Republic Day: a day of reckoning

As we celebrate Republic Day today, we should examine how we, as a free nation, started our journey 55 years ago, where we have failed and what needs to be done to march forward. Our founding fathers were men of vision. They wanted India to become a land of equal opportunities for all irrespective of one’s caste, colour or religion. Have we really achieved this our goal?

Sadly, politics, instead of being a mission to serve, has become a business to loot. The political elite and the bureaucracy have lost their moral track. Criminals in the representative institutions have vitiated the system. We will have to take steps to check increasing criminalisation of politics so that the people’s confidence in the system is restored. Let us create a new republic by reviving moral and ethical values in public life. Value based politics is the need of the hour.

Let us be optimistic about the country’s future. The task of rejuvenating the republic is, no doubt, gigantic. But we are capable of resolving them through a new work ethic.

K.L. BATRA, Yamunanagar


The bane of our republic is that politicians of all hues are least bothered in nation building. Their only aim is to enter Parliament and state legislatures and find ways to make money by hook or by crook.

The MPs’ and MLAs’ local area development fund schemes are spent, if at all, for making their positions secure or to make their friends and relatives richer by a few crores or lakhs of rupees. Everyday we find them haggling for seats instead of doing some concrete work for the uplift of the downtrodden.

Corruption in the government departments is increasing day by day. Very few leaders like Prime Minister Manmohan Singh are clean and dedicated. They can put a stop to such manipulations if they are firm and resolute.

SARDAR SINGH, Jalandhar City



NSC: some questions

Apropos of K.Subramanyam’s article “Resuscitating the NSC” (Jan 10), if the NSC comes into being as proposed by the NDA government in 1998, how will this fit into the parliamentary form of government when as per the constitutional law, the cabinet, headed by a Prime Minister is jointly responsible to Parliament? Secondly, the NSC and the NSA will become extra-constitutional growths, with a duel cabinet system, one the present cabinet and the other NSC.

Thirdly, the writer says that the NSA will enjoy the complete confidence of the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister is primus inter pares (first among equals) and not the master of the cabinet. Why will the NSA not be responsible to the cabinet as a whole which is responsible to Parliament?

In my experience as a parliamentarian, I know the NSA, especially Mr Brijesh Mishra, was not responsible to Parliament and his work was not scrutinised by any standing committee of Parliament, which is the norm.

The NSC and the NSA are suitable to a presidential form of government as in the US where both are open to congressional committees probes which oversee their working, spending of budgets and ethics.

The duties of the NSA and the Union External Affairs Minister overlap. Let the present Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) deal with all security matters and their new dimensions. A team of experts could be structured under the Ministry of External Affairs, which is a part of the cabinet and ultimately responsible to Parliament.


Onus on US

After Iraq, will it be Iran? President George Bush has threatened Teheran with military action if it does not roll back its nuclear weapons programme. This smacks of double standards.

The concern of the nuclear-haves, led by the US, about nuclear proliferation would have more meaning if they themselves were to first announce a cut of, say, 10 per cent in their nuclear arsenals. Washington cannot arrogate to itself the moral right to lead the world unless it first sets an example.


A bold initiative

Deputy Commissioner S.K. Ahluwalia has restored the maryada and sanctity on the occasion of Shahidi Jor Mela at Fatehgarh Sahib. The ban on the use of loud speakers, amusement games, gambling stalls etc. made the occasion a true religious affair. Consequently, the district administration has earned the gratitude of the Sikh community. People appreciate this noble and bold initiative.

The need of the hour is to follow this precedent at all other places. I offer two suggestions. One, step up efforts to preserve the originality and ancient glory of the monuments in whatever shape and condition they are. And two, instead of wasting money on hoardings, welcome gates and false decorations, a cleanliness and development campaign should be launched in the entire area before the commencement of such festivals.

Prof. ACHHRU SINGH, Head, English Dept., N.M. Govt College, Mansa


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