Friday, August 30, 2002, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi



Gujarat: the ball now in court; a test case for Indian democracy

I think the article "Gujarat: the ball now in court" (Aug 23) is one of the finest ones written by Hari Jaisingh in the recent years. I feel tempted to quote its most thoughtful lines "Indian democracy no doubt is passing through a period of grave crisis. Politically, everything is on the boil. There are several areas of conflict, often grave. The dimensions of the present controversy are actually a pointer to the crisis of leadership. The problem is of the absence of a vision and the ability to see problematic areas in a wider rational and national perspective".

A particular political party has been talking a lot about nationalism and national interests for the last many years but in behaviour its leaders and cadres don't seem to have any regard for democratic values. They continue hectoring as to what others should speak and ignore. They wish to bend even the constitutional institutions to their strange ideas. They are determined to take out a "Gaurav Yatra" in Gujarat. I think the trouble-torn Gujarat needs a "Manthan Yatra" (An introspection march) drastically. I don't see anything like "Gaurav" (sense of pride) in this state in the present context. Whatever has happened there for the last several months in really a matter of deep reflection. They want every Indian to support this so-called "Gaurav Yatra" without any hitch or doubt. Why?

I agree with the writer's point of view that our political leadership does not have "a national perspective" as they are always seen running after powerful offices. Their basic approach towards issues of national importance is sectarian and biased. Such leaders of "narrow vision" try to organise the masses by exciting and instigating them in the name of religion. Such a "dangerous approach" is fraught with dangerous consequences.

Dr R.B. YADAV, Fatehabad


Real motive: The real issue is to keep the BJP in power by Mr Narendra Modi, ignoring the ground reality. His dissolving of the Assembly in a tactful manner to seek protection under Article of 174 of the Constitution to hold the session within six months from the past session.

How can members of the minority community exercise their vote in an atmosphere of fear? The Election Commission had conducted the survey with an open mind and is not interested who forms the next government after the elections.

The NDA government’s attempt to push the EC to the corner is not appreciable. The only solution to the problem is to impose President’s rule in Gujarat.

SHER SINGH, Ludhiana

Modi's mindset: When political power is used for partisan gains and the state is treated as an instrument of patronage and profit or when public issues are decided on the caste basis and the majority-minority syndrome, the erosion of the constitutional apparatus becomes a painful certainity . This is exactly what Mr Narendra Modi and his supporters attempted to achieve at a public meeting in Bodeli, near Vadodra on Tuesday. He said, "You can hire people to kill a few people here and burn a few shops there and James Michael Lyngdoh (note the use of his full name ) will then come down and say 'The situation is not fit for holding elections'.”

Such disrespectful and derogatory references to a constitutional institution speak of Mr Modi's mindset. Not lagging behind, the VHP's Dilipbhai Trivedi at the same meeting went on to say, "It seems that Lyngdoh, a Christian by faith, is being guided by another of his community - Sonia Gandhi".

Still more painful is the manner in which Deputy Prime Minister L.K. Advani and former Union Law Minister Arun Jaitley threw to the winds the norms, decorum and constitutional prosperity of their office and went public in denouncing the EC decision. Such public postures from the ruling party are bound to affect the autonomous functioning of the EC.


Let us be reasonable: The hue and cry being raised by the vested quarters on the Gujarat poll issue reminds me of an interesting observation: "If you are strong on facts, hammer the facts, if you are strong on law, hammer the law and if you are strong on none hammer the table".

Does the reference to the Supreme Court amount to lowering of the dignity of the Election Commission? Does it amount to dragging the EC into a controversy? Does going in appeal against the order of a lower court reflect upon its honour or dignity? For goodness sake, let us be reasonable.

One would however fully agree with the writer's conclusion, "We hope the apex court would see the EC controversy in the larger context of Indian democracy."

W.g Cdr C.L. SEHGAL (retd), Jalandhar

Plight of the EC

Hari Jaisingh has aptly described the pitiable picture of the Indian democratic system. The Election Commission, an autonomous office, is a statutory body set up under Article 324 of the Constitution for the conduct of elections. It seems well within the powers of the EC to assess the situation and prepare the poll schedule accordingly. The decision of the commission should be respected and it should not be dragged into a political controversy. It might be well within the rights of the Union Cabinet to refer the matter to the President for seeking an opinion from the Supreme Court.

When the Election Commissioners enjoy the facilities and conditions similar to those of a judge, then where is the sanctity of referring the matter to court. Not only this, the reference of this matter to the court also reflects the poor confidence of our politicians in the autonomous bodies. The sanctity of such autonomous bodies should be maintained and the Supreme Court should help in this endeavour by rejecting such appeals.



The SYL dispute

G.S. Dhillon's article "Settling water dispute" (Aug 23) is perhaps targeted to divert the people's mind from the recent clear judgement of the highest court of the land that Punjab should complete the SYL canal.

The court's judgement should not be seen as biased as it has given a very fine judgement with regard to the Tehri and Narmada disputes so as to further curtail the people’s grave misery due to an acute shortage of power and water. The court has now realised after a period of 15-20 years the constant acts of misrepresentations of the “Water facts” by a lobby of a few environmental and social leaders who work for their publicity more than for real public interests.

Pakistan is intimately involved in the Indus Water Treaty. We are absolutely clear in our wisdom to stay far away from the concept of so-called “neutrility” of experts from abroad, may be from the World Bank or the UN. Why should we attract and depend on foreign experts to resolve our domestic problems, discrediting immense potential of the Indian specialists?

Dr B.S. TANWAR, Chittorgarh

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 |