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Congress must discourage sycophancy

The editorial “Sycophancy in Congress: It’s an illness that will weaken the party” (Sept 14) was apt. More often than not, the decision of the state Congress units to leave the election of the office-bearers to party president Sonia Gandhi is borne more out of intra-state party rivalry and lack of democratic spirit among the state leaders than out of their faith in her leadership.

Leaders who are now avowing to respect her decision will take no time to show their dissension, if not revolt, if they do not get the party posts of their liking. Their sycophancy is limited only to ensure posts that matter in the party.

The Congress must encourage and ensure a democratic process in the election of the office bearers at the state and national levels. The national leadership may feel elated now, but in the end the culture of sycophancy and patronage will ruin inner democracy and foster schism in the party. Instead of doing good work, party satraps will be paying court to the party bosses at the national level for favours.

The democratic functioning of the party and the emergence of efficient leaders in the states will definitely suffer if the Congress leadership continues to impose leaders of its choice on the state committees.



The editorial has given a timely advice to the Congress and has rightly advised the oldest democratic party of the country to become truly democratic from within rather than be labelled a party of sycophants. If the party aspires to make youth icon Rahul Gandhi as the next Prime Minister it must inculcate the democratic spirit among its cadres. It is for Ms Sonia Gandhi to decide whether she wants to nominate or get the state office- bearers elected.

Her image has grown in the eyes of the aam aadmi since she spurned the PM’s job offered to her on the platter by the party. The Congress should abandon the sycophantic culture.

Lt Col J S GILL (retd), Ludhiana


I agree with the views expressed in the editorial. The decision of the Congress units belonging to Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand to leave the matter of elections of their state chiefs and other office-bearers to AICC president Sonia Gandhi can’t be termed as healthy and democratic, especially when the party needs politically mature and awakened leaders at all organisational levels. Individuals without a genuine following manage to get positions through “money power and manipulations.” They make a mockery of the concept of inner-party democracy.

It is time for Ms Sonia Gandhi to save the Congress from the selfish designs of sycophants and vested interests. She must strengthen the party by insisting on inner-party democracy. The Congress must become a potent instrument of social change. The imposition of leadership from above will not serve the real purpose.

The AICC president must send a strong signal in favour of inner-party democracy. In Punjab many sincere Congressmen are angry over the manner in which the delegates to the PPCC have been nominated without norms and an electoral process.                  


Save food grains

It is a crime against humanity to let food grains rot in a chronically hungry country. The government seems to be either insensitive or groping in the dark on food security of the nation.  The government should buy food grains, which it can store safely and let the farmers sell the remaining produce in the market. The government should compensate the farmers rather than stockpile grains that later rot.

.LIEUT (I.N.) SUKHDEV SINGH (retd), Jagraon

Road deaths

It is disturbing to learn that more than one lakh precious lives are lost every year in road accidents in India (editorial, “Unsafe roads: Take measures to prevent accidents”, Sept 14). The valuable suggestions given in the editorial will certainly save many lives if implemented properly.

No doubt speeding, drunken driving and untrained drivers who  neglect safety regulations and traffic laws contribute to accidents but  wrongly designed roads, bad weather conditions, mechanically unfit vehicles and lack of driving courtesy and manners also add to the problem.  Providing separate lanes for slow moving vehicles like two-wheelers, auto rickshaws and tractors, etc will help the smooth flow of traffic. Indifference of people towards victims who are left bleeding on roads is highly deplorable. If people abide and follow the traffic rules, many accidents can be prevented. The traffic police must strictly enforce driving discipline and should not spare any violator.

S C VAID, Greater Noida

Are teachers role models? 

To the article “How to discipline students” (Sept 14) by Balvinder I would like to add that the concern of the writer about growing indiscipline and the fear that it may affect society at large is shared by all, particularly by the teaching community.

Corporal punishment instils fear not discipline. It can lead to permanent disability, physical and psychological scars on children. The answer to the question¾how to discipline students¾ lies in the writer’s comment that when the older generation feared teachers it was not because of the fear of corporal punishment but a mixture of awe and respect towards them.

Let the teachers of today do some soul searching and answer a few questions truthfully. Are we in anyway responsible for that missing awe and respect? How many of us are fit to be role models for our students?

Do we perform our duties as required?

The best way to discipline a child is through love. Love is a powerful instrument in correcting an erring child. Teachers must treat their students with love and dignity and guide them through their difficult years instead of being cruel to them. No child will resent a little advice if it is administered lovingly.

If a teacher is successful in instilling faith in a child that she means well I am sure no student will resent the punishment. Punishment should be preventive and should not be given out of personal vendetta. This would aggravate the problem and make children aggressive.

Regarding “spying” on teachers I feel that supervision is an integral part of the education system and serves a useful purpose in enhancing the efficiency of the teachers. For fear of surprise checks the teachers go to the classes in time and are also well prepared.

ASWANT KAUR GILL, Vice-Principal K.V.3, Jalandhar Cantt



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