Opposition sets a wrong precedent

The editorial “Dereliction of duty” (Aug 27) justly lambasts the BJP-led Opposition for boycotting the discussion on the Finance Bill, 2004, in Parliament. By doing so, it has set a wrong precedent — an unprecedented event in the annals of our parliamentary democracy.

As an exercise in damage control and for the smooth running of Parliament in future, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has aptly suggested a “code of conduct” for all major political parties and representatives within and outside Parliament.

I am afraid, the voters feel cheated, let down and demoralised by the members’ conduct in Parliament. Discipline, decency and decorum which constitute the hallmark of parliamentary process will have to be upheld at any cost.

Brig GOVIND SINGH KHIMTA (retd), Shimla




Former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee accuses his successor of having adopted a “confrontationist” position and says that the role of the BJP-led Opposition has been consistently “constructive”. Presumably he refers to the many hours of relaxation which have been made possible by the Opposition’s walkouts, to the wholesome entertainment which it has provided in the well of the House.

Dr Manmohan Singh did not accept the “representation” which some leaders of the Opposition wished to give him. His stated reason was the Opposition’s refusal to permit discussion of the Budget in Parliament, which he seems to have described as the correct procedure. The Opposition must face facts if it is to keep to its constructive path and help the nation to move ahead.



The Tribune has aptly maintained that Dr Manmohan Singh is “an epitome of civility, etiquette and courtesy and does not need any certificate from Mr George Fernandes.” The view in the editorial “Dereliction of duty” that “the people have sent its members to Parliament to play the role of constructive opposition” is absolutely correct.

K.K. BHARDWAJ, Patiala


The editorial “Dereliction of duty” has aptly highlighted the need for a civilised debate and discussion on core issues in Parliament. By declining to make alterations in the Finance Bill, 2004, the Prime Minister has shown courage and understanding of democratic principles.

The National Democratic Alliance should work for the overall development of the country in tune with the people’s mandate. The “unwritten code of political conduct” should be courteous dialogue and cooperation instead of intimidation.

JAGDEEP KANG, Austin, Texas (USA)

Bureaucrats as VCs

Apropos of the report “Bureaucrats being offered posts of VC” (Aug 26), though the Governor, as the Chancellor, is the competent appointing authority of a Vice-Chancellor, due to immense political interference in our universities, the VC’s appointment has become the sole prerogative of the Chief Minister. This is simply because the Chancellor does not assert himself and exercise his statutory powers.

One reason why a wrong choice is made is that the VC is appointed in a hurry. Even when he is due to retire, the process of selecting his successor is not set in motion well in advance. Instead, his departure is followed by an interim arrangement during which either the Chief Secretary or a senior member of the faculty performs the duties.

In all fairness, able and upright educationists and not bureaucrats, serving or retired, should be appointed as Vice-Chancellors.

ANIL BHATIA, Dept of English, DN College, Hisar


Ban on tobacco

The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has banned smoking in public places including libraries, educational institutions, bus stops and railway stations. It has also prohibited direct and indirect advertisements, sponsorship and promotion of cigarettes and other tobacco products. The sale of cigarettes and other tobacco products to a person below 18 years is also prohibited.

The tobacco products are cigarettes, cigars, beedis, pipe tobacco, hookah tobacco, chewing tobacco, snuff, pan masala, gutka, etc. Many states including Punjab and Haryana have prohibited smoking in the buses. But what about Haryana? No one bothers about this menace even in the long route buses of Haryana Roadways.

The Chandigarh Administration has also imposed the ban, but this is followed more in its breach than in practice.

M.L. GARG, Chandigarh


Smoking has been banned in public places and offices from May 1, 2004. But what about this menace within the house where women and children are subjected to the greater health hazard of passive smoking?

No legislation can help check this malady. Only a countrywide campaign by social organisations, specially women’s associations, with support from the media can help give a voice to the silent sufferers. The smokers could use an open corner outside the house.

Lt-Col SARWAN SINGH (retd), Chairman, Cosumers’ Forum, Chandigarh

Iran missile test

Iran has tested a ballistic missile to strengthen its defence in the face of threat by Israel. Iran claims that its nuclear programme is solely aimed at generating electricity and not at building nuclear weapons. Tehran tested the Shahab-3 medium-orange ballistic missile, which defence experts say, can reach Israel and the US bases in the Gulf.

The US has been exerting pressure on the 35-nation International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to report to the UN Security Council about Iran, which has been hiding its uranium enrichment programme from the IAEA for nearly two decades. However, Iran says that the experience of Iraq would be sufficient to stop the US from invading any other country for years to come.



HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |