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

Criminals in polls is a disturbing trend

Commenting on the disturbing reports that 10 per cent of the candidates in Haryana contesting the Lok Sabha elections are facing criminal charges, you have rightly expressed in the editorial “Threat to democracy” (May 4) that no state is free from candidates facing criminal charges. Every political party is guilty of fielding criminals.

More disturbing is the fact that all the major national parties as well as regional parties have fielded 15 to 20 per cent candidates with a criminal background. Unless and until the Election Commission steps up pressures for early implementation of its recommendations on electoral reforms, there is little hope for a healthy change. If criminals are not banned from contesting elections, the quality of governance will continue to worsen.

In the absence of strict laws, these criminals will go on exploiting the Indian democracy and the countrymen will have to pay a heavy price for criminalisation of politics.

SUMAN KUKAL, Chandigarh

School violence

The editorial “Expulsions from Sanawar” (May 5) has rightly highlighted the stand of the Headmaster, Lawrence School, Sanawar. Indeed, Mr Praveen Vasisht’s stand is exemplary and all other schools and colleges in the country should take a cue and vow to fight violence in their institutions. Wards of influential industrialists and bureaucrats have not learnt any lessons despite the tough stance of the apex court. By and large, such incidents are ignored to save the reputation of the institutions concerned. Thus, many such incidents are not reported.

A judicial inquiry is the right step. The Sanawar school is an elite institution and incidents of ragging or so-called routine violence should neither be encouraged nor condoned. Parents should also come out and criticise such incidents openly.

S K GOYAL, Shimla


The incident of violence at Lawrence School, Sanawar, has harmed the prestige of a great school founded by Sir Henry Montgomery Lawrence and Lady Honoria Lawrence. It is believed to be the first co-educational boarding school in the world. The incident proves that the school lacks an adequate preventive mechanism to stop such incidents. It is time the school takes more stringent action against the bullies. Merely expelling them and sending them home is a soft option.

The school has acted in this manner only to save its face and also to save itself from the clout of the influential parents whose wards have perpetuated this crime. The parents concerned should also be held accountable. They have failed in inculcating the right values among their progeny.

HARPREET SANDHU, Former Additional Advocate General, Punjab, Ludhiana

Save daughters

To the editorial “Saving the daughter” (April 25) I would like to add that there is a need to change patriarchal mindset and adopt modern thinking. Punjabis are relatively a prosperous community but social and economic reasons have led to the abominable practice of female foeticide. The girls are unwanted because of dowry demands.

The Nawanshahr model of checking female foeticide has achieved credible results and can be followed by others. Women should raise their voice against female foeticide. The health department should conduct raids at ultrasound centres and keep a tight vigil.

Doctors found guilty of conducting sex determination tests should be severely punished. The religious organisations can play a major role in changing societal attitudes that sanction such abominable practices.

M L GARG, Chandigarh

PM can be from either House

The Tribune carried two articles on “Prime Minister as an MP” (May 2). KN Bhat, a senior lawyer of the Supreme Court, has given a reasonable and logical analysis of the issue by referring to the discussions held by the Constituent Assembly.

His conclusion that the Prime Minister can be a member of either House is not only in line with the thinking of the founding fathers of our Constitution but has also been confirmed by the Supreme Court in the case of Mr H D Deve Gowda (1996). So far as the British conventions are concerned, it was rightly and categorically held by the apex court that they have no place in our system.

As such, the other view held by M Rama Jois, a former Chief Justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, that “the Prime Minister should be a member of the Lok Sabha and should be a person having the confidence of the majority of the members of the House of the people” is only partly true. The Prime Minister can have the confidence of the majority of the members of the House of the People without being an elected member of the Lok Sabha by winning a vote of confidence on the floor of the House. So, Mr Prakash Karat’s statement that the CPM would support only a person who is a member of the Lok Sabha for the post of the Prime Minister is not only constitutionally incorrect but also politically motivated.

 LAJPAT RAI GARG, Chandigarh



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