Sonia picking up, slowly and steadily

THE victory of the Congress-Nationalist Congress Party alliance in the Maharashtra Assembly elections reaffirms the charismatic leadership of Mrs Sonia Gandhi. She is picking up slowly and steadily, and the people are accepting her as the next best alternative after Indira Gandhi, notwithstanding her criticism by BJP leaders like Ms Uma Bharati and Ms Sushma Swaraj.

Interestingly, Mrs Sonia Gandhi now understands and speaks fairly good Hindi. She is far better than the former Prime Minister, Mr H.D. Deve Gowda. Ms Sushma Swaraj's recent remarks calling Mr Sharad Pawar as 'Man of the Match' in the Maharashtra elections smacks of frustration and her hatred for Mrs Gandhi.

B.M. SINGH, Amritsar





Mrs Sonia Gandhi is firmly in the saddle while the BJP is facing an identity crisis. Exit Venkaiah Naidu and enter L.K. Advani reflect this view. With Mr Advani in command of the party machine, moderates in the BJP seem to feel sidelined. This could create factionalism and fissures in the party. Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayee has been isolated.

The NCP faction fell apart on the question of Mrs Sonia Gandhi becoming Prime Minister. Her refusal to occupy the top job, after the Congress' victory in the Lok Sabha elections, silenced critics from within the party and the Opposition.

It won't be a surprise if a mutually acceptable solution to the ongoing crisis in Maharashtra eventually leads to the merger of both parties. Even Mr P.A. Sangma may not be averse to reconcile now with the Congress. Mrs Gandhi's political wisdom is working as a magnet for the party.

Lt-Col BACHITTAR SINGH (retd), Mohali

A disgrace to womanhood

THE present-day movies, adapted, adopted and produced on the pattern of Western culture, are full of sexual abuse, crime, drinking, drugs and other perverse activities. The producers and directors are blindly aping the rootless, floundering examples of the West. Movies like Havas, Chandni Bar, Jism, Khawahish, Julie and so on, with no script and substance, are inextricably intertwined with passion, sex, violence, indecency and obscenity.

Most films these days are a disgrace to womanhood, which is the cradle of civilisation and symbol of motherhood. Movies like Fire based on the lesbian relationship between two girls living together, as a couple, defy our pristine cultural values and glorious tradition. These films are devoid of morality, sensibility, simplicity and humility. They obstruct the path of truth and reality and eulogise Western culture which is crude and derogatory.

To save humanity from the onslaught of the "changing culture", which is eating into the vitals of our spirituality, ideals and philosophy, we must urge Dr Manmohan Singh's government and all religious and social organisations to take all possible measures to ban such films.

D.R. SHARDA, Chandigarh


Tackling corruption

Apropos of H.K. Dua's article "The growing cancer: What should be done to stop corruption" (Oct 16), the whole system seems to be corrupt and the people who are the main strength of a nation are becoming permissive of corruption. Politicians are not reading the writing on the wall. According to Transparency International, the annual burden of bribe that the common man in India bears is 1.5 per cent of GDP. He has to pay bribe for birth and death certificates, for school, college or university admission, passport, ration card, driving licence, electric, water and telephone connections, filing a report to the police or for constitutional rights. This is the real picture of "Mera Bharat Mahaan".

Though corruption is a matter of public concern, people have become immune to this disease. Indian democracy has become too corrupt, too hidden and too vicious, it cannot be left to its own devices. The main reason of this cancerous growth is that the law is not being enforced in the country. Enforcement of the rule of law is a must. Otherwise, the world's longest democracy will be in peril.

RAJINDER RANA, Patlandhar (Hamirpur)


The honest citizen should shut the door against the corrupt and political parties who harbour them. This will require considerable courage and may be some sacrifice.

But there would be difficulty in mobilising public opinion on this vital problem.

Checking corruption should be a time-bound exercise. All schools and colleges should organise lecturers on how to root out corruption by eminent and honest personalities. Students will get inspired by such lecturers and pledge themselves to fight against corruption in their everyday life, society and administration. Simultaneously, the dispensation of justice should be cheap and quick. Laws should be amended to plug leakages.



Corruption at the grassroots level is because of the menace at the top among politicians and bureaucrats. The nexus between politicians and bureaucrats is very strong. Academic discussions, seminars and debates are, in the face of the monster of corruption, futile exercises. What is needed is a total war against corruption.

The corrupt and history-sheeters should be debarred from entering the State Assemblies and Parliament. For this, the country's electoral system needs to be overhauled. Even slightest evidence of corruption should be sufficient to restrain a candidate from contesting an election. Whereas the common man strives for his daily needs, politicians earn for generations. This must be put to an end.


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