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

Policemen are no friends of people

The editorial, “Policemen as friends: PM’s wish still a far cry” (Feb 2) rightly calls for the transformation of the police “if the people are to feel safe and secure.” Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s view that policemen should be treated as “friends” to let them perform their duties is quite absurd. No policeman today is willing to cooperate with the public. Due to rampant corruption prevailing in the police force, it is unimaginable to expect that policemen would be our “friends.”

It is alleged that those aspiring to join police force have to pay huge bribes at the time of the recruitment. So when they actually wear the uniform after training, their foremost worry seems to be to recover the “bribe amount” they had paid for becoming policemen. The police force needs to be reformed first and corruption must be eliminated.

R K KAPOOR, Chandigarh

Governance matters

The people of Egypt have not revolted against President Hosni Mubarak or a dictator (editorial, “Mubarak must go” Feb 2). It is people’s anger against the governance which had failed to address their aspirations and needs. Whatever is happening in Egypt cannot be taken as an internal affair nor a dictator’s high headedness as Natwar Singh said, “dictator makes bridges where there are no rivers.”

Rudderless governance is even worse than dictatorial governance. It really does not make any difference whether it is the failure of a dictator or a democratic regime. It has been rightly said, “for form of government, let fools contest, what administers best is the best.”

Therefore, democratic governance is no exception and should not fail to provide a clean and corruption-free governance and fall short of people’s expectations. It is wake-up call to our politicians who must learn lessons from such happenings. Our democratic system has become redundant and the coalition form of government has proved to be a failure. Leaders of coalitions demand particular ministries and different portfolios as the price of lending support to a major political group with a fractured mandate.


Key to happiness

Shriniwas Joshi’s middle “Why am I happy?” (Jan 24) was touching and thought-provoking. Near the sunset of life people generally hide their declining physical and mental faculties and pretend to be what they are not. However, the writer gives a sermon to senior citizens to feel relaxed by honestly and sincerely following the maxim that to come to terms with one’s old age is the desire of many, but it is within the power of a few.

The writer’s own example is worth emulating. It is better to openly place life’s cards on the table rather than keeping them close to one’s chest. Unfortunately, many senior citizens criticise their friends, relatives, dependents and grown up children making underserved and undesirable expectations. They fret, frown and fume making a hell of their own life and all others connected with them. This will surely enhance the span of life, reduce age related ailments, worldly burdens and life-long regrets.

A.N SHARMA, Dharamshala

Heinous incident

The news of burning alive of the Additional District Collector of Malegaon, Yashwant Sonawne has shaken the whole country. Such heinous acts are the result of a nexus between antisocial elements and politicians. Political parties seem to be under compulsion to have the support of criminals. Even officers are being openly threatened. This internal terrorism is more dangerous than external threat.

A S ANAND, Ludhiana

Food inflation

Jayshree Sengupta’s article “Ensuring food security: Will it be for all or only a few?" (Jan 17) was thought-provoking. It clearly underlined the major challenge of food inflation that the government is facing, which can’t be ignored at any cost.

Since the prices of essential commodities have risen so frequently in the past the hoarderstake advantage of the situation, which ultimately leads to inflation. Politicians play the blame game and seem to be least concerned about the common man.

ANDE DA ANAND, Chambaghat, Solan

Think positively

J L Gupta’s middle “Smooth seventies” (Jan 22) was interesting. Short sentences always whet the appetite for reading more. The way he compares the past with the present was eloquent. I firmly believe that positive thinking is the main ingredient to leading a purposeful life. Everyone is gifted, but some people never open their package. If you want to be loved, be loveable.

DV JOSHI, Bartana, Zirakpur

Historic war

M Rajivlochan in his article “War that changed India’s destiny” (Jan 15) writes, “With the third battle of Panipat, the Maratha efforts to rule over India come to an end.” If we analyse the historical event following this battle, the facts speak otherwise. There is no doubt the Marathas were utterly defeated in the battle in which Maratha commanders like Peshawa’s son Vishwas Rao and Maratha general Bhau were killed. Of course, the Maratha power received a setback, but their power or ambition was far from broken.

About 20 years after this battle Maratha general Scindia came to Northern India and again established Marathas hegemony in the vast region of Madhya Pradesh and Agra and Delhi. So much so that Emperor Alamgir II came under the protection of the Marathas.

In the first Anglo-Maratha war events were more in favour of the Marathas than the English. The war raged on two fronts. In the North the English wrested Gwalior from Scindia, but Scindia defeated the English army in central India and arrested two English generals. In the south, the British army was completely routed and was destroyed. The British, being clever, could foresee consequences which could be detrimental to their ambitions. They signed a treaty of peace with the Marathas which is known as the treaty of Salbai. Marathas or no other power could completely defeat the British. The British with their better knowledge of battle craft and superior political ability of putting one Indian power against the other could achieve their aim.

Of course, the real beneficiary of the result of this battle were the Sikhs in Punjab. While the Marathas were driven back, Abdali’s military power was greatly weakened. Fifteen thousand Afghans were killed which included his veteran commanders. His subsequent attacks were feebler. A political vacuum was created in Punjab and this vacuum was successfully filled by the Sikhs, which ultimately paved the way for an independent Sikh state.

VP MEHTA, Chandigarh



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