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

Bring systemic reforms in state

The editorial, “ HP takes on corruption” (August 31), has rightly stressed that, if passed into law, the Special Courts (attachment and confiscation of property) Bill would act as a major deterrent to civil servants, who indulge in corrupt practices and amass property. The purchase of land to set up residential colonies is the major source of corruption in the state, which is openly being done via benami transactions at throwaway prices. In some cases large chunks of forest land have been encroached upon with impunity. A nexus between politicians and bureaucrats to grab forest land has been revealed in respect of residential colonies set up at Panthaghati, Shivnagar and Hiranagar, in and around Shimla.

Though Himachal has taken appreciable steps to fight against the scourge of corruption by enforcing the RTI Act, ensuring responsive administration, passing service guarantee Bill etc, there are many obstacles ahead demanding strong political will. The challenge before the Dhumal government is formidable, which requires single-minded resolve to make strong laws, ensure their strict enforcement and see through systemic reforms, instead of making corruption a political issue to beat the opponents.

R M RAMAUL, Paonta Sahib

Sonia’s absence

Kuldip Nayar in his article, “The Anna Hazare challenge: Where Congress went wrong” (September 2), holds Prime Minister Manmohan Singh guilty of mishandling the Anna Hazare episode. This can be attributed to the absence of the Congress president and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi from the nation’s political scene during Anna’s campaign against corruption. Had Sonia been in the country during that period, the situation would have been different. It seems the Prime Minister is helpless in Sonia’s absence. However, the Prime Minister should be strong enough to take decisions independently.

R K KAPOOR, Chandigarh

Death penalty

This refers to the editorial, “Death for Rajiv killers: No room for any second thoughts”(September 1). It is really puzzling to see the Tamil Nadu assembly passing a resolution recommending commutation of death sentence for Perarivalan, Santhan and Murugan.

The Madras High Court seems to have further heightened our dilemma by granting reprieve to Rajiv killers for eight weeks by staying their execution. It is also beyond a layman’s ken why the President of India took 11 years to reject the clemency petition submitted by the three killers sentenced to death. No doubt, it is an excessive delay, which may unfortunately allow the killers to duck the death sentence. Afzal Guru, sentenced for the December 13, 2001 attack on Parliament, and Devender Pal Singh Bhullar, involved in the 1993 bomb attack on M S Bitta, have argued for commutation of their death sentence along the same line.

We all know that even ordinary men and women were seen in copious tears in many parts of North India when they heard the news that former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi had been killed in a bomb blast in 1991. Should they live now and mock at us as a nation?  We all respect the Madras High Court’s decision, but the way the people burst firecrackers and raised slogans on the court premises, after the verdict, shocked and surprised people like me. Can we claim to be united as a nation?  Should we continue thinking along ethnic lines? Should our ethnic affiliations take precedence over our nationalist sentiments? Don’t we have several nations within a single nation?


Misusing power

It is shocking to know that the Punjab Police is involved in gathering intelligence inputs on the political opponents of the ruling alliance. The editorial, “Election cell” (August 31), rightly calls these reports “highly disturbing”. It is against the spirit of democracy if the government engages in such unethical acts.

The editorial rightly reminds the readers that it is our money, paid in the form of taxes, which goes down the drain if parties use the police and other intelligence agencies as their “handmaidens. This further strengthens the viewpoint that the Election Commission should take a serious note of these developments and take appropriate action to dissuade ruling parties, anywhere in the country, from taking recourse to unethical and illegal means to win elections.


Army Chief

I refer to your editorial, “Changing the goal posts” (August 31), which very correctly points out the fallacies in the controversy raised by General V K Singh. A leader should fight for the rights of his subordinates rather than his own. He should have ignored the mistake in his service record, even if he were correct, in the interest of propriety. What kind of an example is he setting for the entire armed forces? His stubborn stand will only serve to encourage others to indulge in avoidable litigation.


Confronting corruption

This refers to the middle, “Conditions apply!” (September 2). The writer has raised a pertinent issue. We have witnessed protests against corruption for several days. Anna’s movement has boosted the urge to fight against corruption throughout the country. But the writer quite rightly says, “It (corruption) is not limited to politicians and bureaucrats alone.”

Anna’s movement is relevant in that context. But corruption is also found in private sector enterprises. How many times have private companies, offering products or services, duped us? The writer has very rightly brought this issue to our notice.

The author, being an advocate, was able to win his battle. For others it may not be easy to fight against corrupt individuals and groups. We need to fight collectively. Unless a social awareness campaign is launched throughout the country, it may not be easy to mobilize people to fight against this menace.

RAHUL SHARMA, Faridabad 



HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Letters | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |