L E T T E R S    T O    T H E    E D I T O R

‘Jago re’ and vote judiciously

H K Dua has once again taken the lead by calling upon the electorate of our country in his front-page editorial, “Beware! There is political instability lurking ahead” (March 3), to vote wisely. Only then can the big push given to the Indian economy by Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Dr Manmohan Singh be sustained and even taken to greater heights. 

Having experienced coalition governments, the time has now come when we have to show the door to regional parties and choose between the Congress or the BJP, the two major national parties.

The turnout in the previous elections was between 45 and 50 per cent. It means half of the eligible electorate did not exercise their franchise.

With the spread of education and also the reach of the electronic media, the Indian voter is wiser today.

The Constitution has given us the right to elect our government. So, we must vote. “Jago re” voters and bring about a stable government which can work for the welfare of citizens.

I feel that voting should be made mandatory and defaulters should be penalised.



Voters have rightly been cautioned about the possibility of a hung Parliament in the forthcoming general elections. Mr Dua has stated, “Parliament has lost its sheen and effectiveness in guarding people’s interests. The executive remains distant and the judiciary is not able to dispense justice expeditiously to those who need it most.”

This describes the ineffectiveness of three crucial pillars of democracy — the legislature, the executive and the judiciary. It must also be noted that in our subcontinent, perhaps, ours is the only true democracy. Look at our neighbours. Pakistan is a failed state. Afghanistan is a state whose writ does not run beyond its capital. Bangladesh is a limping democracy and Nepal is still experimenting with democratic concepts.

No doubt, there is a lot of scope for improvement in our democracy. But remember, this very system has thrown up Prime Ministers like Mr. Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Dr Manmohan Singh. Can anyone doubt the integrity and honesty of these two leaders? Our electorate is quite mature and capable of throwing pleasant surprises. Let us hope that we will return a stable government in the forthcoming elections.

ARUN HASTIR, Babehali, Gurdaspur


H K Dua has rightly opined that the 15th Lok Sabha may bring about instability, if our voters exercise their franchise recklessly without understanding the gravity of the situation.

The voters must respond in a responsible manner. If they fail to rise to the occasion, the polity may have to face a formidable challenge. Both, Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Dr Manmohan Singh ruled well. Now, the voters have the potential to turn the wheels of fortune in favour of this country. Awakened and vigilant voters alone can pave the way for a stable and strong India.



There is no doubt that at least for a decade no Prime Minister was able to act independently due to pressures from his party or blackmailing by supporting parties. Corruption has vitiated the Indian polity and a large number of our MPs and ministers are tainted. We must learn from past experiences and must not support or vote for corrupt candidates.

O P GARG, Patiala

Raw deal for pensioners

The Union Government’s Pension Department in it its letter dated February 11 has summarily rejected all representations made by individuals and pensioners’ associations for fixing the pension of pre-2006 retirees. This has resulted in a substantial loss to the pre-2006 pensioners, retiring from the same post or scale of pay. Pre-2006 retirees will be getting lower pension than even their juniors retiring subsequently from the minimum pay of the lower scales.

The Supreme Court had relied upon the earlier judgement of the Constitution Bench in the case of D S Nakara vs Union of India (1983). Based on this judgement, the fifth Central Pay Commission recommended modified parity between pre-and-post-January 1996 retirees, which was accepted and implemented by the government. The sixth CPC also made similar recommendations.

Despite these judgements and recommendations of the sixth CPC to provide modified parity between pre-and-post-January 2006 retirees, the government has taken an unjust and arbitrary stand towards 38 lakh pensioners. It is high time the government implemented the recommendations of the Sixth Pay Commission in letter and spirit and as per the spirit of the Constitution Bench verdict in Nakara’s case.

HARCHANDAN SINGH, Secretary-General, Railway Senior Citizens Welfare Society, Chandigarh



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