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Towards a new class of leaders

I read Robin Gupta’s article “Case for a new generation of patriots” (Perspective, Jan 3). Sadly, the country’s body politic, home to one of the oldest civilisations of the world, has degenerated to a large extent, thanks to the politician-bureaucrat nexus.

The system shields the corrupt and stymies merit. The dispensation rewards the influential, but crushes the downtrodden. The democratic set-up is based on money power and vote-bank politics while the insensitive bureaucracy cares two hoots about the common man.

The result is there for all to see. We have now a class of people — daredevils as they are — that violate every law with impunity, amass wealth by shady means, spread hatred and violence, just to anything and yet roam free. Nobody can touch them.

The modern-day politicians and bureaucrats who have made the nation their personal fiefdom have many things in common — bloated egos, megalomaniac temperament, insatiable greed for money and power and this makes them affable bedfellows sharing symbiotic relationship, producing in the process a hydra-headed monster which develops and grows in the ambience of corruption, inefficiency, nepotism, wheeling and dealing, et al.

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The present system where there is authority without responsibility, power without accountability, discretion without valour, action without purpose and planning without vision only makes things worse.

In the garb of leaders, we have demagogues spitting venom of hatred day in and day out and in place of the pre-Independent ICS clan known for their honesty and integrity, we have anglicised babus who consider themselves a cut above the rest, busy in garnering plum postings by hook or by crook.

Clearly, in the present set-up, the country does not need external foe. The malaise is deep-rooted. The need of the hour is politicians who guide the people, civil servants who serve the people and common man who loves the country. A change in the mindset is required and therein lies in the redemption.



The article was quite interesting. It is indeed disturbing to see that during nearly five decades of Congress rule, patriotism declined sharply amongst the Indians. The spirit which made lakhs of martyrs to sacrifice their life for the nation seems to have vanished.

However, the writer gives wrong reason for Indira Gandhi lifting the Emergency and declaring elections in 1977. This had nothing to do with her respect for democracy. In reality, her censorship of the Press became a bane for her. She was totally cut off from the ground realities.

The Press was gagged and her cronies fed her with stories which were music to her ears.

Indira Gandhi miscalculated on the basis of these fairly tale stories and got trounced in the elections. Had she known the ground realities, she would have neither lifted the Emergency nor declared the elections.

A.K. SHARMA, Chandigarh

Reflecting reality

While Sourav Sarangi deserves full credit for his documentary film on Bilal (Enduring Human Drama, Spectrum, Jan 10), it’s a pity that the film is not being exhibited in India.

Ironically, while we are being constantly exposed to meaningless violence and drudgery in the media, any attempt to show the reality in our backyard is resisted by the authorities and the public as in the case of Slumdog Millionaire.

Moreover, what have the sponsors of the film done to improve the conditions of Bilal and his blind parents, apart from winning awards for the film?

M. M. MATHUR, New Delhi

War on drugs

War on narcotics drugs” by Virendra Kumar (Perspective, Jan 3) was a thought-provoking article.

There is no doubt that the objective of riding society of the menace of drugs abuse is commendable.

However, giving a free hand to the police to achieve the objective is full of danger. Because the reputation of a few Punjab policemen is ell known. They will go to any length to misuse ythe powers and the problem will become more critical than it is.

Therefore, it would be much better if those in illicit possession of narcotic drugs are nabbed by the designated officer (who should be empowered to search, detain and arrest those who had committed the offence).


Of media and social harmony

Justice G.N. Ray rightly concluded that the Indian social fabric is very delicate and fragile in his write-up, “The changing face of Indian media” (Perspective, Jan 10).

Social harmony and political unity are not possible without a common philosophy that trains all the citizens to strive for the same goal and work in the same spirit.

John Dewey deplores the spiritual chaos of modern civilisation thus: “There is no such bond of social unity as once united Greeks, Romans, Hebrews, and the Catholics of medieval Europe. There are those who realise what is portended by the loss of religion as an integrating bond.”

Without the strong cement of a common philosophy, the Indian states are like a tower of bricks without mortar. Presently, the politics has turned into a perpetual boxing match, in which no rules of honour are observed.

I endorse the views of the Chairman, Press Council of India. His diagnosis is cent per cent correct.

But then, who shall prescribe the treatment? Treatment shall hasten the advent of the time heralded by R. Browning: “When all mankind (Indians) alike is perfected, equal in full-blown powers.”

ADITYA N. CHOPRA, Kurukshetra



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