We must expose criminals in the system

Dr S.S. Johl’s article, “Democracy hijacked: The rich and criminals take to governance” (Nov 30) analysing the multifarious ills afflicting the Indian polity is very apt and incisive. He has hit the nail on the head when he asserts, “Democracy in India can be defined as government by the people, of the bureaucracy, for the politicians”.

The octopus grip of criminalisation of politics is vividly brought home by the recent conviction of Shibu Soren, Navjot Sidhu and hundreds of MPs and MLAs with criminal antecedents blissfully enjoying the levers of power. The problems of the system are greatly nurtured and compounded by the bureaucracy which is, by and large, not only supine and spineless but steeped in venality, cloaked in a colonial mindset and bitten by the bug of insensitivity towards people’s problems. The result: the state is going downhill at precipitous pace.

The systemic ills are well recognised widely by discerning observers, intellectuals and public-spirited people. The answer to the million-dollar question as to who can stop the drift in the system given by Dr Johl is “stop the politician to enjoy offices of profit”. But this alone will not deliver the goods.




It is the voter who forms the government, but he has become an innocent victim of the politicians’ follies. The remedy to the present ills is like asking rats to bell the cat. Sadly, civilised, service-minded and worthy people shun elections. How can we expect solutions to the nation’s problems if enlightened people do not contest elections?

The remedy to the present ills confronting the country lies in worthy people contesting the elections and occupying the positions of authority. But doubts are bound to arise whether any political party would bother to give tickets to good people. In today’s political culture, these parties would only see the winnability factor of the candidate concerned together with his money and muscle power. What a pity!

NIRBHAI SINGH, Sarpanch, Nirbhai (Ludhiana)

Punjab govt’s wrong priorities

The advertisements — conspicuous beyond limits — being published these days in all leading newspapers speak volumes about the wrong priorities of the political parties and the Punjab government.

While burning issues like AIDS, female foeticide, drug addiction, deforestation, depleting ozone layer and subsoil water demand immediate concern and attention, besides positive remedial measures, it is indiscrete for the advertisers to spend colossal funds on advertisements for their self-aggrandisement and promises for their future projects.

In this context, a Persian couplet is noteworthy:

Sanaye khud bakhud goyam na zebad marde damara,

Choon zan pistan-e khud Malad kuja lazzat shawad baqi

(It doesn’t behove a wise guy to boast about his feats, What pleasure could a maiden derive by fondling her own bosom?)

S.S. JOGI, Kapurthala

Bank in trouble

The fate of the Mandi Urban Cooperative Bank (MUCB) is hanging in balance even after two years when the RBI restricted its banking operations after observing serious irregularities in the disbursement of loans, advance and recovery position, besides accounts. The depositors have been running from pillar to post to get back their hard-earned money. Most of them are old and suffering due to the ban on withdrawals.

As efforts to revive the bank have proved futile, merger with some other healthy cooperative institution seems to be the only solution. Another primary cooperative society in the district is spreading its banking activities even outside its area of operation by the lure of higher interest rate. So, beware depositors!


HUDA’s ways

The Haryana government had formed the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) at “no profit, no loss” basis to serve the masses. But it has forgotten its principles and basic policies. It now earns crores of rupees even out of one deal through auction! 
On November 29, 46 commercial plots in Panchkula were put to auction. Of these, HUDA auctioned 26 sites and got Rs 54.33 crore. For a site in Sector 9, it got Rs 9.76 crore as against the reserved price of Rs 1.80 crore. Similarly, for another site in Sector 11, it got Rs 8.50 crore as against the reserved price of Rs. 3.99 crore. There are many more examples.

There is a need to change the HUDA’s formula to fix the reserved price of any site. Otherwise, the people in the Tri-city and neighbourhood may slip into the hands of multinational companies. The time is not far when these companies will call the shots. Already, Mohali and Chandigarh are experiencing the same situation as in Panchkula.

S. K. NAYAR, Panchkula



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