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Measures to curb corruption

Corruption by a section of our politicians and bureaucrats has assumed such an alarming proportion that even the supposedly cleanest of them are being viewed with suspicion by society. The following measures, if implemented with the consensus of all well-meaning parliamentarians belonging to the UPA, the NDA and other fronts, can go a long way in setting the house in order.

1. Setting up of super fast-track courts to examine cases of corruption with no more than a three-tier review up to the highest appellate authority.

2. Summary dismissal from service along with the freezing of all pensionary and medical benefits, including even gratuity amounts. This should be done besides the seizure of all assets, recovery of all kinds of losses from government officials/public servants found guilty of corruption of any level.

3. Complete social boycott of all those found guilty of corruption.

4. Debarring from contesting elections all those found guilty of indulging in acts of corruption.

5. There should be no provision for sending the corrupt to jail as this leads to a further burden on the state exchequer for maintaining such persons.

6. The only opportunity available to the corrupt after they have been penalised should be to offer them a chance to do manual jobs as unskilled workers, irrespective of the last level or rank held by them.

7. Do away with the requirement of prior sanctions before launching proceedings in cases of corruption against ruling politicians and high government officials.

8. For future, fix a ceiling or a cap on the acquisition of property/ assets in the names of individuals, but not on organisations some people run to generate wealth and provide services and employment.

9. The maximum number of flats or plots to be owned by a family be restricted to four, excluding one farmhouse.

10. Bank deposits exceeding Rs 1 crore per earning member in any family must be accounted for each penny earned/saved. In all such cases, free medical care should be insured for surrendering members.

11. Abolish the currency notes of Rs 1000 and Rs 5000 immediately for the next five years, after giving a holiday period of three months to hoarders of black money to deposit the same with the government for the regularisation of their incomes after paying the income tax applicable. No penalties may be charged from such people.

12. Offer an opportunity to Indian citizens holding deposits in foreign banks on the payment of taxes attracted, or they will risk the forfeiture of these amounts by the government.


“Ekta Yatra”

We fully support the views expressed in the editorial, "Flag down EktaYatra" (The Tribune, January 21). The BJP’s so-called “Ekta Yatra” and flag hoisting programme in Srinagar will only further complicate the situation in the state. Chief Minister Omar Abdullah is dealing with the critical situation in the valley effectively and there is a marked improvement in the situation. We all should strengthen the hands of the Chief Minister. We agree with the view that if the BJP is sincere about the move the party should accept the invitation of Mr Omar Abdullah and participate in the official function in Srinagar.

Amar Jit Singh Goraya, Griffith NSW, Australia

Demolishing “Adarsh”

Union Minister for Environment Jairam Ramesh has ordered razing of the infamous Adarsh Housing Society complex in Mumbai as it was constructed in violation of the rules and without mandatory permission from his ministry. The compex built on defence land has cost hundreds of crores of rupees. Its demolition may cost a few hundred crore rupees more. The question that needs to be answered is: why have the Ministry of Environment and other concerned agencies woken up now and connived by keeping quiet during the construction? Will the guilty ever be punished? Why should the government waste money on demolition? Why should the genuine flat owners suffer because of some unscrupulous elements who stepped in, taking advantage of the permissiveness prevailing all around? Those affected will go to the court. If the country’s courts intervene and stop demolition, what course will the government be left with? It is necessary that all pros and cons are carefully considered and then a decision taken to retain or demolish the building complex.

RJ Khurana, Bhopal

Food inflation

Sucha Singh Gill, in his article “Food inflation hurts the poor” (January 18, Oped), has very rightly blamed the government policies for the sudden rise in the prices of food items. To my mind, the common people are also responsible for this unprecedented rise in prices as they intensively chase the scarce items and try to purchase such items more than their current needs and store them for fear of future price rise.

Nonetheless, the soaring prices of these daily-consumption items have broken the bones of the poor. Both producers and consumers are losers at the hands of middlemen, hoarders and profiteers. The hoarders and profiteers are in league with politicians and the administration.

This is high time the government took immediate steps to conduct raids on the hoarders and unearth the hidden stocks to control the prices of food items. Secondly, immediate imports should be allowed to end the deficit.

Thirdly, people should be educated to temporarily cut the consumption of very costly items and consume alternative food items so that the prices are controlled through the supply and demand mechanism. People should teach a lesson to the hoarders and try to control prices by their own will power.

Puran Singh, Assistant Professor, Haryana Institute of Rural Development, Nilokheri

How farmers suffered

D.R. Chaudhry’s piece “Political opportunism in Haryana” (Jan 5) requires further elaboration. The participation of Haryanvis in large numbers turned the mutiny of 1857 into the largest uprising the British had ever to face. The siege of Delhi was the British Raj’s Stalingrad. There were a large number of casualties on both sides. Finally, on September 14, 1857, the British and their hastily assembled army of Sikhs and Pathans began a fresh assault and regained power. The government formed by the people during the uprising collapsed.

There were orders by the British in Delhi and Haryana to shoot every soul they could lay their lands on. The result was a tragic neglect of the people of Haryana. Frequent crop failures and famines added to the distress of the peasantry and the poor. Moneylenders exploited the peasantry with exorbitant rates of interest, and the peasantry was very heavily in debt. The land continued to change hands from its old owners to moneylenders, town-dwellers, successful lawyers and prosperous merchants. As was visible, the balance of economic power was shifting, creating social tensions in the region.

At this juncture, Chhotu Ram emerged on the scene and worked hard to protect the interests of the peasantry and agricultural workers.




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