Nuclear deal: PM dispels misgivings

This refers to the editorial “Nuclear plans intact” (Aug 19). Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, by allowing a discussion in Parliament on the Indo-US nuclear deal, has upheld the democratic standards set by Jawaharlal Nehru and other leaders in the early years of Independence. This is a national issue of concern to every Indian. If government is convinced of the benefits of the deal for the country, the fears and doubts about the debates in the American Congress cannot be dismissed lightly.

The Prime Minister has not only dispelled the misgivings among some political parties about the nuclear deal but also gave a solemn assurance to Parliament that India will not accept any legislative provision made by the American Congress outside the contours of the July 2005 statement and March 2006 separation plan. His assurance that before signing the final agreement, Parliament shall be taken into confidence will further strengthen his hands while negotiating with the American administration.

As pointed out by Mr Sitaram Yechury, there is a lacuna in our Constitution as even the international agreements vital to national security are not subject to the vote of Parliament. Since these cannot be rescinded if detrimental to the national interest, it is essential that Parliament should have an opportunity to debate these before these are finally inked. The situation in 1947 was different. By gauging the mood of the nation rightly and not sitting on false prestige, Dr Manmohan Singh has set a healthy precedent for which the nation shall be always thankful to him.




Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s contention that the nuclear deal is in the country’s interest is supported by the government stand that it would draw its own “necessary conclusions” if the Indo-US nuclear cooperation did not adhere to July 18, 2005 Joint Statement and March 2, 2006 separation plan.

The country, from a humble beginning, has successfully reached a significant place where the most powerful nuclear country has come forward to accept India in the international nuclear community. This deal will have a long-term effect on the country’s growth and we expect a positive result. Hence, the top scientists fears that the deal infringes on R&D of nuclear technologies cannot go unnoticed.

The Prime Minister’s assurance that his reporting to Parliament before signing the deal with the US allays the concerns of the BJP and the CPM.


Check graft through RTI

The Union Government’s decision to defer its proposal to amend the Right to Information (RTI) Act during the current session of Parliament may bring a short-term reprieve. However, so far the target has been only on the constitutional aspect of the Act. There is a very important aspect of this Act, i.e. its influence to bring about a sense of honesty in the nation.

For example, Transparency International, the Berlin-based world renowned organisation, grades countries in order of ethical values and honesty. In 2003, it placed Norway on the top. We were placed second last, that too, after Indonesia. This was not attributed to the country’s education system, parental training or genes. It was done only on one factor, i.e. transparency.

In Norway, except for security- related information of a purely military nature, nothing is secret. We should also ensure the RTI Act stands out for its honesty aspect, rather than purely on its constitutional role. This will automatically reduce corruption also.

Brig N.B. GRANT (retd), Pune

Poll reforms a must

I refer to Mr H.K. Dua’s front-page editorial, “Freedom for whom?” (Aug 15). Unfortunately, politicians are resorting to self-aggrandisement by any means — fair or foul — with little responsibility towards their primary legislative duties. The enactment of the Office of Profit Bill without incorporating President Kalam’s proposals, raising MPs’ salaries and perks, life-long pension, and immunity for their actions and conduct are some examples of their ways.

The electors are corrupted with offers of freebies, loan waivers, minority appeasement, societal division on caste and area basis and the like. Ultimately, the common man is at the receiving end of various ills afflicting the system.

The panacea for cleansing various systems lies in urgent electoral reforms facilitating only the candidates who are above board to contest an election. But aam admi is apprehensive if our legislatures would act fast and effectively to rid the electoral system of all shades of corruption, because he finds “most leaders across the political spectrum are busy with their petty pursuit of power and all that goes with it.” Any ray of hope?



I have the fullest confidence that India can be a sparrow of gold and model democracy if we implement some steps with sincerity and earnestness. One, we must enforce the rule of law at all levels. Officers should not be afraid of politicians but do their duty honestly.

Two, there is need for electoral reforms. A candidate contesting an election should get at least 50 per cent of votes to get elected. Electoral corruption can be checked if the people are vigilant.

N.M. HANSI, Ludhiana


India has, no doubt, made rapid strides in telecommunications, information technology, medicine and other fields. The standard of living of an average Indian has also improved to some extent. However, social unrest is increasing day by day. The crime rate too is going up. Leakage of question papers shows the flaws in the examination system.

Sadly, most people do not follow the value system rigidly. As a result, they are dishonest and not sincere with their chosen professions. We seem to have forgotten the sacrifices made by our real leaders for the cause of freedom. What a pity!

O.P. GARG, Patiala

Grid system

The Chandigarh Transport Undertaking had introduced grid system in Chandigarh a few months ago. Now a few bus routes have been modified to cover more areas such as ISBT etc. The CTU should publicise the latest routes through newspapers or displays.

A new toilet block has been constructed and opened to public recently in Fragrance Garden, Sector 36, Chandigarh. The path leading to gents’ portion is on a higher elevation. This will cause inconvenience to elderly people. Moreover, there is need for proper railing on the circular path around the toilets.

Y.P. KUMAR, Chandigarh



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