Wednesday, June 19, 2002, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi


Vigilance Bureau lacks CM’s vision

THE bungling of prosecution in Ravi Sidhu’s case is being commented on in the Press daily. The long lists of names which find mention in two statements of Dheera u/s 164 Cr PC, do not contain any name from the influential classes, though the wards of many of them have managed to be selected, through allegedly questionable means. Dheera in police custody had better memory which got impaired in judicial lock-up. He forgets only those names which are being repeatedly mentioned in the media. It speaks volumes how the criminal justice is done in our country. How the accused will be benefited by these contradictory statements will be known during trial only but some can foresee it even now.

The prosecuting agency in Ravi Sidhu’s case is already giving the impression of being tired and exhausted due to its internal contradictions. They lack, both, will and zeal, and have no perception of the vision of the Chief Minister.

In March 2000, when corruption had already engulfed the polity in the States, the bureaucrats (IAS cadre) evolved a unique rule for self-protection. This rule gives them complete immunity even when many of them may be involved in serious crimes. Punjab, perhaps, is the only state where such a law exists.



In the early era of the Akali-BJP regime, vigilance enquiries were started against some corrupt Congress ministers of the previous government. The Vigilance Bureau indicted some Congress ministers and some IAS officers. Those enquiry reports are gathering dust in the almirah of the Vigilance Secretary. No action is taken on those reports because the then Chief Secretary wanted to protect the members of his own cadre and without them, the politicians alone could not be prosecuted. One thing leads to another. No politician can possibly become corrupt without the knowledge, help or connivance of bureaucrats. That is why, in the previous regime, not a single corrupt politician was ever prosecuted. They only flourished and genuinely felt that they were above the law. Now many of them have gone underground or have taken bails. In the last one decade, the rulers have amassed wealth, though the people and the state have become poorer.

One of the major difficulty of the present Chief Minister is that he has to fight corruption with the help of those officers who have seen corruption flourishing in the previous decades and it is hard for them to believe that it can be controlled, contained or even successfully exposed. This aspect needs to be taken care of.

Many decades ago when corruption was being attributed to only one or two Chief Ministers in the country, the then very popular and powerful Prime Minister ignored it by calling it a world phenomenon. With the passage of time, it has become a house-hold phenomenon. An average man does not believe that life can exist without corruption. This attitude has created doubts in the minds of those who now are made responsible to detect it and curb it. Officers, devoid of the commitment and the vision of the Chief Minister, will never be able to take steps with necessary conviction and courage. We have seen bold initiatives are subsequently diluted to avoid imaginary fears and supposed adverse effects.

We hope and pray that the Chief Minister will not compromise with any weakness on this aspect. People are fully with him. Results in the Malout byelection, Samiti and Zila Parishad elections have proved it. People have many expectations from him. He should hold high the honour and traditions of his own family and not betray their faith under any pressure or illusionary expediency.

Fight against corruption, in one sense, is not as difficult as fight against poverty. It requires stronger determination and comprehensive planning. We have to begin with austerity at the top to convince the masses about the sincerity of the leader. Precept is more important than preaching. People are looking towards the Chief Minister to set his own example first and then everybody will follow. This will be a good beginning to end poverty in the state.

G.S. GREWAL, Chandigarh

Kashmir imbroglio

It is right time for the leadership of India and Pakistan to think outside the box in regard to Kashmir and its people. As the Kashmir-Line of Control (LoC) is the Line of Conflict (LoC), slowly, surely, and peacefully make it irrelevant for exploiters and bad elements on either side.

Peaceful resolution of Kashmir is crucial and critical for the present and future generations of the region. If Kashmir people’s issue is not addressed, the safety and security of over one billion will remain uncertain. The people in the Indo-Pak region and the rest of the world should always be of our top concern and interest.

Everybody, every leader, and every institution should take it upon themselves to exercise extreme care and caution. We all should avoid any provocative, inflammatory, and rancorous language, acts, and activities in and around the sensitive region.

At the same time, we and the world cannot afford to ignore the plight and aspirations of the people of Kashmir. These people have been divided by the Line of Control and\or the ceasefire line. Like the Berlin wall, it needs to be slowly, surely, and peacefully removed, erased, and dismantled by firm and resolute involvement of all. A courageous and bold action is needed by true, caring and visionary leadership of the region.

The people of occupied and divided Kashmir have sacrificed a lot in last seven decades. The multiple promises, pledges, and commitments that have been made to the people of Kashmir over the last five decades need to honoured.

As a Kashmir-born naturalised American citizen and having spent equal parts of my life in each of the two countries of mine, it is my inherent duty and obligation to comment on this matter.

The question of nuclear weapons should be only discussed for denuclearisation. The aim and focus should be to address the plight and aspirations of the people of Kashmir with the ultimate goal of erasing the Line of Conflict.

Col. A. M. KHAJAWALL (retd.) (via e-mail)

Not a wise step

I really do not understand the ways in which our government is working. I am surprised by the decision to relax it’s present aggressive stand against the Pakistan army’s involvement in infiltration. Our government has not learnt from it’s past mistakes and is believing in the promises given by Pakistani leaders.

The only losers in this game are people living in the border areas. Hundreds of them have been killed by crossborder firing, thousands of them had to leave their homes; their homes have been destroyed; their routine life has been disrupted. This sort of tension and firing has become a routine and is severely affecting those people. How can our government believe the Pakistanis?

VIKAS GARG, Allahabad

Kalam & research

Prof A.P.J.Abdul Kalam is, no doubt, the best choice for President. He is an eminent scientist and has shown great achievement in nuclear missile technology. But he does not have enough knowledge of politics. Even if is elected as President, his professional skills should be utilised for further scientific development in the country.

AMIT, Chandigarh



Films on Bhagat Singh

It is good to note that some feature films have been made about Bhagat Singh, the revolutionary hero, and some more are in the pipeline.

But these movies have missed the moving drama of Bhagat Singh’s hanging.

A magistrate’s presence at the time of execution is a must but, believe it or not, in 1930, not a single magistrate in Lahore — whether Hindu, Muslim or Sikh — was willing to do this dirty duty.

In this situation the Britishers resorted to a dirty trick. They sent out agents who brought one Mohammed Ahmed Khan of Kasur. The Governor made him a “Nawab”, gifted him 200 acres of land and made him a “special magistrate” to get him to oversee Bhagat Singh’s hanging!

Such was the respect commanded by Bhagat Singh and his two colleagues, Sukhdev and Rajguru.

K.R. MALKANI, New Delhi


Home | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Editorial |
Business | Sport | World | Mailbag | In Spotlight | Chandigarh Tribune | Ludhiana Tribune
50 years of Independence | Tercentenary Celebrations |
122 Years of Trust | Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |