Our leaders don’t inspire confidence

I refer to H.K. Dua’s view in his article “Consensus is the way” (Aug 30). Consensus among political parties on all national issues is the need of the hour. However, it is not an easy task. Two reasons given by the writer are the existing sharp divisions in society and the decline in the quality of leaders.

I feel the crisis of leadership should engage our attention. The kind of leaders we have in various political parties do not inspire much confidence. There is no internal democracy in these parties. Our leaders cling on to power and promote their kith and kin. We must fix a retirement age for our politicians.

Coalition culture has become a permanent feature of Indian politics. It is throwing up candidates as chief ministers who are opportunists and self-seeking. We must opt for a two-party system and ensure internal democracy in the parties.

Lt-Col ONKAR CHOPRA (retd), New Delhi



The writer rightly says that no democracy can be run without providing plenty of space fore dissent and debate in a multi-religious, multi-linguistic and multi-ethnic nation like Bharat. Political consensus can be ensured only when political parties respect majority decisions and appreciate constructive criticism and dissent.

In the absence of contemporary political consensus, Indira Gandhi was successful in imposing dictatorship in 1975, but was soon forced to return to democracy.



If all institutions of democracy can work honestly, India will emerge as a major power. Consensus on all the major problems facing the country is surely the best way of resolving them. However, some MPs are bound to oppose consensual approach.

Consider family planning. Some sections oppose it on religions and communal lines. They oppose even the singing of National Anthem and National Song.

They disrupt even Parliament’s smooth functioning because they occupy an office which they don’t deserve. Arriving at a consensus seems a remote possibility in the prevailing circumstances.



Mr Dua has rightly pointed out in his article that no political party stands to gain from the kind of situation that has lately been prevailing in Parliament.

For God’s sake, all right thinking citizens should wake up and educate the people to caste their votes with utmost care. Only right candidates be chosen, not the likes of Sadhu Yadav and Prabhunath Singh.

Consensual politics will succeed only if our MPs are educated, have a clean track record and good understanding of the issues with national interest being foremost in their minds.


State of real estate

THE report “Bollywood stars to own houses in Zirakpur area” (Sept 4) is the latest proof of how sales promotion gimmicks can be used to fool the gullible public. It is difficult to believe that film personalities like Amisha Patel will come all the way from Mumbai to buy a flat in Zirakpur, not even in Chandigarh. It is surprising if she has really invested in Zirakpur.

The reality as far as I know is that there is not much demand for flats in Zirakpur and the surrounding areas, and the prices are showing a downward trend. But the report gives the impression that Zirakpur is going to be the most preferred place for Bollywood stars to own a house.

Obviously, this will help create artificial demand, sending the prices skyward. Who will not like to own a house in Zirakpur when the report says that Amisha Patel expressed her desire to have a house in the complex she was promoting? People should read between the lines. Mass media should expose unhealthy practices in the interest of the public.

JOGINDER SINGH TOOR, Advocate, Punjab and Haryana High Court, Chandigarh


Avoidable row

Despite claims of a secular polity, religious fanaticism has never been so strong in the country today. The latest controversy is about the singing of Vande Mataram by school children. This patriotic song by Bankim Chandra Chatterjee played a very important role in our freedom movement and it deserves due recognition.

Normally, none should have objected to it. But some Muslim clerics and others have kicked off the avoidable controversy. They argue that Islam does not permit worshipping anything except Allah (God).

In this context, I would like to quote a couplet from a poem Naya Shavala by the great poet Sir Mohd Iqbal: Patthar ki moorton mein samjha hai to khuda hai,/ khak-e-watan ka mujhko har zarrah devta hai.

How do these Muslim fundamentalists and their cohorts explain Allama Iqbal’s treating every speck of dust of his native land as a god, deity worthy of reverence, worship and devotion?

S.P. SINGH, Chandigarh

Heinous crime

The judgement in the Dildar rape case, belated though, should be an eye-opener to society. Rape, that too of a minor girl by her teacher, is the most heinous crime. It not only hurts the body of the victim but her psyche for whole life. The mental trauma is even greater than the physical one on the life after such an incident.

Social stigma does not allow the victim to live with respect in the eyes of the world. Very few gentlemen come forward to rescue her, marry her and lead a normal life. In fact, a strong deterrent like life imprisonment or castration should be awarded to the offender.




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