L E T T E R S    T O    T H E    E D I T O R

Army’s image shouldn’t be compromised

The article “At stake, the Army’s izzat” (Aug 25) by Lt-Gen Baljit Singh (retd) is a timely warning to the military leadership. However, the writer who had enjoyed a senior position in the armed forces failed to mention effective corrective measures to save the image of the Indian Army.

The emergence of a large number of cases of indiscipline and corruption involving senior officers is perhaps due to non-reporting of matters on time. Several sensitive matters of serious concern remain unaccounted. No serving soldier will dare to report the matter directly as he has always been instructed to report the matter through the proper channel.

Matters regarding the involvement of high-ranking officers are never reported. Even the Military Intelligence Wing responsible for reporting such matters remains uncommunicative.



Therefore there is a need is to make the Military Intelligence Wing and Army Auditors Department autonomous. These two departments should have the power to report the matters related to corruption and the involvement of senior officers in any case directly to the higher authority i.e. the Ministry of Defence so that timely action is initiated.

Military service is not a desk job. It needs corruption-free leadership wherein the morale of troops should remain undeterred. The faith of troops in their leaders must not crumble. Harsh punishment alone will not serve the purpose.



In the article “Army’s image on the decline” (Aug 28) Maj-Gen Ashok K Mehta (retd) has rightly opined that the image of the Army has suffered. Despite the selection of officers through the SSB interview, which accurately reads the psychology of the person, one fails to understand why we are not able to select the right kind of officers.


Salary hike

The salary of members of Parliament has been compared with their counterparts of developed countries. But the comparison should also have been made with respect to the per capita income of the people of the respective countries. In advanced countries the elected representatives and senators draw a salary which is four to seven times the monthly income of the citizens of its country, whereas in India the MPs’ salary will be about 26 times the income of an average Indian.

Therefore some foolproof and common mechanism should be devised for fixing the salaries of MPs and other government officials so that the gap between the haves and the have-nots does not keep on widening.



As if blocking the proceedings of Parliament was not enough, now our MPs have given themselves a massive hike in their salaries. The MPs cannot be equated with government secretaries who are selected on merit and reach these posts after 30 years of meritorious service. The job of MPs is part- time and ought to be selfless in character. Mahatma Gandhi envisaged honorary service from the elected representatives. Our MPs have further lowered their image in the eyes of the aam adami struggling to make both ends meet.


Ways of justice

The editorials “Mockery of justice” and “Loss of control” (Aug 20) were bold and correctly analysed that there are different laws for the high and mighty and the poor. The high and mighty get all sorts of comforts and VVIP treatment even in jails due to their clout and political influence and take full advantage of the flaws in the law to bend justice whereas the poor get severe beating in the name of justice.


Condition of the poor

Who are the Maoists and Naxalites? Are they foreigners? No, they are, in fact, a section of the common people of India. About one-third of the Indian population is below the poverty line. Many are deprived of even basic needs such a food, shelter, clothing and healthcare. They are being forced to join Maoist ranks since the government is not taking any step to ameliorate the conditions of the poor. As a matter of fact, tainted and unscrupulous politicians are usurping the wealth of the nation and flourishing at the cost of the poor and the downtrodden.

D R SHARDA, Chandigarh

Green goals

The editorial “No’ to Vedanta project” (Aug 26) is right in its assertion that the rejection of clearance of Vedanta’s bauxite mining project will be a lesson for industries to concentrate on environmental clearances first to avoid possible cancellation later.

Industrialisation is important for the growth and development of the nation. Industry must adopt sustainability goals by concentrating on “profits, people and planet”. The concern for the environment is directly connected to the future of the human race. We are at perilous points in the history of humanity. Plant and animal species are disappearing at an alarming rate.

There is an urgent need to check global environmental degradation. It is good to note that the Ministry for Environment and Forests has taken unrestricted exploitation of non-renewable natural resources such as minerals seriously. Previously, it was easy to bypass its objections using the usual ways of corruption and subterfuge.




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