Tuesday, August 6, 2002, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi



Hard options: who is responsible?

The Punjab Government has launched an offensive against corruption. The latest to fall in the net is Sucha Singh Langah. As the stories of his confessions are going round, the people who once voted him to power must be feeling ashamed. The leader in whose leadership Sucha Singh still reposes faith must too now realise that corruption was the hallmark of his regime. Sucha Singh is just a tip of the iceberg. The tentacles of this malignant passion go very deep.

Mr Parkash Singh Badal, instead of shedding tears for the likes of Sucha Singh, must look within and see if he has any responsibility towards the people, other than shielding the corrupt ministers and calling Capt. Amarinder Singh's act as politics of vendetta. Will the people buy such notions from a leader of Mr Badal's standing? Were the chairs offered to these people to indulge in moral corruption?

Capt Amarinder Singh has no personal ill-will against Langah. He had nothing to do with Dheera and Sagar too. The fact to be remembered is that Capt Amarinder Singh is fighting the people's battle against political corruption.

So far as harsh decisions are concerned, everybody is aware that the previous government squandered public money on useless projects or filled their own coffers. If the Government of Punjab is taking harsh decisions today, we must find out who is responsible for this: Capt Amarinder Singh or Mr Badal?

J.S. ANAND, Bathinda


Human rights

This refers to the statement "Police treatment to Langah decried"(Aug 1) of Mr Kirpal Singh Randhawa and Surinder Singh Gharyala, Deputy Chairman and Chairman of the Punjab Human Rights Commission respectively, criticising the police high-handedness with Mr Sucha Singh Langah.

I am surprised and pained to read such statements made by human rights champions in favour of persons like Langah. His police record and links with terrorists are not unknown to the public.

I want to ask them: when our whole Punjab was burning in the fire of terrorism, why were they keeping mum?

BANSI RAM, Chak Haji Pur (Garhshanker)

Reign of terror

It was really depressing to go through the news item “SAD seeks govt's intervention - region of terror let loose against SAD, BJP leaders” (July 30) wherein SAD-BJP leaders have expressed their anguish at the alleged fact that nothing visible has been done at the Governor's level to enforce the letter & spirit of the Constitution by disciplining the government that runs under his seal. I do not hold any brief for any law-enforcing agency to use third-degree methods to extract confessions from the accused persons.

The appropriate forum for lodging such complaints is the Punjab Human Rights Commission. But I do feel that the hue and cry being raised over the issue of interrogation of Sucha Singh Langah is a bid to frustrate the current campaign of the government to bring to book the executive functionaries who at the time of their swearing-in had taken the oath to protect the Constitution but had in fact trampled it under their feet.

I am not surprised to read that Langah has confessed that he had been taking bribe/commission on the allotment of tenders. This practice is widely prevalent and with a few honourable exceptions it has almost become legal for the competent authority and others just below to take money for the allotment of tenders. No doubt, the rates thsus received are artificially jacked up and the quality of works done is below the stipulated standards.

Capt Amarinder Singh's crusade has to be supported by all right-thinking people who are concerned with the welfare of the common toiling masses. However, there is a need to broadbase this crusade to dispel the common impression being created that it is against persons and functionaries from particular political parties. The clampdown has to be on all the corrupt people irrespective of their loyalties or connections. For this campaign to be an enduring one, the Vigilance Bureau has to show all the respect to the fundamental rights of those being held so that entrenched vested interests do not make a mountain of a molehill and thwart the attempt of the government to cleanse the system.

I suggest that bearing in mind the surcharged political atmosphere and a situation conducive to spreading of rumours, the whole investigations should be held under the control of an authority independent of the executive power of the state i.e. the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

S.C. CHABBA, Ropar

A time for introspection

Even making generous allowance for his political compulsions, it ill-behoves a leader of Mr Parkash Singh Badal's stature to make a song and dance about “human rights”, “reign of terror unleashed by Capt Amarinder Singh's government”, etc. when so many skeletons are tumbling out of the S.A.D.'s cupboard daily. If Mr Badal has the love of Punjab at heart, he must rise above petty politicking and join hands with his successor in cleaning up the stables and bringing Punjab, once the jewel in the crown of India, back on the rails. If he continues to harp on his current theme, he will lose all credibility and confirm the growing impression that the good of the state is secondary in his scheme of things.

N. KHOSLA, Panchkula

Problem of languages

Languages are taught to students from KG onwards as a subject or medium of instruction or both. In India the languages are: the national (Hindi) language, the mother-tongue, a regional language, an international language (English), a foreign language (other than English) and the computer language.

Often we compare ourselves with other countries at the time of planning, increase the prices of books and publish comparative figures in newspapers for wide publicity. Most countries have only one official/mother-language.

Is more than one language really necessary for every student/citizen to learn? If not, then why a heavy burden has been imposed on students, parents and public funds?


Nangal bus stand

The expansion and renovation work at the Nangal bus stand has remained suspended for the past over a year. Buses are parked outside the bus stand, causing inconvenience to the public.


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