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The Lokpal is not a panacea

Anna has become a captive of his own image and his disparate group is not any less responsible for having pushed him into this trap. A reckless hunger strike is not Satyagraha but an emotional blackmail. This is not fair.

As a matter of fact, the Lokpal is not a panacea. Problems like corruption cannot be solved by seeking extra-constitutional remedies. The bill undermines the potential of the Indian Constitution to solve such problems and ignores the gains of democracy. Ultimately, it is the moral fabric of a nation, which acts as a deterrent against corruption. We never needed any Lokpal when we got freedom and lacked experience. Now, after 60 years of Independence when we have learned from our experience to run the nation, we need a Lokpal! People work better in a relaxed environment and not when a sword is hanging over their heads, which kills all spontaneity. The bill is also unacceptable because an entity that has been nominated, cannot preside over the institutions of democracy.

Dr HM SAROJ, Chandigarh


S Nihal Singh deserves to be complimented for his brilliant article, Anna Hazare’s agenda (August 10). The public at large is undoubtedly sick of rampant corruption eating into the vitals of the nation. Anna Hazare was, therefore, applauded when he took up a worthy cause to fight for. However, clever people have jumped on his bandwagon to exploit the opportunity to serve their narrow ends. As a consequence, the Lokpal issue got politicized jeopardizing the constitutional mechanism the country thoughtfully opted for governance.

Candidly speaking, Anna Hazare seems fast heading towards the precipice of a terrible disaster. To my mind, he must pause and ponder over the matter, the sooner the better.

TARA CHAND, Ambota (Una)

Needless intervention

This refers to the editorial, Unwarranted US comment (August 15). I fully agree with the editorial and I feel all Indians do the same that the US has nothing to do with India’s internal affairs. The editorial rightly says that the US has backed dictatorial governments in Pakistan and in West Asia when such governments served US interests. India has always acted with restraint despite the fact that it has suffered more due to terrorism.

On the other hand, one 9/11 was enough for the US to launch attacks on countries like Afghanistan and Iraq. It cannot boast of its human rights record post-9/11. How the government will react to Anna Hazare’s fast is entirely India’s internal matter. The US should desist from making any unwarranted comment in this regard.

SEEMA SHARMA, Chandigarh

Indian cricket team

Indian cricketers in England do not seem to be enjoying their game (Sad mix of arrogance and escapism, August 15). What could have gone wrong with team India is anybody’s guess. It is quite obvious that the selectors have chosen a team that comprises unfit players. It makes no sense to imagine that Virendra Sehwag, who has been out of competitive cricket for some time, can change India’s fortunes. He needs time to regain his confidence. One should not put too much burden on the shoulders of senior players. They will perform but only if others also perform.

Our younger players have been a total disappointment, and as former Australian captain Ian Chappell says, India will face more trouble unless the BCCI does something about our bench strength. At the moment, there is not much that can be done except hope that team India manages to draw the next match! India must concentrate on developing quality Test players. That may take some time, but it is better to be patient and develop quality players who may see India emerge as the number one Test team again.

AKHIL KHANNA, Chandigarh

Mercy petitions

This refers to the editorial, Dealing with mercy petitions (August 12). India will be looked upon as a “soft” nation, and terrorists will be encouraged to strike again. This is because of the delay in dealing with mercy petitions. The government fails to understand that punishment to terrorists without any delay will serve as a deterrent. If the government is serious about fighting terrorism, it has to have a mechanism to deal with mercy petitions so that unnecessary delay does not hamper the process of justice.


Bhopal gas tragedy

This refers to the news item, “28 years on, 18,568 victims await relief” (August 12). I am surprised that the claims of 18,568 people are pending even 28 years after the disaster. It is also surprising that those living with diseases like cancer and renal failure are still awaiting compensation. Moreover, the toxic waste has not so far been removed.

It is ridiculous to compare the world’s worst industrial disaster with ordinary road accidents, and punish the guilty with just two-year jail term. Unless adequate compensation is paid to the families of the Bhopal gas victims, and the persons responsible for the tragedy are put behind bars for life, justice cannot be said to have been delivered.


A great statesman

This refers to the middle, Remembering Parmar (August 4) by Chander P Bakshi. One can hardly believe a chief minister travelling by bus and mingling with the commoners, having no pretentious residence or vehicle of his own.  My words are not adequate to describe the towering personality of the late Dr Yashwant Singh Parmar, one of the greatest statesmen of Himachal Pradesh.

The three incidents, highlighted by the writer, remind one of his great qualities of humility, generosity and amiability. He not only brought statehood for Himachal Pradesh, but also loved its culture. He is equally remembered for his remarkable contribution to land reforms.

RAVI DATTA, Jwalamukhi



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