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Collecting funds, Maya style

your editorial “Politics of extortion” (Dec 26) exposed Ms Mayawati’s modus operandi for collecting huge funds through dubious means.

Strangely, the funds thus raised on the occasion of Mayawati’s birthday are supposed to be spent for the poor. This raises numerous questions. Firstly, is the state government facing such an acute financial crisis that it warrants collection of funds in this manner? Secondly, has the state government exhausted the funds earmarked for the poor? Thirdly, why should funds be raised through government machinery from the common man using coercion and pressure tactics and by throwing propriety to winds?

Modern day politicians swear by Gandhiji, but do not follow his teachings. However, it is unfair to blame Mayawati alone. The conduct of many others is also not above board. Actually criminalisation of politics, vote-bank politics, collection of funds through unfair practices, conspicuous display of wealth and power, scant regard for the law are common to most politicians.

It is a matter of deep regret that such things are allowed to happen in independent India. It appears that the body politic of the nation of over 100 crore people has been affected by the gangrene of crime and corruption. Whenever circumstances so warrant, the apex court should step in to restore the faith of the common man in the judiciary.


Israel’s action

To the editorial “Israeli Overreaction” and the article “Israeli retaliation” (Dec 30), I want to add that Israel always overreacts, but is never the first to attack the Palestinians. After all it is a matter of life and death for Israel as hostile Arabs surround it.

Look at India, which never reacts at all, and if at all, it is a very mild reaction. And in most of the cases, our behaviour is so foolish that it encourages Pakistan to indulge in more and more mischief. Pakistan attacked Jammu and Kashmir in 1947-48, and we stopped our advancing forces and enabled Pakistan to retain more than one-third of Jammu and Kashmir. Now, we are feeling helpless. Actually, we feel vulnerable whenever there are attacks by Jihadi terrorists but forget to take action. India should learn lessons from Israel and the US.

ANAND PRAKASH, Chief Engineer, Irrigation Punjab (retd), Panchkula


Israeli overreaction is fully justified. It is not required to calibrate its use of force precisely according to the size and range of the weaponry used against it. We should not adopt double standards in condemning terrorism. If it comes from Pakistan, we raise a hue and cry, but when it is against Israel, we tend to hold a different opinion. Terrorism must be condemned wherever it is practised.


Revamp legal education

In the news report “Low standard of legal education raises concern” (Dec 29) by R Sedhuraman, the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Law and Justice has aptly observed that the country’s standard of legal education is not up to the mark. Our legal system requires thorough revamping. The Bar Council of India is unable to do anything in the absence of infrastructure in the law colleges, which have mushroomed in the states. As pointed out, the Advocate Act may be suitably amended for pre-enrolment training of the candidates.

RIKHI DAS THAKUR, Palbhu, Hamirpur

Save media

The article “Save media’s reputation” (Dec 29) by Prem Prakash was informative. In the race to become the number one, the difference between patriotic journalism and real journalism is being forgotten by large sections of the media. There is no denying the fact that coverage of 26/11 Mumbai attacks helped the terrorists and now it remains to be seen whether the law passed on media coverage will change things or not.


Lawyer for Qasab

Whether Ajmal Amir Qasab, the lone terrorist captured during the Mumbai attacks, should be provided legal aid or not has become a contentious issue. On the one hand, Shiv Sena leaders have threatened Indian lawyers and on the other, Pakistani leaders have denied Qasab’s nationality.

Though based on our frenzied emotions, we deny to provide him legal aid, the Criminal Procedure Code (1973) makes it mandatory that no legal proceedings can be initiated unless and until a lawyer stands up for the accused.

A mature step would be to provide him with a lawyer, so that he is convicted as soon as possible.

AJAY SHAKTI GOYAL, Advocate, Jagadhri



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