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

Affirmation of a functioning democracy

H K Dua’s front-page editorial “It’s affirmation of a functioning democracy” (May 17) was quite heartening and provided cause for cheer. The massive mandate has discarded the unprincipled alliances, the forces of opportunism, casteism and regionalism. Polls have amply established that politicians can no longer befool the public or take voters for granted. Good governance and performance matters more than religion, rhetoric, temples and false promises. Indeed, people have voted for stability, development, peace and progress. It is a real victory of democratic values norms and pluralism.

Now the ball is with the UPA government who must act decisively and promptly, especially on issues like terror, financial meltdown, poverty, corruption, illiteracy and malnutrition. The electoral system too calls for immediate remedial measures. While voting should be made compulsory for the electorate, the Election Commission must be given more powers.



The electorate of India have once again surprised the poll pundits and politicians by returning the Congress-led UPA to power. The verdict is clearly in favour of Dr Manmohan Singh and his team. Our people have rejected the communal party, the BJP, and expressed strong reservations about the so-called iron-man, Mr LK Advani. They have also given a big jolt to the Left parties in West Bengal by thoughtfully voting against them. I think the CPM seems to have lost the confidence of the common people and suffered the biggest debacle since 1977.

The credibility of leaders of the Left parties is now at stake and they must reposition themselves. They ignored the basic task of educating their cadres about the fundamental tenets of Marxism. The veteran communist leaders like B T Ranadive, P Ramamurti, and Harkishen Singh Surjeet are no more on the scene. They enlightened the party cadres about the need to purposefully struggle for the common man. The biggest winner in 15th Lok Sabha elections is the Congress and the biggest loser is the CPM.



Mr Dua’s editorial was objective, realistic and thought provoking. The UPA owes its success to Dr Manmohan Singh’s sincerity, profound knowledge and integrity, successfully exploited by Mr Rahul Gandhi and Ms Sonia Gandhi in their poll campaigns in a positive manner.

On the other hand, the BJP was aggressive, indecent and harsh in its unjustified criticism of Dr Singh and went out of the way to project the rude and crude style of 
Mr Narendra Modi. Mr Varun Gandhi’s speech turned out to be counterproductive.

If the BJP is not to perish, it has to follow the canons of liberal democracy, as rightly pointed out in the editorial. Let us hope that the BJP would seriously ponder over its style of functioning. Only then will it be able to fulfil its role as a constructive opposition.

S M MEHTA, Chandigrh

EC’s role 

The Election Commission (editorial, “Well-done, EC”, May 14) deserves all the praise for its gigantic task of conducting general elections of the largest democracy of the world. Its officials deserve to be complimented.

However, the sad part is that voters failed to utilise facilities created for them by the Election Commission. Besides, poor percentage of polling was a dampener. This is disheartening and in future more steps should be taken to ensure that more and more people come out to vote. Only then will the election results be truly representative of India.

 S K GOYAL Shimla

Poor leadership

While upsetting calculations of all political pundits, anti-incumbency factor failed to touch majority of the states. Unfortunately, Punjabi voters were not as lucky and had to cast negative votes. Successive governments in Punjab have failed to govern well. Most Punjabi leaders have a narrow agenda of fixing political opponents, personal vendetta and nepotism.

Punjab used to be the number one state but today it is lagging behind in many key parameters. While Punjabis have scripted many success stories, our political leaders have nothing to write home about. There seems to be an unwritten agreement between the two major political parties of Punjab not to perform, so that both can get an equal opportunity to promote their dynasty. 


Saving daughters

Dr Mitu Khurana deserves all the praise. She not only resisted pressure to give birth to twin daughters but also has been fighting a legal battle against her in-laws. Despite the PCPNDT Act, even the well-educated class of people are killing unborn girls.

You have rightly observed in the editorial “Bearing daughters” (May 16) that until female foeticide is not understood and dealt with as a crime in the same continuum as female infanticide or sati, gender balance that could rip apart India’s social fabric will continue to grow. I appeal to the lawyers not to take up the cases of those involved in the abominable practice of female foeticide. No doubt, such people are killers.


Kudos to media

The role of the Indian media, particularly The Tribune, in the run-up to the just concluded parliamentary elections has by and large been very positive. It is due to the media’s efforts that in spite of scorching heat, the middle-class and youth came out in large numbers and voted for communal harmony, peace, good governance and a stable government. Only a stable and determined government can fight against the menace of terrorism. The voters have rejected the belligerent attitude of Mr LK Advani and that of the exploiters and blackmailers. The stock market has responded with an unprecedented bull run. Now we have men of eminence, like Mr Shashi Tharoor, to serve the nation. The electorate of West Bengal deserves credit for reining in the destructive fury of the Left. Punjab has given a mild rebuff to the politics of populism. We can now hope for an accelerated economic growth.  


Tap hydel power

In the past few years, the Punjab government has taken steps to increase thermal power and to raise it from 2620 MW to 9100 MW. This is likely to increase threat to environment and aggravate the fly ash problem.

Punjab should no longer continue to neglect tapping of the hydel power. At Shahpur Kandi considerable hydel potential is being wasted. The project designs and drawings for this project had been prepared long back and staff is in position. Still the go-ahead signal is not being given. One can imagine the scenario, if Nangal Dam had not been built below Bhakra Dam. Same will be the efficacy of Shahpur Kandi project to Thein Dam.

DR G S DHILLON, Former Chief Engineer Punjab (Irrigation), Chandigarh

Terrorist organisation

India need not shed tears over the death of the LTTE chief, V Prabhakaran. He was the mastermind behind the assassination of the late Prime Minister, Rajiv Gandhi. Dr Manmohan Singh should take strict action against the LTTE and its sympathisers because the LTTE is undeniably a terrorist organisation.


Language is tied to culture

Language is not “cultured” in a laboratory. It originates and evolves as part of culture. History is testament to the fact that the death of culture invariably results in the death of its language and vice-versa. To isolate a language from culture is to initiate its decay. Therefore, it is not only logical but also vital to study a language and its texts from perspectives that do not limit it to words on a sheet of paper.

Shelley Walia in his thought-provoking article “English+cultural studies” (May 19) presented a strong argument and postulated the necessity of renaming the Department of English as Department of English and Cultural Studies with special reference to Panjab University.

This proposal is bound to be welcomed by all students and research scholars who want to explore the endless possibilities of appreciating a language through its representations in art, dance, film, music, philosophy, etc. This shall raise pedagogy and scholarship in our universities to international standards.

KAMNA SINGH, Chandigarh



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