Why Congress isn’t in the pink of health

THIS has reference to the editorials “Looking for Friends” (Dec 29) and “Looking for Allies” (Dec 31). I agree that the Congress is “not in the pink of health” though it is 118 years old, has a pan-India presence and rules in many states. Over the years, the party has been losing its popularity as its present leadership, surrounded by a coterie, has not been able to pick up “alphabets” of “the grammar of Indian politics”.

The Congress’ recent poll debacle in three states may have forced it to realise the immediate need for forging alliances with like-minded parties. But the problem is that the Congress expects other political parties to accept Mrs Sonia Gandhi as the sole charioteer of the grand alliance, if at all it comes into being. For all other political parties, the key factor continues to be the choice of the prime ministerial candidate of the alternative front.

The Congress has not been able to do away with factionalism in Kerala, Punjab and Himachal Pradesh. I agree that the country’s oldest political party is fast “slipping on a political banana peel”. It has become an “anathema” for the young, who detest it for its sycophancy to the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty. It has also lost its traditional hold on the Dalits and minorities. The Congress’ fortunes have registered a steady decline since 1984, when it won over 400 seats in the Lok Sabha, but was down to 112 in 1999.

If Mrs Sonia Gandhi believes that “poetry se desh nahin chalna”, she should also remember that in a democracy like ours, mere aggressiveness does not make a leader stronger and widely acceptable.




Improving job opportunities

APROPOS of the editorial “Magical growth rate: but there are fewer jobs” (Jan 2), our political and social set-up, systems of human management, education, funding agencies and bureaucracy have all failed to develop the right kind of technology-based working environment and the desired infrastructure capable of ensuring jobs for the increasing population. Inefficient working and/or a large-scale closure of public/ private industrial units further complicate the problems even for the skilled and technical human resource.

The job opportunities have continued to remain low in rural areas, because of our inability to establish adequate infrastructure for agro-processing industry and marketing of the products (fresh and processed) right at the sites, zones, regions of production. The farm jobs that increased with the Green Revolution were generally taken up by the migrant workforce, mainly because our socio-economic system did not inculcate the desired work culture in our literates and educated youth (even among the technical certificate degree holders). They generally prefer white collar jobs, avoid working manually on the kinds of “farm jobs” generated with the Green Revolution or in industry and hence remain jobless.

In addition to other measures for employment generation (improving infrastructure, establishment of industry, etc.), we must also ensure that all training and development systems produce motivated human resource having the right kind of hands-on-experience, creative skills, work culture and entrepreneurial abilities needed for self-employment agencies. Our economic managers should realise that no ideas will work unless our system as a whole works.


Cumbersome syllabus

The syllabus prescribed for Mathematics subject for BA and B.Sc I class of Kurukshetra University is too cumbersome. On the one hand, it is lengthier than the syllabi of neighbouring universities like Delhi University and Punjabi University. No college is in a position to complete the syllabus even after allotting 15 periods a week. On the other hand, there is steep depth in the topics meant to be studied. The students who have had only elementary knowledge of say parabola, ellipse or hyperbola at +2 stage, are taken deep into three dimensional figures of such types. It is like boarding a bus not through the steps in the entrance but through the windows.

The university authorities should look into the matter and set things right so that helpless students do not lose interest in the subject.

RAM SINGH, Panipat

Low interest rate

Drastic decline in the rate of interest after the NDA government was installed at the Centre has affected the superannuated community very much. This grey zone only depends on the interest earned by hard-earned savings. Even during the period of service, the interest on Provident Fund was 12 per cent which is now 6 per cent only, whereas the cost of living is increasing day by day with continuous inflation in the market. By announcing half a per cent increase in the rate of interest for senior citizens, the government is playing a joke with this community.

BALBIR SINGH, Mustafabad

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