How corruption in govt can be tackled

In his article From the Raj to Inspector Raj (Perspective, Jan 8), Abhijit Bhattacharyya has focussed attention on corruption in government departments in the country. The greedy subordinates’ propensity to fulfill the greedy senior officers’ wishes strengthens the unholy nexus between the two. Thus, governance has become the casualty.

Subordinate inspectors, engineers and clerks extort money from the public by virtue of their position. A chunk of these collections is passed on to those in the upper rungs. The newcomers are forced to initiate into this filth because of reprisals and the fear of earning bad ACRs.

Courageous actions by well meaning big bosses can arrest this trend which is causing the convergence of greed of two souls — the superior and the subordinate. This is depriving the ordinary citizen of his fundamental right to good governance.

S. C. CHABBA, Ropar

Dear readers

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— Editor-in-Chief


Barbarian practice

This refers to “The great Indian rope trick” (Spectrum, Jan 8 ). The Bhunda Narmadeh Mahayajna is an extension of an essential Vedic ritual of human sacrifice to propitiate local deities and devtas to avert natural calamities and also drive out evil spirits.

It seems strange that instead of showering benevolence, the gods and goddesses enjoin upon their followers to indulge in an abominable practice of sacrificing a human being at their altar. And why a low-caste one alone for such a purpose and not a high-caste one? As if the so-called devta will refuse to be ingratiated if a high-caste man should play a Beda.



Commercialisation of health

Dr N.N. Wig’s article Taking too many medicines is risky (Sunday Oped, Jan 8) is a strong effort to sensitise and educate the public about harmful effects of overmedication. Dr Wig has effectively and forcefully exposed the hidden agenda of MNCs. He has rightly said that the health sector is rapidly becoming an industry controlled by large commercial interests and multinational companies.

Health is now treated as a commodity to be bought in the market. Nowadays, the doctors, under the influence of MNCs and the directionless and confused government, are not stressing on lifestyle modifications of exercise, healthy eating habits, meditation, yoga and countering stress for prevention of diseases and healthy living.

Admittedly, intense propaganda is done to present every discomfort as a symptom, every symptom as a sign of disease and every disease as a serious and dangerous condition threatening life. Then public’s purses open readily. It is clearly a loot and exploitation of the common man, rich or poor, by creating scare of disease. Both the doctors and the MNCs are benefited.

How to expose this scary agenda? The government, various doctors’ associations and the media should identify the national needs and priorities, make health policies and issue guidelines before it is too late.

The media should play a more aggressive role in building public opinion and educating people about health and disease along with exposing the hidden agenda of the MNCs to prevent commercialisation of health.

Dr VITULL K. GUPTA, Bathinda

Ascetic and artist

In A prince among men (Spectrum, Jan 8), Radhika Nagrath has rightly observed that Swami Vivekanada was “both an ascetic and an artist” who was “a keen observer of the artistic development of every nation”. Swami Vivekananda (1863-1902), a disciple of Ramakrishna Paramhansa, was an exponent of the Vedantic philosophy.

Speaking of India in a speech at Colombo on January 16, 1897, he had observed that: “If there is any land on this earth where humanity has attained its highest towards gentleness, towards generosity, towards purity, towards calmness, to love all, the land of introspection and of spirituality, it is India”. He believed that India, for thousands of years, had “peacefully existed,” while other nations had lived with “the blast of war trumpets and with the march of embattled cohorts”.


Cowardly should quit

This refers to Trapped in pursuit of success by Shahira Naim (Saturday Extra, Jan 7). Those who cannot withstand stress and have suicidal tendencies should be asked to quit. There is no place for the cowardly in a demanding profession. Pass-outs from the IITs, IIMs and other prestigious professional institutes will be called upon to lead and guide the destinies of the nation. You can’t expect the chicken-hearted to be able to do that.

Wg-Cdr C. L. SEHGAL (retd), Jalandhar

Masala films

Saibal Chatterjee, in his article Audience strikes back (Spectrum, Jan 1), while pinpointing the reasons behind the success of quality films like Black, Page 3 and Iqbal during 2005, misses one major point. It must not be forgotten that it is the mushroom growth of multiplexes that is mainly responsible for bringing smiles on the faces of the producers and distributors of such movies. The cine-goers patronising multiplexes appreciate this kind of cinema.

But still the picture is not as rosy as the writer has made it out to be. Contrary to the writer’s assertion, the success of certain masala films was not like a “drop in the ocean” last year. A majority of films that became big success stories belonged to the masala genre.

Such movies still enjoy a massive patronage and will continue to do so as multiplex culture is meant only for big cities. The single-screen theatres of small centres will continue to dictate the box-office fate of films in a big way.n


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