SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI


THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
M A I L B A G

Steady erosion of ethical values

HK. DUA’s front-page editorial, “Ethics must count” (June 30), is a timely effort to save the residual grace and dignity of the President’s office. It fearlessly portrays the unprincipled criteria used by various political parties in selecting and rejecting candidates for the presidential election. Clearly, the onus for giving the nation a person with intellect and farsightedness as President was more on the Congress. Irrespective of the election outcome, the Congress owes an apology to the nation for having polluted the noble exercise.

Having seen the rapid erosion of values in our day-to-day life, it may be hoping against hope to expect our elected representatives to be ethical. There has been a gradual degradation in the voting pattern of the electorate. We vote even criminals to Parliament and state legislatures. Still, there is no harm in arousing their conscience so that they realise that ethics are important in every sphere of life, particularly in a democratic set up.


 

A word about Dr Kalam. Maybe, he had thought that life out of office was for himself only but life as President was for the nation, not ruled by self-interest. We need to be fair for the person who had always shown concern for the country and had not done anything to diminish the President’s office.

Dr I.M. JOSHI, Chandigarh

II

I share Mr Dua’s concern about the erosion of values in the country’s political life and his pious wish that “ethics must count”. Sadly, the economic boom which should have come as a boon has resulted in the dumping of scruples and promotion of public welfare because everyone is in a mad race to grab power and riches.

How could then the presidential election remain untouched by acrimonious debate and mudslinging? Mrs Pratibha Patil’s election is fraught with major embarrassment for the country. A healthy convention would have been set, if keeping in view his performance, Mr Bhairon Singh Shekhawat had been elevated as a consensual President.

Driven by lack of ethics and selfish considerations, the allies on whom the Congress is dependent upon to remain in power, opposed the candidature of Dr Karan Singh and Mr Shivraj Patil and forced UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi to take a hasty and irrational decision. This sullied her image and she will, certainly, regret one day.

D.P. KARKARA, Kurukshetra

III

Jawaharlal Nehru’s views about scientific temper have to be juxtaposed with Swami Vivekananda’s views on spirituality. This is not to say that Mrs Pratibha Patil is any patch on her eminent rival, Mr Bhairon Singh Shekhawat.

Of course, Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam must have been given the second term. The denial of the post to the most loved and respected of all the Presidents so far speaks volumes for the pernicious political expediency of the Congress and the traditional hypocrisy of the Left parties in India.

In any case, Mrs Pratibha Patil must clear her position regarding the scams attributed to her in Maharashtra’s sugar politics and cooperative banking.

GEETANJALI KORPAL, Advocate, Amritsar

IV

The way candidates have been selected for the presidential election by the main political parties is shameful. It has lowered the image of the country’s highest office. In this context, both Mrs Pratibha Patil and Mr Bhairon Singh Shekhawat have harmed their reputation by their utterances.

In the national interest, the candidates and the spokespersons of political parties should refrain from saying or doing anything which may denigrate the exalted office.

Brig DALIP SINGH SIDHU (retd), Patiala

V

The charge of insolvency against Mrs Pratibha Patil is very serious. If she is elected as the next President on July 19 and the charge against her is proved in due course of time, it will cause incalculable harm to the dignity and prestige of the high office in Rashtrapati Bhavan. Dr Kalam too should not have expressed his readiness to contest the election if he was assured of victory. Any way, it is good that after second thoughts he has decided not to join the fray for another term.

One lesson we have to learn from the run-up to the presidential election is that ethics matter profoundly in our democracy and not sheer numbers which are expected to catapult Mrs Patil in the high office.

S.K. KHOSLA, Chandigarh

VI

According to Article 54 of the Constitution, the President shall be elected by an electoral college consisting of the members of Parliament and state legislatures. Of course, the candidates must necessarily possess some qualifications to be worthy of occupying the high office.

Certainly, there is no reference to any caste or creed. But what we are seeing today is antithetical to the constitutional provisions. If the first citizen of India needs the platform of caste (for instance, Mr Shekhawat versus Mrs Patil in the case in question), what about all other offices? It is, clearly, a serious matter as it is an affront on the Constitution.

GOBIND LAL TUTEJA, Abohar

Order on cash delivery flawed

As a former CMD of a nationalised bank, I oppose the Reserve Bank of India’s latest cash delivery order to commercial banks. The banks employ cashiers to deal with cash at their counters and not to clients outside the bank premises. The scheme has been thoughtlessly introduced.

Banks have enough security problems. They have to move huge cash from their currency chests to far-flung branches. Customers, especially of high value, will harass branch managers to deliver cash at their convenient timings and grumble over delays, proper denomination and condition of currency.

Moreover, what about the safety of those delivering the cash? Would banks take cash in transit insurance policy for employees covering life risks? If this scheme is introduced, the RBI, the Ombudsmen, the Centre, everyone will be flooded with complaints from all corners. The bank unions must oppose this scheme tooth and nail.

R.C. SUNEJA, New Delhi

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