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Sordid state of criminal cases

I read the review of Jarnail Singh’s book I accuse....The anti-Sikh violence of 1984 by Roopinder Singh (Spectrum, Dec 6). To expect the victims to forget and forgive is outrageous if not vulgar, especially when a 25-year-long wait hasn’t delivered justice.

The sordid state of prosecution of criminal cases and the continuing collusive role of the state machinery in shielding the perpetrators of the gory crimes of 1984 should be a matter of shame for all Indians regardless of ideological or political leanings.

Our collective silence on the worst episode of state-sponsored communal violence in Independent India brings to my mind the famous lines of Russian dissident poet Yevgeni Yevtushenko, “When truth is replaced by silence, the silence is a lie.”

GAURAV JULKA, Ferozepore

Childlike or childish?

I read Khuswant Singh’s column (Dec 12) entitled No answer to this question. The question in itself is rather immature for a litterateur of his age and stature.The Columnist’s question, which, he claims, no one has been able to answer is, ‘Why do bad things happen to good people?’ The answer to this question can easily be sought by considering a related question —”Why should only good things happen to good people?’

Or do ‘good’ people have an exclusive right over good things? If the columnist thinks ‘yes’ and if people are being ‘good’ because they want good things to happen to them, then their goodness is utterly false and hollow. Such ‘good’ people are nothing but hypocrites who demand a price for their goodness in terms of good things only. Deep down, however, they are really bad. Asking such a childish question and then childishly revelling over the fact that no one has been able to answer it point to a little child still existing in our octogenarian ( or is it nonagenarian?) columnist.

A.K. LAWRENCE,Bathinda


I read “No answer to the question” by Khuswant Singh (Saturday Extra, Dec 12 ). According to him, the contention “Why bad things happen to good people” has no answer. There can be a number of answers and explanation. Since he claims to be a non-believer in God, the reply must be such that God should not be brought into the picture.

We already have Buddhism and Jainism that propagate the rebirth and Karma theory, but do not believe in the existence of God. There cannot be any explanation better than the Karma theory or the good and bad deeds of previous births. Many cases of rebirth come to light where small boys and girls are able to tell the exact location of their previous birth and recognise their relations of previous birth in very much correct details.

If one is serious about understanding the phenomenon of rebirth, the above reply should be sufficient.


Partisan view

Khushwant Singh’s views on A.B. Vajpayee that Justice Liberhan has squarely blamed him for being a party to the conspiracy to destroy Babri Masjid seem to be partisan insofar as Justice Liberhan’s findings maintain a studied silence on the role of the ruling party (“This Above All”, Dec 5).

The public does not expect Khushwant to keep up a posture of neutrality and secularism, which many a time he does, and sprinkle stains on one set of politicians as against the other class.

C.M. Bhargava, Panchkula

Defections, a mockery of democracy

I read Hemant Kumar’s article, Pitfalls of anti-defection law (Perspective, Nov 29). It is very informative showcasing the political circus of Aya Rams and Gaya Rams and exposing the miserable failure of the Anti-Defection Act to curb political defections polluting the fabric of the polity.

Because of the weak, ill-conceived law, it is becoming increasingly common to see elected representatives switching parties or, in a desperate bid to share power, joining the very party against which they contested elections. This amounts to making a mockery of democracy.

I strongly feel that power brokers are capturing the system based on unethical and immoral coalition politics. Candidates of various political parties fool honest public first by fighting elections against each other and then raping the democracy by sharing power under the camouflage of coalition politics.
People seem to be losing their faith in the representative institutions. Who is to be blamed for this sorry state of affairs?

Electoral reforms should be initiated incorporating the right to recall and making the anti-defection law more stringent by seeking the resignation of the people’s representative and their re-election in case of splits, mergers or pledging support to the party against which elections were fought.

I am sure politicians under the hypnotising influence of capturing power will not initiate radical electoral reforms and plug the loopholes in the anti-defection law until the media moulds public opinion to force them to fall in line.

Dr VITULL K. GUPTA, Bathinda



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