Thursday, November 22, 2001, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi



Corruption & crime gain acceptance in Haryana

This refers to Mr D.R. Chaudhary's article "Haryana's alarming crime graph” (Nov 7). I share the writer’s concern regarding increasing criminalisation of Haryana's society. Criminals draw inspiration and legitimacy from people in public life and administration who "play safe" within the cloak of legitimacy and protection of the state structure. What is disturbing is the fact that slowly corruption and crime are gaining social acceptance.

Though I agree with most of DR's formulations but some need further investigation e.g. his argument that "the majority of the unemployed youth come from the dominant agrarian communities" does not appear to be empirically correct. However, the proportion of unemployed youth from the agrarian communities involved in criminal activities may be relatively higher because of their socio-economic & political hegemony. The aspiration to become rich overnight is the contributing factor.

The argument that "Haryana grew in the shadow of Delhi and hence its stunted growth" is yet to be established. In fact, most of industralisation in the last 50 years in Haryana took place in Faridabad, Gurgaon, Sonepat and Bahadurgarh due to their close proximity to Delhi and perhaps not due to any special efforts on the part of the state government. Some of the state politicians and administrators are reported to have had a windfall and made lot of money in real estate and mining in this region. There is a competition to make quick money but there is no public voice against it.

It is rightly stated that "Haryana politicians treat industries as milch cows to generate cash for them" and big industrialists are in fact reluctant to make investment in the state. The general attitude of the present generation of the ruling elite towards businessmen in Haryana remains that of erstwhile feudal lords towards the traditional bania from whom they extracted funds by arm-twisting as well as extending patronage at the same time and in the process allowing the common people to be exploited.


DR has argued that Indian cultural renassance did not touch Haryana. The cultural deformity in Haryana has thrown up rulers who treat the state as a family fief. This proposition needs further study. It appears that with the emergence of regional parties, rulers from the dominant castes exhibit such a behaviour pattern due to the caste-based polarisation of voters in the elections where merit of the candidates does not really matter and sycophancy reins supreme.

The most disturbing fact is the lack of will in any major political party to address the real socio-economic issues. They appear to wait for and rely on negative voting for coming to power. The left parties are yet in the process of evolving their agenda for Haryana. No significant social movement to arrest the route is visible though some small groups do keep making some efforts. It is high time that the intellectuals of Haryana address the real issues highlighted by DR Chaudhary. I wish that The Tribune carried a debate over these issues.


Towards social change: Mr D.R. Chaudhary has rightly expressed concern and has drawn the attention of all well meaning persons while analysing the socio-economic milieu of the state in the context of “Haryana’s alarming crime graph”. It is true that the negative plank of the mainstream political parties both national as well as regional has flourished as a vicious phenomenon leaving the people helpless in the absence of a meaningful choice.

Electoral politics in Haryana has been completely taken over and monopolised by a few individuals who have accumulated unlimited wealth during their stints in power. It is, in fact, on account of this money power coupled with fissiparous tactics like caste sentiments and populist slogans. Policies have never been a point of differentiation among them even per se. Public resentment arising out of unemployment or economic hardships are brazenly exploited in elections.

Most important here in the social scenario which totally remains unaddressed. In the absence of a social reform movement, the patriarchal grassroot social structure is based on caste and gender bias. We are yet to unleash the forces necessary to initiate formation of a civic society in which every one is recognised as an individual citizen in the first place.

Our society is passing through a crucial phase in which definite upsurge is in the offing for self assertion and social justice at the level of women, youth, students and those who remained at the receiving end so far. However, equally challanging are the threats from retrograde forces of status quo to contain and divert this progressive upsurge towards negative tendencies like crime, suicide, drug abuse, sexual perversion or other disruptive activities.

It is, therefore, the most opportune time to take a determined initiative to launch socio-cultural movement among young boys and girls with a creative perspective aiming at mass social awareness. There is no other shortcut to overcome the deep rooted malaise of our society. I fully support Chaudhary’s conclusion that social change with the active involvement of people is the only answer.

INDERJIT SINGH, Secretary CPM State Committee, Chandigarh

Maharaja’s painting

There are sychophants unlimited: a painting of Maharaja Ranjit Singh has been floated which resembles Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal. All old and historical paintings of the Lion of Punjab are vastly different from what is being projected now. Is no one there to stop this mischief?


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