Both Houses of Parliament look alike now

I refer to V. Eshwar Anand’s article, No to domicile: Supreme Court upholds Parliament’s right (Sept 11). Confusion seems to exist because there are some loopholes in the Constitution. Clearly, the two Houses of Parliament — the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha — that appeared distinct prior to the amendment now look alike.

The Rajya Sabha now looks like a mini-Lok Sabha. If our members of Parliament wanted genuine constitutional reform, they should have first addressed this main question: why should the Rajya Sabha not be abolished? But they did not do that. Consider the manner in which the Rajya Sabha members are elected these days. One cannot overlook the role of money power in these elections.

Undoubtedly, all the political parties have joined hands in their endeavour to loot the republic. The amendment in question was enacted to help people enter the Rajya Sabha through the back door (read money bags) as otherwise they would have had no chance to win the elections.

The Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court should have taken due note of this problem. As the Supreme Court is the ultimate custodian of people’s rights, it should try to safeguard the interests of the citizens and check the politicians’ attempts to exploit the resources and institutions of the republic for their narrow partisan ends.

S.P. CHAWLA, Chandigarh



Long ago I discontinued my study of law after clearing the first semester  at Panjab University’s evening department only because I found most of the logical-looking things subverted under the labyrinth of legal terminology that remains Greek even to literate people.

After reading a well-researched article by the writer delineating the  Supreme Court’s “no” to the domicile requirement of the contestants for  Rajya Sabha seats, I re-experience the same enigmatic feeling about our legal system. For, irrespective of the confusing constitutional and legal interpretations, how can a person born and brought up in Punjab be a justifiable candidate for the Rajya Sabha from Assam? And look at the reason that the honourable court strangely ignored by calling it a political compulsion, which prompted Parliament to dispense with the domicile clause; the manner in which candidates contesting for the election have been submitting false declarations of residential proof “brazenly and with impunity”. What a shame!

If our Parliament is that ineffectual that it cannot punish, at least by rejecting the candidature of those who give false proof, then God save the country!

BALVINDER, Chandigarh

Knowledge hub

Our education system must aim at driving away ignorance and providing opportunities to each individual to learn various types of skills from Class VI onwards keeping in view one’s potential and ability. Knowledge that is not convertible into an activity is no knowledge. Similarly, an activity that does not produce goods or services or ideas is no activity.

Therefore, knowledge that does not enable an individual to acquire sound professional capabilities that empower him to earn his livelihood is no knowledge. Education should impart knowledge that must generate ideas and produce activities.

K.C. VERMA, IAS (retd), Shimla


The present system of education has imposed undue burden on the students. Those who are unable to secure 90 per cent marks and above in the Board examinations are facing a big problem. If the students fail to obtain above 90 per cent marks, there is frustration among both students and their parents. There are reports of some suicide cases also.

The students of Standard XII also prepare for the competitive examinations. Sometimes, even brilliant students do not score a high percentage whereas they succeed in the competitive examinations. Therefore, education is not the index of intelligence.

Cramming does helps some students to obtain 90 per cent marks. But the innovative mind is deprived of a good percentage. Thus, our educational system is defective.


Only self-interest

The bureaucrat-politician nexus is getting strengthened day by day. Politics, instead of being used as an instrument of development and nation building, is used for self-aggrandisement and personal promotion. Corruption is increasing and bringing misery to the common man.

The frequent cockfights in Parliament prove that certain parties and politicians are not bothered about the nation’s welfare. They want to thrive on public money and private muscle they have acquired over the years. There is no national interest; self-interest is all that matters.

Lt-Col CHANAN SINGH DHILLON (retd), Ludhiana

Ban felling

This year Punjab and Haryana suffered a lot due to less rainfall. If we try to look at the reasons behind this loss, it is clearly because of the destruction of forests at a very fast rate.

Punjab’s forest area is very less compared with other states. Thus, the Punjab government should enact more laws to protect trees. People will certainly follow these laws if implemented forcefully. People will become conscious of making the areas around them more green and shady.

Felling must be banned. Tree plantation on roadsides should be taken up vigorously. Both the government and the people should take it up. We must save trees to check problems like water shortage and failure of the monsoon.

VANITA, Hans Raj Mahila Mahavidyalaya, Jalandhar


When the Menons had a tiff

THIS refers to Fali S. Nariman’s letter on K.P.S. Menon (Sept 13). K.P.S. Menon too told me the following story: Prime Minister Nehru had sent an Indian delegation to the United Nations, which was led by Vijayalakshmi Pandit. Other members of the delegation were Krishna Menon, KPS and M.L. Seetalwad. Mrs Pandit asked KPS to write her speech for the UN which he did.

Next morning Mrs Pandit showed the text of her speech to Krishna Menon and Seetalwad. KPS was also present. Krishna Menon opened up criticising the first two sentences, finding even their grammar faulty. KPS bore this criticism for a while, but Krishna Menon got heated and KPS withdrew the text and left the meeting. Next morning Krishna Menon barged into KPS’s room and said, “Oh, forgive me, I opened your telegram from your wife. You know we are Menons. Hence this mistake. I apologise”.

KPS was then Foreign Secretary. On return to Delhi, he met his chief, Nehru, who put his hand affectionately on his shoulders, and said with a hearty laugh, “You know, KPS, I heard that both Menons had a tiff”. Alas! Where are such men of intellect and humanity to be found in this country now?

V.N. DATTA, New Delhi



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