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Emaciated state

In the article “Is Indian state withering?” (Jan 14), Sarbjit Dhaliwal has truly represented the concerns about safety of India in future, in light of the present state of affairs. The essay also represents my thinking and perhaps of the majority of India.

It is true that the political parties in India are desperate for power and want to attain it by hook or by crook. They are least bothered about the price the nation has to pay in the process. A large number of leaders and bureaucrats (deputy gods), do not feel a wee bit apologetic for their negligence.

In 1962, Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru came to Srinagar. Fortunately, I got a delegate pass to attend the speech of the first Prime Minister of India. Replying to a question — why there was a Kashmir problem, he said,“ To err is human. Even a small mistake committed by a leader transforms a simple headache into a disease.”

Let the vigilant people ponder over the subject and act accordingly, so that clouds of distress and danger are dispersed.

  P N RAINA , Jammu.

Unreliable Pak

Pakistan has finally agreed to cooperate in the 26/11 investigations. But it is still not clear whether we should believe Pakistan or not. India knows very well that if the case against terrorists is tried in Pakistan’s courts, there is little chance that justice  would be delivered.

Pakistan has not taken this step to help India in the investigation, only to make sure that it is not isolated by the world. Therefore, India should not agree with Pakistan and must not help Pakistan in the investigation process. India should keep pressurising Pakistan to hand over terrorists to India. India must not hesitate to take military action against this neighbouring enemy.


Worthy reporting

Kudos to the Tribune reports on Budda Nullah. It is shocking that vegetables grown along the stretch of Budda Nullah contain traces of toxic elements like mercury, lead, copper, chromium and cadmium. Diseases caused by the toxicity in the water are compounding the misery of people living in localities and villages  alongside this rivulet.

It is right to conclude that the politics of appeasement, of playing up to vote banks is playing havoc with human lives.

KULWANT SINGH, Jalandhar City

No politics

Now that Sanjay Dutt has decided to join politics, may I remind him that while shooting for a film at Srinagar, he had declared, “forget politics” I wish Sanjay would remain out of politics as politics and films are two different realms.

Most of the Bollywood actors have failed in politics. Of course, his father the late Sunil Dutt was an exception to this rule. But Sanjay is an entirely different person and is likely to be exploited by political parties.


Chuck it, My Lords 

Congratulations on your centre–page (Jan 19). You have not one but two brilliant pieces — Rajindar Sachar’s article, “Transfer of judges”, and the editorial, “Supreme Folly”. This comment is about the editorial.

As to whether judges should or should not disclose their assets, I thought the chapter was closed after a group of judges and lawyers, way back in 1995, went to the United States under the auspices of the Indo-US Legal Forum; I was a member of the team. It so happened that while we were there a short piece, “Clarence Thomas discloses box of 50 cigars”, appeared in USA Today. (I had distributed copies to the four seniormost judges, Chief Justice Ahmadi, Justices Kuldip Singh, Verma and Punchhi who headed our team).

In this article were given disclosures of assets of each and every judge of the US Supreme Court (Judge Ruth Ginsburg was the richest and then Chief Justice Rehnquist was the poorest!). This piece was to attract the attention of readers to a US law that all public officers, including the Supreme Court judges, had to disclose not only their assets each year — publicly — but that any gifts received by them in excess of 50 US dollars had also to be disclosed! On the occasion of the baptism of a god-son of Justice Clarence Thomas, someone had given him a box of 50 cigars, which far exceeded 50 dollars in value and he had disclosed it: hence the catchy title!

Judges of the Highest Court who have powers of life and death over us citizens, judges who can (and do) send people to jail for contempt of its orders must — I repeat must — show that they too are amenable to good practice. That is how they earn the respect of us commoners. We in India learn by example — never by precept.

For judges of the highest court to litigate as to whether or not they should disclose their assets is as bad as judges going to the court on whether it was lawful for income tax to be deducted from the salaries they get! We have good judges, but we need more judicial wisdom.




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