Saturday, December 7, 2002, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi



There is lawlessness at district level

KUDOS to Air Cdr S.S. Saxena for bringing out the naked truth about the present day politicians on the one hand and the coward/craven public on the other (“Have we become a nation of crybabies?” Nov 29).

With the type of guts and self-esteem or the lack of these that we have in us as the general public, we could never expect more than what we have as a scenario around us of lack of governance. I tend to agree on almost all points raised by him pertinently and fearlessly. Not going into the higher echelon of governance for which I find myself ill-equipped but I will surely comment on the goings on at the district level.

There is no law and order at the district (Ludhiana) level. Anybody with a remote political or bureaucratic connection can do anything and get away with it — may it be a physical assault, a murder, land grabbing, building bylaw violation or collecting “hafta” from vendors and traders or indulging in corruption at the behest of politicians or bureaucrats. For evidence to the above, one has to go through newspapers of the past few months. One can get away after doing anything against the law of the land if one has the right connections or money power. The district administration remains a mute spectator and has little or no guts at all to stand up to the defaulting politicians in the case. There may be compelling reasons to do so, but all said and done, the sufferer is the innocent and peaceful public.


The district authorities allow government contractors to do absolutely substandard work, particularly the repair of roads, thus wasting the scarce financial resources.

The district police authorities block traffic on busy roads for long periods to allow a VIP conclave to pass. They are not bothered if somebody is going to school, college or his office or a patient with serious condition is going to hospital for emergency medical service. They are just no bothered. For them, the smooth passage for the “Maharajas” — the present-day politicians — is more important than even the life of a citizen. This is happening despite the fact that the new Chief Minister, gave orders through the Press that no traffic will be blocked even if he is passing through.

As for corruption in the district offices, it is going on unchecked despite the relentless crusade of the Chief Minister. The Chief Minister should better realise that his crusade against past ministers and bureaucrats will not convince the public unless the corrupt practices in the district administration are also tackled.

There has to be an appreciable change in the attitude of the bureaucrats towards the public in order to help the present Congress politicians to consolidate their political gain without which they are sure to lose during the next hustings which may happen sooner than later. The bureaucrats should be instructed to behave like public servants which they are under the Constitution and not like autocratic rulers appointed by the British Government to rule over the slaves in India.

Major S.S. KHOSLA, Ludhiana

The EPF scam

THIS refers to the news item "Probe role of EPF authorities" (Nov. 20). Such scams cannot take place without an active participation of the EPF authorities. Every unit, registered with the Regional Provident Fund Commissioner and having a code, is required to submit monthly as well as yearly returns. Further, the EPF authorities are under an obligation to issue a yearly statement to each member showing the opening balance, the contribution made by the employer, the contribution made by the employee, interest credited and the closing balance. There is a also a regular audit, apart from visits by the Inspectors of the EPF Department.

Though the system looks to be impregnable, it has intentionally left out a loophole, which time and again has enabled unscrupulous employers and the EPF authorities to dupe employees. The awareness level is so low that in most of the cases poor workers are prepared to pay hefty bribes to get back their own contributions.

Where is the loophole? Whey you open a PPF, post office or bank account, you are issued a pass-book carrying details of your name, the amount deposited and the balance in your name, but the EPF is one such account where a member makes monthly contributions for almost a year but has nothing in his hand. After a year or so, if his employer manages to get the slip from the EPF Department, then that is the only document with him. In most of the organisations slips are not obtained for years together. If an employee leaves the job without completing a year of service, he will not have this slip even.

Organisations are paying a whopping sum of 1.2 per cent of the salary amount, which works out to be 8 per cent of the PF contribution to the EPF authorities as the administrative expenses. If this is the output after paying so heavily, then why not let some Indian or foreign bank to manage this fund?




Of marriage & divorce

Apropos “Why does marriage set alarm bells ringing?” (Nov. 18), the writer’s views don’t seem to flow in one stream.

Married couples do share a very special and unique bond. Getting married is very easy but nurturing a relation is an uphill task. Not denying the fact, both partners have to sacrifice something to gain everything, but a healthy marriage doesn’t demand the sacrifice of “all” individual desires. Strong marital bond exists only when both partners share mutual respect for each other’s longings. A bond in which both are a single unit, without losing their identities and individualities.

It sounds ridiculous if one is “surprised and faintly disappointed when intelligent people get married”. I feel only intelligent people are strong enough to enter into a permanent relation and carry it on. Fools can never dare to venture into any bond.

Marriage is quite natural and nothing nearing irrationality. It’s the most intimate relation shared by the members of the opposite sex. It has its strong basis on love, faith and responsibilities.

Today quite many marriages result in divorce. One partner can’t be held solely responsible for it. It is because both partners find it impossible to proceed with their bond. They can’t tolerate each other, hence opt for separation. But then this is not a sound reason to stay unmarried. One has to meet death one day, so why does one take birth?

Fortunate are those who marry. They get an opportunity to relish the scrumptious food of commitment. They also face the harsh realities of life, which teach them so much and make them stronger day by day.

Stress is not only a part of marital concern, rather, today every relation has a tinge of depression. In some relations a generation gap and in some a communication gap results in stress...but in marital bond a clash of ego is the main reason. No doubt marriage, sometimes sets alarm bells ringing but many a time jingle bells too. It’s the way how one interprets the scenario.

I’m proud to relate that my marriage has blessed me with a very loving, responsible hubby and a sweet bundle of joy...our son.


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