India deserves enlightened representatives

Apropos of the editorial “Cheating in polls” (Dec 18), Chief Election Commissioner J.M. Lyngdoh deserves full credit for conducting elections in the face of heavy odds without favouring any political party. That he did not exercise his franchise shows how disgusted the Magsaysay award winner is with our electoral system which calls for radical reforms.

With every passing day our political system is becoming more fragile and unreliable. For a people so beleaguered, there is remote possibility that future elections would be any better unless the abuse of power by politicians is curbed. By their unethical methods, most of them have lost whatever credibility they once had among the people.

Mr Lyngdoh aptly stressed upon the need for voters to elect the right persons to legislatures and ensure that governments are formed out of these. But sadly, honest men and women emerging from the country’s elitist institutions are not interested in the rough and tumble of politics. Clearly, we should be ruled by those who have had the privilege of being the best in calibre and character.

K.M. Vashisht, New Delhi



If a man of Mr Lyngdoh’s calibre feels so frustrated that he finds himself “finished” and prefers “committing suicide” to joining politics, what will happen to the common men and women who must try to reform the trends which nauseate the Chief Election Commissioner? No, Mr Lyngdoh this is not the way. Have heart, and sympathy for your country which has been under foreign suzerainty for hundreds of years. Mr Lyngdoh should not leave things as they are. He must accept the challenge and join some organisation like the RSS and set things right after his retirement.

Dr Balram Misra, New Delhi


To say that politicians play trickery on the gullible voters and that there is large-scale cheating in the elections as Mr J.M. Lyngdoh is reported to have said, is to state the obvious. The question is what reforms in the electoral system would help achieve the desideratum? Above all, would it not be hoping against hope that the political parties, which seem to have a vested interest in the status quo, would ever go in for the requisite reforms? Clearly, things will not improve unless some cataclysmic change takes place or a Messiah appears out of the blue.

Tara Chand, Ambota (Una)

Sorry state of Indian music

The front-page photograph of Lata Mangeshkar is a tell tale picture of the sorry state of Indian music lovers (Dec 14). This depicts the anguish of genuine music lovers. In order to bring out the synthesis of East and the West, the soul of Indian music has been smothered by the cacophony called Pop, Rock and Jaz. The subtle soul stirring songs of days of the yore are being rendered by small time singers whose gesticulations indicate anything from being vulgar to obscene.

Earlier, music composers were philosophers who understood the ramifications of life in all its hues and weaved lyrics around it. They had deep knowledge of Indian music and honed their skills under grand masters in the world of music. Alas! there are not many of their ilk now. The originality has vanished and composers and lyricists look westwards for everything, content and style. Instead of making music a creative exercise, the industry is agog with emulators who steal the western notes and feed them to Indian listeners.

Of course, the taste of listeners has plummeted and more and more people seek the gratification of baser instincts from the Pop and music albums. They perhaps watch more and listen less. Not surprisingly, Lata and her millions of admirers shall have to close their eyes and ears!

Dr Sanjay Pathak, Sunder Nagar (HP)


Break the nexus

I appreciate the courage of Mr D.P. Ojha, the sacked Director-General of Police of Bihar, in exposing the excesses of the Bihar government and the criminal-politician-bureaucratic nexus in the state. Considering the fact that he has decided to place the entire matter before the Supreme Court, one has to believe what he says.

Mr Ojha’s statement that the Rabri Devi government is shielding the jailed MP, Mohd. Shahabuddin, a notorious history-sheeter with ISI links, is too serious and cause for major concern. The issue needs to be probed thoroughly and the dangerous nexus must be broken.

Anil Shankar, Ambala Cantonment

Cleaning up Amritsar

I endorse Mr Brij Bedi’s views in his letter “The real heritage” (Dec 12) about the poor state of aesthetic and cultural health of the city despite its spiritual milieu. Mr Bedi has cited the examples of garbage and filth in the inner city.

I would like to point the finger at the so-called Civil Lines. At a shouting distance from the local Circuit House, where VVIPs stay on a visit to the city, is a lane which starts from two-starred hotels and ends up right opposite to the General Post Office. It has residential houses and a few offices. Garbage is thrown out by both hotels which attracts pigs and stray dogs. Across the walls are their kitchens. Sewerage pipes are frequently clogged due to garbage resulting in the accumulation of dirty water.

The bottom line for ensuring cleanliness and hygiene of the city is that some NGOs and bodies like the SGPC and Durgiana Committee should act like vigilante groups to activate or pressurise the local bodies and their officials to improve the city profile.

R. C. Khanna, Amritsar

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