Tasks before PM in the New Year

Apropos of H.K. Dua's article "A New Year resolution for PM: The nation needs to shed a lot" (Dec 31), corruption, criminalisation and casteism have contaminated our society. The New Year resolution for Prime Minister Manmohan Singh should be not only to root out the politics of corruption, criminalisation and casteism but also shed the flab, the incompetent and the deadwood from the administrative system.

The Prime Minister should resolve to bring about administrative efficiency and optimum utilisation and conservation of our resources so that the country can meet the challenge of globalisation and the poor can have a graceful existence. Without cleansing the administrative machinery of these ills and making it efficient, clean politics alone won't help.

PURAN SINGH, Asst Professor, Haryana Institute of Rural Development, Nilokheri (Karnal)


It is good that we have a matured and respected Prime Minister in Dr Manmohan Singh. Mrs Sonia Gandhi's support to him places him in a comfortable position to carry on his economic, political and other reforms. But the biggest hurdles in his ways are criminalisation of politics and the support of the allies on their terms and conditions.



Mr Dua's thesis that "A working democracy requires a consensual political culture which seems to be missing" is the main issue before us. In the New Year, the ruling and the Opposition MPs should peep into their hearts and follow the dictum - service before self. They must realise that the country is facing the grim problems of unemployment, price rise, hunger and disease and only their constructive approach would help solve the problems.

R.K. JAIN, Panchkula


The article clearly delineates the problems confronting the nation and the shortcomings imposed by the "coalition culture". Mr Dua has rightly asserted that, for its own progress, India should make a determined effort to tackle corruption, criminalisation and casteism that are the bane of our society.

Coalition culture imposes many a restriction on the smooth functioning of a government comprising partners with different political ideologies and regional concepts. Rapid development can take place only with a determined leadership, oblivious of the consequences, in the pursuit of genuine policies and programmes.

The Prime Minister should take note of Mr Dua's assertive statement that the concept of collective responsibility advocated for democratic institutions is a mere 'textbook' precept. He must assert his authority without unduly offending his coalition partners to usher in good governance.

Brig H.S. CHANDEL (retd), Malanger (HP)


The situation has become grim because of the dangerous nexus between the politicians, criminals, bureaucrats and businessmen. The tardy and costly judicial system further compounds the miseries of the common man. The Prime Minister should take effective steps in tackling these issues.

The nexus has to be broken by punishing the likes of the Sukh Rams and the Telgis in a fair but quick timeframe so that people's faith in the system is restored. The bureaucracy should also be made accountable for its acts of omission and commission. The Prime Minister, who has the support of Mrs Sonia Gandhi and the party, has to act tough with his recalcitrant colleagues and guide the nation towards peace, progress and prosperity.

Brig. H.S. SANDHU (retd), Panchkula

Fight unitedly

Apropos of the news-item, “Efforts on to unite ex-servicemen”, unless all the organisations come under one banner, they will not be able to do much for us. Their infighting leaves them with little time to do proper home work to project and pursue our demands effectively.

A ready example is the badly handled ‘one-rank, one-pension’ demand. Though the government has partially met the demand, it fell short of one-rank, one-pension. Our organisations, instead of concentrating on getting this shortfall removed, keep repeating the demand parrot-like, without understanding it.

Wg-Cdr C.L. SEHGAL (retd), Jalandhar

Improving railway safety

As one who had put in 37 years of service as a Station Master in the Northern Railway, I would like to present the correct picture about the Mukerian section which was witness to a head-on collision between two trains, claiming many lives recently. Being a single line, trains run under the absolute block system in this section. Between Mirthal and Bhangala stations, only one train can run through the token system. The system works well electrically and mechanically, backed by proper documentation.

As the token system was ineffective for a long period in this section, the Station Masters were provided with the Paper Line Clear authority for running trains between Mirthal and Bhangala. Clearly, this authority is not suitable for busy sections such as this. The volume of traffic is so huge that it is inadequate and outdated too.

For over 36 hours before the accident, there was no communication link between the Station Masters. Trains in this section run under the supervision of the Section Controller and not Station Masters. There is need to equip them with latest communication facilities so that they do not commit the blunder of picking up some wrong token number that led to the avoidable accident.

The Safety department needs to be streamlined. Funds should pose no problem as it is a question of passenger safety. Human error can be avoided by effective use of advanced technology.

VISHWA MITTER BHANDARI, Rly Station Supdt (retd), Ludhiana


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