Friday, May 10, 2002, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi



Doublespeak & double standards: intellectual dishonesty and silent majority

Mr Hari Jaisingh in his article (May 3) has very honestly stated that our country has consistently suffered due to the intellectually dishonest people who have always misled and cheated the silent majority as transparency is hardly visible in our politico-bureaucratic setup. I suggest five action points to the people who honestly desire change for the better.

1. Let our teachers — right from the primary school level — should understand that they are the real nation builders. Let morality be taught and corrected in school itself if the child gets polluted and prejudiced values at home.

2. Life is more important than the law itself. In a country where law-makers are law-breakers and ministers become sinisters, the watchful eye of a few honest intellectuals can make all the difference provided they choose to sacrifice their own interest for the sake of the nation and they keep awakening the masses through the mass media.

3. Let the administration be not top-heavy as scores of bureaucrats add nothing to national growth except expenditure to the exchequer. Let there be room for honest professionals who care for the blue collard in society.

4. Let our leaders first avoid doublespeak and double standards. They must understand that sooner or later they must pay the price for their misdeeds afflicted on the silent majority who chose them to serve and not to cheat.


5. Let the honest people from industry, trade and business from NGOs sit together and force the government to implement the plans for the people’s welfare. Let the institution of Lokpal be kept depoliticised and made more effective.

B. B. GOYAL, Ahmedgarh Mandi

Political affiliations: Most of the thinkers and intellectuals who are supposed to be honest and fair in their opinions and writing have gone astray. They have got political affiliations to such an extent that it seems from their writings that they have become just spokesman of particular parties.

It has become a herculian task to find writers, intellectuals and thinkers who have the guts to call a spade a spade. This class of the people who is to guide and motivate the common people has merely reduced to a puppet in the hands of politicians.

Secondly, the media, which is considered to be the most powerful tool in a democracy, is not playing the role which it is expected to play. More particularly the vernaculars have just become the hand tools of certain political parties. They have become highly selective in the choice of material to be published in their papers. Although, big newspapers are doing a lot for bringing out right material from society, yet most of them cannot escape allegations of political attachments. Freedom of the press and its free and fair role are a must in the present declining society of India.

The third reason that you have highlighted does have great relevance in the present-day conditions. The unscrupulous, corrupt and ruthless elements have mushroomed in society. Most of the political leaders have become corrupt and self-centred. Politics has become a possession and an influential trade. The common folk just feel hapless and helpless. They are not ready to question the misdeeds of politicians and bureaucrats. You are very right that ultimately the people have to come out and challenge those blood-suckers of the society.

Dr. DHARMINDER SINGH UBHA, Phallewal Khurd (Sangrur)

Value-based system: When India gained Independence, floodgates of education were opened. College after college and university after University were set up with the fond hope that the spread of education will ultimately help eradicate ills of our society. True, we made good headway in certain areas for which we can rightly claim credit. But soon we realised that quality of our life became poor. We made material gains but we lost much in thought process. Our fast changing tendency for subjectivity became widely known and self-interest over-weighed national interest. Predominately, we have became self-centred.

Society thrives on a value-based system, on strengthening democratic institutions, on creating models and setting standards. We show little respect for these institutions. Professional ethics and moral values have totally evaporated. The path showers, in most of the situations, have become silent spectators. And intellectuals are no longer on the driving seat. The seniors and the elders have stopped acting befittingly to shape the things.

The education system, the delivery system and the time-honoured value system have been ruthlessly trampled. Politicians have become self-seekers. The media is playing its own game and the bureaucracy playing its own tune. There is a rat race to project individuality.

Rightly it has been said that “All that glitters is not gold” in the electronic media. That being the reason “Gujarat coverage” was substandard and the debate in Parliament largely below the mark. The very concern for the victims was lacking in tone and anguish missing. It is a matter of great shame that the humane aspect of the tragedy has been badly politicised.

Let us rise above our narrow considerations and fully respond to the call of the hour and act in such a manner that go to create proper environs to win over the shattered confidence of the bleeding hearts and help rehabilitate them without losing time. The focus should be more on winning the situation, rather than winning the argument.

D. M. SONI, Ludhiana

Armed forces & politics

You have been really generous in publishing the letter (April 29) written by Maj Gen (retd) K. Khorana.

The author has taken a circuitous way to go behind the whole 1 ‘affaire Air Marshal M.S. Sekhon. I feel what really the author wanted the readers to know was the malaise existing regarding political interference in our defence forces. Despite trepidations of governmental and bureaucratic meddling in the affairs of our defence forces, we really marvel how they continue to work smoothly and efficiently. There is room for improvement in the functioning of the defence forces vis-a-vis the government. It is essential to have group cohesion on the operational side and decision-making machinery at hierarchy levels.

All the three wings of the defence forces have stood the test of time well and shown their maturity in performing their duties during internal crisis.

The need of the hour is in involving the top brass of the three forces in planning, modernising, equipping and overhauling the functional and operational stratagem. They have to be ready and fighting-fit at all times particularly if there is a sudden and surprise attack from our belligerent neighbour.

A novel relationship of working on the patter of Pentagon needs to be brought about. The Ministry of Defence, on the one side, and the Defence Headquarters, on the other with the top defence commanders should participate in the structural framework of assessing, evaluating and providing the requirements of the three defence forces as per threat environment. Fighting preparedness is a relative term. It resolves round the threat perception. Threat milieu is not a static thing, it moves around all the time. We have seen this happen in the insurgency operations.

The trinity of political, economic and defence constituents always nurture the life of any nation. We are no exception. History of military conflicts between two neighbouring states is a pertinent reminder for our strategists and planners. A vibrant and resurgent India must keep on maintaining and upgrading its defence forces. We cannot afford to be slack and slough. Internal vigilance is the price for maintaining the freedom and independence.



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