Saturday, May 17, 2003
M A I L  B O X

Merit be damned. Buy a seat!

THIS refers to "Merit be damned. Buy a seat" by Prerana Trehan (May 3). The writer has done a good job by confirming our worst fears about the goings-on in the field of education in general and admissions to professional colleges in particular. My children did mention these malpractices to me, I attributed their outpourings to lack of merit and hard work and scolded them into silence. They knew better!

This, I now realise, is not a recent phenomenon; it was drafted as a state policy by the Constituent Assembly itself. Deprived segments of the population have existed, and continue to exist in every nation and society. Europe and America were actually the last to give up the practice of purchasing and selling humans as slaves in the open market. And yet, it is only India that thought of distributing jobs to the undeserving and under-deserving ostensibly to compensate them for centuries of deprivation. Life-long income without hard work. Nothing could suit the lazy Indian better. What could the meritorious do except buy the jobs for their wards? Buying a seat is a symptom of the same malady. Corrupt practices are the sequel.

Such revelations will not lead to a discussion in the Lok Sabha. Fighting against corruption has ceased to be on the PM’s agenda and nothing short of a danger to an MP leads to a discussion. Even we, the people of India speak against corruption but vote for the corrupt.

L.R. Sharma, Jalandhar



The article made shocking revelations. It seems that everything in India like moral character, official position and integrity etc is for sale. Sharks in the garbs of public servants devour everything that belongs to public. Students pay hefty amount to secure admissions to professional colleges. Here too, money, not merit, rules supreme. The meritorious aspirants lick the dust and those undeserving but with bagsful of money bag prestigious seats.

The system of governance in India is crumbling because our politicians, bureaucrats and even the judges are corrupt.

Karnail Singh, Ranjit Sagar Dam

Kashmir problem

This refers to Ehsan Fazili’s ‘Is the healing touch working in Kashmir’ (April 26). I am of the view that the vexed problem can be solved only through a practical approach. Presuming one way or another we do get to the negotiating table, where do we start? With everything except Kashmir, as India wants it or with nothing except Kashmir, as Pakistan wants it? What one expects from both parties is a road map that is practical, logical, makes sense to the common man, and speaks the language that both sides understand.

K.M. Vashisht, Mansa