Friday, February 22, 2002, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi



Of crime, election & politics: electoral reforms hold key to mafia-free polity

The article (Feb 15) by Mr Hari Jaisingh has depicted a dark, but real picture of our Republic, democracy, secularism, bureaucracy, electoral system and people's pessimism. Petty politicians in league with criminals and moneybags have hijacked our vital institutions, including legislatures. Somehow, the judiciary has managed itself to remain beyond their reach.

Mr T.N. Seshan dared to stop the drift. But he could not check the rot. Mr M.S. Gill also tried to reform the system. The N.N. Vohra Committee exposed the evil nexus among criminals, politicians and moneybags, but in vain. Nothing is principled, valued, stable and clear. People are frustrated and puzzled. Legislators are looting. Bureaucrats are enjoying their high status. Can terrorism be worse than this horrible state of our Republic?

Mr Hari Jaisingh has wisely stated that people alone can make a difference to the working of democracy. People are not communal. They are communalised by vested interests and religious fanatics.

This is the challenge to honest intellectuals, dedicated social workers, dynamic youth and patriotic souls to come out of their narrow grooves and political graves.Our democratic and secular Republic must be saved at all costs.

HARI SINGH, Kheri Jat (Jhajjar)


Criminal candidates: Leaders of yesteryear were jailed and hanged for their patriotism. Even the wealthy freedom fighters had become paupers and their families also underwent untold miseries as their bread-winners were put behind the bars or died. But nowadays politicians' sons and daughters are born with silver spoons in their mouths. Instead of making them follow any other honest profession, they are made politicians and elected to the state assembly or Parliament by all fair or foul means at their command. Hence nepotism flourishes. God knows when our society will be free from the clutches of such politicians who are nothing but parasites.


Investment in politics: Politics has become an easy ground for making money. The success stories are well known to those who are interested. One would invest money if one feels it would appreciate. Once the message percolates that politics is for welfare of the people and not for minting money, hardly would a person be interested in investing with commercial interests in his mind.


Mockery: With the aggravation of caste and communal conflict, the evils of booth capturing and poll rigging, particularly the presence of dreaded criminals and mafia dons in the poll fray, have reduced elections to a mockery. That politics and crime work in strange symbiosis becomes starkly evident during elections. The one feeds on the other. The loser is obviously a law-abiding citizen. The number of history-sheeters contesting the UP Assembly poll alone as revealed by the author shows that the country is gradually sliding into a new dark age of political venality.


Corruption unlimited: The country of corrupt politicians and criminals is sinking. Yet no law, no rule and no authority can curb this system that has the political blessings. Corruption in railway reservations, getting gas connections, admissions in colleges with the revenue department heading the list. Small cases in the Revenue Department take years for decision as the official concerned is bribed to delay as much as he can to harass the opponent involved. From village co-operative societies to the food distribution system, a poor man never gets his share of entitlement until he bribes the dealing clerk. This is our Bharat whose national flag we, the soldiers, salute with pride.


Battle for chair: Leaders use all means to win the battle for the chair. Once a leader has won the poll race, he starts collecting money. I will like to say:

"Nasheman he ke loot jane ka gum hota to kya gum tha/Yahan to bechne valon ne gulshan he bech dala".


Enlightened leaders: What is required at this juncture is that enlightened people should come to the fore. Only their unremitting struggle can save our democracy from the impending catastrophe of corruption or even the evil despotism of the wicked politicians. In this connection, leaders like JP are the need of the hour.


Timely warning: The article is a sincere and timely warning to the government to bring about changes in the electoral system so as to save the Indian democratic system from going into the ditch of crime world and black money. Government recruiting agencies are becoming the scapegoat of corrupt practices at the political level.

M. L. PANDIT, Mehre (Hamirpur)

Sardarji’s love story

Ms Punam Khaira-Sidhu in her write-up “The Sardarji in the Bulb and his Sardarni: a love story” (Feb 13) states that after spending an evening with Mr Khushwant Singh, she came to know how “little truth” there was in the media reports that the renowned writer was a womaniser. The observation is rather surprising. How can you give such a clean chit to a man merely after spending a few hours with him? Frankly, I doubt if even the Sardarji himself would take it as a compliment, for he has hardly ever kept his “interest” in women a secret. Moreover, the writer should not have forgotten that at the party she is referring to, Khushwant Singh’s wife and scores of other persons were also present. That could have been a reason why he behaved so nicely with women there.

Further, Ms Khaira-Sidhu has taken pains to prove that the Sardarji loved his wife immensely. She has gone to the extent of stating that “theirs was clearly the classical case of true love in sickness and in health... till death did them apart.” Well, I have my doubts if a man who has true love for his wife, will take such a keen “interest” in other women. I sincerely believe that the more the women in a married man’s life, the more is the disturbance in his family. To say that such a man has true love for his wife sounds like a joke. If a marriage lasts a lifetime, it does not mean that a true love and harmony exists between the man and the wife. There are several social and legal compulsions that make women tolerate such husbands. And if a couple looks happy in public that does not necessarily mean that frictions do not exist in their life.

One thing which such write-ups prove is that if you are a celebrity, your admirers are eager not only to shut their eyes to your negative points but also try to make them look positive.




Tackling stress

A hectic lifestyle is more a norm today rather than an exception. In the modern world there seems hardly any person who, sooner or later, does not find himself or herself stressed due to the demands imposed by the pace and pressures of this kind of lifestyle. If one fails to recognise the symptoms of this malaise in time, one runs the risk of getting bogged down into the rut of mundane routine, with unforgiving consequences whereby one’s health and happiness are the main casualties.

Fortunately there is a simple way out of this rut. And that panacea is work. Work is a great stress-reliever, especially work outside of one’s profession. For example doing good to somebody or serving some institution affords much satisfaction and contentment. To be able to help alleviate someone’s misery imparts great peace of mind.  

Yet another good way to bear stress is to divert one’s mind by exercising pr participating in some game or community activity. Faith and prayer are quite effective in ridding one of stress and stress-related maladies. And cultivating a loving and caring attitude towards others helps in no mean measure in tackling stressful situations. So love do not hate people; the world will be a beautiful place to live in.

Last but not the least, one must learn to control one’s anger. Anger is a major cause of great destruction. A moment in anger may mar a whole lifetime. Most importantly, one must learn to love others, and spread love. Love is a great healer. It helps decrease pain and suffering.



This was written on the rear side of a truck parked on the Zirakpur-Ambala road:

Jeete rahe to milenge kai baar

Mar gai to milenge Hardwar!

D. V. Joshi, Bartana (Zirakpur)Top

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