Tuesday, November 20, 2001, Chandigarh, India





National Capital Region--Delhi

THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
M A I L B A G

Is democracy on the decline?

It is frightening to witness some of the happenings of the modern world where the word “democracy” and the fight to preserve it have appeared to have become as meaningless as when wars were fought to “preserve peace,” or to spread a particular religious dogma. Many historians and political intellectuals now look back to the crusades as an excuse, rather than a raison d’etre, to conquer and enslave other peoples not sharing the Christian faith. Likewise, to declare that Islam wants a war with Christians may very well be ludicrous, considering that the majority of the states of Islam are either moderate, or secular in nature, and any lunatic daring to advocate a war with the “Western World” on behalf of Islam is more often than not, shouted down almost immediately by the vast majority of Muslim people.

War is a business. The manufacture of tanks, guns, and missiles as well as planes, helicopters, and military survival gear is valued at trillions of dollars per year around the globe. Drugs and their production and export are also multi-billion dollar industries. The oil business, with its main base of production being in the Middle East, has many moneyed interests and political connections in the West. Finally, it is easier for business people to deal with only a handful of people, such as in Communist China, than it is to deal with a vibrant, representative government like India, where often snarls of confusion can arise over what is actually best for the “people.”

Taking all of these issues into account, it appears that democracy may very well be on the decline. Where once our forefathers fought and died, bloodily, to preserve their vision of what a constitutional Republic should look like, today that vision is being sold on the chopping block to the highest bidder, whether foreign or domestic. If a beacon of democratic hope, the USA, and its many NATO allies in Europe, can actually encourage, foster, and ultimately steer more and more lucrative business to Communist China at democratic India’s expense, how can this ever be justified?



 

There seem to be no more true heroes. All of our leaders have apparently become cowards. No one is objecting anymore to the “whoring” of our economy to a malevolent nation such as China, and no one is objecting to our ignoring one of the gentlest and most democratic nation on earth, India, which also has over one billion people, and can easily become wealthier and a force for stability against expansionist and aggressive China. Why don’t we send our business to India? This is because the moneyed elite do not want another thriving and economically strong democratic nation in the world, they seem to want to bring the epoch of democracy to an end, not to help it continue from strength to strength, generations to come. This is the saddest legacy of these leaders, who we helped to elect.

ROBERT DAVID MERCHANT, New York

Of slavery & dictatorship

This is in response to the fine imposed on students of Carmel Convent, Chandigarh for applying mehndi on their hands. This school is subject to a heavy fine of 20,000 dollars if it comes under American laws for invading personal privacy of students and the freedom to liberty. This is clearly a case of slavery and dictatorship. Apart from that, those who imposed the fine are also subject to monetary damages for causing mental agony to the students according to American laws. India is lagging behind because people are not scared of the lax laws. Strict law enforcement puts America on the top of the world.

I was thinking to come back India after making money but I changed my mind after reading this story.

JAGDEEP SINGH On e-mail

Sehajdhari Sikhs

Apropos the letter on the above topic (Nov 9). I fully agree with the writer’s views. It seems logical that the categorisation of the followers of Sikhism, if at all it is required for SGPC elections or for any other purpose, should be as suggested by the learned writer. Isn’t it a fact that Sikhs are Sikhs due to the blessings of Guru Nanak Devji and it was Tenth Guru, Guru Gobind Singhji who made them Keshdhari due to the pressing needs of that time and both phenomenons have stood the test of time.

Wg Cdr R.S. JASSAL (retd), Ambala Cantt

Terrorism & diabetes

Guess what is common between terrorism and diabetes. Both can be checked, but not eliminated.

K.J.S. AHLUWALIA, AmritsarTop

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