SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI




THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
M A I L B A G

Presidency: a study in contrast

I read Dr L.M. Singhvi’s article, “Welcome Citizen Kalam” (July 24). No doubt, Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam is a man of very high calibre and full of human qualities. He is an honest and selfless man. But then, should we expect from a President to be just nice and honest?

It is time to assess successive Presidents’ real contribution towards the country’s health, safety and prosperity. Could Dr Kalam make a dent in any of the problems confronting the country like terrorism, poverty, criminalisation of politics, unemployment, corruption, price rise or pollution?

I wrote to him seeking his help about the pollution of the Ganga and Punjab schools having no potable water. But I received no response from his office.

If you write to the American President, I can assure you that you will receive a timely response.

Once when President Ronald Reagan was watching TV, he saw mafia don John Gotti, being shown live, laughing his way out of the Court House after getting acquitted (third time) by the court due to lack of witnesses.

President Reagan immediately called up the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and told him that he needed to get this man. Needless to say, the FBI immediately launched a huge sting operation and brought his whole empire down for good and threw him in jail. Precisely, this is what a President’s job is.

SUBHASH C. CHAUDHRY, Indianapolis (USA)


 

II

Clearly, Dr Kalam has been the most loved of all the Presidents we have had so far. Dr Rajendra Prasad, because of his catholic outlook and gigantic role in the freedom struggle, and Dr S. Radhakrishnan, because of his erudition and scholarship in the Vedas, Upanishads, particularly commanded a great respect in the country and abroad.

Dr Kalam has been showered with the people’s affection too. His childlike innocence instinctively endeared him to all. He is a rare phenomenon where a colossal intellect is combined with the purity of heart.

GEETANJALI KORPAL, Amritsar

III

We welcome Pratibha Patil as the new President. Hopefully, she will accelerate the pace of development. Let us also hope that she will carry forward our lost cultural heritage to the contemporary polity, regrettably gone astray in the mad race for power and pelf.

Simultaneously, Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam will be remembered for giving the nation a direction. School students will especially miss him because he was always a source of inspiration for them to think big and act big. We wish him all the very best in life.

SHANTI SWARUP SHARMA, Dharamsala

IV

We shall remember Dr Kalam for his simplicity, vision, dedication, concern for the poor and being firm in discharging his duties as President. Mahatma Gandhi, perhaps, visualised such personalities as leaders of Independent India. But, alas, hardly any leader or bureaucrat displays such qualities as those of Dr Kalam and win the hearts of millions of people. Will these people ever emulate such a humble person like Dr Kalam?

KULDIP DOSANJH, Wellington (Tamil Nadu)

V

Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha L.K. Advani has said that he respected the new President Pratibha Patil and that Mr Bhairon Singh Shekhawat’s defeat was primarily due to the clear majority enjoyed by Mrs Patel in the electoral college. It is like introspectively assessing one’s own wisdom of getting wiser after the event.

Ms Sushma Swaraj’s statements during the campaigning, claiming Mr Shekhawat’s “sure victory” at the hustings showed the Opposition’s poor understanding of the ground realities.

B.M. SINGH, Amritsar

VI

Pratibha Patil’s swearing in as the country’s President on Wednesday is being hailed as a momentous occasion for all women. However, it is the victory of the ruling UPA and not the person as such. She will remain obliged to the Congress and the UPA.

Dr B.R. PARUTHI, Chandigarh

VII

While we congratulate Pratibha Patil, we would expect her to forget her political leanings and loyalties. She must owe allegiance only to the Constitution. She should not only be impartial but also appear to be so. This will help her redeem the lost esteem during the ugly campaigning for the country’s top post and regain the people’s confidence.

Wg-Cdr C.L. SEHGAL (retd), Jalandhar

VIII

The editorial, “Madam President: Constitution, not a dotted line, should be her guide” (July 23) overlooks Pratibha Patil’s impeccable credentials as a sportswoman. In a way, she is the first sportsperson to become the President. She was the table tennis champion in her college and she went up to the national level, winning many trophies and medals.

NARINDER SINGH, Chandigarh

Rectify faulty electoral rolls

Assembly elections in Himachal Pradesh are round the corner. However, the electoral rolls are faulty. As in many other states, the names left out of the rolls are being included in the final rolls along with their photos. The rolls already completed are riddled with flaws.

In most rolls, either the names are spelt wrongly or the relationships mentioned are wrong. The most horrendous is when one’s mother is shown as wife. Though the polling officers do not take these bloomers seriously for purposes of allowing voters to exercise their franchise, it is ludicrous to pursue the columns replete with errors. Who should be blamed for this gross negligence?

RAVI DATTA, Dehra (HP)


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