Pitfalls of the Westminster model

The quintessence of H.K. Dua’s front-page editorial, “When a criminal can sit in the Union Cabinet” (Nov 30) is that the existing model is choked. The political climate is of a mob-led, passion-ridden and debased democracy.

Historically, India has been betrayed by internal treachery and dissensions without a national vision. India chose the Westminster model, a very responsible system, sustainable by people with sterling qualities. Indian leadership blundered both pre and post-1947. The acquiescence of separate electorates opened floodgates to separatists. The result: Partition.

Post-1947, no thought was given to integration by character building. Rather, to strengthen vote banks, policies of disintegration abetting social fragmentation have been adopted, cracking the social fabric.

The Congress Banyan tree didn’t allow another national level party to grow up. The re-organisation of states on language basis compounded ongoing turbulent politics. Regional satraps, with money and muscle power, have hijacked and jeopardised national level politics.


The Westminster model took centuries to perfect with intervening ordeals of Magna Carta, the Model Parliament, the War of Roses, Church conflicts and Civil War. It emerged through traditions, customs and conventions. The cult of personality, hero worship, is the order of the day.

Six decades of struggle with the adopted model unfolds that it is quicksand, sucking the country into abysmal morass. There is no dearth of pragmatists. Then, why not try the US model replacing the Westminster model? The success of any system, however perfect, depends on the people handling the same.

V.I.K. Sharma, IAS (retd), Jalandhar


Mr Shibu Soren’s imprisonment for life by the Delhi Sessions court for his involvement in the murder of his secretary should serve as a warning to the powers that be. He is the first Union Minister to be convicted and imprisoned for murder. No tainted person should either be allowed to contest any election or hold any public office at any level including ministership at the Centre and in the states.

Let us not single out Mr Soren. Other tainted politicians like Mr Laloo Prasad Yadav and Mr Taslimuddin too will have to be dropped from the Union Cabinet. The justice system is very slow in this country and the courts are taking years and years to try corruption cases. Why cannot these cases be speeded up so that these tainted politicians can be thrown behind bars?

SHER SINGH, Ludhiana


The front-page editorial exposed the loopholes in the political system. Apparently, learned and honest persons have no place in today’s politics. The corrupt and the tainted are able to become ministers at the Centre and in the states because of the crucial numbers these splinters have to strengthen the ruling coalition.

A few years back, Devi Lal had a strength of 51 MLAs to become the Haryana Chief Minister. However, at the Centre’s behest and through an obliging Governor, Mr Bhajan Lal was appointed the Chief Minister with only 36 MLAs. He later managed to cobble together a majority through devious means. Politics has come to its lowest ebb.

S.K. MITTAL, Panchkula

It’s Karunakaran

While commenting on the ruling of the Supreme Court in the editorial ‘Jolt for Akalis’ (December 7) it is stated that along with Lalu Prasad Yadav and Rabri Devi, the ruling is a setback to Chief Minister of Kerala V S Achuthananthan. The ruling may be a setback to former Kerala Chief Minister K Karunakaran but not to the current Chief Minister, who fought the case against Karunakaran, which has now yielded results.

Information Officer
Government of Kerala

New Delhi

The editorial was based on a UNI report. However, there should have been no reference to Mr V.S. Achuthananthan in it.

— Editor

On a common scale

It is said that students from universities outside Punjab, despite having scored a higher percentage of marks in the examinations, are being left out in the process of recruitment.

The problem can be resolved by converting the scores of applicants passing from different universities into standard scores for each university and then bringing them on a common scale, say with a mean of 100 and standard deviation of 15.

The conversion formula is available in any standard textbook of measurement and evaluation in education. A better way of resolving the problem can always be found out.

Kanwaljit Singh, Patiala



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