Crusader against corruption

SHAHIRA NAIM’S interview with Sharat Pradhan (“Corrupt IAS officers must be brought to book: Pradhan”, Perspective, April 3) was timely. I back Mr Pradhan, the relentless crusader against corruption.

The cancer of corruption has eaten into the vitals of our society. Morality, righteousness, virtue and honesty have become things of the past. Corruption has percolated from top to bottom.

Bureaucracy breeds class consciousness, irresponsibility, conservative outlook, and lack of initiative, sense of despotism, power obsession, sycophancy and above all corruption, the mother of all social ills. To root it out, corrupt IAS officers ought to be brought to book.

If corruption is not eliminated, it will wreak havoc on the system. Herculean efforts are required to annihilate the monster of corruption. The leaders should set an example by leading an honest life. The people should themselves confront the corrupt.

Public servants enjoying freedom from scrutiny and toleration of criminals in public life are responsible for rampant corruption. So IAS officers should be made accountable for their acts.




The root cause of lack of governance

KHUSHWANT SINGH zeroes in on the crux of the matter when, in ‘This Above All’(Saturday Extra, March 12), he advises the electorate to call upon their elected representatives to propose an amendment of the Constitution restricting voting rights to people who understand what governance is all about.The principle of ‘one man,one vote’ is the root cause of lack of governance.

The voting right was not given at one go even in England from where we borrowed our system of democracy. The Chartist Movement in the 1830s demanded voting rights for all adults and withdrawal of the property clause for fighting elections.

After a long struggle, the Reforms Bills in 1866-67 granted voting rights to house owners, university degree holders, tax payers, artists and those having a minimum of £30 in banks. In 1884, this sphere was enlarged to include all labourers and the deposit limit reduced to £10. Still, there were exceptions like refusal of voting rights to towns with a population less than 15000 etc.

The system of indiscriminate universal enfranchisement adopted in India without bothering about the qualifications, educational or otherwise, of the people was not an imaginative step.

The framers of our Constitution failed to visualise the way things would move. They probably believed that patriotic fervour would continue to guide the leaders and the masses alike.

Now that our leaders have failed to deliver, the bulk of voters have expectations of an inferior kind. Does Khushwant Singh think that the elected representatives are so naive as to yield to this demand even if the electors were to go to them with such a demand?



Challenge for Hooda

Mr M.G. Devasahayam’s article “How to govern Haryana better” (Perspective, April 3) was interesting. The levels of governance have come down, but along with it, politicians and bureaucrats have defiled the meaning of governance.

The three pillars of democracy — the legislature, the executive and the judiciary — are in bad shape. Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda should try to improve the relations between the executive and the legislature. He should work for more cooperation between the two and transparency in governance.

Corruption should be checked. Law and order should improve to restore people’s faith in the government. The interests of the poor and weaker sections of society should not be ignored. Further, he should discourage centralisation of power in the hands of a few people, as has been happening for the last two decades.

Discussing theoretical points on improving governance won’t do. We should go to the roots of problems and provide practical solutions.


Clean image

In his article “Tasks before Hooda govt: A blueprint for progress” (Perspective, March 13), Dr Raj Kumar Siwach has aptly observed that Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda has a clean image. His honesty and integrity will help him understand people better.

Education is an important area that cries for attention. Effective steps are vital for improving the performance of primary schools. Absenteeism and dropouts should be minimised. Of course, all right-thinking citizens will extend cooperation to Mr Hooda for making Haryana a progressive state.


Wills of boozers

In his write-up “Spiritual cocktail” (Saturday Extra, March 19), Khushwant Singh has referred to the will of a friend about the stock of his liquor. I want to mention wills of two boozers. A hermit lived in a cemetery near our village in Pakistan. He drank heavily and recited “Ya rab, Ya rab” (O God, O God) the whole night.This reminded me of the verse: Pee pee key us ney sajdey kiye hain tamaam raat / Allah rey shughl /zaahid-e-shab zinda-daar ka (an ascetic waking all night). Before his death, he made an oral will to his men to sprinkle wine on his body, shroud and grave. This was done by them.

Celebrated Persian poet Hafiz Shirazi was a non-believer. On his death, none came forward for the funeral prayer. Someone took out a potsherd from his pitcher. It bore the couplet: Qadam dargah mandaar az janaaza-e-Hafiz / Ke garche gharq-e-gunaah ast mey raved ba behisht (Do not refrain from joining the funeral procession of Hafiz, because despite being steeped in sins he is going to Paradise).

Treating it as a will, the people not only performed his obsequies, but also published a collection of his odes.


Trauma of Partition

This refers to the article “Rapture and recovery” by Rumina Sethi (Spectrum, March 20). Many famous writers and poets lamented the division of the country. Our political masters, who were to take over from the British, were least bothered about the impending holocaust and trauma.

These leaders had a biased approach in accommodating the minorities which forced Jinnah to leave the Congress party.

They ultimately became champions of the demand for Pakistan. Wounds of Partition were so deep that those who saw the mayhem during 1947 are still unable to forget it. Both governments should allow these old people to visit their birthplaces freely to meet their vanishing friends.



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