Coalitions as alliances of convenience

S Nihal Singh has correctly described Indian coalitions as “alliances of convenience unguided by common approaches” (Oct 23). There is no coalition dharma in India; it is coalition adharma, a sin. Governance and administration are the victims and national unity and integrity are under threat.

The question is: will public interest and public welfare continue to be sacrificed at the altar of coalition adharma for the next decade and more? Time has come when we should face the fact that post-election coalition does not enjoy people’s mandate and that such a government has no right to vote public funds.

Alternatives to politician-centric parliamentary form of democracy should be explored and debated. The Rajya Sabha running the government for five years in the case of a fractured or hung Lok Sabha could be one alternative.

Dr L.R. SHARMA, Solan


The UPA Chairperson’s utterance regarding “coalition dharma” was intriguing. The policies followed by the NDA and now UPA so far were constricted per se to the wiles of their partners whose interests are their regions, the future of their scions.

The polity, at least of the Congress and the BJP, need to churn out the essence of the vision of the Indian nation, identity and nationalism. Goethe wrote, “Where there is no vision, the people perish”.

Regional satraps have their interests mainly centred on the Central throne where they would like to catapult. On a number of occasions, dark horses managed to reach the seventh heaven but with disastrous results.

V.I.K. SHARMA, Jalandhar

Keeping Army young

Of late, various views have been expressed on keeping the army young but these are mainly theoretical. Neither reservations in civil jobs nor pre-retirement training to help them resettle has helped much.

True, there is a full-fledged Directorate of Resettlement, but it has not helped much. The result: poor and young retired soldiers end up fending for themselves. They are not qualified for jobs which need specific qualifications and experience in this age of specialisation and hence are exploited. Consequently, they land up either as gatekeepers in front of shops or hotels or are employed by security agencies for paltry salary and devoid of dignity.

The best solution to the problem lies in recruiting every soldier with a lien to one of the Central paramilitary, police and security forces to which he could revert, as a right and serve after finishing his engagement with the defence forces. The recruitment to these forces may be reduced accordingly.

Lt-Col BHAGWANT SINGH (retd), Mohali


Burning fields

While returning to Chandigarh from Nilokheri via Jind, Hisar, Fatehabad and Jakhal, the paddy growing belt of Haryana, I was appalled to see the burning fields. The farmers are resorting to burning of paddy residue with impunity.

By growing the water guzzler crop, the farmers are exhausting the underground aquifers and by burning the residue, they are polluting the environment. The fire adds to global warming and the smoke causes bronchitis and asthma among the people. It also damages the soil and destroys the micro-nutrients. This is a daily happening in the desert classified areas of Hisar, Fatehabad and Sirsa.

The paddy residue or biomass can be put to productive use by converting it efficient energy. It is biodegradable and can be converted into compost. It is not that the farmer is not aware of the effects of burning paddy residue but he has become selfish. The government should start a mass campaign to check this menace.

PURAN SINGH, Chandigarh


When farmers of Punjab and Haryana clear their fields of paddy stubble for sowing wheat, millions of tonnes of soot and carbon dioxide are released into the atmosphere.

The Pollution Control Board’s pleas not to burn the stubble have fallen on deaf ears.

The chairmen of these boards are politicians and have political compulsions not to annoy their vote banks. Farmers are the most pampered lot, enjoying freebies like free power, subsidised fertiliser and minimum support price for their produce.

The farmers are not ignorant about the danger to the environment. They just don’t want to spend money on getting the fields cleared manually.

A fine of Rs 1,000 per acre of the burned crop should be imposed on the errant farmers. The village patwari should do a girdwari and report to higher authorities for appropriate punishment to the offenders.




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