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THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
M A I L B A G

We can’t have a puppet President

In his front-page editorial, “Ethics must count” (June 30), Mr H.K. Dua has exposed the narrow, petty and sinister politics of our political leaders in the election of the President. He has asked a pertinent question as to what are Mrs Pratibha Patel’s credentials and the values she stands for, and what is her vision of the country.

In the light of her own experiences at Mount Abu 30 years ago, Mrs Patel appears to be a firm believer in the world of superstitions and magic. Regrettably, a majority of our politicians, who wield power, succumb to the vision of ignoring ethics. The age of titans is gone, but of power-seekers has come.

Prof V.N. DATTA, New Delhi

II

Mrs Pratibha Patil has been accused of superstition, lacking in scientific temper and of corrupt practices in Maharashtra’s sugar politics and cooperative banking, of possessing limited knowledge of India’s secular history and above all of shielding a murder accused. These are extremely serious allegations and cannot be dismissed.

India is a democracy and the people have the right to know the career graph of a presidential candidate. Ignoring the charges on the ground that it might demean the President’s office will further take the already low ethical standards practiced in Indian polity down the drain.

The Left’s unflinching support to a candidate like Mrs Patil is shocking. In rationalising her chat with a dead god man, the Left has exposed its ideological bankruptcy and has lost the little high moral ground it had.

GAURAV JULKA, Ferozepur City


 

III

Mr Dua, in his editorial, has forcefully pleaded for upholding the dignity and aura of the President. Unfortunately, merit or integrity of the candidate is being ignored. Loyalty, pliability and narrow considerations of caste, creed and region are ruling the roost in the presidential election this time.

Why is such a frantic charade being enacted? Is the President merely a titular head or rubber stamp? Not really. In her book on Indira Gandhi (p. 291), Katherine Frank has revealed that even Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan played a covert but crucial role in helping Indira Gandhi against Morarji Desai. The President “coached her on how to manoueuvre”.

Obviously, the present struggle is for gaining political plums after the next general elections. So, even cross voting cannot be ruled out.

Prof BASANT SINGH BRAR, Bathinda

IV

The die is cast, the contestants in their coats-of-mail, are pitched at the battlelines, drawn up by the UPA, NDA and their allies. Thus, the political spectrum is bound to be vitiated with harangues, mud-slinging and tumbling of skeletons.

UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi, regardless of Mrs Pratibha Patil’s antecedents, announced her candidature. It was indeed a reward for family fealty to reap political harvest in 2009 elections. A President, with dexterity,

can tilt the scales when the arithmetic in the Lok Sabha is flexible.

India’s polity is obsessed with a win-situation psyche, throwing ethics overboard and tearing apart moral scruples to shreds. In such an ambience, ethics is the first casualty.

V.I.K. SHARMA, Jalandhar

V

Ideally, the President must be apolitical. But the UPA wants a puppet President so that she will come to its rescue whenever in trouble. Consequently, Mrs Pratibha Patil’s nomination for the presidential election by Mrs Sonia Gandhi is part of a grand strategy to catapult a pliable person to the high office.

Mrs Patil’s statements on the purdah system, her spiritual guru etc. shows her lack of knowledge, superstitious beliefs and incapacity to hold the high office. Charges levelled against her by the NDA are very serious and need to be probed.

PRIYANKA SHARMA, Pathankot

VI

Mr Dua’s editorial is really an eye opener. It is disgraceful that several charges of insolvency and misuse of power have been levelled against the ruling UPA’s official candidate for the presidential election, Mrs Pratibha Patil - be it the closure of the co-operative sugar mill in Maharashtra, non-payment of loans by her relations or opening a girls’ hostel.

Mr Dua has rightly pointed out that even for recruiting a lower divisional clerk in the government, the candidate’s antecedents are verified. Surprisingly, the Congress and the Left did not bother to check Mrs Patil’s antecedents before nominating her for the election. As Mrs Patil is likely to win the election, we appeal to her to maintain the dignity of the highest post

O. P. GARG, Patiala

VII

Mr Dua’s editorial is nothing but wishful thinking. I endorse his views on ethics and values in governance, but can we ever expect the same? Unfortunately, our politicians do not follow intellectuals like Mr Dua and others. Instead, they follow persons like Machaivelli.

RAMESH KOHLI, Jalandhar

MPs must behave

Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee has rightly voiced concern about the growing criminalisation of politics. The manner in which some MPs are involved in flagrant violation of the passport rules and human trafficking is shocking and the entire episode needs a thorough probe. The guilty should not be spared.

Member of Parliament Babubhai Katara was promptly arrested with a woman at the Delhi airport. Earlier, 10 MPs were expelled for their involvement in the Cash-for-questions scam.

Our MPs should try to keep Parliament’s prestige and dignity in mind and behave accordingly. They should not do anything that would erode Parliament’s image.

S. K. NAYAR, Panchkula

 

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