Where is the independent officer?

Whether it is deliberate or otherwise, our politicians appear unmindful of the damage they are causing to the public order and to the concept of rule of law. Mr Shamsher Singh Dullo, after taking over as President of the PPCC, has been raising, like many of his Congress colleagues, the issue that Congress workers are not respected, have no say in the functioning of public officers and are not entertained by civil servants, which has caused disappointment among the Congress rank and file. Leaders of almost every political party in power want to use the public servant for their own ends.

These leaders forget what an eminent jurist, Mr H.M. Seevraj, has said: “The whole basis of the civil service is that the civil servant must carry out the policies of the government of the day, whatever its political complexion may be. It is his duty to give detached, objective advice on matters within the scope of his duty and this detachment/objectivity would be destroyed were he to actively engage in political controversy. Again, in his dealings with the public, in considering their complaints, the same detachment and impartiality is expected of him. These would be impaired, if not destroyed, were it known that he was a political partisan.”

Contrary to this, by and large, many civil service officers, including police officers, function at the behest of political bosses in power. Mr Dulo is still not satisfied.

The question arises: if the civil services become the tool of the political party in power, from where will the general public seek relief?

J.S. TOOR, Advocate, Punjab and Haryana High Court, Chandigarh


Noise pollution

Loudspeakers continue to be used indiscriminately by people in total disregard of existing laws and Supreme Court verdicts.

Loudspeakers have great utility and are helpful in addressing large gatherings. But people deploy loudspeakers with scant regard for the interests and comfort of others. They are now being used throughout the day and night at the highest pitch. Even small shopkeepers misuse them to attract customers. At weddings, even educated people use them throughout the night. Night parties and free use of stereos is a nuisance in many residential areas.

Everyone has a right to peace and quiet. Violators must be punished.

Akanksha Mehta, Jalandhar

Playing dirty role

Ever since Independence, Pakistan has always put hurdles in the path of normalising relations with India.  It has invariably raised the Kashmir issue at every opportunity. It has always nurtured and been a haven for anti-India terrorists, secessionists, and extortionists.  It is not surprising therefore that Pakistan has bluntly lied again to India that Dawood is not in Pakistan.  If, on the other hand, the US had made the extradition demand, Pakistan would have perhaps obliged.

Any show of cooperation only means that it is looking for an opportunity to further harass India and stall or hinder any economic progress.  The pipeline through Pakistan is, therefore, fraught with dangerous consequences.  Once it is ready, Pakistan will play dirty in every possible way to ensure that India will never have a smooth flow of gas.  India should think twice before having the gas pipeline through Pakistan.  And Dawood is always there to blow it up.

H. Parshuram, Mumbai

Needless aggression!

Lt-Gen Baljit Singh’s vehemence in disputing the identity of the hapless bird at Kaziranga in his letter (September 1) is not matched by the consistency of his argument.

He has tied himself up in knots, when, after claiming that “there is not a single record of a vagrant or wayward straggler” amongst Siberian Cranes, he ends his letter saying, “it brought tears and more when in 2000 AD, just one Sibe arrived at Bharatpur”.

The original article was not about sighting of Siberian Cranes at Kaziranga. There was only a passing reference to an injured bird, which the forest guard identified, rightly or wrongly, as a Siberian Crane.

The reporter relied on the forest guard while the General relies on his textbook knowledge. The writer would do well to make a visit to Kaziranga, see the bird for himself and give his definitive verdict, rather than flaunt his intimidating scholarship on the subject.

K.M. KAPOOR, Chandigarh

Middle class must protest

This is with reference to your editorial “High voltage protest” (Aug 30). This protest of power consumers is a departure from the political agitations that we regularly witness. Politicians are invisible in this movement which spread across Delhi largely by word of mouth. The media played a positive role by sensitizing the middle class, who organised themselves into a Residents’ Welfare Association.

Our public services have failed to deliver largely because the middle class, which constitutes a sizeable and influential section of the population, has refused to protest in the past to put pressure on the government to improve governance and make people-friendly policies. The middle class in India has to realize that it has a potential to become a progressive and strong force which can really change the political culture of the country.

Dr Vitull K. Gupta, Bathinda


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