Presidential poll: political parties exposed

Mr B.G. Verghese in his article “Presidential poll” (June 22) has exposed the political parties, specially the Congress, for polluting the purity of the Presidential poll. The writer has rightly stated that Ms Pratibha Patil and Mr Bhairon Singh Shekhawat, the principal contenders, have conducted themselves with dignity and discipline and that both are eminently suitable for the highest post.

However, the Congress has humiliated humble and well-deserving Pratibha Patil by nominating her at the last moment. She was not the first choice. It displayed a wholly undemocratic and dirty design to have gone in only for a pliable political leader like Mr Shiv Raj Patil.





To uphold the dignity of the highest office of the country, we should elect a person of eminence acceptable to all, irrespective of the party to which one belongs to. The President should be allowed only one tenure so as to give a chance to other capable persons.

B.R. PARUTHI, Chandigarh


Presidential nominee Bhairon Singh Shekhawat is a candidate by merit and conscience, Ms Pratibha Patil by gender and number.


Bhagat Singh with books

This refers to the news report “Historically, turbaned Bhagat Singh is the real Bhagat” (June 16) by Aditi Tandon. The proposed installation of Bhagat Singh’s statue in Parliament is a belated gesture. It is a fact that this great martyr was born in a Jat Singh family but it is not graceful to fit his statue into the regional and religious framework.

There is only one Bhagat Singh in our glorious freedom struggle and he is certainly Sardar Bhagat Singh but I would like to assert as a humble student of the great martyr’s ideas and revolutionary life that his final appearance with a moustache and a hat on his head has an all-India appeal among youth and the common people of India.

It is high time we discuss and spread the seminal ideas of Bhagat Singh about our culture, communal harmony and the plight of our peasants and workers. I would like to suggest that he should be shown with books in his hands as he has been described as an omnivorous reader by Shiv Verma.

Bhagat Singh was miles away from parochial thinking. Personally, I respect the regional sentiments of Mr Malwinder Singh Waraich but Bhagat Singh is our national hero and the sentiments of the entire country are very strong and noble about “Shaheed-e-Aazam”.

RAJ BAHADUR YADAV, Fatehabad (Haryana)


Big dams

The article “Saving the rivers” by B.S. Virk (June 10) is misleading. Before condemning the utility of big dams on the basis of some academic international reports, he should have given specific instances of the deleterious effects of big dams within India to prove his point.

Everybody agrees that but for the construction of the Bhakra, Pong and Ranjit Sagar dams, the economy of Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan would have been in a ruinous situation.

The advantages of a storage dam include flood control, irrigation, power generation, pisciculture, tourism and local area development.

Besides, the standing column of 550 ft of water in the lake constantly recharges the ground water through seepage.

The dropping water table in the downstream areas is largely due to over-exploitation of ground water through tubewells.

The statement that the construction of barrages could do the job of big dams is equally fallacious as a barrage is meant for the diversion of water into a canal and cannot be used for storage and flood moderation because of totally insignificant pondage.

RAM NIWAS MALIK, Engineer-in-Chief (retd), Gurgaon

Punjab Budget

Apropos "A homoeopathic dose", for Punjab to regain its lost glory, the state government will have to initiate bold steps.

People do not mind paying more taxes provided the government cuts unnecessary administrative expenses, refrains from populist measures such as free power, subsidies and reservations, limits posts of profit, abolishes the post of parliamentary secretary, downsizes the cavalcades of vehicles accompanying the Chief Minister and ministers.


Anaemic girls

The survey “73 per cent girls anaemic” (June 21) conducted in government schools of Hamirpur district by an NGO, Trisha, in collaboration with the Indian Medical Association reports alarmingly low haemoglobin levels in young girls.

Of the 1,037 samples, 73.39 per cent have been reported anaemic, 19.86 per cent border-line cases and only 6.75 per cent normal.

This shows how attentive we are towards the healthcare and nutrition of our daughters!




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