Why Sonia is a liability for the Congress

In his two-part article “Sonia can’t be Prime Minister” (Jan 26 and 28), Mr K.N. Bhatt has dispassionately analysed the question of Mrs Sonia Gandhi’s foreign origin and ethico-legal issues arising out of her claim to the office of Prime Minister. Many points raised by him deserve public debate and a final judicial interpretation of the letter and spirit of the Constitution.

The foreign origin of Mrs Sonia Gandhi is not the sole reason for the majority of Indians to reject her claim to the office of Prime Minister. In fact, it is a syndrome of many signs and symptoms which nag the minds of citizens. The first concerns her capability to lead a nation of one billion. By all accounts, she has proved to be a slow learner, making her vulnerable to the machinations of a rootless coterie and palace intrigue.

Being a “bahu” of the Congress’ first family is not a qualification for Mrs Sonia Gandhi to lead this diverse country. She has been the Congress chief for almost a decade but is yet to learn how to interact with party cadres clearly and fluently. She is still unable to address public rallies and meetings extempore.




It is a sad spectacle to see the Leader of the Opposition reading out a prepared speech in Parliament too. She has proved to be a non-performer in parliamentary debates. Her claim to the cultural affiliation to this country also rings hollow as she accepted the citizenship of this country 15 years after her marriage.

The citizens are disappointed and exasperated at the Congress’ inability to find a leader of stature for itself in spite of its pan-Indian presence. Thanks to the Congress’ insistence on Mrs Sonia Gandhi’s leadership, the BJP-led NDA is poised to win the ensuing elections.


Ignominious conduct 

In his report “Of humouring NAAC members and college ratings” (Jan 17), Mr Raman Mohan has exposed the shameful practice of bribing NAAC teams by the college managements with costly gifts in order to secure a better grade for the colleges.

Such ignominious conduct at the level of both donors and receivers deserves to be condemned as it affects the sacred domain of education. Needless to say, the institutions of higher learning are the very centres of truth and knowledge i.e. the core of the value system which is the basis of a civic society.

The malaise has to be seen in the larger context of commercialisation of education. Corruption, coupled with all kinds of vices, has started creeping fast in the area of education too. It is time the entire procedure of assessment of colleges and universities was reviewed and replaced by a more transparent and democratic mechanism.


Politics of dynasty

Apropos of Mr S. Nihal Singh’s article “Congress dependence on one family” (Feb 3), Mr Singh has justifiably pleaded that if a doctor or an engineer wishes his progeny to emulate his career, why should a politician be discriminated against? But the problem is that Rajiv Gandhi and Mrs Sonia Gandhi became leaders overnight without any experience in the Congress party or contribution to the nation. This peremptory imposition of leadership on a century-old party is tantamount to bankruptcy of leadership in the Congress.

Rahul and Priyanka, being Indian citizens, have every right to join politics and occupy constitutional posts in the government, if elected. But the imposition of leaders purely on the basis of one’s family linkage should be discouraged. The high-ups in the Congress should oppose such imposition. Unfortunately, most Indian voters are illiterate. They are misguided and allured. The Congress should shun the politics of dynasty and win the people’s confidence through hard work, probity and rectitude.


Falling standards

Please refer to your editorial “Looters, not protectors” (Feb 2). You have very correctly drawn our attention to the falling standards of the Government Railway Police. I once had the honour of commanding this force in Punjab in the rank of a mere Superintendent of Police who was known by the exalted nomenclature of Assistant Inspector-General of Police in most states. I had never witnessed such heinous crimes being perpetrated, that you mention, by this force. In India, there is a decline in all professions.

SIMRANJIT SINGH MANN, Former MP (Lok Sabha), New Delhi

Focus on peace

The letter of Mr Satish Wassan of Jalandhar (Feb 2) was really thought-provoking. The old adage “If you want peace, be prepared for war” should, in the 21st century, yield place to this new slogan: “Peace First, No War”.

K.S. RANA, Amritsar

Helping the jobless

Now that the Punjab government has lifted the ban on recruitment, it should give serious thought to those unfortunate unemployed people who have crossed the age limit to join government service so that they could be considered for recruitment. Whether the government resorts to recruitment now or not, it should give some hope to the unemployed lot by raising the upper age limit for government jobs from 35 to 40 years as in Haryana. By raising the age limit, the government would be helping lakhs of unemployed youth.


Repair the stretch

Thanks to the National Highway authorities, the damaged bridge between Pathankot and Mukerian on the Beas river has been repaired. But the approach roads on upstream and downstream (about 100 metres) are badly damaged. This stretch has been left untouched for reasons best known to the authorities concerned. It should be repaired expeditiously.

S.K. MITTAL, Shahpurkandi


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