Manmohan can ensure good governance

This has reference to H.K. Dua’s front-page editorial “The nation is in safe hands” (May 20). Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has been acclaimed by all sections of society as he is an unassuming person of impeccable integrity, a quality which is in short supply these days. He is capable of running the ruling coalition which requires balancing skill coupled with mature leadership to maintain equilibrium among diverse contending forces.

If Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayee, with his vision and statesmanship, could manage a coalition of 20-odd parties, why not Dr Singh? The whole nation has full faith in his capability and talent to deliver the goods. He can ensure a responsive and transparent governance.

Dr Singh’s statement that reforms would continue with a human face shows his concern for the common man. We hope his party colleagues, allies and the Leftists supporting him from outside would never try to rock his boat. Dr Singh, the man of destiny, is bound to succeed in his endeavours.

Prof K.L. Batra, Yamunanagar





The people of India have high expectations of the new government. This is for the first time that the two top posts of President and Prime Minister are held not by seasoned politicians but by experts — a missile man and a noted economist.

The new government would have to cope with sensitive issues of multicultural and pluralistic society. Uplifting the poor, creating a sense of security amongst the people, economic stability, people-friendly policies, IT revolution at the village level, inter-state territorial disputes, preventing brain drain, and, above all, creation of job opportunities are some of the most important tasks before the Manmohan Singh government.

Cordial relations with all countries should be pursued on a reciprocal basis. The government should be extra vigilant to prevent the situation from going bad to worse like the Operation Blue Star, Delhi and Gujarat riots.



The Congress has done injustice to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh by amending its party constitution and creating a new post of Chairperson of Congress Parliamentary Party to accommodate Mrs Sonia Gandhi. This has created two parallel centres of power in the party. I am afraid, this would undermine the authority of the Prime Minister. Mrs Sonia Gandhi would naturally be more powerful, with the result that Dr Singh’s Cabinet colleagues and other parliamentarians will deal with Mrs Gandhi rather than the Prime Minister. This is unjust and unfair.

D.K. AGGARWAL, Hoshiarpur


The Congress has proved its democratic and secular credentials by selecting Dr Manmohan Singh as the Prime Minister. By giving a clear mandate to the Congress, the people have sent a message that communalism cannot survive long in this multi-ethnic and multi-religious country. Victor Hugo said, “No power on earth can stop an idea whose time has come”. Now the time has come for cleansing the polity of the various systemic ills.



It is true that we are a secular polity but no leader has so far given an example of being secular. Those who were terming the BJP as a communal party, and some like Mr Laloo Yadav are still not tired of saying so. Mrs Sonia Gandhi’s action is an example of true secularism. By selecting Dr Manmohan Singh as the Prime Minister, she has killed two birds with one stone. We have got a true and distinguished economist as the Prime Minister. This augurs well for the country.

Prof P.K. GUPTA, Bathinda


It was nice to watch Dr Manmohan Singh being sworn in as our Prime Minister. He is an economist first and a Sikh later. The same is the case with President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam. He is a scientist first and then a Muslim. India has shown what secularism really means. It is proved that we uphold secularism and then make policies favouring our own religions.

In France, Sikhs are not allowed to wear turbans as they could be mistaken as Muslims, who wear turbans in the same fashion. The French government wants the Sikhs to cover their head with a net instead of turbans. Is it the same country where religious symbols of the church are exhibited and revered freely and openly?

Secularism in countries like the US, the UK, Pakistan, France, the UAE and elsewhere exists only in theory and not in practice as in India.


Help for diseased sisters

This has reference to Aditi Tandon’s report “Diseased and deserted, sisters die a slow death” (May 24). I appreciate the tremendous impact it has made on the well wishers of the region in awakening their instinct of compassion to bring solace to the three daughters of Surjit Singh, suffering from muscular distrophy and heading for a premature end of their earthly sojourn.

Thanks to Ms Madhu Anil of the Helping Hand Charitable Trust for having offered Rs 45,000 to Surjit Singh to buy an autorickshaw, estimated to cost Rs 1,25,000, and help him become economically self-sufficient and meet the cost of treatment of his daughters. As for raising the balance of Rs 80,000, we are confident that generous people will extend all possible assistance at the earliest since every day counts very much to provide medical aid and other help for the welfare of the three children.

The COMBO treatment by Dr H.S. Bajaj of Patiala is very much appreciated. We are grateful to Sharanjit of Jallandhar and Ms Tandon of Gurdaspur for their promises of help.

Fr THOMAS K.J., President, Roshni, Rajpura (Patiala)

Canal rest houses

Unfortunately, many canal rest houses (CRHs) are a picture of neglect. Some of them are used by the staff for residential purposes. This defeats the very purpose of setting up CRHs — providing accommodation to irrigation or other officials during their official tours.

In addition to the deplorable condition of CRHs, a large chunk of cultivable land is also lying waste near these buildings. This is causing losses to the tune of crores of rupees to the state exchequer. The government would do well to a carry out a state-wide survey and decommission CRHs which are no longer required and dispose of the land. This will enable the government to earn revenue as also make best use of the land by increasing additional agriculture yield.

Lt-Col BACHITTAR SINGH (retd), Mohali


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