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India cannot afford instability

H K Dua in his front-page editorial, “Beware! There is political instability lurking ahead” (March 3), has given voice to fears of all Indians. The impending political instability doesn’t bode well for the nation. We cannot afford the exorbitant expenditure of holding elections and form a government, which is politically unstable.

The issue has become even more serious than ever before as cautioned by Mr Dua, “the rising number of the jobless is going to add to the social discontent that is spreading fast in one form or the other.”

We have already paid a heavy price for having coalitions of convenience. This is exhibited in the poor standard of debates and conduct of our elected representatives in Parliament.

Yet another election-related aspect, which has been lost sight of and is being overlooked, is the model code of conduct. The election code has become imperative to curb last minute’s sops given to influence potential voters by governments, both at the Centre and states.

Ironically, the governments have started using pressure tactics on the electorate. The poll code seems to have lost its sanctity and utility. The Election Commission needs to have a re-look at it. Besides, India’s aware voter should be more vigilant.

DR I M JOSHI, Chandigarh


The substance of the well-written editorial is that voters must remain awake before, during and after the forthcoming general elections. Voters and the media have a joint responsibility and must complement each other, so that the interest of the common man is not sacrificed. Alas, the performance of the just concluded 14th Lok Sabha has been dismal with an average working of 66 days a year that too marred by 423 hours of disruptions and enforced adjournments. The media must keep an eagle’s eye on the record of political candidates. Their good deeds as well as misdeeds must be reported. The electronic media, too, has a major responsibility and can mount campaigns listing out the performance and failure of different political parties. Cases of corruption and political high-handedness must be taken up from past records and publicised. The public must be made aware.

NGOs too can exhort voters to vote for the right candidates. Hoardings can also expose the corrupt and shady politicians.

Lastly, the Election Commission must disqualify those candidates who are facing criminal charges. In fact, the EC should issue a directive to this effect immediately, disqualifying such candidates from filing nominations.


Degeneration of medical ethics

The editorial “Gone are medical ethics” (March 6) was very timely and reflected the growing public concern regarding the degeneration of medical ethics. As a medical professional and human rights activist, I feel two decades ago people with the inclination to serve the suffering mankind opted for the noble profession and were trained by teachers of high academic and moral standards.

Now, mostly people join the profession after paying hefty donations and fees, only with an intention to make a lot of money later on. Another very important aspect fuelling the already increasing unethical medical practices is the abject failure of the regulating bodies like the Medical Council of India. Perhaps, it is asking for too much from medical professionals to uphold medical ethics in a crumbling, corrupt and decaying Indian society, where money has become ‘God’.

In the present-day material world, society, including the medical profession, is facing a major crisis and no solution is in sight. Definitely, the media can play a major role in highlighting the ethical degeneration and suggest possible solutions to curb it.



No violence, please

To the editorial “Intolerance unlimited” (Feb 17) I would like to add that Valentine’s Day is a special day for lovers to communicate their love to each other. On this day, they forget the nitty-gritty of life and express their love for each other. Now, this is not a crime. No one has a right to interfere with other’s lifestyle. It has been rightly said by Euripides, “Love is all we have, the only way that each can help the other”.

I am sure the people of our country understand the meaning of true love and respect. So, let us forget violence and hatred.

SHASHI PARIHAR, Khas Narwana, Kangra

Arms deals

To the article “In the Arms Bazaar: Thanks to politicians, there is corruption in defence deals” (Feb 21) by Mr N Vittal, I would like to add that as per the recent statement of the Defence Minister till today 70 per cent of the arms and equipment are being imported. The Defence Ministry has not become self-sufficient in defence production. If there will be no imports, there will be no kickbacks either.

The writer has referred to the report of the Swiss Banking Association of 2006, which says that Indian black money in Swiss banks is of the order of $ 1,456 billion. Mr Vittal has referred to K Subrahmanyam, who described political corruption as a threat to our nation, as big as terrorism.



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