Voters won’t be carried away by promises

APROPOS of the editorial, “Braving the odds” (April 21), corruption and unemployment should be tackled on a war footing. Instances of nepotism and corruption play havoc and blur visions in the corridors of power. Some bold judgements of the Supreme Court and High Courts bring solace and hope to citizens.

The widening gap between the rich and the poor can no longer be viewed in economic terms alone. It has to be viewed in the context of a shared ecosystem and mutual dependence on the country’s life support systems. The focus should now be on the creation of a new economic system, social and political order which can narrow down this hiatus and improve the quality of life.

Voters are more conscious and enlightened today. Promises galore can no longer sway them. We have seen this happening through slogans like Garibi hatao, jobs for millions, free water and electricity, etc.



People do not want exemption from octroi, taxes or surcharges. What they want is a system that ensures transparency, responsibility, accountability and a service with a smile. A new era of freedom from red tape, harassment, humiliation and corruption can make India shine more than what we see in the advertisements.



President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam has rightly urged the people to vote and choose candidates who can take the people’s views to the Lok Sabha and strive for nation building (April 20). I agree with him that as India is the world’s largest democracy, we have to compete with the world in many spheres. Every citizen should exercise his/her franchise to enrich our democracy.


Report on IA an eye-opener

THE Comptroller and Auditor-General’s report on Indian Airlines is an eye-opener on how our PSUs are working in India. Some of the figures given in the report are mind-boggling. The report, for instance, says that Rs14,49 crore was paid as productivity linked incentives, though the corporation did not make profit. In fact, IA’s losses were to the tune of Rs 586 crore.

According to the report, it paid Rs.3.9 crore as flying allowance to pilots and flight engineers while they were on privilege leave, Rs.13.6 crore was paid to cabin crew and pilots as out of pocket expenses much beyond the amount stipulated in the settlement.

Further, hold your breath, IA employees are paid 103 types of allowances under various heads, unheard of in any industry.

No wonder, the country’s premier PSU, Indian Airlines, has been in a perennial loss. Hope the Union Ministry of Civil Aviation would look into this.

Satish R. Murdeshwar, Pune


Bane of corruption

H.K. Dua’s article “Conspiracy of silence” (April 8) was thought provoking. Truly, there seems to be an undeclared consensus among all political parties in not making corruption an important issue in the ongoing general elections. On the other hand, there is a genuine problem of choice for the voters too.

Two decades ago, the late Rajiv Gandhi vowed to root out the corrupt system in which only ten paisa out of a rupee reached the beneficiaries. Five years later, he himself was ousted from power on the issue of corruption. Five years ago, Mr Vajpayee declared that corruption would be the “Zero-tolerance” issue for his government. Today, he is silent.

Thanks to politics, several erstwhile Rajas of near-bankrupt riyasats are once again leading royal lives and are promoting a darbari “maa-baap” culture in their fiefdoms. In all these cases of corruption and hypocrisy, do the ends justify the means? No wonder, corruption is not an important issue.


Taj corridor scam

Apropos of the editorial on the Taj corridor case (April 22), it has become necessary to check the assistance being provided by the Uttar Pradesh government’s senior officers to the tainted officers in this multi-crore scam.

The attempt to subvert the due process of law is also objectionable. No one should be allowed to interfere in such a case where responsible politicians and top officers have been reportedly found to be corrupt. The Mulayam Singh Yadav government should not give a clean chit to any official involved in the case and the law should take its own course. Those found guilty should be punished in accordance with the law.


Individual freedom

Supporting the freedom of Press, Mr Simranjit Singh Mann, in his letter (April 23), has condemned “draconian laws against the freedom of the individual” and said that “nothing in our democracy is an icon...” Nonetheless, is the freedom of an individual absolute and limitless, unhampered by any restrictions that may be essential in collective wisdom for societal advancement?

Isn’t it to be tempered with a sense of responsibility, fairplay and concern for general well being? Unfortunately, some people who glibly talk of human values, liberty etc, themselves violate them. There is an imperative need for stringent laws for promoting national interest and the overall good of the people, their security and honour.

Most liberal democracies in the West, including the US, are today seriously pondering over the type and extent of freedom a person needs to be given vis-a-vis the national interest.

Wg-Comdr S.C. KAPOOR (retd), Noida

Deplorable conduct

The language and remarks used by Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi against the family of Mrs Sonia Gandhi are highly deplorable. If Mr Modi cannot behave like a responsible political leader, he must learn to behave like an educated man.

SHEENA BANSAL, Rampur Bushahr (HP)

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