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Money power rules elections

Articles, “The money menace” by Trilochan Sastry and “A threat to democracy” by V Eshwar Anand along with the views of Supreme Court advocates M.N. Krishnamani and Prashant Bhushan (Aug 23) were apt and informative. Surely, money has become the most important factor in Indian politics.

The rise in the number of crorepati MPs in Parliament is a dangerous trend. It is surprising to note that from 156 crorepatis in the last Lok Sabha the number has risen to 315 in the current one. Certainly, politics has become a business of the rich. They invest in crores and win elections.

Mr Sastry has rightly said that anyone who spends crores of rupees in an election will focus on recouping his or her investment after winning. Honest and intelligent people with limited resources cannot even dream of contesting elections. Corrupt politicians bribe the masses for votes. Even the public accepts ”gifts”. If giving gifts is a crime then even taking them is a crime. But who cares?

The demand for funding and scrutiny of audited accounts by the Election Commission is the need of the hour.

R K KAPOOR, Chandigarh

Make CWG a success

The editorial “Accountability mantra” (Aug 21) has aptly cautioned that the stink of corruption in high places is all-pervasive and the Manmohan Singh government will have to pay a heavy price in future if this malady is not redressed. Corruption is rampant in every sphere of life in India.

There are few arenas in public life where one can say that work can be done without greasing the palms of the officials concerned.

Ms Sonia Gandhi’s initiative in cleansing politics and removing corruption is welcome and ought to be lauded. She is the only leader who practises what she says.

The allegations of irregularities and corruption in constructing the venues of Commonwealth Games are shocking. CWG is a matter of national pride. It is time every Indian rose above political affiliations and personal interests and lent a helping hand to the government to successfully organise the CWG.

AJAY K JINDAL, via-e-mail

Missing joys

Nirmal Sandhu in his article “Working women in a trap” (Aug 21) rightly laments the loss incurred by the family and society at large due to women’s preoccupation with jobs and careers. Society is being deprived of good values because the mother is not available to the child when it needs her the most. The writer verily points to the ‘small joys’ we are missing in the  pursuit of ‘big things’.

The whole family is hankering after earning money and owning more and more worldly possessions. But money alone does not bring happiness. We are trapped by material progress and the women caught in this trap are the worst sufferers.

They are losing out on their intrinsic elegance and grace. The most regrettable thing is that a majority of them are not aware of the price they are paying for their so-called economic freedom.


Virtue of forgiveness

As a goodwill gesture, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah has pardoned the man who flung a shoe at him, saying that the “holy month of Ramazan teaches us to be compassionate and to forgive everyone” (news report, “CM pardons shoe thrower, orders his release”, Aug 18). It was in this month that the Quran was revealed to the Prophet. Verse 41 of soorah Al-shoora says. “And the recompense of an injury is an injury the like there of; but who so forgives and his act brings about reformation, his reward is with Allah. Surely, he loves not the wrongdoers.”

The display of forgiveness is one of the noblest traits of humanity. The desire to exact revenge is cruel. Even Dr Farooq Abdullah quipped in a lighter vein that it was a wonderful thing that his son had joined the elite club of former US President George Bush, Home Minister P Chidambaram, Pakistan President Asif Ali Zadari, et al. The shoe thrower was so overwhelmed by Mr Omar Abdullah’s forgiving spirit that tears welled up in his eyes.


Safeguard farmers’ interests

It is a matter of concern that the fertile land of farmers is being acquired at throw-away prices by different state governments in the name of developing new roads, industrial hubs and modern townships. It is shameful and shocking that the farmers of Jikarpur village in Aligarh district in Uttar Pradesh were fired upon when they came out on roads protesting against the amount of compensation for their acquired land.

Our policy makers in New Delhi have never been sensitive to the needs of the rural masses, particularly the farmers. It appears as if they are bent upon pauperising the farming community with an aim to ensuring the growth and prosperity of only corporate houses and big industrialists.

The present rulers along with their capitalist friends know very well that if the back of the peasantry is broken, the rural masses will lose their will power to stand up against the pro-rich economic policies of the government. Therefore, agriculture is being callously neglected in this country and the farmers are being forced to part with their fertile land, the perennial source of their survival and livelihood.

The Land Acquisition Act must be suitably amended to address the genuine grievances of the farmers. No fertile cultivable land should be acquired without the consent of the farmers. We all need good roads, modern townships, metros and better hospitals but not by depleting the rural areas of their fertile land.




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