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Chawla, a symbol of austerity

Punjab Health Minister Laxmi Kanta Chawla is also a lady with a conscience (“Lady with the lamp – and broom”, Last Word May 28). As an activist of Punjab and Chandigarh College Teachers’ Union (PCCTU) she did commendable service not only to the of cause women in this profession but she also always stood up like a rock to combat the injustice and excesses being meted out to women in our male dominated society. In her speeches she often pricks the conscience of men.

Leading a life of austerity and unimpeachable integrity, she has become immune to greatest threats from whomsoever those may be. In this age of compromises and turncoat politicians she stands tall.

In a system where favouritism reigns, such persons are not unacceptable within their own party but are also declared misfits by the tribe of politicians. Unscrupulous leaders who are clamouring against her, whom she refused to oblige, are exposing their own hollowness. To cleanse our corrupt system many more of her kind are needed. May her tribe increase.

TARSEM BAHIA and KBS SODHI, Former PCCTU Presidents,
(via e-mail)


It is hard to believe that politicians, like our lady with the lamp do exist amidst us in flesh and blood. Ministers at the helm and the states need to take lessons from her. Such upright individuals are a boon to the common man and messiah for the oppressed.

Her humble dwelling at Amritsar, and her residing in M L A’s hostel as a minister, proves that one does not need huge houses or innumerable perks to execute one’s duties.

She is truly a dedicated leader born to serve those in need. Let us hope her austerity, dedication, and honesty sets an example for others. She is indeed a brave heart who has the dare to be different. She has shown how service can be rendered to the common man.

ASHA SHARMA, via e-mail


It is an accurate portrayal of a scrupulously honest politician. She belongs to the Gandhian era and is a misfit in today’s corrupt India. All the illegal favour seekers are ganged up against her. She has annoyed the Akalis as well as the BJP leaders. But she has restored discipline in the health services.

The BJP’s top leadership is aware of her honesty and no-nonsense approach. That is why her antagonist Jagdish Sahni was made to eat a humble pie. We need to stand with her.


Pension arrears

The recommendations of the Fifth Punjab Pay Commission were implemented from January 1, 2006. As regards arrears of pension, it is stated in para 14 of Punjab Government letter dated August 17,2009 that the decision shall be taken in due course. What does it mean? Is it going to be a long wait?

During the last 10 months, many a pensioner above 80 years must have left for their heavenly abode; many more may be in the queue to join them. Thus, the Punjab government should issue orders for payment of pension arrears to all retirees, especially to those who are above 80 years, expeditiously.


Girhotra’s pain

S C Girhotra’s conversation, reminiscing his daughter Ruchika with Geetanjali Gayatri was simply heart-rending (news report, “I’ve been in mourning since that fateful night”, May 27). Since the wearer only knows best where the shoe pinches, Mr Girhotra’s pain can never be fully understood by others.

Now, the least we can do is to keep a hawk’s eye on the proceedings of the case against SPS Rathore who grossly misused his economic, political and administrative clout. Society (barring the great Anand Parkash family) played the part of a mute spectator. We owe the Girhotra family justice.


Tackle corruption

The editorial, “Fighting corruption” (May 19) was apt. Unfortunately, the cure of cancer of corruption has been unsuccessful. No cure can ever be found in a country where many of our political leaders are corrupt. The famous words come to my mind — “The measure of a man’s real character is what he would do if he knew he would never be found out”. The corrupt will indulge in corruption until the system is changed.


Vying for publicity

I read the news report, “Inauguration spree by Sukhbir: SAD, Cong claim credit for projects” (May 27). Politicians vying with each other for taking credit for the completion of some projects only show their petty-mindedness and egotism.

Our megalomaniac leaders should know that the funds spent on these projects are taxpayers’ money. They are not doing a favour to the public if they have succeeded in the execution of these projects. Otherwise, for what purpose have they been elected? It is their bounden duty to look after the needs of the people who have voted them to power.

Only in a country like India so much publicity is given even for laying of foundation stones. Big advertisements appear in the newspapers and unnecessary functions are held wasting lakhs of the public money. It is another thing that in most cases after some time even these foundation stones go missing, leave alone any progress on the implementation of these much-publicised schemes and projects.

Our publicity-hungry leaders should not waste their time and energy on superfluous ceremonies of laying foundation stones for projects and then inaugurating them for earning cheap publicity. Instead, they should debate and devise more schemes and policies aimed at the welfare of the common man. There are, certainly, many serious issues crying for immediate attention and decision of our leaders.




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