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An example for others to follow

Mr Somnath Chatterjee, Speaker of the 14th Lok Sabha, rightly deserves the honour bestowed upon him in the editorial, “Perfect 10” (Feb 28). He might not have been the apple of eye of the MPs whom he admonished time and again for their unruly and un-parliamentary behaviour. However, he certainly continued the democratic and parliamentary values set by legendary figures like G.V. Mavalankar, M.A. Ayyangar, Sardar Hukam Singh, et al.

He never minced words in reminding the MPs that they were accountable to the nation for the enormous expenditure being incurred on them. By not approving the continuation of MPLADS, he showed how much he was concerned about the right use of the nation’s wealth. He enhanced the prestige of the Chair, by being above partisan politics and by refusing to resign when the Left withdrew support to the UPA government. It is to his credit that he introduced the concept of live telecast of the Parliamentary proceedings.



Mr Somnath Chaterjee, with a great political career behind him, is a pillar who absorbed the various highs and lows of Parliament. He deserves more coverage by the media, at least more than cricket. His last speech as Speaker in the Lok Sabha was simple yet precise. His observation that unruly parliamentarians do not deserve a single paisa of the public money was most pertinent.

Following his conscience and in keeping with the exemplary tradition of his post in Parliament, he even preferred to end his relationship with his party. He will be remembered for this courageous and selfless act. I salute the fatherly figure of Indian politics and hope that the other politicians will follow the tradition set by Mr Chaterjee, an institution in himself. 



Mr Somnath Chatterjee rose above all political and party considerations. So, not only did he play his role with utmost neutrality in the House, but also refused to dance to the diktats of the CPM, his parent party and refused to resign despite threats of being expelled.

In order to uphold the dignity of the highest Chair of the House and for maintaining parliamentary decorum as well, he sacrificed his political career and opted to lead a “jobless” life after the end of his term. Mr Chatterjee is surely an exception among the tribe of Indian politicians who throw norms, principles, ideals and morality to the wind, just for the sake of remaining in power by hook or crook.


Potholes as roads

The Haryana government has supposedly spent thousands of crores on road works in the state. I wonder as to how such a long stretch of Chhachhrauli-Ponta Sahib road escaped the attention of the state machinery.

From Buria Chowk onwards, potholes make for roads. In the rainy season these are filled with muddy water and are a haven for mosquitoes. Otherwise too, the roads are highly constant traffic hazard and highly accident-prone.

As the public has been given to believe that the Haryana Government has allocated Rs 1540 crore for the development of roads during 2009-10, we can only hope that the Chhachhrauli road too is considered by the government. This is how the people of this region will feel relieved of the hardships they have to undergo because of the terrible condition of the roads.

DR I P ANAND, Jagadhari

Promoting the doctor-patient tie

Dr S. K. Jindal in his article, “After-effects and side-effects” (Feb 25), has focused on a recent judgment of the Supreme Court exonerating the treating doctors from the legal liability of undesirable consequences of medication, including surgery. The adverse effects of taking drugs are responsible for 20 per cent of hospital admissions even in the US. But in most cases these are beyond the control of the doctor.

The court has saved the medical profession from the avoidable indignities and assaults by aggrieved parties and the police in the event of an adverse outcome of medicines given in good faith by qualified doctors. This will restore the patients’ faith in the doctors to a considerable extent.

The doctors are no guarantors of cure. They are skilled human beings, who practice their profession with the available knowledge of medical science, which is not perfect. Patients should have full faith in the judgment of their physicians, who always work with the intention to give relief to those in distress.

On their part, the doctors should provide care which is safe, effective, patient-centered, timely, efficient and equitable. Commercialisation and greed should not find a place in the treatment. Since the patient is the king, he should be made a partner in his treatment. The doctor-patient relationship should be based on mutual trust and respect. 

DR R KUMAR, Chandigarh



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