Saturday, October 18, 2003, Chandigarh, India



Moral rot in a decadent society

Two recent cases of rape — one of a college student by the bestial of an elite force and the other of a foreign diplomat — on busy Delhi roads are clear signals of these being much beyond mere law and order problems. Moral rot seems to have set in our decadent society amidst corruption in high places, rise of the scum and the mafia to the top and crimes not being punished in time.

The way out is moral rearmament and giving the rightful place to ethics which have been silently usurped by the money and muscle power. Immediate steps could be as under: (a) To have highly motivated and professional policing (b) Attracting the cream of the youth to the civil, police and military services by paying them handsome salaries like the multinationals (c) The girls have to be doubly sure that they are in the right company (d) Ensuring that boys and girls, if chatting decently even in secluded places, are not exploited (d) The police chiefs should be approachable on mobile by SMS and (e) There should be very harsh treatment for men who tarnish their uniform.

Air-Cmde Raghubir Singh (retd), Pune


Ban on encroachments timely

Himachal Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh has rightly ruled out regularisation of encroachments on forest land (Oct 7). The earlier policy to regularise such violations has encouraged people to encroach the land with impunity. Mr Singh’s crusade against this irregular decision will yield rich dividends for the people of the state.

Evidently, he is moving with care towards clean governance ensuring no reprieve to the wrongdoers. His action is a pointer towards a milieu, which is going to take shape in the near future in Himachal Pradesh.

Will the Punjab Council of Ministers learn from Himachal Pradesh? The politicians in the adjoining state need to study thoroughly and analyse critically their recent one-time settlement scheme for the wrongdoers in the light of the honest approach being followed by the Himachal government and the views of the general public in Punjab. The decision has to be made very carefully and not in haste. A beginning has to be made in the right direction right now.

Dr Gurkirpal Singh, Ludhiana

The mafia malady

Mr H.K. Dua’s portrayal of the Indian political scenario in his article 
Who is to govern India?” (Oct 7) is apt and graphic. The mafia malady is serious and, if not combated effectively, it could harm our democratic institutions. I endorse his view that our leaders and political parties have become prisoners of criminal groups.

I agree with Mr Dua that freedom and democracy cannot be saved without courage. The power in democratic institutions does not flow from the barrel of the gun but from the hands of the electorate. As we sow, so we reap. Not till our voters, especially the ruralities, learn to appreciate the value and sanctity of the ballot and exercise their franchise free from duress or as reward for induced voting, shall we be in a position to cleanse our democratic institutions from electoral malpractices.

Our MLAs and MPs must be restrained by law from indulging in political infidelity. The unhealthy practice of floor crossing is becoming endemic. Political parties vie with each other to literally buy unethical legislators and MPs to topple the party in power. Recently the Chief Election Commissioner made a strong plea for enactment of stringent anti-defection law against this malpractice. Where as the performance of the Election Commission is commendable, it is the lack of comprehensive criteria for eligibility to qualify for electoral contest that enable the corrupt and mafia elements to contest and win election through unfair means. The Election Commission should have greater mandate to rid our democratic institutions of the mafia malaise.

H.S. CHANDEL, Malangar (HP)


Mr H.K. Dua’s article “Who is to govern India?” (Oct 7) is thought provoking. He has diaganosed the malaise but the remedy that he has suggested is not going to be effective in the present-day scheme of things. Actually, there is a big question mark on the system of democracy that has been foisted on our country.

The malaise is the product of the electoral system which needs to be reformed before the next general election. Let no one who gets less than 50 per cent of the votes polled be elected. In case there is none in the first round, let us have a second round to elect the best. In the second round, more voters will come out to vote as the choice will be clear and possibly, a better man will get elected.

K.L. ARORA, Chandigarh


Mr H.K. Dua’s article on “Who is to govern India?”. Some consolation indeed. There are still quite a few voices left in the country to express boldly the grim, sordid and painful reality of Indian politics.

V. N. datta, New Delhi

Raid on coke plant

Apropos of your report “Minister raids Coke plant” (Oct 8), Union Minister of State for Food Processing Industries N.T. Shanmugham, during a raid at a bottling plant at Jandiala Guru, had seized five filled in bottles of Coca Cola, and not “empty bottles” as has been reported.

DR N. SRIKUMAR, Officer on Special Duty, Food Processing Industries, Government of India, New Delhi


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