Time to make officers accountable

Prakash Singh’s article “Blessed are the corrupt” (Perspective, Aug 7) was timely. Corruption can be checked if accountability is fixed on the corrupt. In the present system, a government officer is not accountable for any of his acts. Instances galore, we can see how bureaucrats pass wrong orders and manipulate things later. Moreover, based on evidence, an officer may or may not be tried by the courts.

The writer’s three basic recommendations to check corruption are good, but who will bell the cat? To check corruption, officers should be made accountable for lapses and the system should be made transparent.

P.C. GOYAL, Ludhiana


It was a thought-provoking piece. Alarmingly, India is one of the most corrupt countries of the world. Common citizens will have to pay bribes to corrupt officials. Otherwise, they cannot get their work done.

When top officials themselves are corrupt, how can we expect change at the bottom? If top officials are honest, the lower cannot dare to think of demanding or accepting bribes. In fact, the lower grade officials are well aware of the fact that their bosses take huge bribes.




In India, corruption is age-old. Shri Guru Nanak Devji refers to bribe taking by Qazis i.e. the judicial officers of those times. Guru Nanak Devji was born in 1469. Over the last five centuries, the people could invent new methods of collecting money through scams, scandals, muddles, sale of jobs, stations, promotions, licences, quotas and commissions. The politicians and the officials have made a fortune.



Do our leaders have the determination to transform the President’s dream of a corruption-free society into reality? Long back, I had reported to the President regarding the fraud on investors in a nationalised bank, but no action has been taken so far. I did not receive even an acknowledgement from his office.

I have also pointed out how the regulator, the RBI, SEBI and the Chief Vigilance Commissioner are ineffective. Surprisingly, even after complaints, while the concerned executives are being promoted, the complainants are being harassed. Is this also not a form of corruption?



President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam rightly believes that we should have a corruption-free India by 2010. But when we look around, we find the whole lot is corrupt.

Under the circumstances, if an individual, out of frustration or tired of corruption, determines not to bribe anyone, there are others who tell him that this being the way of the world, he should not dare to be different from the rest. Ultimately, he has to give in and the process of corruption continues.

Prof P.K. GUPTA, Bathinda

Comment on our times

B N Goswamy’s piece “Museums for our times” (Spectrum, August 28) made for a delightful read. His fine description of some of the leading museums’ efforts to capture the younger audience through the creations of interesting websites, was quite engaging.

I was moved by the seemingly simple but highly provocative opening sentence, “This might not raise even a ripple here”. How true. While the people in the West are fighting hard to make their museums more purposeful, what our museums offer would, perhaps, be beyond their imagination.

Picture this. Chandigarh’s lone big museum that supposedly caters to the aesthetic needs of the entire region, often rents its auditoriums to commercial organisations that have nothing to do with art. They use the external walls of the museum to paste their placards and notices, (I have a picture to prove this), and the lobby at the entrance, which incidentally is very near the museum’s strong room, for serving and cooking, often on domestic gas cylinders, snacks and tea to their guests. Casual outside visitors often are baffled on seeing a wedding-feast like atmosphere there. And we had thought that “true function of a museum is to sensitise people to art and make a difference in their lives”!

BALVINDER, Chandigarh


Expression of freedom

In “Expression of Freedom” (Spectrum, August 14) Nirupama Dutt says that the first Bollywood actor to lend his face to the hero was Shammi Kapoor in Shaheed Bhagat Singh released in 1963. This is factually incorrect. The first film on the fiery revolutionary was Poonam Production’s Shaheed-e-Aazam Bhagat Singh. It was directed by Jagdish Gautam and released in 1954. Prem Aadib was the first actor who portrayed Bhagat Singh on the screen. Sarfaroshi ki Tamanna ab hamarey dil main hai.. composed by maestro Lachhi Ram catapulted Rafi to dizzy heights. Smriti Biswas, Jairaj, Johnny Walker played their roles with aplomb.

M.L. DHAWAN, Chandigarh


The first film on the great martyr, Shaheed-e-Aazam Bhagat Singh, was released in 1954, Jairaj played the lead role. Another film depicting patriotism, Jagriti, for children, was replete with patriotic songs as Aao bachho tumhe dikhaiyen jhanki Hindustan ki, is mitti se tilak karo yeh dharti hai balidaan ki, and De dee humein azaadi bina khadak bina dhal, Sabarmati ke sant tu ne kar diya kamaal.

One of the earliest movies on freedom struggle was Anandmath based on the great epic written by Bankim Chandra. It had the soul-stirring Vande Mataram Vande Mataram, Vande-e-e the likes of which has not been rendered till date. One remembers these movies as we the school children were taken for special shows arranged by the school management.

H.S. SANDHU, Panchkula

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