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

Bring the PM under the Lokpal

This refers to the article, Even now, the PM is not immune to prosecution (August 8). The reasons given to exclude the Prime Minister from the jurisdiction of the Lokpal Bill are not convincing. The objective of the Lokpal is to eradicate corruption and to punish those who intentionally indulge in malpractices. Honest citizens, including the Prime Minister, have nothing to fear if the Lokpal is made strong. Equality before law and equal protection of law forms the basic structure of the Constitution and all citizens should respect it. It seems the government is scared of the Lokpal for wrong reasons. It is preposterous to presume that the Prime Minister, even when dishonest, is a holy cow in the eyes of law and should not be touched.

Several politicians, like Narasimha Rao, Shibu Soren and Lalu Yadav, no doubt, were prosecuted under the “existing laws”, but they went scot-free due to tainted investigations under duress. The Lokpal aims at answering a pointed question agitating the minds of the people of India, why were criminal and corrupt politicians never convicted in the court of law? Is it not due to “you show me the man and I will show you the law”?

RM RAMAUL, Paonta Sahib

Population explosion

The article We are still growing too fast by Mr Amarjit Singh (The Tribune, July 11) ignores the real dangers inherent in the current rate of population growth in India. Equally disturbing is the fact that both the government and the Opposition parties have shown the least concern over the 181 million increase in population during this decade (2001-2011). Electronic and print media too have glossed over this serious issue. The writer and the government draw solace from the fact that the increase during this decade has been the lowest, forgetting that the actual rise in numbers has been almost the same as in the preceding decade — 181 million against 182 million during 1991-2001.  But feeding and accommodating 1.2 billion people in 2011 is much more difficult than feeding 1.02 billion in 2001.

Population explosion is the most serious problem in India (more serious than the corruption issue), as it has jeopardised all the programmes of economic development. India would have been counted as a rich country even with the existing infrastructure level had our population been 700 millions today.

According to the document of the National Population Policy of India (2000), the population of the country is to be stabilised around 1.45 billion by the year 2045. But with the present trends, the population will be stabilising by 2056-57 around 1.62 billion. The situation is very distressing even now. As many as 300 million people are still living in dehumanising poverty (BPL families). Another 300 million people are just living at the edge of existence. Still the government is not converting the 2000 policy document into a robust policy instrument.


Democracy in peril

Kuldip Nayar has very aptly diagnosed the malady of the Indian body politic (The rot is setting in, August 1).

Both the Congress and the BJP are equally guilty of compromising the interests of the nation. The mistakes of one predecessor or one party do not justify the repetition of the same by a successor or another party.

These leaders, indulging in blame game and trying to take the attention away from core issues, are duping the common man from whom they derive the authority to sit in Houses of legislature with the theoretical role of caretakers of the interests of the citizen.

In practice they take care only of their own interests as has been done by Yeddyurappa, A Raja, Kalmadi and their clan. The rot is in fact so deep that it requires not a cosmetic dressing but a sweeping surgery. To that extent Anna is right in demanding that the ombudsman should have the power to proceed against the corrupt. The authority of the ombudsman restricted to mere submitting of a report on corruption is a mockery and a betrayal. A powerful, though circumscribed by checks and balances, ombudsman is the only answer to the Indian scenario.


Decline of Chandigarh

After observing life in Chandigarh for a long time, I feel the city has ceased to be the City Beautiful. The lifestyle of people has undergone a drastic change here. Its spirit has gone into a slumber. The upkeep and maintenance of all civic amenities has worsened over the years. Neither those who are supposed to maintain them nor those for whom these are meant are serious. The Sector 16 Rose Garden, earlier also known as the Romantic Cradle, does not inspire young lovers any more. It is a garden only in name; in reality, it has turned into a jungle.

SHAILJA YADAV, Chandigarh  

The offenders

This refers to the report, Cops fail to check misuse of vehicles for ferrying pilgrims (August 4). Himachal Pradesh and Punjab should jointly devise a solution to the problem. Till such time, the fine imposed on the owners of the defaulting/offending vehicles must forthwith be doubled. It would be criminal to allow the “merchants of death” to carry on their nefarious business unnoticed and unchecked.

TARA CHAND, Ambota (Una)

Mind game

The middle, It’s all in the mind (August 9) by Sunit Dhawan, sets the mind to think. I agree with the writer that life is what we make it. We alone can make or mar our lives through our thoughts and actions. It all depends on our perception. People from similar backgrounds and circumstances can still be different. One has to fix a goal in one’s mind and then work diligently. Rakesh’s children would not have begged if he had restrained himself and not become an alcoholic.

We all have the ability to think, analyse and act accordingly. We must make the best use of this bounty. Then none can stop us from becoming successful. Here, I am reminded of Milton’s eternal lines:

“The mind is its own place, and in itself can make a heaven of hell and hell of heaven”

 SHIVANI DUA, Jalandhar



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