Put national interest before self

H K. DUA, in his front-page editorial, “Ethics must count” (June 30), has justly lambasted the petty politics in the presidential election. The prevailing acrimony and trading of accusations are bound to lower the dignity of the high office of President. In the overall national interest, instead of jumping to hasty conclusions, just why couldn’t they agree to elect a consensual candidate, is difficult to fathom.

Abstaining from mutual discussion, a vital tenet of democracy (where everyone concerned should have his/her say) shows utter lack of political maturity and statesmanship. Politics in our country has regrettably come to be seen as, what Dr Johnson once wryly remarked, the last resort of a scoundrel!


Bereft of basic principles and moral values in public life, barring a minority, many of our leaders are busy scoring brownie points and making money.

Though the outcome of the presidential election is a foregone conclusion, politicians would do well to remember to put the country before their party and personal interests. Only then will our democracy survive and flourish.

Brig GOVIND SINGH KHIMTA (retd), Shimla


The political parties should refrain from indulging in controversies in the run up to the presidential elections. The members of the electoral college - consisting of MPs and legislators - should assess the past record of the candidate and caste their valuable votes in a free and fair manner. Not surprisingly, it is a secret ballot.

The voters should specifically examine the individual candidate’s past performance while occupying various positions in public life. Naturally, they must see whether a candidate has misused his/her office for pecuniary gains at any time. Has he/she given economic benefits to his family members?

Ideally, the Congress should have announced Mrs Pratibha Patil’s name only after verifying her antecedents.

SIMMI MOHINDRU, Jalandhar City


Mr Dua has rightly pointed out that a noble exercise has been mucked up by the politicians. Only if the parties could rise above politics, India would have had Dr Kalam as President for another five years.

The prospective candidate, Mrs Pratibha Patil, has already demonstrated her low calibre. Dr Kalam’s scientific outlook and exemplary non-partisan performance is there for everyone to see. Even Bhairon Singh Shekhawat’s non-partisan image as Vice President is not so clean. His all-too-frequent visits to Rajasthan during the 2003 Assembly elections raised eyebrows.

Mrs Pratibha Patil cannot be expected to behave impartially. Her loyalty to the Congress is the sole criterion for her choice. Obviously, she cannot be the people’s first choice. Even for the Congress, she was selected by default and not in recognition of her leadership quality. As observed by Mr Dua, none is “coming out with reputation unblemished”.

By refusing to evolve consensus in Dr Kalam’s favour for another term, political parties have allowed mediocres to race for Raisina Hill. This is an insult to the highest office of the land.



The present blame game has unveiled the politicians’ latent greed for the ceremonial post. Though our President is a titular head, he wields untrammeled powers. He plays a decisive role especially when the Lok Sabha elections throw up a fractured mandate and no party gets a majority.During such crises, the President has to act neutrally. That is why, apolitical persons should contest the presidential elections to maintain perfect political neutrality in the exercise of the functions of President.

Collectively, all the political parties have tarnished the country’s image by indulging in petty politics.



Presidential elections should never be a party affair. The selection (or election) should not be party, family or gender-oriented but nation-oriented. The President, as the head of the state, represents the country and thus, he should be selected and not elected.

As the President is the nation’s pride, his selection should depend upon various factors like his stature and impeccable credentials. Only integrity, stature, experience, capability and achievements should count.

Even now, it is not too late for all the parties, including the UPA and the NDA to select a consensual candidate for the high office.

B.S. SHRIMAN, Chandigarh


Fuss about Nimitz

The likes of Romilla Thapar, Arundhati Roy and Prakash Karat will not understand that it is precisely the dictates of a vibrant and durable foreign policy and security augmentation that negates all the hullaballo concerning the visit of the USS Nimitz.

Tomorrow, will we protest the docking of our own nuke powered submarines and warships in our ports on the ground that they spread radiation? Such statements from uninformed shenanigans and the Left parties won’t further the cause of the Indo-US nuclear deal and other defence and peaceful energy nuclear related projects with the US.

China’s recent claims on Arunachal Pradesh and Pakistan’s simmering hostility towards India call for a realistic shift in our foreign policy. We need to recognise who our friends are (and will be in the future). We should not pander to some ideology-based Communists and the rantings of a few green activists who would like to hog the limelight.

Maj-Gen HIMMAT SINGH GILL (retd),Chandigarh



HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |