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New fronts are irrelevant

The editorial “Nascent front” (April 13) has aptly portrayed the poll prospects of fronts and alliances. The leaders of these alliances are dividing the electorate through nebulous and tall promises. This will result in a fractured mandate at the Centre. The regional chieftains will exploit it to the hilt for their personal and partisan ends.

The anti-people policies of both the mainstream parties, the Congress and the BJP, are partly to blame for these political parties gaining prominence. These fronts have nothing in common except a naked lust for power. They are offering no solutions to serious and gigantic problems like poverty, unemployment and economic slowdown faced by the country. Their talk about working out a common minimum programme after the elections is height of opportunism and asmokescreen for their incompatibilities and contradictions.

After the elections, the leaders of these parties will not mind double crossing each other. Their present camaraderie and bonhomie is only for the camera. People should not allow themselves to be led astray by them and must use their franchise judiciously.



War of words

The war of words between the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, and the BJP prime ministerial candidate, Mr LK Advani, is taking an ugly turn with each passing day. Not even a single day passes without them indulging in accusations and counter-accusations against each other over non-issues.

The voter is certainly taking a careful note of all this mudslinging. Instead of talking of developmental issues of national interest, the sparring has turned out to be personal. It is a shame that the Congress and the BJP are trying to project the forthcoming elections as a direct fight between Dr Singh and Mr Advani on the lines of the US presidential polls.

However, in the US the presidential candidates do not indulge in character assassination. Instead, they talk of the nation’s interest and debate on matters of security, foreign policy, education, prices and unemployment. Our leaders should also take a cue from them.

R K KAPOOR, Chandigarh

Veterans’ protest

It is true that the defence forces have their conduct rules and are known to those who intend to join the services (Letters to the Editor, “Veterans’ agitation” by Neeraj Kishore Sharma, April 7). But does it mean that the armed forces have to be mute spectators to their continuous degradation in status and pay vis-a-vis other government employees as has been happening in India over the past decades? The Sixth Pay Commission was the proverbial last straw on the camel’s back.

Serving in defence forces may not be mandatory but so is the case in other departments of the government. If the civilian employees can indulge in agitations on flimsy grounds, why can’t the retired defence personnel take recourse to peaceful protests to highlight the injustice and humiliation being routinely heaped on them? Are they bonded slaves or lumpen elements to be shooed and snubbed at will?

“One rank, one pension”, the main demand of the veterans, is a sensitive issue because of the specific ethos of the defence personnel and the very early age at which most of them are edged out and made to retire as compared to the civilians.

Frankly, a nation that ignores and insults its soldiers, sooner or later comes to grief. Do we want this to happen to India?  

WG-CDR S C KAPOOR (retd), Noida

Growing crime

The increase in the number of rape incidents is indeed very disturbing. To impart proper values to our younger generation, those values have to be first practiced in our homes. We must realise that respect for an individual, be it a woman or a man, begins at home. Thus we need to make an effort for responsible participation of every individual within the family.

Strict laws and severe punishment to the rapists seems to be the only solution to curb this growing crime.

RUBY ANAND, Kapurthala

India’s health is failing

"Ailing medicare” (April 13) by Nonika Singh is a reference material on the prevailing healthcare scenario in India. It exposed India’s aimless and rudderless healthcare policy responsible for the deplorable state of healthcare.

Health and education are increasingly becoming a neglected social responsibility of the state. Will this present system riddled with corruption, mismanagement, inefficiency and unaccountability be able to change the ground realities where there is a shortage of 19,269 sub-centres, 4,337 primary health centres and 3,206 community health centres in the country?

Only recently, India had been ranked 66th among 88 countries on the Global Hunger Index.

The issue that bothers is apathetic attitude of rulers irrespective of political affiliations towards health and education. The governments are not cash- strapped when they have to spend lavishly on the so-called people’s representatives and bureaucracy. But they cry hoarse when it comes to spending money on governments’ social obligations of education, health and poverty.

Ground realities statistically and factually described in the article compel me to wonder—will India’s inefficiently managed healthcare system ever change?




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