Wednesday, September 10, 2003, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi


Politicians must rise above petty politics

THIS has reference to Mr H.K. Dua’s article, “Consensus, not confrontation: Keep some issues above petty politics” (Aug 23). To reach consensus, whether on foreign policy or on domestic issues, is not difficult. It would, however, be easy if both the ruling and the Opposition parties accommodate positive points of both sides.

It is said that if a person’s view is reasonable and logical, all others should accept it, cutting across party lines. Unfortunately, though some of the views appeal to the conscience of all, somehow due to party politics, members oppose them for opposition sake. We know that two plus two make four, but politicians may love to call it three or five. There can be unity between the ruling party and the Opposition if they examine a problem objectively and impartially.

Though consensus on foreign policy is a must, on the domestic front, there must be consensus on the basic needs of the people which every party, especially the ruling party, must follow. Just for vote bank politics, parties should not address to their constituencies alone. They are expected to rise above petty politics and think for the nation as a whole. If they do, people will also follow them and think on different issues in a national spirit.





Apropos of Mr H.K. Dua’s article “Consensus, not confrontation: keep some issues above petty politics”, I agree with him that India, being a land of diversity, requires consensus for solving various problems. If any leader or party tries to impose its will on any section, it would be an exercise in futility and lead to confrontation. Many controversial and vexed issues like the uniform civil code, Mandir Masjid tangle, Women’s Reservation Bill, electoral reforms and so on can be tackled if a general agreement is arrived at by all the parties concerned.

Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee is the greatest votary of consensual policy. One should appreciate the efforts he had been making for solving the Ayodhya problem by inviting all the parties involved. But there are conservative forces and hawks everywhere who don't relish solutions, but want the problems to hang on to suit their vested interests. That is why many problems have become complicated.

The Vajpayee government is also a shining example of the politics of consensus in which so many constituents participate and share in the decision-making process. For this, the leadership should have an open mind and be receptive to listen and accommodate different opinions. Here, there is no scope for authoritarianism. This policy is a gradual process of accommodating diverse interests through give and take and mutual understanding by which decisions are evolved rather than imposed.

We are facing many formidable challenges like poverty, illiteracy and unemployment. To meet them, to improve public governance and increase economic growth, we need national consensus on key issues.

Smooth working of Parliament is possible through consensus. It is for this reason that Lok Sabha Speaker Manohar Joshi often convenes all-party meetings to remove misunderstanding and differences in opinion and help maintain decorum.

Prof K.L. BATRA, Yamunanagar


This refers to Mr H.K. Dua’s article “Consensus, not confrontation: keep some issues above petty politics”. It is a well established fact that in an election year, evolving national consensus on some issues is difficult. This was proved during the monsoon session of Parliament. Valuable time was wasted in the disturbances created by both the ruling and the Opposition benches.

I endorse Mr Dua’s view that the challenge before Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayee is not merely to win the election for the BJP or the NDA and get a mandate for another term but how to evolve a national consensus, free from the vagaries of election campaign and petty politics.


Protecting ourselves

THOSE who are in uniform are no better than the civilians as far as our basic character is concerned. I have served in Ladakh and Kargil where there were grave lapses in patrolling our borders. Terrorists’ infiltration from across the border has led to the Kargil conflict. And instead of feeling ashamed about such infiltration resulting in the loss of precious jawans, we celebrate the Kargil conflict as Victory Day!

There is no end to pinpointing instances to prove how carelessly and dishonestly we train our army and guard our borders. We are not even fully aware in some cases about the exact location of mountain features i.e. whether they fall in China or in our country. Yet we try to protect our subordinates when they commit lapses so that we can protect ourselves.

Lt.-Col MANJIT SINGH (retd), Chandigarh


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 |