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

Criminals can’t be allowed to rule

The article “Save polity from criminals” by S S Johl (March 16) was enlightening. When the political parties are totally apathetic about distribution of party tickets, role of the Election Commission becomes crucial. The voters are in a slumber and easily swayed by the lure of lucre. The talk of saving polity from criminals becomes a sham. “Freedom from criminals” and like-minded groups concerned about the deteriorating political culture need to reach the young minds as the present apathetic generation of voters refuses to vote judiciously. The future electorate can play a pivotal role in preventing criminals and opportunists from fighting elections. The Election Commission should ensure that only those with unimpeachable integrity are allowed to file nomination papers.

Fast track courts should be set up to decide criminal cases against politicians well before the filing of nominations. If permission for going abroad or appearing in any interview cannot be granted to a person against whom a case is pending in the court, isn’t it unfair and unethical to allow criminals to run the affair of the state?



I fully endorse the writer’s views on rejection of undeserving candidates and appreciate the simple and complete method suggested by him for implementing the ‘right to reject’. But the moot question remains: can the Election Commission introduce such an action without a constitutional amendment? If the amendment to the Constitution is required for introducing such a measure, I am sure, political parties would unite to scuttle such a move.


Punish rapists

The editorial “When men are cruel – Even saviours turn rapists” (March 23) was both shocking and apt. I agree that criminals should not go scot-free. Counselling of the affected and traumatised children is a must. The rape of the girls of an NGO-run-rehabilitation centre is the height of human depravity, as rightly pointed out in the editorial.

The need of the hour is to change the mindset of the people. Exemplary punishment should be given to the accused, if found guilty. Since the victims are deaf and dumb girls, the teachers who understand sign language should be considered primary witnesses.

  HARISH K MONGA, Ferozepur City

Ragging death

It is heartening to know that the Supreme Court of India (editorial, “Aman Kachroo’s death”, March 17) has taken a serious view of ragging and sought an explanation from the Himachal Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh governments. The Supreme Court had banned ragging in the educational institutions. The institutions were warned that serious action would be taken, including withdrawal of financial aid. The institutions should prevent ragging incidents and make provisions to protect their students.

M L GARG, Chandigarh

Dumb MPs

To the news-report,“56 MPs asked no questions in LS” (March 14), I would like to add that India is the largest democracy of the world. The voters choose their representatives to vent their grievances in the House. The legislators are expected to hold ministers responsible for their actions. The duly elected representatives are supposed to visit their respective constituency to ascertain the views, feelings and opinion of the voters on every national issue. What to talk of making a contact with the electorate, some of the parliamentarians do not bother to open their mouths in the Parliament

The fact that dozens of Bills are passed without discussion and debate in the wake of walkouts or the total absence of the opposition is condemnable. All this is detrimental to the functioning of democracy.

The people of India should wake up and make the right choice. The vote-seekers should be put in the dock and made to account for their claims, credentials and performance.


Manpower shortage in Army

The Army’s plan to advertise through NCERT books to make up its manpower deficiency, especially of officers, shows its desperation. Though our country has reached a critical stage in our quest for a developed nation, the actual success depends only on ensuring our security from external pressures and internal strife. The unprecedented shortage of officers in our armed forces is a cause for worry.

Having understood the gravity of the problem, the Parliamentary Committee is highly perturbed and has already asked the Ministry of Defence to take immediate corrective action. The questions that remain are: Can we restructure the time-tested format of the Service Selection Board (SSB) to accommodate candidates of lower merit? Can we compromise on the essential qualitative requirement of “Officer-like qualities” (OLQ)? The country’s high expectation of the armed forces is legitimate and justifiable. The government, while considering a compromise on the officers’ recruitment procedure, should keep in mind the long-term objectives of our armed forces.

India faces the daunting task of making a career in armed forces attractive among the educated youth. Let us address the issue with a feeling that our Armed Forces have a more vital role to play as compared to the bureaucrats.




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