CEC’s remarks not in the right spirit

I have been appalled and dismayed by the recent remarks of Chief Election Commissioner J. M. Lyngdoh about Indian politicians and political parties. In various interviews to the media, he has termed the politicians as cheats, criminals, a cancer to the nation etc. He has not only shown his low regard for the political leaders of this country but also revealed that he feels so hopeless about the present democratic set up that he himself does not cast his vote.

Such an outward show of disrespect towards the essential elements of democracy (read politicians and political parties), does not become a constitutional authority especially when the nature of its task includes instilling confidence amongst the people about the democratic set up. Political leaders and parties constitute the first organ of the government i.e. the legislature, and despite their faults and weaknesses they deserve greater merit than the present CEC thinks them worthy of.

No doubt, the present CEC is honest, bold and efficient but his attitude is that of a value-neutral administrator. However, in a developing country like India, we need positive and value-laden administrators who are committed to their task. A cold, detached and value-neutral bureaucacy can be highly efficient like the colonial bureaucracies of yore but will do more harm than good to the nation.

True, the quality and conduct of our politicians is not of the highest order. But politics is a game of survival. A politician has to face numerous pulls and pressures. A politician cannot afford to be inflexible and uncompromising. Often he gives more importance to being popular than being efficient or upright. Otherwise, his/her political career may not survive for long.


Being an IAS officer, Mr Lyngdoh must have worked with politicians all through his career, but, he still lacks a proper perspective of the position of the political class of this country. Anyway, he would do well to remember that it was the government (read politicians) which appointed him as the CEC.


A despicable act

Apropos of the news-item “Teacher kills two pupils” (Dec 24), such a brutal act is unexpected of any individual in a civilised society, more so of a teacher. It needs to be condemned in the strongest possible words. This thoughtless action has brought a bad name to the entire teaching fraternity.

Teachers are expected to act as role models for society and if they resort to such cruel acts, even if under provocation, they cannot be condoned. Parents entrust their wards to the teachers not to be murdered in such a heinous way but to be taught to become better human beings. Such an act brings to the fore what the teachers preach i.e. tolerance, patience, understanding and kindness and what they actually do. Even if the teacher in question is given due punishment by law, it will not compensate the unbearable loss of the aggrieved parents in any way.

N.K. GOSAIN, Bathinda

Why this disparity?

We often use the slogan ‘From Kashmir to Kanyakumari — India is One’. However, most laws, rules, acts passed by Parliament are applicable to all the states up to Kanyakumari excepting Jammu and Kashmir which enjoys special status. When duly elected representatives from all the states including Jammu and Kashmir constitute both houses of Parliament, why this disparity? ‘From Kashmir to Kanyakumari — India is One. Why not in this case?

R.K. ARORA, Amritsar

Wheat price hike

A few days back, I read in the newspapers that the price of wheat has been raised by Rs 10. Is the hike fair? The poor and marginal farmers can barely keep enough wheat to feed their families. So this will largely help the traders and the middlemen.

Inputs like diesel and fertilisers are raised at the government’s will very often. By raising the price of wheat, the government is playing politics to ensure that the farmers remain as poor as they are to feed the nation like slaves.


Symbol of hope

This has reference to the editorial “A symbol of hope” (Dec 13). Confident Lalita Kumari has become a global figure of the time. As a symbol of hope, she has made the bridge for those million girls or boys who were kept out of school. She put forward a positive step with her strong determination towards education by breaking the chains of stagnant life of ignorance and exploitation.

The use of her face as a “role model” on the front page of the UNICEF report “The State of World’s Children 2004” will motivate and inspire the poor illiterate masses.

ANJU ANAND, Chambaghat (Solan)

Feel good economy

There is a feel good factor as regards the Indian economy. The economy has recorded the fastest quarterly growth in five years. The GDP grew by as much as 8.4 per cent. The country’s economic growth slowed down last year mainly because of severe drought that resulted in poor crops. This year, however, good monsoon rains promised a bumper harvest for the farmers who constitute nearly two-thirds of the country's workforce. Robust monsoon is the most important factor for economic growth.


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