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Political parties must curtail poll expenses

The news report “LS polls to cost more than US presidential election” (March 2) stated, “At a staggering Rs 10,000 crore the Lok Sabha polls this summer would cost more than what Mr Barack Obama and others spent in the US presidential race”.

Ironically, a few days back, Overseas Indian Affairs Minister Vyalar Ravi informed the Rajya Sabha that between 16,000 and 20,000 Indians had returned home after losing their jobs overseas due to the global economic slowdown. I wish and hope that aspiring parliamentarians would show a little concern over the economic crisis and resolve to cut wasteful expenditure on elections.




Questionable conduct

You have rightly observed in the editorial “Habitual offenders” (Feb 21) that members of Parliament whose conduct is questionable should be voted out by the people in the forthcoming elections. What a great pity that the respected members of Parliament indulged in indecent and rowdy behaviour, despite taking a vow not to do so.

In the last session, they crossed all limits. Mr Somnath Chatterjee, Speaker of the House, was forced to say that the MPs have no right to claim even a single penny and the House should be adjourned sine die. As a matter of fact, the solution to the problem lies in the hands of the people who must cast their votes judiciously, so that such unruly leaders are not elected again.


No success

The Oscars only represent the success of the film industry accepted by the audiences of the US. A film that does well in the US and badly in India can make it to the Oscars. But a film that is appreciated in India and rejected in the US will never make it to the Oscars. Hence, “Slumdog Millionaire” winning so many Oscars does not represent the true success of India. It is a foreign film, produced by foreigners and does not make me feel proud.

ROHIT BISHT, Bangalore

Media’s responsibility

The article “Media has certain obligations” (Feb 17) by Navjit Singh Johal was enlightening. I agree that the Indian media is pre-mature but can be made more mature and responsible. Students of journalism are taught all the formal principles and theoretical elements of becoming good journalists. But how to become a socially responsible journalist is not part of the syllabus.

The great media thinker Denis Mcquail’s Social Responsibility Media Theory aims at development of professionalism, as a means of achieving higher standards of performance, by maintaining self-regulation. But how this theory can be implemented is not taught to the students. It is said, “If a dog bites a man it is not news, but if a man bites a dog, it is news”. But the media must exercise self-restraint and not sensationalise crucial issues.

DIVYA GOEL, Ludhiana

CBI’s role

The editorial “SC pulls up CBI” (Feb 12) points out that corruption in top-level institutions like the CBI is an ominous signal in a democracy. The CBI probe is considered as the highest and is usually welcomed for this institution is expected to be fair and unbiased. Today I am reminded of the lines, “If gold goes rusty, what shall iron do?” The CBI must maintain its dignity and sanctity and not bow under pressure from men in power. The functioning of the CBI should not be undermined.

SONU LOHAT, Fatehabad

Traffic rules

The traffic on the city roads is increasing at an alarming rate. Generally, city traffic cops are overeager to challan the traffic violators. One of the causes of traffic chaos and accidents on roads is violation of traffic rules by the rickshaw pullers and cyclists. They seldom care for traffic rules and nobody bothers to check them. Effective steps should be taken to educate them about traffic rules and to make them liable for traffic violations.


Quota must benefit the poor 

With the overall advancement of technology, the lifestyle of people has improved a lot. However, the benefits of progress have not reached the poor who are still deprived. The reservations were meant for the benefit of the poor.

But what has happened is that only a few have benefited. The poorest of the poor are still deprived of reservations. Therefore, to mitigate their misery intellectuals, politicians, bureaucrats, the judiciary and the media should come together.

There is no harm in declaring a creamy layer among the Scheduled Castes. The privileged — those whose annual income is more than Rs 5 lakh — should not be allowed to enjoy the benefits of reservation. They should give the chance to those struggling for their survival.

DR S S PAL, Gurdaspur

Spurious milk

The news report “Spurious milk floods markets” (Feb 24) only proves that despite the fact that many spurious milk rackets have been unearthed in various parts of northern India, the merchants of death continue to reign free. They have no qualms in harming innocent children with spurious toxic milk made from an emulsion of urea, oil and detergents. Obviously, it is the law-abiding common man who is very often at the receiving end of such greedy acts. The existing laws have either proved ineffective or failed to serve as a deterrent. Such acts should be accorded the strictest punishment.




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