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THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
M A I L B A G

Badal should ensure good governance

The editorials Congress loses Punjab (Feb 28) and “Tasks for Badal” (March 2) rightly warn the new Punjab Chief Minister against power brokers and corrupt elements in the bureaucracy and the need to provide clean governance. Admittedly, people expect a “clean and responsive government” with a vision to develop Punjab into an agriculturally rich and top industrial hub.

In Punjab, as in Haryana, West Bengal and other states, agriculture and industry must go together. Industry is inevitable to create jobs and to enrich our economy in this age of liberalisation and globalisation. But the government should not allow industry to flourish at the cost of farmers who must be helped to march with the fast changing times.

Badal has the opportunity, experience and wisdom to convert Punjab into a land of health, wealth and happiness. Capt Amarinder Singh took the people for granted. In mute anger, they threw him out of power as they had thrown Badal out of power in 2002. Badal is wiser this time. He can repeat Sir Chhotu Ram’s agrarian spell.

Debt-ridden farmers must be saved at any cost. Fortunately, communal harmony has returned to Punjab which has tremendous potential for growth on all fronts. Will Badal dare to accept the new challenges and prove his worth as a clean and firm administrator?

Prof HARI SINGH, Kheri Jhat (Jhajjar)


 

II

A government which does not deliver goods needs to be shown the door. This is what the people of Punjab have done to Capt Amarinder Singh government in the elections. The Captain’s style of working disenchanted his own colleagues; he remained inaccessible to the public which increased the gap between the rulers and the ruled.

The drive against corruption was simply a mirage which misled the public. The SEZ culture made the Captain anti-farmer. Liquor barons and realtors plundered the state wealth. Unprecedented price rise added to the problems of the poor.

The voters have given their mandate to the SAD-BJP combine decisively. They dumped the deadwood and elected new faces signifying that a robust set up for governance is on the cards. The BJP’s resurgence is a positive and healthy trend in Punjab polity. People’s aspirations have to be taken care of. Inflation, unemployment, health, education, power and issues concerning farmers and the common man have to be taken up on priority.

KARNAIL SINGH, Kharar

III

I congratulate the new Akali-BJP government in Punjab. This coalition has captured power after a lot of hard work. The new MLAs and ministers should not forget the welfare of the state. On behalf of the general public, I appeal to them to whole-heartedly strive for the state’s uplift. The new government should not let down the confidence reposed on it by the electorate.

There is a general impression that almost all the MLAs are financially sound and belong to well-to-do families. Consequently, this should give them an opportunity to rise above personal gains and profits and work for the betterment of the state.

VIPAN K. SIKRI, Ferozepur City

IV

It is for the first time in Punjab’s history that Hindus have voted freely for the Shiromani Akali Dal. There is complete peace and harmony in the state. The myth that the Congress is a secular party has been demolished. The Congress pretends to be secular, but it works on communal lines.

I wish the Akalis won the hearts of Hindus. Punjab will again become the number one state in India. Only economic issues concerning development may be taken care of. The old age pension for the needy and the poor should be increased. Health should be insured. The ambience of government primary schools should be improved.

B.K. GUPTA, Khanna (Ludhiana)

V

Quite expectedly, the pendulum of political power has swung to the other extreme in Punjab. It was a foregone conclusion that the skyrocketing prices of essential commodities, rampant corruption, mounting unemployment and the accursed incumbency factor would spell doom for the Congress in Punjab.

Would the electoral verdict have any impact on the Congress’ fortunes in Himachal Pradesh which goes to the polls early next year? Well, it may unless, of course, the party makes urgent course corrections and gears up for the crucial battle right earnest. Time and tide wait for none, as they say!

TARA CHAND, Ambota (Una)

 

Time for hard decisions

Education holds the key to the country’s growth. Without education, the country cannot achieve socio-economic development. The pursuit of this avowed goal would involve many hard decisions including dismantling the pyramid of privileges we have built in the name of education. (Sunit Dhawan’s article, What ails our university”).

The proliferation of university teaching departments and the creation of a multitude of professorship should have changed the scene. But the illusions of power have spread to universities. And there are few learned men in the universities who do not yearn for administrative posts. Outside the universities, IAS babus continue to be at the top in all areas of education.

We have about 400 universities and most of them will need a VC every three years, some even at shorter intervals. This means we need at least 100 VCs every year. Yet, the academic community has not undertaken a study of the kind of persons who should hold the VC’s post.

An immediate reform could be to decentralise the administration in a manner that it will help promote the cause of teaching and learning.

Dr V.P. SINGH, Haryana Agricultural University, Hisar


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