ministry and the people associated with the awards selection process. Most of our sports bodies are ridden with people accused of nepotism and favouritism, which eventually results in our dismal performance in various international events.

D. S. MATHUR, Ambala Cantt

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