Need for a two-party system

In his article "India's electoral system, the finest in the world" (Perspective, Aug 22), R. Rathnaswamy, is all praise for the coalition governments. But these are proving to be the bane of the Indian democratic system. When the Congress ruled India under the leadership of Jawaharlal Nehru, Lal Bahadur Shastri, Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi, the working of the government was very smooth. The policy proposals were approved promptly and the Bills passed in Parliament without delay.

Now, stability has become a big question mark. The Prime Minister has to keep the allies happy and this is affecting discipline and governance. There is need for a two-party system. Frequent polls are a drain on the exchequer. Whether it is NDA or UPA, it is going to be extremely difficult for the government to work. A two-party system has become imperative in the national interest.

KARNAIL SINGH, Shahpur Kandi




Humour in Indian films is not funny

This refers to "Comedy is serious business" by V. Gangadhar (Spectrum, Aug 8). Humour in Bollywood films is not based on real-life situations but appears to be artificial. The humour is neither natural nor inbuilt in the film's script. It is introduced into the film in the same way as a clown entertains in a circus.

Male comedians like Majnu (Punjabi movies), Gope, Mukri, Johny Walker, Mehmood, Dhoomal, Deven Verma had a distinct style and mannerisms, and used these to evoke laughter. Gope and Tun Tun acted funny, motivated by the belief that being fat was part of being funny. We had two heroes who had a natural flair for doing comic roles Raj Kapoor and Kishore Kumar.

The age of sophisticated and subtle comedy is yet to come in Bollywood. Movies like Munna Bhai MBBS raise hope.



By terming Govinda as a comedian, knowingly or unknowingly, V. Gangadhar has insulted not only the art of making others laugh but also all the great masters of comedy of the Hindi silver screen like Gope, Yakub, Radha Krishan, Johny Walker, Mehmood, I.S. Johar, Mukri, Rajinder Nath, V. Gopal, Gopal Saigal and many others. Govinda is certainly not a comedian by any stretch of definition.

A.K. SHARMA, Chandigarh


Our electoral system is full of flaws. For example, according to the Representation of People Act, anybody who is registered as a voter at two places is liable to be imprisoned for one year. The number of such voters might be running into crores but there is hardly any conviction.

Consider the example of the migrant labourers in Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh. They might have been registered as voters at their permanent places of residence and here as well. Has anybody asked them to bring no objection certificates from their respective District Electoral Officers to the effect that their names are not in the electoral rolls of their village or city?

There is another lacuna in the electoral system. Separate rolls are being prepared for panchayat, municipal, zilla parishad, Assembly and Lok Sabha elections. Why can't we have just one electoral roll for all the elections?

Major NARINDER SINGH, JALLO (retd), Mohali


I agree with the writer's view that coalition governments are better placed to promote growth and development, compared to a strong and single-party government.


Unaided schools

This has reference to Justice J.L. Gupta's article "Unaided schools: Interference won't promote public interest" (Perspective, Aug 8). I agree with the writer that private schools which do not get any government aid and are providing quality education to the students deserve autonomy.

Admittedly, schools can deliver quality education only in a free environment. Too much interference leads to bureaucratic bottlenecks, red tape and corruption. Some public schools charge higher fees which parents are willing to pay. Without higher fees, they can't maintain their standards. But the government is tempted to intervene on one pretext or the other.

Freedom to public schools unaided private schools for high quality education is a must and it should not be curbed. Otherwise, talent, merit and quality would suffer.

Prof K.L. BATRA, Yamunanager

Prayer therapy

Kiran Bedi has vividly described the doctrine of prayer therapy in her write-up "Prayers promotes ties" (Sunday Oped, July 18). Prayer, which is the voice of the faith, is the most powerful form of energy that one can generate. Prayers are generally done for miracles. Prayers don't change the situation but bring solace to the prayer by bringing a change in his/her attitude. It is a phenomenon which helps one to shed off his/her ego.

Prayer done with a heart without words has tremendous effect. The dictum "Prayers go up, blessings come down" signifies that prayers should be done for blessings in general, for the God knows what is good for us.

ANUP K. GAKKHAR, Jalandhar

Stress in children

Apropos of "Stress isn't child's play" by Lisa Lewis (Spectrum, Aug 1), the expectations of parents lead to stressful behaviour problems among children and thus result in depression. Unhealthy criticism leads to abnormal behaviour in children causing ailments like pain in abdomen, vomiting, headache, etc.

Another cause of stress is the absence of strong ties with parents. Working parents find less time to spend with their children. Parents can tackle the problems of depression and isolation by listening or giving a patient hearing to their children's problems.

K.M. VASHISHT, New Delhi


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