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Politics behind defeat of cut motions

The defeat of the cut motions introduced by the Opposition against the government's economic policies, especially pertaining to price rise, has surprisingly changed the political scenario in the country (editorial, “Defeat of cut motions”, April 29). The BSP voted with the UPA while the SP and the RJD abstained to shun the BJP. It was strange to see the BJP and the Left parties together against the government’s economic policies.

One may find some common grounds in the name of secularism among the UPA partners, the BSP, the SP and the RJD, but what is common between the BJP and the Left parties is beyond the common man's political understanding. Those who helped the government directly or indirectly are firm on their “secular stand”, but what about the Left parties?

No doubt, everyone is under economic stress due to price rise but the common man needs a concrete economic policy which can check price rise. Will the BJP and the Left parties sit together to evolve a common economic policy? The situation created by the introduction of cut motions has brought the BSP and the Congress nearer while the SP and the RJD have softened their stand against the Congress. Even the JMM of Shibu Soren voted with UPA and the BJP received a setback. In fact, whatever happened in Parliament on April 27 should be viewed as a healthy political development. The secular forces must come together to keep the communal forces at bay.

The need of the hour is that the secular forces should cooperate with each other to evolve an economic policy that is progressive and pro-people.



The editorial has aptly exposed the secret deal of the UPA government with opportunist leaders. It is worth noting that during the budget session in February, the Samajwadi Party, the Rashtriya Janata Dal and the Bahujan Samaj Party had announced the withdrawal of support to the UPA Government. The temptations offered by government need not to be elaborated.

It is appalling to note how our leaders think of their own interests and care little about the people whom they represent. The manipulation by the UPA Government to break through Opposition ranks by enticing its leaders and withdrawing cases of disproportionate assets and corruption against them is really regrettable. Indeed, it is an unhealthy sign for our democracy.

Capt S K DATTA, Abohar

Paid news

The media is the conscience-keeper of the nation (V Eshwar Anand’s article “Subversion of democracy”, April 23). It occupies a special place in society and enjoys the freedom of speech and expression as guaranteed under the Constitution.

The media has a sacred duty to inform the people and the government correctly and dispassionately. It must not misinform and give distorted and biased news and views which project the image of a particular individual, group or party in the guise of news for monetary considerations.

It is the fundamental duty of newspapers and TV news channels to serve the people with news and comments in a fair, accurate and judicious way while strictly observing the professional ethics and moral restraints. Money and muscle power have already played havoc in politics. The media so far had been, on the whole, fair and above board.

However, the trend of “paid news”, if not checked forthwith, will degrade democracy of which we are so proud. The Press Council of India must be given abundant powers to check this menace and, secondly, the Representation of People Act should be suitably amended declaring “paid news” as an electoral malpractice and an offence.



Paid news impinges on the people’s right to know and wreaks havoc on the democratic system. It must be tackled expeditiously. At stake are the credibility and moral foundation of the media.

Unlike The Tribune, which is run by a trust, today most media establishments are run as business ventures. Thus it would be hard to expect that the unethical practice of ‘paid-news’ could ever be discontinued in our country that has no effective regulatory body except the toothless Press Council to check the menace.

BALVINDER, Chandigarh

Changing education system

Honestly, how many students, parents, teachers and schools look at promotional exams as something that serves the purpose of establishing the ability and skills to cope up with the curriculum of next grade? (Harish Dhillon’s article, “Assessing school students”, April 27).

For most of them it is a mindless race for marks. Does an understanding of the skills acquired by the child really matter in the process of chasing “numbers”? I agree with the writer that children in the West do not acquire the ability to read and write till they pass out primary years. But being a part of the Australian education system for the past five years, I would like to clarify that this is not the whole truth.

Schools have a grading system where a student book is maintained for each child detailing what he achieved last year and the ones that he was supposed to but couldn’t. If the student has achieved certain prescribed standards, he is promoted to the next class and his student book forwarded to the next class teacher to know what he can do and build up from there.

Even though admissions are according to the child’s age, it is ability-based teaching where each child is provided work according to his skills. Special students are essentially identified and handed over to special education teachers in most cases. If not, the teacher in the class is provided a Student Support Officer (SSO) who gives individual help to these pupils.

It is doubtful if such a system can be initiated in India, considering the student strength of 50-70 in each class as against a maximum of 30 in Australian schools.




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