Friday, May 17, 2002, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi



Who wants to end corruption?

Hari Jaisingh wants the Punjab Government to take up the question of corrupt practices on priority because, as he puts it, “the people want a clean system and fair governance.”

Who wants a clean system? Not the politicians. They are the most corrupt. Not at all sorry about corruption they practise and preach, they actually justify it as a by-product of the system of democracy. The bureaucracy does not want an end to corruption. Expert at the game, they get either the heads of departments to sign all the wrong deals or get the ministers to endorse the same. That is how they make money, get their dependents the plum jobs without getting involved in any controversy.

The people, 40 per cent of whom are below the poverty line, cannot offer bribes because they have nothing to offer. Nor do they get any bribes because they have no powers to oblige. The very rich do not want corruption to go because if they can get their jobs done by throwing in a few notes of the blackmoney, they are the happier for it. That leaves the middle class in the field and they are the few who raise their voices. They are also the ones who have suffered at Sidhu’s hands the most.

Can this minority force the radical reforms the author advocates? Do they have the means to launch a sustained “dharamyudh”? The just-elected MLAs are certainly not going to tolerate much longer a government that does not allow them to recoupe the expenses incurred by them. The politicians and other high-ups involved must already be trying to find a credible way out of the ugly situation they have got into as a result of what they did just to harass the SAD-BJP people.


“If merit has ever to take its rightful place, the politicians must lose their powers to order appointments and transfers. We have to revert to the policy of not appointing employees to their home districts so that KPS Gill does not have to get troops from Punjab to quell riots in Gujarat.

L.R. SHARMA, Solan

Legal industry gains: At the moment the accursed system seems moving along like a ramshackle old bus to the acute chagrin of the common man, but to the immense delight of the lawsuit-happy legal industry. The worst sufferers are the victims of manipulative/frivolous litigation as, under the obtaining scheme of things, the hapless guys have perforce to reel under a prolonged spell of litigation — putting up with untold misery in the process — before the court verdict in their respective cases finally greets them. The final court verdict, howsoever just, can never be “adequately just” for reasons which seem too obvious to bear repetition.

The accused must get an opportunity to be heard before being condemned to a torturous trial. Many frivolous cases would not be able to withstand judicial scrutiny and thus simply fall through in the process, relieving the victims of much avoidable misery.

The growing decay on the country’s judicial front can be allowed to go un-noticed only at our national peril. Let the powers-that-be beware!

TARA CHAND, Ambota (Una)

Lawyers’ role: If degradation has crept in, the fault lies not with the judiciary but because the representatives of the people have failed to act as watchdogs. It is heartening to note that after about five decades, the lawyer community has realised its duty and picked up cudgels to raise its voice against the laxity by those who possess constitutional authority to stop malpractices by any branch of the constitutional system. Taking suo motu notice of what is going on in a place is not an uncommon practice.


The iron curtain: The I.C.S. cadre of the British empire known as the iron curtain, was impregnable and incorruptible enough to spread English rule throughout the world. The men who occupy positions of power must be above board. The judges, executives, police officers who paid up to Rs 70 lakh to bag prized posts will never to do justice to the chairs they occupy.

KARNAIL SINGH, Ranjit Sagar Dam

‘Hindustan hi bech do’: Here is a poem in Hindi about the many Ravi Sidhus in our country who have made a mockery of the system.

“Sindh desh ki dharti par,

Sidhu paida ho gaye,

Har marhale, har makaam par,

Saude hee saude ho gaye.

Gayi mehnat bekar mein,

Gayi merit bhar mein,

Jisne note de diye,

Wahi sayaane ho gaye.

Kaho in Sidhuon se

Ki mil jul kar tum,

Hindustaan hi bech do,

Shaid imaan aur

Imaandari se jeene ke,

Andaaz puraane ho gaye,

andaaz purane ho gaye.”


Selfish to the core

In view of the daily surfacing of scams a couplet comes to my mind: “Bas ik hi uloo qafi tha barbad gulistaan karne ko; Har shaakh pey uloo baitha hai, Anjaam-e-gulistaan kya hoga.”

We are limited to only ourselves “My” thing should work and to hell with others. Do we have 1 per cent of patriotism? Of course, we do have 100 per cent of selfishness.

It is time we should vow that we will not grease the palms of Ravi Sidhus any more, come what may.

A. JOSHI, Tohana


The crusade against private tuitions is on. Haryana initiated the process of punishing the erring teachers. Punjab and the Union Territory are getting into the bandwagon. Private tuition by teachers is something most undesirable. There are no two opinions.

There are, however, certain things that I wish to bring to the notice of the people who matter in the education field. Private tuition is more a student’s requirement than a teacher’s necessity. My observations are based on the courses, prescribed by the education boards and the school diary of one of the leading schools of Chandigarh.

The courses, so prescribed by the boards if, to be done as per the rules of the book, need over 1,500 class hours. As the competition for admission to professional colleges is tough, these courses must be done thoroughly, failing which the student has no chance.

What do the students get from schools? With scheduled and unscheduled holidays, extra curricular activities (PT, hobbies, arts and crafts, drawings etc), the annual and half yearly examinations, term tests, parent teachers’ meetings, the image building functions like the Founders’ Day, annual function, sports meets, exhibitions, seminars and VIP visits, the schools cannot provide to the students more than 600 class hours. I have ignored the teachers’ absence and the administrative work assigned to them for the above functions.

How is the student to make up the remaining 900 hours? He has no choice. The student must slog, at the cost of his health, and the parents must pay, at the cost of their other necessities. At lower classes, 5th to 8th, the student has 14 subjects to study and all are equally important for promotion to the higher classes. Thus the private tuition becomes perpetual throughout the school days.

It is not the teachers that need to be punished. It is the system that needs to be set right. The teachers are at least professionals and guide the students in the right way.

Wg Cdr S.S. RANDHAWA (retd), Chandigarh

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