Corruption: We have to fight it out

THIS has reference to Prakash Singh’s article “Blessed are the corrupt” (Perspective, Aug 7). I have a simple solution. If no Indian ever pays a bribe, then there will no longer be corruption. Corruption has permeated every sphere of life. That is the reason why the common man on the street is afraid of the police, the sales tax office and so on.

True, paying a bribe may involve paying a fine or not able to get the work done. However, if we are firm, we can break this vicious circle. If each one of us refuse to offer bribes, however small, corrupt officials will have to back down eventually. Do we have the determination to transform President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam’s dream of a corruption-free India by 2010?



The louder the noise against the evil of corruption, the wider the tentacles it spreads as if with a vengeance. The following Urdu complete sounds exceedingly pertinent: “Mareez-e-ishaq pe rehmat khuda ki, Mareez bashta gaya jun jundewa ki”.


At the moment, the rule ruling the roost on the country’s administration front is: Go in for bribery and flourish; shun it and be dammed. Under the circumstances, the point adumbrated in Mr Prakash Singh’s pithy words: “Blessed are the corrupt; for, they will inherit the world” seem incontrovertible.

TARA CHAND, Ambota (Una)


Corruption is rampant in all spheres of life in our society. But the most dangerous face of this menace is reflected in the dubious nexus between a corrupt politician and a corrupt bureaucrat. When the lawmakers become law breakers with impunity, who will save the country?

The factors responsible for corruption are many. One, caste and nepotism have become the basis for distribution of patronage. Two, with common financial interest, emotion rather than reason dictates politics. Three, society tolerates amassing of wealth by any method, right or wrong. And finally, one’s extreme attachment to his/her family makes the person often feel that one has to earn enough for his children and grandchildren.

If democracy has to survive, the middle class value of probity in public life will have to be sustained. Hence, until there is a change in our own thought process, little can be expected.

P.L. SETHI, Patiala

No Siberian crane in Kaziranga

In my letter to the Editor (Sept. 1), I had stated that the sighting of a Siberian crane at the Kaziranga National Park was a case of mistaken identity. And indeed that is so.

Dr Gopi Sunder is one of the distinguished scientists of the International Crane Foundation (ICF), Wisconsin, USA. I brought the news of the possible presence of a Siberian crane at Kaziranga to his notice. He crosschecked with his contacts at Kolkata and Guwahati and ruled out the report.

After Mr K. M. Kapoor’s rejoinder (Sept. 2) to my letter, Dr Gopi Sunder had it rechecked and this time from none other than the Director of the Kaziranga National Park and the latter stated that there is no Sibe at the Park.

Incidentally, the long Sibe that arrived at Bharatpur in 2000 AD was not a stray bird but the very last survivor from the “Central Flock”.

And if truth be told, this is not the first case of mistaken identity. Last year too, a reporter of The Tribune had reported Siberian cranes at the Kanjli wetlands at Kapurthala.

The photograph to support the claim was of a flock of Spot-billed Ducks in flight! This duck is endemic to India and not a winter migrant.

Lt-General BALJIT SINGH (retd), Chandigarh

Jinnah’s tragic love

This refers to “Jinnah’s tragic love” by V.N. Dutta (Spectrum, Aug 7). It seems Khwaja Razi Haider’s book contains at least two bloomers. Jinnah had eloped with Ruttie when she was only 14 years old and 28 years younger than him. Her father got the marriage annulled.

Two years later, Jinnah succeeded in marrying her again. Ruttie took to drugs as the 28 years older Jinnah could not live up to her expectations and she died of drug addiction. Lady Willingdon asked her ADC to bring in a wrap not because she was upset by Ruttie’s low-cut dress as such but she was worried that the young girl might not catch a cold in scanty clothes.

This is included in a series of articles published in the Illustrated Weekly of India by Diwan Kanji Dass, a family friend of Jinnah and Ruttie’s confidante.

There was obviously an incompatibility between the husband and wife, given their age difference and varying family backgrounds.


Not a genuine yogi

Khushwant Singh has given account of the “Life of a (false) yogi” in This Above All (Saturday Extra, Aug 20). Proud of being a nastik (a non-believer in God), knowingly or forced by instinct, he has chosen a fallen or false “yogi” to ridicule those who believe in God and preach a virtuous life. It would have been better had he divulged the yogi’s name.

The writer has tried to malign genuine swamis and yogis such as Sri Aurobindo, Swami Vivekanand, Dayanand Saraswati, and the most recent Swami Ram Dev, who have done great service to the humanity.

It must be mentioned in this context that Brahmacharya is an essential part of a virtuous life, not only for swamis and yogis but even for a worldly man. A worldly man or women (ie. Grihastha) is also supposed to keep the sanctity of Grihastha, and not indulge in extra-marital relationships. n


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