SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI


THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
M A I L B A G

Why blame politicians we elect?

Your Independence Day special supplement “India at sixty” was very well conceived, carrying indepth articles by eminent writers and thinkers from all walks of life. It helped in making us think of our strengths and weaknesses. I fully endorse the views by H K Dua that politicians have hijacked our freedom. The progress of a country is directly proportional to the quality of governance. In our case, governance has been wanting because of unscrupulous politicians. They bother about their own narrow interests and rarely care for the national interest or interests of the poor.

That is why we have over 250 million people still below the poverty line despite 9 per cent economic growth. It is because politicians neither make an effort nor allow economic growth benefits to reach the grassroots. Unfortunately, even village panchayats have become highly politicised.

But then we, the people, are to blame. We neither encourage good people to join politics nor vote for them. That is why even Dr Manmohan Singh had failed to win. Doesn’t he deserve to win more than criminals who get elected while in jail? So the crux of the problem is to elect good leaders, upright and ethical, dedicated to nation building. And for that we all have a role to play. So let’s stop blaming one another and do our respective job to the best of our ability.

Col R D Singh, Jammu


II

It is true that most of the present-day politicians have lost their credibility in the eyes of the common people. But the relevant question is: “Are the politicians alone to blame for all the ills of our national life?

I think the media seems to have “hijacked” the freedom of expression of ideas as only a select group of well-fed and well-read gentlemen are seen throwing light on different issues of national importance.

How can we blame politicians for growing callousness, opportunism and cruelty in the present-day society? The capitalistic social structure based upon the basic matra of maximum profit has actually degenerated a large number of people in our country.

Ever-increasing incidents of rape, murder, eve-teasing and misbehaviour with the common people in government offices, hospitals and in trains prove beyond doubt that only politicians have not created problems for India.

N.N. Vohra’s article “Governance gone haywire” merits special attention as he has very assiduously and painstakingly analysed ethical and upright behaviour in different wings of the administration from 1947 onwards. His eassy is the finest example of positive criticism.

Balveer Arora’s essay “Can democracy flourish with undemocratic parties?” also made some impact on readers. In fact, we Indians have always been fond of “hero worship” and “pesonality cult” and that is why grassroots workers never get their due in political parties.

RAJ BAHADUR YADAV, Fatehabad

III

The supplement “India at sixty” contained informative and illuminating articles by eminent writers. You could have enhanced its utility further if you had invited reputed economists like Y.K. Alagh to assess the state of the Indian economy at sixty. The ruling party in the fifties and sixties chose to make India self-reliant by following the USSR-inspired strategy of having heavy industries and multipurpose river projects, but these created a balance-of-payment problem with the result that the rupee had to be devalued in 1966.

Indira Gandhi’s “inward-looking” strategy did not attract foreign direct investment whereas East Asian countries like Korea and Singapore grew faster through foreign investment and technology. After the foreign-exchange crisis of 1991, India was compelled to “open up”. The economic reforms paved the way for our self-confidence and development.

There is an immediate need to fill the “energy gap”. Never was India so fortunate as now about international investment offers to achieve and sustain a double-digit rate of growth. If the Indian leaders fail to seize this rare opportunity by playing politics, they would be failing the nation.

P.N. CHOPRA, Hoshiarpur

IV

H.K. Dua rightly says that politicians of all sorts have hijacked the democratic system to run it for their own convenience. The judicial verdict of the Chief Justice of India, the incarnation of God on earth, is annulled through Ninth Schedule, making it out of bounds for courts. India shines, yet people starve while godowns are filled with foodgrains. Poverty amidst plenty! Amartya Sain’s theory needs action, not praise.

Parties that observe internal democracy are the bedrock of democracy, not the undemocratic ones assuming power with fake elections. One cannot harvest life while sowing death. People who suffer the most, must rise. Even God does not help those who don’t help themselves.

PRAN SALHOTRA, Gurdaspur

Rain havoc in Himachal

Many houses, animals and human beings fell easy prey to the recent rain havoc in Himachal Pradesh. The loss in the shape of animals and human beings is indeed irreparable, but the loss of roads, buildings, bridges and crops is so enormous that it will entail a heavy burden on the state exchequer, which is already starved of funds.

The washing away of the Chakki bridge in Kangra has cut the lifeline of this district. In addition, the military supplies to Leh and Ladakh have also been affected. The callous attitude of the state and Central governments is to some extent responsible for this fiasco. It was a well-known fact that this bridge had already outlived its utility.

There are many other bridges in the state which have completed their normal life span. The need of the hour is to immediately take steps to start their reconstruction at the earliest. The state government should forcefully take up the issue with the Centre for the release of funds.

SANTOSH KUMAR JAMWAL, Chauki Jamwalan (Hamirpur)

 


Colonies all over

Hundreds of colonies are being developed in different locations around cities and towns with and without PUDA approvals and these will create numerous problems for inhabitants in the days to come. Colonisers sell plots at huge profit. No reservations are made for weaker sections. Colonies being developed at Ludhiana are not providing for waste disposal. There is no official check on the quality of roads, sewerage and water supply works built by colonisers.

Unlike PUDA, Haryana Urban Development Authority itself is developing colonies in a planned manner. In some cases, HUDA has allowed colonisers to develop colonies only above 100 acres and quality standards are ensured.

Er VED PARKASH TAKYAR, Ludhiana
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