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

Manmohan Singh not a weak PM

We are sick of Mr L K Advani’s remarks about Dr Manmohan Singh referring to him as a weak Prime Minister. Such comments are misleading and do not behove Mr Advani.

Dr Manmohan Singh’s intellect, honesty, character and commitment are enviable attributes and he deserves to occupy the high office of the Prime Minister. Sadly, Mr Advani has made PM-bashing a single-point agenda in the BJP election campaign.



Veterans’ agitation

I agree with Vice-Admiral (retd) Premvir Das’s views expressed in the article, Agitations by military veterans (April 1). Serving the country’s defence forces is a totally different ball game and no parallel can be drawn with other government services. The defence forces have their conduct rules and are known to those who intend to join the services.

In India, serving in the defence forces is not mandatory as in some western countries. So, it is totally unfair on the part of the retired as well as serving defence personnel to agitate as others do. The nation expects discipline of the highest order from the defence forces.

It is, therefore, imperative that special privileges are withdrawn from those retired defence personnel who indulge in agitations. “One rank one pension” is also not tenable because civilians too can put up such a demand which would be difficult to negate legally.


Dabwali tragedy

It is rightly said that justice delayed is justice denied (“13-year wait over for Dabwali fire victims”, April 3). It is shocking to know that the victims had to wait for 13 years. Even more shocking is the fact that the then Deputy Commissioner, Sirsa, Mr M P Bidlan, accused of dereliction of duty, was made a member of the Haryana Public Service Commission. His appointment has only added salt to the wounds of the fire victims.

Will he resign from his post, owning moral responsibility, in view of the indictment by the report? Shameful is the role of politicians who helped his reinstatement. The IAS officers’ association must condemn this action.


No safety on roads

The editorial, Deaths on the road—Traffic cops need to enforce law (April 2), gave a correct picture of the poor conditions of the Indian highways. The editorial has rightly decried the state of traffic on the lines “bullock-carts, cycles, two-wheelers, over-laden trucks and high-speed cars compete for space on the same stretch”.

Driving in such conditions is really dangerous. It is a shame that even after 61 years of Independence, we have been unable to construct four-lane highways throughout the country to ensure smooth flow of traffic and safety of the road users.

About the traffic policemen, the less said the better. They are always at “nakas”, busy fattening their pockets.

R K KAPOOR, Chandigarh

Electoral reforms

The news report NGO moots new button on EVMs (April 1) by Sushil Goyal was striking. The efforts of the NGO, Scientific Awareness and Social Welfare Forum, in improving the election system are appreciable. The time has come to make the voters aware of the fact that their vote is very precious and they have a right to reject their candidate. However, we must lay down guidelines for the qualifications of the candidates. It is a very important issue as many of our political leaders are illiterate.


Inordinate delay

The Liberhan Commission shall soon be listed in the book of records for the number of extensions it has got. We are still awaiting the report, which shall name the culprits of the Babri Masjid demolition, an unfortunate incident that happened 16 years ago. The irony of the situation lies in the fact that this commission was set up to give prompt results. It is not a question of Rs 8 crore or 16 years but the sheer system of justice which becomes a mockery because of the inordinate delay.

AHIM JURRY, Dharamshala

Insecure daughters

What can one say of a society where daughters are not safe in their own homes, among their own family members? Inhumane incidents are happening all around us. Be it the death of a medical student, Aman Kachroo, due to ragging or a father raping his daughter, all the abominable incidents are a blot on society. We blame the government whereas we must realise that we are a part of this system and must try to change it


Vote bank politics

Ahead of the 2009 elections, the changing political alignments have led to chaos, confusion and uncertainty in the country. In the present circumstances, no party appears to have any ideology. Individuals defect from one party and immediately find an alternative party to which they are readily admitted or they form a new party. There is no check on the emergence of new parties who indulge in divisive politics. The vote bank politics is disastrous for the country. 

There is no doubt that no government can be formed without the two major political parties— the BJP and the Congress. In the national interest, both the BJP and the Congress should forget their differences and form a national government. It is for the leadership of these two parties to come together with a common minimum programme. Let there be only two fronts.

A B KOHLI, New Delhi

IPL is no sport

The government did the right thing by declining to compromise on security for the elections and deserves to be congratulated for not succumbing to pressure from the BCCI and the IPL authorities. It was a wise decision.

Those criticising the decision and comparing the IPL tournament with the Commonwealth Games are forgetting the fact that the IPL is a predominantly commercial event.

It is held to make crores of rupees in profit for the benefit of a few super rich industrialists and film stars and the BCCI. The Commonwealth Games is an event of national pride and predominantly a sports event. T20 form of cricket can hardly be called a sport. T20 is as much a sport as horse racing is.

 ASHOK HURIA, Chandigarh



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