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Dilution of RTI Act undesirable

It was after a great struggle that the government managed to enact the Right to Information Act in 2005. The Act, despite many hiccups and hurdles, became a reality, which brought some transparency in the government functioning. Now the common man could lay hands on the information which was never available to him before this Act came into being.

The Act has resulted in unearthing of so many scams involving politicians, bureaucrats, private enterprises and many others. The contradictions within the government and its functionaries came to the fore giving the public an insight into the present state of governance. All this has put the wrongdoers in a spot and has caused them such unease that efforts are afoot to somehow water down the Act.

It is in this context that statements have started emanating from various quarters of the government counting the demerits of the Act and a willingness to review the same, though this is the same government which has been showcasing this Act as its great achievement.

If the vested interests are allowed to have their way and the Act is diluted in any way, it will be unfortunate for the country and its people.

Er MK JINSI, Dhakoli, Zirakpur

Party politics

S Nihal Singh’s article, “Brittle state of politics: Responsibilities of Congress, BJP” (October 11), depicting a disturbing picture of the country’s political scenario, is thought-provoking and timely. At the moment the state of politics in the country is undoubtedly “brittle”, as the eminent writer has pithily put it.

The country’s main political parties—the Congress and the BJP—seem in a bad shape for reasons not very far to seek. Whereas the Congress seems in total disarray, the BJP is overwhelmingly obsessed with the leadership issue.

The Congress party seems to have been overtaken by the baneful cult of sycophancy. There is obviously an acute dearth of leaders in the BJP of the prime-ministerial timber. The functioning of both the parties is such that it does not allow “talented people” to emerge on the top.

The stranglehold of the RSS on the BJP is another factor hampering the party’s healthy growth. Circles close to Congress president Sonia Gandhi seem frantically pushing with a selfish motive of course, the case of Mr. Rahul Gandhi for the Prime Ministerial office, but the young Gandhi has yet to pass through the crucible of administrative experience. Under the circumstances, one can at best pray and hope for the best!

TARA CHAND, Ambota (Una)


This refers to the article on Kiran Bedi, “The one-woman army” (October 6). It was an utterly undemocratic act to identify Anna Hazare with India and speak in the manner of late D K Barooah, the Congress president who had once remarked, “Indira is India and India is Indira.”

It may not be wrong to say that Anna is Ralegan Siddhi and Ralegan Siddhi is Anna. But to elevate Anna to the heights of Mrs. Indira Gandhi and identify him with the nation at this stage is not the right thing to do.

Kiran Bedi’s comment on Anna Hazare is an insult to not only our nation and one of the most powerful women of the twentieth century, Mrs Indira Gandhi, but it also belittles our great democracy. One campaign against corruption at the national level by Anna and his team does not qualify Anna Hazare to be elevated to the status which Mrs Indira Gandhi enjoyed.

All said and done, Ms Kiran Bedi is an admirable personality and truly deserves the epithet — “The one-woman army”.

Y DAVAR, Hisar

National issues

This refers to the news report, “Prashant Bhushan assaulted by youths in his SC chamber”(October 13). It is shocking and shameful that Mr. Prashant Bhushan, who is a Supreme Court lawyer and also a member of Team Anna, has been roughed up in his own chamber by some youths who allegedly belong to Bhagat Singh Krantikari Sena and Sri Ram Sena. It was obviously an act of cowardice to assault an aged gentleman-lawyer like Mr. Bhushan, who advocated plebiscite for the trouble-torn Jammu & Kashmir in a statement issued in Varanasi.

Besides being a vocal supporter of the Anna movement against corruption in the country, Mr. Bhushan happens to be a formidable petitioner in the 2G spectrum scam in which powerful bureaucrats, ruling politicians and the top industrialists are reported to have been involved.

In a big country like ours, the dissent of opinion is the touchstone of democracy. We all cannot think alike about the different national issues of vital importance given the pluralistic social and cultural composition of our country. Only a democratic debate and dialogue can pave the way for solution of most of our burning problems, including the public unrest in J&K. In order to evolve a consensus on such sensitive issues, we must be ready to hear all the arguments and counterarguments under the sun without growing impatient and violent.


Travails of ‘navigating’ in a city

This refers to the middle, “Direction challenged!” (October 17). The Indians in small towns are indeed too eager to help a newcomer to the town. This is something we have come to learn from our parents and grandparents. Our culture welcomes people coming from other places and we regard guests as ‘devatas’ or deities. Of course, times have changed and our lives have become complex. We are no longer very friendly with strangers in cities. One can understand the difficulties being faced by citizens of a metropolitan city. They are not at all amused if one forces them to stop in the middle of their journey. I have had my share of experiences for indulging in the ‘sin’ of asking a gentleman to direct me to a place. His utter disdain said it all and left me wondering if I would not find myself lost in the urban jungle.

But it must be said in their defence that it is very difficult to explain to someone the route to a particular location. Moreover, with so many turns and roundabouts, it is never easy to be sure of the direction one is heading towards, especially in metropolitan cities.

However, I have found that there are always some persons willing to help a visitor who has lost his way in a city.




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