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UPA shouldn’t devalue the President

In his front-page editorial, “Ethics must count” (June 30), H.K. Dua has aptly depicted the scenario in which all the political parties are indulging in petty politicking while choosing the President of our Republic.

Clearly, the post of the President, the highest office, representing a nation of over a billion people, should not be taken in a casual manner. The office should not be devalued or undermined. The President of our emerging global power in the 21st century should remain non-partisan. He or she will have to be clean and non-controversial. The President should serve as a role model and a source of inspiration for the younger generation.

Mr Dua has summed up very well thus in his editorial: “What ultimately matters is not arithmetic but the importance of ethics and moral values in public life. It is these values that really nurture the idea of democracy.”

Dr L.K. MANUJA,Nahan (HP)


 

II

No nation can develop unless there is respect for its Constitution and its institutions. In India, persons of very high calibre, integrity and character have very carefully and honestly crafted these institutions. Today, however, crafty politicians are defining the President’s qualifications. This is the same class that often criticises the judiciary and the Election Commission even though they are performing their constitutional duties fairly and honestly.

The Knowledge Commission, set up by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, to suggest measures for imparting the best education to sharpen India’s knowledge-edge, came under sharp criticism for its unbiased view on the policy of reservations, an issue raised by power-hungry politicians primarily for garnering votes. There is also the talk of curtailing the powers of these institutions.

Bill Clinton was aghast to see abysmal poverty in India whose intellectuals have done so much for his country’s development. Our “spiritualism” is being complimented with untruth and deceit whereas “materialism” in the West is being matched by truth and hard work.

H.R. SHARMA, Shadhial (Solan)

III

Mr Dua’s editorial is an eye-opener for the power-thirsty politicians. Truly, ethical values are the quintessence of democracy. Even the great philosopher Plato regarded ethics as an inseparable part of politics.
High moral conduct, integrity and character become inevitable when the person concerned is or would be elected as the President of India. The seat has so much dignity attached to it that the incumbent is seen as the role model for all the citizens.

Consequently, the person to be elected to this highest office should be near to infallible. Though there is dearth of such persons in politics, there is no dearth of competent people in the country to occupy the Rashtrapati Bhavan.

SHIRPA HANDA, Ambala City

IV

It is a pity that the main political parties - the Congress and the BJP - have failed to apply their mind in selecting apolitical leaders for the post of President. The President’s post is, certainly, not political.

The Left parties used to talk of sincerity and nationality. They should have put their foot down after the Congress conveyed its decision to field Mrs Pratibha Patil for the post of President.

Unfortunately, the UPA government at the Centre did not select a visionary for the high office of the President even though India is poised to emerge as a big power by 2020.

S.K. MITTAL, Panchkula

V

Notwithstanding his decision not to contest the presidential elections, Dr Kalam’s initial enthusiasm to contest the same is unfortunate. This suggests that he fell a prey to the chess players, opinion pollsters, e-mailers and media persons and the new United National Progressive Alliance’s manipulators.

To err is human, but Dr Kalam erred egoistically. Of course, still, he can recover from his lost lustre because of his unimpeachable integrity and character.

Prof HARI SINGH, Kheri Jat (Jhajjar)

VI

While refuting the charges of financial bungling against her, Mrs Pratibha Patil, says: “Prove it” (June 29). This reply may well suit an ordinary litigant and corrupt ministers, but not the one who aspires to the exalted office of the President, where the maxim is “Caesar’s wife should be above suspicion.”

A man close to Gandhiji refused to repay a debt on the ground that it was time barred. When Gandhiji came to know of it, he was angry and made him pay because, as Mr Dua aptly says, “Ethics must count.”

RAM SARAN BHATIA, District Sessions Judge (retd), Faridabad

 

When I saved a JCO’s life

Reports of Capt Megha Razdan’s suicide shook me outright. I am reminded of an incident two decades back. When I was the Commanding Officer of the Army, my senior JCO told me that one of our JCOs was in severe depression. He did not evince interest in any activity, confined himself to his room, and did not interact with anyone in the mess.

The JCO had some family problem at home. He was due to proceed on retirement and his honorary rank was also in the process of being approved by the higher authorities.

I took the calculated risk of sending him on leave. His wife was advised to provide him the most conducive and affectionate atmosphere within the family.

With God’s grace, the JCO recovered completely. He also got the honorary rank along with pension. The moral of the story: The Commanding Officer should look after his unit as a family to avoid any unfortunate happening.

Col H.S. DEOL (retd), Jalandhar 


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