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THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
M A I L B A G

The beauty of a throbbing democracy

FALI S. NARIMAN’s middle, Prosecute and be damned (March 27) is an apt comment aimed at putting an end to political recrimination by Punjab’s two warring stalwarts (Capt Amarinder Singh and Mr Parkash Singh Badal). He entreats upon both leaders to behave like statesmen and not as politicians by citing the example of a Prime Minister’s growth from a politician to a statesman.

It is an unfortunate situation when a ruler is charged with misconduct. But here in lies the beauty of a throbbing democratic system and the vindication of the system of checks and balances enshrined in the Constitution and made operational, among others, through the illustrious institutions of the judiciary and the Press.

Nobody, howsoever high, has the right to misuse the official machinery for personal or political gains, squandering the state exchequer or set the process of law into motion for wrong ends when his own hands and conscience are not clean. The crime gets compounded when the vast populace suffers from avoidable factors and rulers are indifferent to their sufferings.

It is the Dharma of a king (ruler) to prosecute the guilty, save the innocent and guard against falling into wrong hands who have their own axe to grind.

To restore people’s confidence in the judiciary, the fear of the law needs to be instilled. Akali Phoola Singh, Jathedar of the Akal Takht, dared to prosecute Maharaja Ranjit Singh for misconduct and the latter, like a true statesman, is said to have bared his back for flogging!

J. S. BRAR, Patiala


 

II

I immensely relished Fali S. Nariman’s pithy middle, throwing light on a bright and enviable trait of late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s personality.

Nurtured and schooled in the murky world of politics, Indira Gandhi faced many grueling ups and downs in life, eventually emerging out of the furnace of harsh experience as a chastened leader, as the piece points out.

If only our politicians learn the lesson and opt for the policy of forget and forgive while in power rather than going in for politics of vendetta which generally boomerangs and sets in a chain reaction, the situation would take a healthy turn to the immense benefit of the polity.

TARA CHAND, Ambota (Una)

III

The people are the real masters in a democracy and they should have supervision over their public servants. But in India, especially in Punjab, people are so humble that they could not raise themselves to the status of master and hence they are in no position to correct the misdeeds of public servants.

This responsibility has been taken over by the Opposition and when they come to power, they start probing into the misdeeds of the previous government and initiate criminal proceedings. Time alone will tell whether the guilty will ever be booked. For, criminal trial against bigwigs is a slow process and with the passing of time, the evidence gets lost.

DALIP SINGH WASAN, Advocate, Patiala

 

Punjab as India’s food bowl

Punjab has a total area of 50,000 sq km with a population of more than 2.5 crore. There is hardly any farming family holding more than five acres of cultivable land. In another 10 years, these holdings will further reduce, thus making farming unviable.

Employment wise, the agriculture sector is saturated. Therefore, the need of the hour is to go in for agro-industry in a big way so that the employment problem can be controlled, besides giving a fillip to the sagging image of traditional farming.

For any industry, we need to have infrastructure congenial for its growth. Regular power supply, availability of good seeds, fertiliser, insecticides and a market for finished agro-products will help Punjab regain its lost glory of being the food-bowl of the country.

Col KULDIP SINGH GREWAL (retd), Patiala

Not dynamic?

I was shocked to read the news-item that the Congress and its state leaders have ditched Capt Amarinder Singh (March 26). When he was in power, there was no dearth of his adulators. What wrong has he done that the party is treating a dynamic leader in this way?

After Partap Singh Kairon, Capt Amarinder Singh is the only chief minister who had the guts to call a spade a spade. He could take the bulls by their horns and send them to jail (though for a short period).

He followed sound economic policies and tried to put the state economy back on the rails. Those who are following populist policies are playing ducks and drakes with the state exchequer. History will certainly do justice for this leader’s pragmatic policies.

Prof LAKHA SINGH, Sarhali (Tarn Taran)

Timely ruling

The Supreme Court recently ruled that “Assessing officers should not be bloodhounds but should act like watchdogs of revenue”. Additions made by assessing officers cause agony and harassment.

Certain additions are deleted in appeal(s). The assessing officer(s) concerned should be “black marked” if additions are ultimately deleted in appeal by say, 60 per cent.

If a staffer gets 3-5 “black marks”, he must be warned and action taken. Assesses should also be entitled to sue the assessing officer in personal capacity in certain cases and also claim damages in the court of law for the harassment caused.

S.K. HANS, Chartered Accountant, Jalandhar

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