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Give voters the right to recall

Mr Inder Malhotra has painted a practical picture of the painful events, created by Congress leaders by arresting Anna Hazare that has resulted in a rare revolution throughout the country (Folly of arresting Anna Hazare, August 19). Even in a small state like Himachal Pradesh, people protested peacefully, supporting Anna. The Congress leaders spoke in different languages against Mr Hazare, arguably one of the last few persons, so honest and humble, and a preacher of Mahatma Gandhi’s philosophy for peaceful protest. It is a political tragedy of the Congress party that it has allowed its inexperienced and immature spokesperson to malign Mr Hazare that the anti-corruption leader is corrupt. At least, the Prime Minister was expected to snub the spokesperson.

How sad it is that the Congress leaders are taking shelter under the supremacy of Parliament. Nobody would differ with them on this. But, the question is who makes Parliament supreme? An honest government should make a law to enable the voters to recall their corrupt representatives and elect honest ones.



It is a pity that the government has shown little respect for civil society activists, particularly Anna Hazare, by calling them corrupt (Folly of arresting Anna Hazare, August 19). If Anna is corrupt, why is the government raising this issue now and not earlier? None in this country, not even Anna’s critics, will believe that he is corrupt. Moreover, it is perplexing that the government invites civil society to be a part of the drafting committee, and later decides that it has no role to play in the legislative process. Besides, it makes no sense to say that the CIA is behind Anna’s agitation.



A crusade for the Jan Lokpal Bill by Anna is not just about passing a law in Parliament; it is also not simply about the fight against corruption (Folly of arresting Anna Hazare, August 19). This movement is, in fact, about the restoration of Indian tradition as a responsible nation. India’s growing international status demands a clean system with social values and justice. The movement today also signifies the secular nature of our society. Today nobody is asking about Anna’s religion or which part of the country he belongs to. India needs a leader, and now this bankruptcy of leadership seems to be over. I am hopeful that my child will definitely see a better society and a great nation in the future.

KUNJANA CHAUHAN, Manimajra, Chandigarh

Mercy petition

The editorial, “Dealing with mercy petitions” (August 12), rightly calls for a swift disposal of the mercy petitions. A mercy petition, remaining pending for years, makes a mockery of justice. A simple mercy petition by a convicted terrorist ensures that his hanging is put on hold. It tends to negate the verdict given by the highest court of law.

Mercy petition has its origin in the feudal era when all powers used to rest with the king. It has no place in democracy. Since enough safeguards, like the “rarest of rare” principle, and adequate avenues of appeal up to the apex court, have been provided, there is no need for a mercy petition. It, therefore, should be scrapped. Alternatively, here is a logical mid-path. First, no mercy petition should be allowed in the case of terrorist crimes. Secondly, the President should take a decision on a mercy plea, independent of the advice of the government. And thirdly, the mercy petition should be disposed of within a maximum period of one year.

Wg-Cdr CL SEHGAL (retd), Jalandhar

Single entrance test

The government has taken the right step by proposing the introduction of a single test for higher education aspirants (Soon, single test for college entry, August 20). This will allow students to prepare for a single examination instead of multiple examinations. The students will not be overburdened at the entrance level, and they can concentrate on doing well in their class XII examination. Every student will enter an institution solely on merit.

While this looks promising, the only concern is for those students who may not come from city schools. Will they be able to compete with the students who get education in premier schools? It seems the government has to ensure that quality education reaches everywhere in India. It is not enough to start a single test putting the onus of getting admission firmly on individuals. Many students in rural areas may be talented, but they are unable to score high marks due to the quality of education they receive in their schools. Such students, who hail from poor families, should not be left out in the race. The government must consider all these issues before implementing any such plan. Special free of cost coaching classes can be planned for those students who live in rural areas.


The downfall of Indian team

Indian cricket is going through a difficult phase. While conflicts of interest may be one of the reasons, it is not the only reason for the sudden downfall of Indian cricket (Conflicts of interest pulling Indian cricket down, August 20). It was already being felt that India lacked bench strength. While Tendulkar, Laxman, Dravid, Kumble and Ganguly did their job admirably for many years, it was always going to be tough once they left the team.

India is still fortunate that Tendulkar, Dravid and Laxman are playing. Once they leave, and it may happen sooner than expected, India will find itself in all sorts of trouble. Team India had depended heavily on the services of Kumble and Harbhajan. Once Kumble went, the pressure was on Harbhajan. No other quality spinner has been allowed to evolve in all these years. Our pace attack also looks weak without Zaheer Khan. Australia became world champion because of its star players. But it also had strong players who could replace the star players and perform at the highest level. The BCCI did not pay much attention to these issues.

DEVESH JUYAL, Chandigarh



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