Grill politicians before you vote for them

I endorse H.K. Dua’s main argument in his front-page editorial “People must assert” (March 1) that the democratic system has been debased by “the self-server, the criminal and the corrupt and this has helped parasites to grow at the cost of the people”.

The present-day politics has become a cesspool of corruption. Now the voters have got a chance to teach a lesson to those politicians who have been cheating them for the last five years. They can vote only for those who believe in certain values. But many a time the voters have Hobson’s choice as all the candidates in the fray appear to be of the same ilk.

I also support the suggestion that the voters ought to question the former MPs and MLAs for whom they voted earlier about their actual performance and endless assurances.

Dr R.B. YADAV DEHATI, Fatehabad




Democracy is based on the principle of collective wisdom, but this system has not worked well in this country. In his editorial, H. K. Dua has given some useful tips to the voters to ponder before exercising their franchise. Simple questions to candidates (who were members in the dissolved Lok Sabha) such as how many sittings he/she has attended, how many debates he has participated and how he has spent the Rs 2-crore fund towards the MP’s local area development scheme will clinch the issue.

K.K. BHARDWAJ, Patiala


The people can teach a lesson to all those who have entered Parliament and subverted democracy. Indian democracy is resilient. It has the power to expose nepotism, venality and corruption. It has the power to expose all those who, while making a show of honesty, conceal their desire for plunder.



The voters are squarely responsible for selecting the right or the wrong candidates in the elections. But I don’t know whether suitable candidates will be fielded by the political parties this time as they have kept their doors open for the criminals and the corrupt. There is no emphasis on the integrity and calibre of the candidate. The quality of democracy will suffer if people make a wrong choice in the election. H.K. Dua’s “package of instructions” should be taken into consideration for making the right choice in the elections.


Devoid of national spirit

The editorial “Garlands for Aya Rams” (March 6) rightly points out the fact that the out-of-job politicians “want to make political hay while the poll sun shines”. Like grazing cattle, the self-seeking politicians are always in search of a new El Dorado. Are such renegades sincere and honest? Former Karnataka Chief Minister S. Bangarappa, for instance, joined the BJP recently having said that the “Congress is not in a position to serve the nation”. This reality has dawned upon him only because of the ensuing elections!

Can the political turncoats, who betray their parent parties, be loyal to those they join with selfish motives? They are devoid of national spirit and are interested in their own prosperity. Yet, in public, they make a show of being patriots to garner votes. The voters should reject such people.



Break the barriers

A new dimension of globalisation and technological advances is that it shall and should break the barriers of borders and boundaries among nations. Mobiles, web sites, Internet should not be consigned to the grave by the bullets and increasing weapons with the nations. This shows the distrust we nourish.

Surely, globalisation cannot be scuttled by weapons. When the outsourcing of jobs transgresses the borders why spend millions of dollars on maintenance of weaponry and warriors? Wars must stop. Distrust must go. The United Nations should be sincerely strengthened for ensuring stability and peace on the planet.

B.B. GOYAL, Ludhiana

Abolish octroi

In Punjab, the business community will be forced to oppose the Congress candidates in the forthcoming Lok Sabha election, as the ruling party in the state has failed to fulfil the promises made during the last Assembly elections. Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, for instance, assured the Punjab Beopar Mandal at a meeting on January 28, 2004, that octroi will be abolished and alternative financial arrangements will be made for the functioning of local bodies before the announcement of the election dates but little has been done in this regard. As the Election Commission’s Model Code of Conduct is in force, I doubt whether the government can take any decision on octroi now.

The traders are the worst sufferers as they are harassed by private octroi contractors. Octroi has become obsolete. Many states have abolished this system of tax collection in order to help the trade to flourish.

Dr P.S. CHAWLA, Amritsar

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