Making NSA responsible to Parliament

Apropos of the report “Dixit is National Security Adviser” (May 27), it’s all very well having an NSA on the US pattern, where the institution is responsible to the Senate and House Committees. In the parliamentary system in India, the NSA is not responsible to any parliamentary committee. In India, parliamentary committees have very few powers compared to those in the US. Therefore, the NSA is not responsible to Parliament, which is a very odd and unparliamentary practice. The NSA’s work, duties and responsibilities overlap with the Foreign Office.

The last incumbent, Mr Brajesh Mishra, was a law to himself. His conduct, work and duties could never be questioned in Parliament. As a Member of Parliament, I did point out these extra-constitutional growths, not responsible to Parliament or its committees but I could never get a proper and satisfactory reply from the treasury benches.

Other extraordinary growths are some of the intelligence services like the Research and Analysis Wing and the Intelligence Bureau. Why isn’t the RAW responsible to the External Affairs Ministry like its counterpart M.1.6 in Britain? These secret wings are also not responsible to any parliamentary committees. Nobody knows how they spend their budgets and how they operate.

Members of Parliament are told that it would be against the national interest if their working is opened to Parliament are told that it would be against the national interest if their working is opened to Parliament’s scrutiny. I don’t see how these agencies are considered more loyal to the national interest than Members of Parliament? It’s time these types of Free Masons were brought under the purview of Parliament and their methods, duties and budgets brought under parliamentary scrutiny.

SIMRANJIT SINGH MANN, President, Shiromani Akali Dal (A) Quilla S. Harnam Singh, (Fatehgarh Sahib)



Fractured verdict

The post-poll Congress-led alliance at the Centre will break sooner or later under the weight of its own contradictions. The people who voted for the Left parties never dreamt that they would the support the Congress. Similarly, the people who voted for the SP or the BSP never voted for the Congress. These parties fought elections on separate agendas against each other. Now it is difficult to swallow a fly which the post 13/5 scenario has appeared to be.

The mandate indeed is an even more fractured one which has gone against the BJP-led NDA but, certainly, not in favour of the Congress and its pre-poll allies. That the Congress has made a post-poll coalition, with partners shifting stances frequently, from outside support to inside one and vice versa and their angling for key ministerial berths, proves that it is a “marriage of convenience”.

Dr Manmohan Singh is an eminent economist, but one should not forget Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayee who can give lessons to the so-called new comrades of democracy on leadership, governance and statesmanship. As for Mrs Sonia Gandhi, the reasons for her refusal to be the Prime Minister are many. But the projection of only one aspect and going ga ga over her sacrifice in various forums is unfair.


Sonia’s sacrifice

Apropos of S. Nihal Singh’s article “Self-denial a great virtue: Sonia Gandhi has enhanced her stature" (May 25), I think Mrs Sonia Gandhi has refused to accept the prime ministership because she is of foreign origin. If any Indian leaders like Mr Laloo Prasad Yadav, Mr Mulayam Singh Yadav or Mr Pranab Mukherjee got a chance to become Prime Minister, they would not have refused the post. Didn’t Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayee become Prime Minister for 13 days? Sonia, a foreigner, has declined the top post but the real Indian leaders are fighting on the issue of portfolios.


A man of integrity

The elevation of an exalted and towering personality like Dr Manmohan Singh as the Prime Minister is welcome. He is God-fearing, learned, dynamic, progressive and a man of character and integrity. He will surely raise the status of India to that of a developed country and thus realise the dream of Swami Vivekananada who worshiped God in the poor, the ignorant and the downtrodden.

ARJAN SINGH, Kurukshetra

Population control

Population explosion is a major reason for India’s economic backwardness. This crisis has been exercising the minds of millions of right-thinking citizens as without population control, the standard of living of an average citizen cannot be raised. Unfortunately, political parties do not pay serious attention to this problem.

Dr Manmohan Singh has got the majority in Parliament. He will be able to garner the support of the Opposition also if the Bill for adoption of the two-child norm is introduced in Parliament.

Lt-Col SARWAN SINGH (retd), Chandigarh

Acts of gross indiscipline

Close on the heels of the disgusting episode of “fake killings” resorted to by an army unit in the Siachen sector, your front-page report (May 22) exposing another shocking act of involving officers receiving bribes for sending soldiers on UN missions is nauseating. Such acts of gross indiscipline coupled with other corrupt practices in defence deals/contracts where even some senior officers have connived, are not isolated acts exhibiting moral decadence.

Corruption, which is afflicting our nation, is emerging as a generic malady in our defence department as well. This should be combated decisively. Otherwise, it would seriously erode the high moral fibre of our elite officer class. Stringent disciplinary measures should be enforced to nip this evil in the bud.

Brig H.S. CHANDEL (retd), Malanger (HP)


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