We need leaders of verve and vision

This refers to the article “Let’s have a United States of India” by Abdul Ghani Goni (Perspective, July 4). The writer rightly says that our parliamentary system based on the British model is outdated. A new system and structure is required.

The quality of democracy depends upon the quality of the system. Our democratic system is unfortunately quantitative and definitely not qualitative. For a qualitative leadership, our country requires a multiple voting system, as opposed to our current single franchise one.

In the multiple vote pattern, a citizen is entitled to a certain number of votes, varying according to his age, education, experience in service/profession, travel, distinction, etc. Instead of awards like medals, he is honoured with additional votes, which he is to cast votes in favour of various candidates.

It is only a qualitative system that will provide leaders of verve and vision that regenerate body and mind, inspiring confidence, courage, pride and action in the the right direction thereby bringing not only real progress but also breathing fresh life in our political system.





Abdul Ghani Goni’s views are very bold and pragmatic. But the question remains: Are we as a nation, especially our politicians mature enough to be eligible for this kind of drastic change in the Constitution? If history is any indicator, in my opinion, the answer is ‘No’. It was in 326 BC that Alexader invaded India and it was only in 1947 that we could attain complete independence, that too, after paying a very heavy price in terms of Partition.

The psyche of our politicians hasn’t improved much, for had it been so, there was no occasion for issues like the SYL and the Cauvery waters to remain unresolved for a long time. After all we belong to the same country. We are still governed by politicians who can introduce kulhars’ and khadi without any cost-benefit analysis. More autonomy may divide the country into several warring states.

In the present system, I do not think that it is the insatiable aspirations of the politicians which remain unfulfilled. For the common man is so tied up in earning his daily bread and butter that he can ill-afford to waste his energies on a discussion for change in governance. The need of the hour is not the change in method of governance but change in the mind-sets of our politicians towards the poor.



The USSR no longer exists. The very mention of USSR Constitution in the article proves that the arguments in the article are unrealistic and impracticable.

BAIJ NATH, Bhiwani

Import of AK-47 rifles

Apropos of Harihar Swarup’s article “A meteoric rise in politics” featuring Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram (Sunday Oped, July 11), as Internal Security Minister in Rajiv Gandhi’s government, Mr Chidambaram imported plane loads of AK-47 rifles from Soviet-occupied Afghanistan. These were brought in secretly and the journalist who broke the news was found murdered, a vehicle having been driven over him. No inquiry has ever been launched either, by successive governments or the Press to find out the cause of this very brilliant journalist’s death.

We still don’t know why these weapons were brought in clandestinely? From what source were they paid for? Were they put on ledgers? Are records available about their distribution? Who were the recipients of these weapons? These questions need to be answered. Governments must be accountable and transparent.

As far as my information is concerned, and it is from very reliable sources, these weapons were used to fight Sikh militancy. These weapons were handed over to counter-insurgents who came to be called “cats”. They were also planted on militants in stage-managed encounters or extra-judicial murders by security forces.

An Additional Director-General of Police (Crime Branch) in Punjab, who probed whether these weapons were catalogued in the concerned police register maintained in all our police stations, was quickly transferred out of that post by the last Badal government. Poor man, he retired from service never to be given a job in the Police department.

Lastly, as a captive of the Indian State for five years, I experienced some of the latest methods of torture, mental and physical, which were brought in from the Soviet Union, courtesy Mr Chidambaram. He is said to be good in matters of finance but the Sikhs have had a taste of the other side of his personality and professional abilities which I must confess were rather painful.

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

Education on sale

This refers to Jaspal Bhatti’s “Cool classrooms” (Spectrum, July 4). The parents are a worried lot. The well off students are able to avail themselves of better facilities by paying more. In the olden times, the rich and the poor used to get the same type of education. Lord Krishna and Sudama were the pupils of the same guru. Let this heritage continue today. Education is on sale. The poor are being deprived of good education. There should be equal educational opportunities for all.

VIRAT A. GARG, Chandigarh

Symbol of sensuality

Aditi Garg’s write-up “From Lip-stains to lipsticks” (Spectrum, June 27), rightly states that in today’s world, lipstick has become a symbol of sensuality. Proper make up and application of lipstick also increases confidence in women. A lipstick is the most inevitable part of a woman’s make-up as well as her life. 

Neetu Dujodwal, Jalandhar

Honest railway ticket collector must be rewarded

This refers to “Ticket-checker” by Khushwant Singh (Saturday Extra, June 19). It was indeed heartening to learn that the writer took up the matter of honesty of Mr Kashyap, a ticket collector on the Delhi-Kalka Shatabdi Express, with the Chairman of the Railway Board.

I hope that the Railway Board Chairman does not forget to announce a reward to honour the honest man. Here I would like to suggest that the reward be handed over to Mr Kashyap by Khushwant Singh.

The person, whose money was restored, should also be invited for the ceremony. This should be given publicity so that the sullied image of the Indian Railways can be improved.

B.M. Puri, Solan


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