Monday, August 25, 2003, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi



Hiding the ugly face of Other India

In his article “Fiftysix years after: The neglect of the Other India continues” (Aug 15), Mr H.K. Dua has tried to draw a balanced picture of post-Independence India. I share his concern for the present plight of the nation. His description of the dispossessed millions of Other India too is highly evocative of the general feeling of alienation, loss, purposelessness among the people.

The divide he talks of — those who reaped the benefits of freedom and those who were denied the same — is a telling description of the present scenario where high rise buildings are juxtaposed with low-lying slums breeding a strange sense of the split personality of the Indian mindset. One ranged against the other. And one denying the other.

The Other India Mr Dua has talked of deserves the notice of the policymakers. The Other India is no less a legatee of Mother India, but, it is a pity, some smart minds have usurped the better part of the cake. In the euphoria for visible successes, the politicians are trying to hide the ugly face of India. Admittedly, the unprivileged sections of society desperately need the attention of the masters. Without their upliftment, India shall never be called a ‘developed nation’.

I agree that modern-day politicians are self-serving. Money rules the roost. And corruption has turned into a muse.

Dr J.S. ANAND, Bathinda



I agree with Mr H.K. Dua’s comment that 56 years after Independence have created two Indias — one, that has made gains out of the freedom: and the other, that has been denied the fruits of freedom.

The opportunistics and self-seeking leaders and their kith and kin are ruthlessly exploiting every opportunity for self-aggrandisement. They are wallowing in ill-gotten wealth and pampering themselves with costly pleasures, comforts, etc indifferent to the wretched plight of the people of the Other India, who are reeling under abject poverty.

Some parents sell their children for petty amounts or kill them and commit suicide to get rid of starvation. Quite a large number of ragged barefoot children pick odds and ends from dirty streets, dumps, etc or scrub utensils in hotels or houses of affluent people and fill their stomachs with left-over meals. Many of them may be capable of acquiring education, but their poor parents cannot afford to pay fee.

During the process of transfer of power to India, the then British Prime Minister Winston Churchill said: “Power will go into the hands of rascals, rogues and freebooters. Not a bottle of water nor a loaf of bread shall escape taxation. Only air will be free and the blood of these hungry millions will be on the head of Mr Atlee. These are men of straw whom no trace will be found after a few years”.



This has reference to Mr H.K. Dua’s article. I feel that politicians are mainly responsible for the ills that afflict the country. With highly inflammatory speeches, they drag gullible persons into the firing range. Such innocent persons have to pay a heavy price for their follies with their lives.

Frankly speaking, the greatest enemy of India today is not the US or Pakistan, but the politicians. No power can possibly weaken the country so devastatingly as politicians in power. In real sense, politicians are the villains of “peace”!

D.V. JOSHI, Bartana (Zirakpur)


I endorse Mr H.K. Dua’s comment that after independence our country has got divided into haves and have nots. Seventy per cent of Indians out of a population of 106 crore are below the poverty line who do not get food and potable water.

Our Parliament, which is supposed to guide the destiny of the nation, has become an arena of incompetent and hypocrytic politicians for making empty noises. Parliamentary democracy, which we chose as a system of governance for our country after Independence, has been converted into kleptocracy by the politico-bureaucrat-criminal nexus. We should, therefore, switch over to the presidential form of government before it is too late.

Wg-Cdr GURMAIL SINGH (retd), Chandigarh


Mr H.K. Dua, in his article, justly lambasts the crass inefficiency and poor performance of our politicians. Barring a few exceptions, our run-of-the-mill leaders lack commitment to any ideology, are always running after power and pelf, and keep making tall promises with little to match on the ground. Consequently, the entire social fabric has been debased resulting in widespread uncertainty, confusion and disaffection. The corrupt rule the roost while the majority suffers in silence.

In our system, there is no retribution against an erring politician. Accordingly, there is no accountability for an elected leader. Contrast this with the recent media news in California: Governor Gray Davis has to face a historic mid-term poll as a result of the signature campaign against him for his “reckless spending”. Such stringent measure can put the fear of God into the heads of the corrupt. Unfortunately, there is no such provision in our system.

Nonetheless, Mr Dua’s article renders a very sane and timely hint to our politicians reminding them of their moral obligation towards the weaker sections of society who ironically vote them to power.

Brig GOVIND SINGH KHIMTA (retd), Shimla


This has reference to Mr H.K. Dua’s article. It is not the people living in the jhuggis or in the villages and towns but even in certain ‘A’ class cities, people are deprived of clean drinking water supply. The status of primary education, healthcare, and sanitation is deplorable in the country.

After 56 years, 40 per cent of the population is illiterate. This segment is mainly engaged in farm and construction work. Poverty and illiteracy force them to produce more children as each of them becomes an earning hand at an early age. Politicians can increase their perks whenever they want. Employment opportunities have shrunk and crores educated in IT and medicine are jobless.

If 80 per cent of the army personnel can be retired within the age group of 36-45 years, why the civilians, who are better paid, are not retired at the age of 55 years making vacancies for the unemployed?



Inaugurate it from both ends

Apropos of the editorial “Bridge that divides” (Aug 22), I have a humble suggestion. Whenever two persons are more than keen on inaugurating a newly constructed bridge, it should be opened from both ends. This would provide the two contenders a chance to avail themselves of the opportunity of opening the bridge for the public and keep them in good humour.


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 |