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Punish those behind “bribes for loan”

It is really not surprising to know that bribes are paid for getting any type of loan from the banks in India (editorial, “Bribes for loans: Rid banks of black sheep”, Nov 26). If the CBI has unearthed such a racket, it has done it too late. It is widely known that one has to pay 20 per cent as bribe money if one wants to avail any type of loan from any bank. Apart from the corporate loans, other loans of routine nature can also be obtained from the banks.

There are agents of the “officials” of the banks who roam in many government and public offices to attract “customers” who are in need of loan for one purpose or the other. Documents required for securing loans are fictitiously prepared/managed by these agents in one’s favour. All one has to do is to put one’s signatures on the dotted line of the agreement with the bankers. All sorts of collaterals — real or otherwise — are “managed” by the agents.

The poor common man is trapped in such a way that after paying a couple of instalments or so, it becomes difficult for him to continue paying the same any further. There are lakhs and lakhs of such cases where people are dragged to the courts for inability to pay back loans. The CBI should investigate this aspect of the “loans by bribes” and punish all those involved in such criminal scandals and save millions of innocent people who ultimately suffer at the hands of such touts. Some even commit suicide on account of being publicly humiliated by the “collection agents” of the banks.

R K KAPOOR, Chandigarh

Suu Kyi’s release

On the release of the Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi, the editorial “Free at last!” (Nov 15) rightly commented that the army junta of Myanmar has not released her out of any noble motives but only to deflect attention from a sham election won by the army-backed party to hide behind a facade of democracy. Arrest, incarceration and enforced ‘solitude’ are things that she has learnt to live with since her life changed irrevocably but now with her characteristic savoir faire, well-honed negotiating skills and commitment, she can cope with her ‘new’ life of freedom.

As she has seen the dawn of freedom again, the world’s delight cannot but be mixed with a sense of unease about the military junta’s motives. It would be naive to see her release as a change of heart of Myanmar’s ruthless rulers. Their motives were indicated by the electoral fraud they perpetrated on the country and its people on the eve of her release. It is inconceivable that she will not use her freedom in order to carry on the struggle that she has come to symbolise. But it is inconceivable too that the generals would stomach this and let her be truly free.

Ms Suu Kyi can now publicly react to the fraud in only one way — by totally rejecting the poll results. No matter which democratic masks the generals wear, her rejection of the polls will make the regime look even more illegitimate to the people of Myanmar and the world at large. But, despite doubts and forebodings, her release carries an overwhelming message of hope for the future of freedom in Myanmar. It is worth mentioning here that we in India might have forgotten the teachings of Buddha and Mahatma Gandhi but Ms Suu Kyi has always acknowledged their great influences on her life and work. Moreover, she got the inspiration from Aung San, her father and leader of her country’s struggle for freedom from British rule, and Nelson Mandela, who holds the record for serving the longest prison term — 28 years — and who, too, learnt his lessons from Gandhi. Ms Suu Kyi has remained an unwavering Gandhian in her total commitment to peace. All this makes her a formidable fighter. She has repeatedly said that her struggle for a free, democratic Myanmar must be seen as part of mankind’s desire for life without fear and oppression. Her release, therefore, is best seen as a new light that will kindle hope for prisoners of conscience in other places. It should inspire world leaders and freedom-loving people everywhere to speak up against dictators and oppressors. The editorial rightly concluded that if the world stands by her, she can stand up to the army machine.

DILBAG RAI, Chandigarh

Almighty’s will

Justice Mahesh Grover’s middle “99+1=100 per cent” (Nov 25) was an impressive and thought-provoking piece. Even though man has progressed beyond one’s imagination and conquered even the impossible, so to say, there are innumerable occasions when one feels absolutely helpless and no one but God comes to one’s rescue at such times.

In fact, such occurrences are nothing short of miracles. The ‘one’ per cent is indeed indispensable! It has been rightly said that a man with God is always in the majority. Harold Kushner of “When Bad Things Happen to Good People” fame has affirmed, “The man or woman who turns to God is like a tree planted by a stream. What they share with the world is replenished from a source beyond themselves, so they never run dry.”


NRIs’ voting right

The editorial “NRIs can vote” (Nov 27) has been well received in Seoul by the Indian fraternity. The Government of India deserves a pat on the back for its wisdom. The Indian identity among NRIs will remain intact through this long-awaited historic decision. NRIs can play a crucial role by building international opinion on certain issues of relevance for the Indian political economy. In my opinion, the Indian embassy can have a polling booth for voting by NRIs as an alternative to visiting India for casting the vote. This certainly calls for sensitisation of the officials of Indian embassies to learn to behave, as observed in the editorial.

Every Indian in foreign land is certainly a brand ambassador and deserves respect in its embassy manned by some of the snobs who need to be taught relationship management with NRIs. It is on record that India gets the biggest sum of money from their workers abroad and their remittances play a significant role.

It should also be accepted by our leaders that Indians are poor and unemployed in India only. Whenever and where ever in foreign land they get an opportunity, they prove better than anybody else and are the first choice of any foreign employer because of their higher emotional quotient (EQ). It is being observed in the Global HR Forum 2010 at Seoul that Indians impress their foreign employers within five minutes and are most suitable employees. We need to be ready for tomorrow to fetch fortunes as the Korean Government has already declared 2011 as the ‘Year of India’

M.M. GOEL, Seoul



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