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Feudal mind set shapes ourpolitics

Ashutosh Kumar in his article Punjab: Traditional vs elite politics (Oct 27) has opined that Mr Manpreet Badal represents elite politics which includes educated urbane middle class who read English newspapers and watch debates on television and who have an access to the Internet and Facebook, while Mr Sukhbir Badal represents traditional land owning jat peasantry.

I think the current crisis in the SAD has been precipitated due to the impending succession of Mr Sukhbir Badal as Chief Minister. Mr Manpreet Badal has not voiced his dissent for the first time against the so-called populist moves and subsidies attached with these schemes. The writer has correctly mentioned that the veracity of this fact (of dissent) cannot be denied even by his detractors.

It is well known that Mr Sukhbir Badal is the Chief Minister-in-waiting. He faces no threat from within his party for his succession. Threat, if any, could come from the family itself. So, when Mr Manpreet Badal gave his views in the press, Mr Sukhbir Badal decided that enough was enough and went all out against his cousin, leaving no way for his graceful return in the SAD.

Some critics have already written the obituary of the political career of Mr Manpreet Badal. But I disagree. Mr Manpreet Badal has opened a new path, where all those MLAs who are against Mr Sukhbir Badal’s succession but are afraid to speak up can tread if they wish to.

In our country, unfortunately, we still nurse a feudal mindset. The Badals in Punjab, the Thackerays in Maharashtra, the Abdullahs in J&K and, above all, the Gandhis exist because of our feudal mindset. No political party allows anyone to speak against the leader. If anyone dares, even if he is right, he is shown the door. Elections should be fought over policies and ideologies but, unfortunately, in our country, they are fought on the basis of caste and subsidies. All political parties are to be equally blamed for this mess. Our leaders worry about the next elections while a statesman should think of the next generation.

ARUN HASTIR, Babehali, Gurdaspur

Exemplary activists

Nonika Singh’s article, Swimming against the tide (Oct 28), has put up a strong stand for women activists. Women activists have awakened the spirit of women living in the remote and backward regions of our country.

These women have established that their meaningful debates are actually more important than the rallies of dubious hooligans resulting in pandemonium. I think that we need more women activists who can shape India’s future.



The article was apt. The writer has rightly said that becoming an activist is never a cakewalk, albeit an uphill task. As in life so in the domain of activism, women do face greater challenges. Society, which is so used to seeing women in conventional roles, may not respond to them effusively. But, I hope, their tribe increases.

Activism is any day better than making kitty parties their prime time preoccupation. Also they shouldn’t try to be in the news for wrong reasons but for positive causes.



The extraordinary achievements of women activists like Mallika Sarabhai, Medha Patkar, Arundhati Roy, Shabana Azmi, Vandana Shiva and Irom Sharmila need to be highlighted.

Such articles provide guidance and inspiration to other women who too can contribute positively for the betterment of the masses. Although activism is not an easy path many women have found the courage to move on.


A disgraced Lord

It is indeed a matter of shame for a man of the stature of Lord Swraj Paul to lose membership of the Labour Party, and be suspended from the House of Lords, on grounds of bogus claims (editorial, A disgraced Lord”, Oct 25). The amount of 20,000 pounds claimed by him as expense allowances is a negligible amount for an industrialist like him. It reflects a corrupt mentality.

We fall for anything that is free or on discount. That is the root cause of India being one of the most corrupt countries of the world. The IPL and CWG mess show how people stoop low to make a fast buck. The honour of the country takes a backseat. We need to go back to our forefathers for whom honour was everything. They would sacrifice their life for family honour and self-respect but not cheat. It is time we controlled our greed and unlimited desires. Money made through corruption and unfair means can never make us happy or give us peace. Can any amount of money now buy back the honour of disgraced Lord Swraj Paul?

Col R D SINGH, Ambala Cantt


Jalandharites like me are a dejected lot. Lord Paul was in august company of people like the great singer K.L Saigal and poet Hafiz Jalandhari who were from Jalandhar.

Many companies allow leave travel allowance to their employees to travel to their hometowns once in a year. Some unscrupulous employees state the farthest corner of India as their hometown to draw maximum allowance. But then they are ordinary people. If people like Lord Paul act in a similar fashion, one can only say, “How the mighty have fallen!”


Land scam

Having a flat in the high-rise society in Colaba by the who’s who of India is no big deal but misappropriating land in the name of Kargil martyrs and veterans has shown a new low in public morality. The way welfare measures meant for the ex-servicemen and their families are being siphoned off by the big bosses should be a cause for much concern.

Time has come to take stock of the existing measures and its delivery mechanism for the veterans and their families to ensure that the land, petrol pumps or monetary awards, etc, are allotted to the real ex-servicemen. May be, a Joint Parliamentary Committee can be constituted to address the burning issues concerning the veterans.

Air Cmde RAGHUBIR SINGH, (retd), Pune

Celebrate green Divali

Environmental pollution is increasing day by day due to merciless cutting of trees, poaching of animals and the increasing number of vehicles. It is time now to celebrate green Divali.

We must say no to crackers and save the mother earth from ecological imbalance. We should all swear to celebrate green Divali by planting trees and also taking a vow to make the country polythene-free.




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