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No need for Upper House in Punjab

The editorial “Council of elders” (May 8) has rightly advised the Punjab leadership to tread carefully before reviving the Upper House. To suggest the revival of the Punjab Legislative Council after a lapse of 40 years is to invite political clamour. The readers of The Tribune would vividly remember the acrimonious debates for and against the upper chamber in December issues of the paper before its abolition on January 1, 1970.

It is ironical that the political party that opposed the retention of the Vidhan Parishad earlier is its protagonist now. The ruling party stands to gain by maintaining its hold. It is feared that the revival of the Legislative Council would accommodate, as is usual in the states having a bicameral legislature, those who are defeated at the polls in the general elections or who, of late, have become indispensable.

The arguments put forth by the critics of theLegislative Council that it will mean a colossal waste of money and will delay legislation hold good. The Legislative Council being a continuous chamber, the friction between the two Houses would be evident and detrimental in case different political parties are in majority in the two respective Houses. People of the state may not like the nasty verbal duels between the ruling party and the Opposition as were seen prior to the abolition of the Legislative Council in 1970.

Punjab is too small a state which can ill-afford the revival of the upper house. The plea of the supporters that the upper house would lighten the load of the lower house or provide political education to the people or the standard of debates and the discussions of the house of elders would be fruitful, are no longer valid or tenable.


Governors’ removal

The Supreme Court ruling against the arbitrary removal of the Governors appointed by the previous government at the Centre is welcome (editorial, “No arbitrary removal”, May 10). But the million-dollar question is who will ensure that these constitutional heads of states are competent and strong enough to take an independent and impartial decision whenever a constitutional crisis arises in the state.

At present with a few exceptions, most of the Governors who are appointed are loyalists of the ruling party and its coalition partners.

Hence not unexpectedly, immediately after the new government is formed at the Centre, the first thing it does is that it removes Governors appointed by its predecessor (mostly if headed by its rival party). Some self-respecting Governors resign of their own accord to avoid unnecessary fuss and disgrace, Given that the wheels of the judiciary in India move very slowly, the misuse and manipulation of the Governor’s office for partisan ends cannot be completely stopped. The possible alternative to prevent the degeneration of this constitutional post can be to make the tenure of the Governors coterminous with the longevity of the government appointing them.

HEMA, Langeri, Hoshiarpur


A large number of right-thinking people may not agree with the judgment of the apex court giving an unwarranted immunity to the Governors against their removal by the Union Government (editorial, “No arbitrary removal”, May 10). The post of Governor is purely political.

Only the Governor decides which party to invite first in the case of a hung Assembly. Governors also recommend dismissal of the rival party’s government.

The post of Governor is a British legacy and must be abolished. In the case of hung Assemblies, there should be fixed criteria, which should not be left to the discretion of the Governors.


Caste in census

The elite may concoct a thousand explanations against the inclusion of caste in the census, but they know in their hearts that caste is a living institution in India (editorial, “Counting castes, May 8). How can it be argued that the addition of just one more column in the census performa would make it cumbersome? It is strange how doubts are being raised over the capabilities of enumerators with the addition of just one more column.

In fact, the doubting Thomases are afraid of the expected results. The number of OBCs is going to be more than 52 per cent and the sceptics foresee a strong demand for increasing reservation vis-a-vis the increased numbers.

The 1931 census results were, in fact, faulty since these belonged only to the British India. The states governed by Kings and Nawabs, etc, were not part of the census. Moreover, inaccessible areas were also left out. I feel that the census 2011 will be more cohesive.

Dr J S YADAV, Kurukshetra

Make peace

The editorial “Towards Indo-Pak talks” (April 30) painted a true picture of the events in India and Pakistan. Wars kill innocent people. Both countries have been weakened due to disruption of the peace process. Dr Manmohan Singh’s just demand to punish all those behind the 26/11 attack would be accepted by many peace-loving Pakistani people too as the majority of them appear to be fed up with terrorism.

The famous words of Jonathan Swift, “We have enough religions to make us hate but not enough to make us love each other”, should open our eyes.

Let us join our hearts and hands with honesty and humility to resolve all issues through talks.




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