India needs leaders with a vision

Apropos of Mr H. K. Dua’s front-page editorial People must assert: Time to cleanse the system(March 1), when national parties stop thinking globally in terms of the nation as a whole, their vote bases shrink. As they try to refurbish their image by nurturing personality cult, dissensions within the party grow. Where hero worship of a dynasty is used as an instrument to check infighting, active party workers feel frustrated and do not like to support candidates imposed from outside. This results in the erosion of the party high command’s authority.

In this scenario, ideology takes a backseat, regional interests and peculiar personalities come to the fore. National parties disintegrate when they choose a weak candidate as Prime Minister. Instability at the Centre has eroded people’s confidence in the system. As a result, some people look for an anchor in this party or that. In a hung House, there is a disproportionate dependence on marginal groups in the process of ministry-making. This has opened the door ajar for opportunist group leaders who are self-centered and immature.



Just before a general election, the political parties present a varied but incoherent menu of projects and prorammes before the people in a hurry which they know they cannot bake and serve to their voters. The vicious circle is widening and deepening in the environment of competitive populism. How can poor, illiterate voters cleanse the system of this menace? We need leaders with a clear conscience and vision.

Dr P.N. CHOPRA, Hoshiarpur


Mr H.K. Dua has suggested steps for the voters to segregate the genuine and competent leaders from the corrupt, the criminal and the undeserving candidates. Before exercising their franchise, voters should examine the credentials of all the parties, their leaders and the candidates. That’s how the incompetent, self-serving and wily politicians can be prevented from entering Parliament and state legislatures.

Unfortunately, a vast majority of people still vote on considerations of caste, gender, communal and regional issues due to widespread illiteracy, poverty and backwardness. There is also no leader with a strong political ideology at the national level. Ultimately, it boils down to the game of numbers, as aptly surmised in the Urdu couplet: “Jamhooriat tarze hukumat hai ki jismen, bandon ko gina jata hai tola nahin jata” (democracy is a form of government in which heads are counted instead of being weighed or evaluated). With the experience of over half a century, the world’s largest democracy should succeed in cleansing the system of the ills. The ball is in the people’s court now.

Brig. GOVING SINGH KHIMTA (retd), Shimla


Mr H.K. Dua’s editorial People must assertis pithy, explicit and timely, provided the voters resist fear and favour while exercising their franchise. The venality and the fear are deep-rooted in the hearts of the masses. Some of the unscrupulous and corrupt politicians contesting the elections have a giant’s strength and the poor voters have to be afraid of even their shadows.

Veteran journalist M.V. Kamath calls such politicians as “vipers”. The onus is on the people to keep such vipers off representative institutions. Mr H. K. Dua’s suggestions must be followed by every citizen.


Jawalamukhi (Kangra)


Mr H.K. Dua’s editorial is timely. The people should elect a party to power that is corruption-free, responsive, transparent and people-friendly. India may have made progress in many sectors, but the situation in some fields is alarming. Criminal and corrupt elements are easily entering the corridors of power and the voters must break the politico-criminal-bureaucratic nexus which is responsible for the criminalisation of politics.

All political leaders are under watch. Through their votes, people must assert themselves and thwart the evil designs of those who stand for money and muscle power.

Prof K.L. BATRA, Yamuna Nagar


The voters should elect the right candidates to Parliament. Economic offenders, caste brokers, FERA violators, convicted smugglers and the like should not find their way into the legislatures. What has happened during the last five decades is the decay of the party system and the rise of a class of people who consider a career in politics as a means for personal aggrandisement. With such persons exercising power, the debasement of polity was an unavoidable consequence.

If we have to usher in a new India, we should elect people with a positive and constructive frame of mind. No doubt, this entails a long struggle but no meaningful change can be brought about without such a struggle.



I agree with Mr H.K. Dua’s suggestion to elect the best available persons as their rulers. The old saying “Yatha Raja Tatha Praja” is no longer valid. This is the other way round. Every country (or state) gets a government it deserves. The voters decide who should rule them.

To remove criminalisation of politics, voters can pay a definite and decisive role. Laws alone cannot do it. It is the duty of the voters to root out money and muscle power from politics. The day of reckoning is not far off. We hope the 14th Lok Sabha will be completely free from unscrupulous elements.



A dedicated Principal

Apropos of Mr R.K. Kaushik’s write-up on Dr Anthony Lucas, formerly Principal, F.C. College, Lahore (The Tribune, Feb 19), I may cite another instance to vindicate Dr Lucas’ exemplary spirit of dedication to the cause of education as also his deep concern for the studies of his students.

It was the year 1949, when I along with 40-odd BA (Final) students had the good fortune to learn economics from Dr Lucas for a year in Baring Christian College, Batala, in Gurdaspur district. As a protest against the sacking of the Professor of History, the students resorted to a strike which lasted almost a month. The studies of the students suffered very much. In order to cover up the course, Dr Lucas started taking extra classes in the afternoons by cycling down all the way from his house to the college in the scorching heat of June.

The selfless and learned scholar didn't mind personal discomfort only for the sake of studies of his students. He was under no obligation to do so, except his missionary zeal and spirit of selfless service to society. Hats off in reverence to such a noble soul!

D.R. SEKHRI, Mohali


Scrap quotas

Apropos of the report “Indian Justice Party to contest 50 LS seats” (March 4), it is unbelievable that Mr M.L. Sarwan was denied promotion to the IAS only because he was a Dalit. If so, he could have approached the court. In fact, the reserved classes have become a threat to the so-called upper castes. The reservation policy should be scrapped forthwith for ensuring social justice.

ASHOK BHANOT, Jalandhar Cantt


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