First year did not hold much cheer

After unseating the Vajpayee government at the Centre and installing a coalition government, the United Progressive Alliance, with partners of different ideologies, is completing its first birthday on May 22. All through the year this government just indulged in politics of vendetta, ranging from removal of Governors appointed by the NDA regime to the “de-saffronisation” of education. Parliament was rocked again and again on issues like induction of “tainted” ministers in the Union Cabinet, arbitrary installation of a JMM government headed by Shibu Soren and the like.  The government did nothing to end the stalemate till the end of the Budget session, except requesting the Opposition to come back to Parliament.

As for the birthday bash, the UPA chairperson, Sonia Gandhi, is very happy that the Left parties have decided to stay away from it. Andhar ki baat: Dr Manmohan Singh would be able to hold the knife straight to cut the birthday cake without having it pulled to left and right by the Left and Right allies!




City priorities

This is with reference to the recent news item “Golf courses, shopping malls on anvil in UT”. This is neither the need of the hour nor of the people of this City Beautiful.

Let the Chandigarh Administration give us a crime-free, clean city. Let them rid our city of stray cattle and dogs that cause loss of life because of road accidents and bites. Let them give the common man education and health instead of golf courses and malls which cater to the elite few. We are proud to be residents of Chandigarh. I appeal to the Chandigarh Administration on behalf of all the people of Chandigarh to take care of our city the way it was dreamed of by the creators of this City Beautiful.

USHA KHAITAN, Chandigarh

HP TA bills

The parliamentary elections were conducted in May 2004. But even after a period of one year, the Government of Himachal Pradesh is sitting over the payment of election T.A. bills to its employees. One finds no justification for delaying the said bills especially when the government has already received the funds from the Centre. The authorities concerned are requested to make the payments of election T.A. bills forthwith.


Protect our heritage

The middle by R. Vatsayayan (May 13) about the pathetic condition of Ghalib’s grave was emotive and touching. We Indians don’t have any sense of history and as a nation we are both careless and cruel to the important vestiges of our heritage. It is really shocking and surprising that Ghalib’s grave is so unkempt and there is a mushroom growth of fake “mazars” in every mohalla or colony. I urge the Archeological Survey of India to take over Ghalib’s grave for proper maintenance and care. Ghalib’s numerous fans can also come forward by floating a fund for this purpose.

Dr ARVIND BAWA, Ludhiana

Indian fashion

The Indian designers seems to have successfully dispelled the notion that the ethnic Indian look is too loud for western buyers. If the current Indian look is considered ‘chic’ by leading fashion houses of the world, it is also due to the Indian diaspora making waves worldwide. Our textile industry, which churns out some of the finest fabrics in the world at an incredibly low cost, has also contributed to the success of the Indian look.

Indian designers, however, do not have a strong presence on the international scene because they go by western fashion forecasts. They should try to create their own trends.


Jobs and productivity

Apropos of the news item, “Subsidy for creating jobs likely" (May 17), it is good that the Government of India is paying some attention to the problem of unemployment. The recommendations of the National Commission on Enterprises in the unorganised sector, though necessary, are not sufficient to create employment opportunities in the country.

Growth economists normally forget about unemployment while considering productivity. They say it is not economic to employ more people than are needed but it may be very much more uneconomic to leave some people completely without job.

We are always having all sorts of clever ideas about optimising some thing before it even exists. I think the ordinary man who says “Something is better than nothing” is much more intelligent than the clever chap who will do nothing unless it is optimal. What is stopping us? Planning, theories and policies.

Dr M.M. GOEL, Professor  of Economics, Kurukshetra  University, Kurukshetra

Hands off EC

The dragging of the election commissioners into a very partisan and baseless controversy by Mr Lalu Yadav through his cohort, Mr Saptharishi, is most unfortunate. The fairness and impartiality of the Election Commission is well known even to the outside world. This is one constitutional authority which has been performing its functions most diligently, honestly and openly for many years.

The successful holding of elections in violence infested areas of Punjab earlier and J&K, Assam and other states of North-east over the years further testifies to their earnestness and commitment. The chief election commissioners many a times stuck to their stand in order to ensure free and fair polls inspite of many hurdles put up by vested politicians. The last parliamentary election which brought in the new UPA dispensation where the RJD had a good showing is itself a testimony to its reputation.

The PM has been very categorical in upholding the high standards of impartiality and fairness of the commission in conduct of elections. It is high time Mr Lalu Yadav and his cohorts were put in their place for denigrating a much-respected institution for their petty political games. The Election Commission is a vital pillar of democracy and it needs to be further strengthened.

Brig H.S. Sandhu (retd), Panchkula


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