Common man alone can fight corruption

I found H.K. Dua’s article “Enter, Hon. Member Arun Gawli: Supping with criminals is risky” (Oct 29) an extension of his crusade against criminalisation of politics. All honest and right-thinking people should endorse his views. Sadly, despite a good literacy rate and an effective media, criminals are getting elected as MPs and MLAs. Corrupt officials no longer have a guilt conscience. And many honest officers are sidelined. So, where does the buck stop?

The ultimate solution lies with the common man. He has to realise the value of his vote. He must not waste or barter it. He has to reject the undesirable candidates and cast his vote only for persons who have character and values. He can do this only if he himself rises above selfish interests.

It is the common man again who has to fight corruption in the system. He should not give bribe to anyone even if he has to suffer in the process. This suffering can be reduced if all honest people combine together and fight corruption as a team. We can’t have a more upright man than Dr Manmohan Singh as our Prime Minister. He will do a great service to the nation if he can make eradication of corruption his main thrust area. Once he does that, honest officials, presently caught in the web of institutionalised corruption, will come out and fight against the corrupt system. Subsequently, criminalisation of politics will also reduce.

MADHU SINGH, Teacher, Army School, Ambala Cantonment


The politico-criminal nexus has eroded the faith of the common man in the system. The vibrancy of Indian democracy is proving to be counter-productive. Elections have become an exercise in futility in which money power rules. By hook or by crook, the mighty ensure their victory. Some positive electoral reforms alone can prevent lawbreakers from becoming lawmakers. I am reminded of an Urdu couplet:

Is shahr mein insaaf ki taareef alag hai,

Jo jurm karae, vohi deta hai sazaa bhi

The political parties should put aside their vested interests and work towards snapping this unholy nexus. There should be certain reasonable restrictions in allowing a person to contest the elections. However, Mr Dua has rightly observed that politicians, still, do not realise the seriousness of the danger criminals are posing to them and democracy. They want to continue their supper with criminals perhaps because the devil is ever prepared to play the obliging host.

RAJIV BHALLA, Chandigarh




Politicians encourage criminals as they depend on money and muscle power of the corrupt and the criminals.  Thus, to correct the political system, we shall have to correct the politicians first. Political parties will have to rise above petty gains and give chance to persons with clean image, particularly dedicated youth. Voters, too, will have to assert and reject the criminals at the hustings. As in the United States, NGOs must provide details and antecedents of the candidates so that voters get complete information about the candidate’s past record.

Also as suggested by the Election Commission, electoral reforms are a must so that not only conviction but being accused in a case also must make a candidate unfit to contest.  In this regard, we expect all the political parties to see reason and be united.   

K. LALL, Yamunanagar


H.K. Dua’s concern at the growing number of Gawlis, Pappu Yadavs, Tasleemuddins, Raja Bhaiyas etc. needs to be addressed as the situation may go out of control if this trend is allowed to continue. The question remains: Who will bell the cat?

Political parties, for obvious reasons, will not shut their doors to criminals. The common man is too helpless to stand the wrath of these criminal elements. Elections in constituencies where these elements contest are often rigged with the law and order agencies acting as mute spectators. The executive, on its part, is often helpless in getting these criminals with political connections suitably convicted in a court of law.

It is only the media and the intellectuals that must raise their voice to force the ruling alliance to enact laws and take stringent measures to check the mushrooming of criminals in politics. Any complacency will have lasting and dangerous repercussions on the nature and survival of Indian democracy.



Politics did not get criminalised all of a sudden. Phoolan Devi, for instance, even after a frightening criminal record, managed to get elected to Parliament. Some bureaucrats, criminals and politicians lobby with each other for seats and cause irreparable damage to the country.

Even morally and genuinely well meaning politicians compromising tainted people like Sukh Ram, Laloo Yadav, Tasleemuddin, Jayalalithaa, Mayawati and many more are also not above reproach. Our society’s characteristic timidity and tolerance in general has been the recipe of our democracy.

Major BALDEV SINGH, Ambala Cantt 

Hike in HRA, CCA

The Union Government’s decision to upgrade 238 cities and towns on the basis of 2001 Census report for the purpose of higher house rent allowance (HRA) and city compensatory allowance (CCA) for its employees from April 1, 2004 is most welcome. The present HRA rates were fixed seven years ago. Since then, there has been a considerable rise in the rentals. This necessitated a hike in the HRA.

In Punjab, Taran Tarn and Gobindgarh towns have been upgraded for higher HRA and Amristsar has been upgraded for enhanced CCA. The Punjab government should follow suit.


What ails Himachal SEB

The editorial “Power politics in Himachal” (Oct 25) was thought provoking. The authorities should ponder as to what has gone wrong with the Himachal Pradesh State Electricity Board today even though it was regarded as one of the best SEBs in the country in the Eighties. After all, there is no perceptible change in the workforce except a few retirements. What has been changing from time to time is only the top management.

The Himachal Pradesh government should investigate the crisis in the HPSEB. In particular, its top management should examine the reasons for its decline. The government should ensure that the SEB is put on the right track.

C.L. GUPTA, Chief Enginner (retd), Jaidevi (Mandi)


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