PM will have to assert himself

Apropos of H.K. Dua’s article “A new year resolution for PM: The nation needs to shed a lot” (Dec 31), let alone tackling corruption, casteism and criminalisation of politics, the UPA government that cried hoarse of being common man-friendly, has turned out to be a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Corruption, inflation and price rise are the order of the day.

No one, be it the government or the Opposition, seems to shun the politics of caste, creed, crime and corruption as they are so deep-rooted that it requires a Herculean task to remove them. Coalitions make castles in the air but end up strengthening the existing ills. With the passage of time, people develop apathy, anomie and alienation as the powers that be turn a deaf ear towards the problems.

However, as Mr Dua has rightly stressed, the Prime Minister does not have to punish himself with too much of modesty. He will have to assert himself to present a semblance of good government. Despite his compulsions, he will have to make an effort resolutely to get the nation rid of the age-old ills nibbling at its vitals. The onus is on him.






Indeed, the nation needs to shed a lot of its parochial mindset. Dr Manmohan Singh is, perhaps, the only silver lining in an otherwise gloomy political state of affairs. He needs to assert himself more in an era of coalition politics. An honest and assertive Prime Minister is always readily acceptable than an indolent or dictatorial regime.

The BJP has sunk to its lowest ebb as a “party with a difference”. Who can forget the histrionics of Ms Uma Bharati and Mrs Sushma Swaraj against Mrs Sonia Gandhi just after the Lok Sabha election results? Mrs Gandhi has conquered the tempest that could have been had she accepted the Prime Minister’s post.

The basic issues, however, remain. The criminalisation of politics, corruption, casteism et al, remain untouchable. No one seems to tackle them with an iron hand. It would be foolish to assume that India would shed these attributes one day. But then, the leadership is the only ray of hope in the New Year.

RAJIV BHALLA, Chandigarh


For the welfare of the nation, politicians should conduct themselves as statesmen. It is rightly said that a politician thinks of the next election but a statesman thinks of the next generation.

The present system does not seem to encourage upright and honest persons. Earlier, corruption was at the lower level, but now it has become like “aabshaar” (waterfalls) flowing from the top to bottom. The need of the hour is that those at the top must become upright, honest and totally free from corruption. Only then, the persons down the line will not dare to indulge in corrupt practices.

Criminals in politics are going stronger day by day. This trend must be reversed. For decriminalisation of politics, upright and honest politicians, who seem to be in the list of “endangered species” today, should exert pressure on their respective political parties to bar criminals from entering Parliament and State legislatures.



Corruption is the mother of all evils. It starts from officials, specially with the prefix or suffix of an inspector, corrupting politicians of any caste, creed or ideology in epidemic form facilitated by non-vigilant people.

An honest and fearless media can guide the people in keeping constant vigil on bureaucrats as well as politicians. The Tribune, voice of the people, has been trying to bell the cat. This tempo needs to be sustained. In fact, more concerted efforts are needed to tackle corruption.



In his article, Mr Dua has tried to caution the Prime Minister and his government. Since Independence, successive Prime Ministers have failed to deliver the goods. I do not know how politicians have amassed crores of rupees and criminalised the political system. The government — at the Centre and in the states — have only succeeded in widening the gap between the poor, middle and affluent sections.

The challenge before Dr Manmohan Singh is to control price rise, corruption, communalism and regionalism. Only then, one can say that his government is taking corrective steps in the right direction.

SHER SINGH, Ludhiana

Expanding forest cover

Punjab’s Forest Minister has said at Amritsar that the area under forest cover in Punjab would be increased from 8 per cent to 18 per cent. This seems impracticable as the area for forestry is very limited in the state.

However, this may be possible by planting saplings of bigger width across both sides of the basins of three rivers, where important timber species like sheesham, teak, mulberry, willow, poplar, jamoa etc. could be grown.

This would also promote wildlife, making the region a paradise for birds. Green lines would help reduce the pollution levels and provide a healthy environment to the people of Punjab.

R.S. BAIDWAN, Divisional Forest Officer (retd), Mohali

Action, at last

A street light near our house (651, Sector 40 A, Chandigarh) was non-functional for the last one year. In a letter, I had brought this to the notice of Punjab Governor and Union Territory Administrator Lt-Gen S.F. Rodrigues. On his orders, it has been made functional. When the administration is so responsive, it earns people’s gratitude.

Dr B.M. SINGH, Advocate, Punjab & Haryana  High Court, Chandigarh


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