Kiran Bedi has benefited from system

I strongly feel that S. Nihal Singh (“Gender, or seniority”, July 31) should have come out strongly against the public outpouring of Ms. Kiran Bedi accusing the government of gender bias. If we track the service record of Kiran Bedi to her present fame, it is all because of her being a woman. The then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi invited her for breakfast at her residence while Bedi was still an IPS probationer because she was a woman.

She has acquired a larger-than-life image commanding a large fan following just because of her mastery of the art of “marketing” herself and taking advantage of the tag of the first woman IPS officer. Her actions have always managed to highlight her persona more than her causes.

Her stint in the United Nations and her winning the Magsaysay award helped her to overcome many deficiencies in her service record. The myth about her “excellent track record” can be exposed by the fact that Bedi must be one of the very few IPS officers in the country who have not been awarded the two medals - the Police Medal for Meritorious Service given after 15 years’ service and the Police Medal for Distinguished Service after 21 years - which everyone gets as a matter of routine.


She often had difficulty in completing her tenure at one place. Had Bedi not been a woman and a media darling, she would have attracted extreme disciplinary action for her conduct.

It is strange that she is now debunking the very system that allowed her to grow over the years, ignoring dozens of mistakes and indiscretions on her part. The media is happy to portray these indiscretions as acts of courage partly because she enjoyed certain concessions which others did not.

The concessions were on account of her being a woman IPS officer in a male-dominated police force. She is an icon for many and must know that her status has nothing to do with her questionable track record as a police officer.

Dr VITULL K. GUPTA, Bathinda

Army and justice

It was quite interesting to read the article “Army should create climate of trust” by Firdous Syed. Discipline is the backbone of the Army and nobody is spared once prima facie a case is established. Those found guilty of attempting to rape the 17-year-old girl will be severely punished.

The security forces operating in J&K have no vested interest in the continuation of militancy. It is the politicians and others, in receipt of money from across the LOC, who keep the pot of militancy boiling. Soldiers love peace and hate war. They will be too happy to go back to the barracks. After all, who wants to get killed facing terrorists?

Syed should pose the question of vested interests to Hurriyat, politicians and ISI agents operating in J&K. Let him not insult the soldiers who sacrificed their lives, protecting the peace-loving and law-abiding people of J&K.

Col SK AGGARWAL (retd), Panchkula


Monitor lower judiciary

The Supreme Court has pulled up a journalist of a private news channel for conducting a so-called "cash-for-warrant" sting operation in which a magistrate of Ahmedabad was allegedly bribed in January, 2004, through a couple of local lawyers and was made to issue bailable warrants against the then President of India, the then Chief Justice of India and two others. The apex court has held that the episode has tarnished the image of the subordinate judiciary.

Leaving aside the merits of the case ( the CBI has since issued a clean chit to the magistrate), the incident calls for serious introspection. Earlier, this year the Global Corruption Report released by Transparency International has revealed that Rs 2,630 crore was paid as bribes to the lower judiciary in the year 2006. The report has pointed out that the bribe was solicited as the price for getting things done.

No doubt, the respective high courts possess the requisite powers to proceed and act against the corrupt and erring judicial officers, but of late an impression has gained ground that the high courts are not initiating prompt and timely action against rotten apples.

Much worse, the Supreme Court cannot direct the high court concerned to expedite action against erring judges. The need of the hour is to evolve a strong and effective monitoring system to curb corruption in the lower judiciary. The vigilance machinery with the high courts needs to be strengthened.



Sentimentalists all!

You have rightly taken to task all those who are shedding tears for Sanjay Dutt in your editorial “Wailing sentimentalists” (Aug 2). The lame arguments put forward by these people are really disgusting. They should not forget that Sanjay was having close relations with traitors and that too in his full senses.

If he is a celebrity, a son of the late Congress MP and a brother of a sitting Congress MP, that doesn’t mean that he should be allowed to get away with his crime against the nation.

Rather he should be given exemplary punishment, more than that given to ordinary criminals. Sanjay, in fact, got away with much lighter punishment than he actually deserved.

A.K.SHARMA, Chandigarh


The rule of law applies equally to everybody. Justice Kode deserves encomiums for the meticulous manner in which he conducted the epic trial in which 100 persons were convicted. Many would wish for a similar mechanism to punish those guilty of the Mumbai riots that preceded the blasts.

Justice Kode has reminded Sanjay that everyone is equal before the law. There is nothing wrong in the judgement and this punishment should be a lesson to all celebrities.

But justice will remain incomplete till the recommendations of the Srikrishna Commission, which had indicted both police officials and Shiv Sena leaders, are implemented.


Haneef’s release

It will serve little purpose to berate the Australian police for first detaining and then charging Dr Mohammed Haneef. Look at the performance of our security and intelligence agencies while dealing with terror suspects. They are yet to hone their skills despite decades of training on the job.

Dr Haneef will, no doubt, nurse a sense of injustice and his self-esteem is bound to have suffered a blow. But this is the price we have to pay for the terrible times we live in. There are no easy solutions to a problem that has come to haunt societies across the world of which Dr Haneef and others like him are an integral part.

The right way to deal with the problem is to raise our security level and institutionalise deterrent steps. These may not stop suicide bombers from taking their lives as also those of their innocent victims, but they will at least reflect our collective determination to stand up to terror.

J.S.ACHARYA, Hyderabad



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