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Uphold core values of democracy

In the name of fighting corruption, the civil society group led by Anna Hazare is trying for the passage of a strong and effective Jan Lokpal Bill ceding excessive powers to the Lokpal, who will have jurisdiction over the Prime Minister, ministers, MPs, judges and bureaucrats. He will thus become a superpower; this is a clear negation of democracy. Moreover, the very name of the group is wrong, as it assumes that politicians and leaders are uncivil.

Anna Hazare’s team, which is like a shadow government, in fact, represents forces that aim at not only subverting our parliamentary democratic system, but also seek to destabilize the country. It is, therefore, the duty of all Indians, who are wedded to Indian secular democracy, to come forward and give a crushing defeat to these forces, which are opposed to Indian democracy.

Dr M HASHIM KIDWAI, former MP, New Delhi


I read with interest Kuldip Nayar’s thought-provoking article, “The drive for Lokpal” (July 19). Much has been said about the controversial Lokpal Bill so far. To my mind, the supremacy of Parliament must be gracefully acknowledged. It should, in no case, be undermined. Individuals should not subject it to blackmail.

Let Parliament devise a people-friendly workable Lokpal Bill through discussion and debate.

TARA CHAND, Ambota (Una)

Centre’s affidavit

The official position of the Centre, as reportedly stated in the affidavit filed in the Supreme Court, in relation to honour killing is a shocking case of subverting the basic constitutional position by none other than the supposed guardians of law themselves. I agree with D.R. Chaudhry in his write-up, “Centre’s retreat on ‘honour killing’ ” (July 29), that the mandarins, who have drafted this affidavit, show colossal ignorance of the personal laws of different communities.

Anyone with an elementary knowledge of the laws of the land knows fully well that it was the fundamental right to life, which was brutally infringed by rabid caste elements in honour killing cases.

The affidavit in question is, therefore, not only obnoxious and offensive but also in contravention of the moves of the Centre to enact a separate law against honour killings. So, the Union Law Minister must immediately order withdrawal of the illegal affidavit, submit a fresh one, and take strict action against those who were responsible for this blunder.  

Inderjit Singh, Secretary, CPM, Rohtak


I share D R Chaudhry’s sensible and thoughtful concern over the controversial affidavit of the Union Home Ministry filed by it in the Supreme Court about the ever-increasing honour crimes taking place in the rural areas of Haryana, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan (Centre’s retreat on ‘honour killing’, July 29). In fact, this move is fraught with dangerous consequences.

I fully endorse the view that this affidavit is “a retrograde step”. This will embolden khap panchayat leaders to take the law into their own hands because of the Centre’s puzzling neutrality towards their unlawful activities.

In Haryana, the different Chief Ministers, irrespective of their political affiliations, have always adopted a soft and friendly attitude towards khap elements because of their obvious concern for keeping their electoral graph intact. Whenever journalists and civil society in the state, led by the Left parties and women organizations, have brought such honour crimes to their notice, they have expressed their helplessness by saying, “It is a social issue. What can the government do?” Such lackadaisical responses towards honour crimes do not add up much to the cause of positive social reforms in Haryana.


Land Acquisition Bill

The UPA’s new Land Acquisition Bill that “bars the government from taking over multi-cropped irrigated land” is a step in the right direction (editorial, “Protecting land owners: New Bill may reduce disputes”, August 2).

Much of the country’s fertile land goes down the drain in the name of industrialization and infrastructural development and there is widespread resentment among the farming community whose land is thus acquired, and that also with inadequate compensation.

This new policy will hurt the Punjab Government, as it will find it difficult to acquire land for various projects. The ongoing agitation of Mansa farmers is a glaring example in this regard. Now with the new Bill coming into force, the Punjab Government will lose the right to acquire such “multi-cropped” land, even by force.Yes, it may help Haryana, as new industrial units would move to less fertile, backward areas. Even Mayawati would now have to think twice before indulging in forcible acquiring of fertile land from farmers.

R K KAPOOR, Chandigarh

Entrance exams

This refers to the article, “Abolish multiple entrance exams” (August 2). The writer has quite rightly suggested that students will benefit from “Dual All-India Entrance Examinations”. Students find it difficult to cope with the pressure of appearing in multiple entrance examinations. While there is a proposal for a single “All-India Entrance Examination”, it may not suit those who are unable to do well in that examination due to some reason. Therefore, a dual system will suit everyone. Students will perform better, as they will not have the burden of more examinations. They will be able to utilize their time constructively.

Students should not need to refer to additional books. Class notes should be enough to clear any competitive examination.

RAHUL SINGH, Chandigarh

Slut walk

The recent slut walks are eye openers and send a deep message to the society we live in (Delhi stages slut walk, August 1). What does a woman want? She wants complete freedom and liberty to take independent decisions. Alas! The society is depriving her of her basic rights. The frequent reports of rape, abduction and domestic violence are just the tip of the iceberg. Most of the cases remain unreported.




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