Tuesday, July 1, 2003, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi


CM, Badal must join hands for Punjab’s growth

CORRUPTION, unless proved, should not be used as a tool to settle political scores. It is the job of the judiciary to decide who is corrupt based on real facts, not cooked up ones. Mr Parkash Singh Badal, as I have known him for the past 53 years, is not corrupt. He was born into a rich farming family. He was educated in one of the finest colleges of those times. His family could afford it then. He has been one of the youngest MLAs of his times. He was one of the youngest transporters of his times who owned and operated busses and trucks in those days when in our area no one probably owned a bicycle.

He has owned land along with other family members in Rajasthan, Haryana and the Tarai region of UP. He was the most progressive farmer that I have known. He owned commercial real estate in Delhi, Chandigarh and several towns in Punjab like many people do since the 50s or even earlier. He is a man who has always lived modestly. He has either been the Chief Minister or the Leader of the Opposition as a result of which most of his expenses have been paid by the government like for any other leader of his stature. He was the premier developer of our state initiating and providing a huge infrastructure of roads, electricity, schools, water etc. all over Punjab.



Yes, corruption needs to be addressed. Appoint a panel of High Court judges who should investigate the assets of all senior IAS and IPS officers, all elected politicians and political appointees to boards and corporations, specially those in the Chief Minister’s staff like political secretaries and osds and all officers in the rank of SHO and SDO during the past 35 years. This would yield enough evidence on corruption. The revenue and real estate records will help examine the extent of corruption.

A strong bipartisan effort between the ruling party and the Opposition is needed to develop Punjab. It is time to forgive and forget trivial personal rivalries. Chief Minister Amarinder Singh and Mr Badal should form a joint front to fight for our state. Both should be magnanimous.

KULDIPINDER SINGH MANN, Nashville, Tennessee (USA)

A tribute to Gorbachev

THE moment we think of Mikhail Gorbachev, we picturise a bald man wearing spectacles with a scar on his forehead and a peace loving smile on his face. Is that his real image? For six years, the Nobel laureate not only struggled bringing democratic and economic reforms in his country but also in ending the Cold War. He actually prevented the Third World War.

His assumption of office as the President was actually the rebirth of Moses. Ending absolutism, corruption, rigid economic set up in the USSR, dismantling the Warsaw Pact, withdrawal of Soviet forces from Afghanistan and Eastern European countries are only some of his contributions. The world is indebted to this great man. But has he got anything from the people?

The Communist party organised a coup against him. He was forced to resign as the general secretary of the party. That’s when Gorbachev said,”This was a personal tragedy. I had done so much to try and reform the party.” A tragedy indeed it was for Gorbachev, for the people of the disintegrated Soviet Union and for the world.

In a recent interview to the British Broadcasting Corporation on the anniversary of his resignation, Gorbachev said “My phones were bugged, regional governors were told not to meet me. I was even banned from appearing on the television”.

The enmity between Gorbachev and Yeltsin goes back to the 1980s when Gorbachev brought Yeltsin to Moscow as the party chief. Gorbachev said, “Yeltsin always said he was against the idea of privileges but Russian Czars did not have the privilege that he had. Not only his political career met with an obstruction, even his social life did! In 1999, Raisa Gorbacheva, his wife, also the source of his strength, passed away in Germany after fighting with Leukaemia.

I call upon the peoples of all nations to realise what this noble man has contributed towards our lives and pay a tribute to him.




Why rope in LIC?

There are reports that the Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) is not in good shape financially and that it is asking the government for subsidy to run the annuity scheme for senior citizens. I feel there is no need for the government to rope in the LIC for the scheme. When post office pays 8 per cent interest p.a. (payable monthly) on monthly income scheme with 10 per cent bonus after six years and is ready to give back the principal, the senior citizen annuity scheme is not a big deal.

I suggest, this scheme, in the announced form, should be run by post office. Interest would increase from 8 per cent to 9 per cent but bonus of 10 per cent would be saved. Deposit should be accepted directly, without any agent in between, saving the commission of 1 per cent.

Moreover, the government shall have full control over the money collected. To ensure that one person does not open several accounts, only designated post offices should accept the money from senior citizens residing in their jurisdiction as certified through ration card, PAN card or certificate from the local government's administrative office.


Aping the West

It was very disappointing when I came to know the overwhelming response of Indian children to the latest book of Harry Potter. Now there is not even a single sphere of life which is not influenced by western culture.

Why don't the children read Panchtantra or books written by Indian authors? May be, their parents do not encourage them to read these books. In a world where a child does not inculcate any values from the television, his/her parents are too busy to teach any morals. Books are the only source left for the children. But if the books also do not have any values to the children, how will they grow up as good citizens?

It is time parents encouraged their children to read the books written by Indian authors. Otherwise, after 15 or 20 years, we can very well imagine the condition of India.

URJA KUMAR, Yamunanagar

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