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

The right to recall: unfair opposition

This refers to the news report, “Right to recall risky, says poll panel chief” (October 17). Opposition to proposal for poll reforms speaks of a hasty and retrograde approach without having a proper debate on the problems besetting the present state of democracy. It is grossly premature to say it would “destabilise” the country, alienation of people in some border states notwithstanding. The main problem facing the people of the country is the absence of right persons willing to join the election process. Mostly, voters have to select out of the same lot of people.

Democracy in the country has come of age and it is time to fine tune its implementation. As a senior citizen who has seen idealism in public life being converted to unprincipled greed by the politicians in the name of democracy, I feel that some drastic steps are needed to change the state of affairs.  If the Election Commission cannot prevail upon the State to enact laws with stringent provisions to avoid the entry of candidates whose reputation is sullied by allegations, half truths and innuendos, the right to recall and the right to reject have to be brought in with due checks and balances. To say at this stage that it would destabilise the country is unfair.

K B RALHAN, Palampur

Results of bypolls

This refers to the editorial, “Hard knocks for Congress: Byelections show party losing its grip” (October 19). To some extent it may be true that the Congress has lost its grip on the voters of the country because of the anti-Congress stand taken by Anna Hazare. This factor can be seen as the Congress has suffered embarrassing defeats in the Hisar bypoll and other state Assembly polls.

But as far as the Hisar bypoll was concerned, there was no doubt that late Bhajan Lal’s son would get the benefit of sympathy votes and win with a convincing margin. But the fact that the Congress candidate has lost his security deposit is certainly a matter of concern for the party. The party must take drastic steps to root out corruption at all levels. It should also bring in the Lokpal Bill and get it passed in the winter session of Parliament.

It should also take necessary steps in respect of other vital issues, such as land reforms, eradicating illiteracy and poverty, improving sanitary conditions in rural and urban areas, creating employment opportunities and providing food for millions of hungry Indians, etc. Only then the Congress can get rid of its tainted image.

R K KAPOOR, Chandigarh

Personal hygiene

This refers to the editorial, “Toilets for votes” (October 18). According to the UNICEF report published for the year 2008, as many as 63.8 crore people, that is 54 per cent of the country’s population, practice open defecation. The first and last man to spearhead the cause of hygiene and sanitation was Mahatma Gandhi. Out of the six lakh villages in India, only 25000 villages have been declared as ‘nirmal gram’.

Habits like indiscriminate spitting and throwing rubbish anywhere can be dangerous from the point of view of health. Micturition at places other than the urinals is an example of antisocial behaviour. Coughing and sneezing without holding a handkerchief in front of one’s mouth can be commonly seen.

Currency notes and hands should always be considered as contaminated. Hands should be washed thoroughly before cooking, handling or serving food. Avoid shaking hands; ‘namaskar’ with folded hands is preferable, as it is also an Indian style of greeting guests and other people.


Inviolable right

The editorial, “Attack on Bhushan: It is not enough to condemn the cowardly act” (October 15) is thought-provoking and timely.

Holding a plebiscite to resolve the Kashmir tangle has been rejected by India. The contentious issue hanging fire is how to eject/oust Pakistan from the Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, an Indian territory forcibly occupied by Pakistan, and merge it with Jammu and Kashmir and thus restore status-quo-ante. It was intensely provocative on the part of Prashant Bhushan to revive the controversial demand vis-à-vis the explosive issue.

I do not subscribe to Mr Prashant Bhushan’s demand on the subject at all. However, the eminent advocate has an inviolable right to hold his own views, howsoever unpalatable, on any topic whatsoever. And I, for one, would defend his aforesaid “basic right” till my last breath.


Faith essential for healthy life

This refers to the middle, “Babas of the Indian Army” (October 18). The truth is none knows if individuals with spiritual powers do exist or it is just a figment of our imagination. But at the same time, none can deny the fact that human beings have always believed in supernatural powers.

When one finds oneself in a difficult situation, one always prays for divine intervention. It is better to believe in the existence of God than to become a lifelong cynic. The middle shows that soldiers also believe in saints and this belief is essential to stay alive in difficult conditions. It is all a matter of one’s perception. Those who do not believe in God have no right to criticise the believers. Faith keeps us happy and healthy; doubts condemn us to a life of eternal darkness.


Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor, neatly hand-written or typed in double space, should not exceed the 150-word limit. These can be sent by post to the Letters Editor, The Tribune, Sector 29, Chandigarh-160030. Letters can also be sent by e-mail to: Letters@tribuneindia.com

— Editor-in-Chief



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