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

State should protect whistleblowers

It is a pity that the country fails to protect those who try to expose the corrupt practices of a few of their colleagues and others (the editorial, “Hapless whistleblowers”, November 14). The Whistleblowers Protection Bill has failed to act as a deterrent. Those who indulge in corruption continue to thrive.

In fact, anti-corruption laws alone won’t be sufficient to control corruption. This is because many cases of corruption, especially at the micro-level, do not get highlighted. There is no mechanism that encourages the honest people to come forward and expose those who are corrupt. How can one expose one’s boss who is corrupt? 

This is possible only when we have a robust system that protects the life and dignity of those who expose the misdeeds of others. But the question is who will protect the official who exposes the corrupt practices of another official?

Within the same department it is unlikely, given the prevailing situation in this country that the investigations would be done impartially.

I believe whenever there are allegations against an official, the inquiry should be conducted by an independent agency. It should also be ensured by the agency that none is victimised. RTI activists and people who are fighting against corruption need protection and it is in the interest of the State that they are protected.

PRADEEP JHA, Faridabad

AFSPA withdrawal

The editorial, “Row over AFSPA” (November 14), has rightly pointed out that Omar Abdullah and officers of the Army appear to be indulging in brinkmanship. This is certainly not in the nation’s long-term interest. But Mr Abdullah’s move for the withdrawal of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act from certain areas of the state seems to be a hasty one without considering the opinion of the officers of the Army who are involved in anti-insurgency operations.

The security of the state depends on the assistance provided by the Army. The problem is that our politicians call the Army when the situation gets out of their hand. But once normalcy returns, they forget to get the opinion of the Army as to what should be 
done next.

There is a reason to be cautious now. If the situation is improving, it is necessary to keep the pressure on terror elements so that they do not cause any further harm. It must be appreciated that the Army cannot work if the views of its officers, who are always asked to deliver, are not considered before taking any final decision.


Grievance redressal

Your pithy editorial, “Towards a citizens bill: Curbing everyday corruption will be a boon” (November 4), complimenting the Manmohan Singh Government for its initiative on vital front — time-bound redressal of the common man’s day-to-day grievances. It would indeed be a laudable turning point in the country’s history if the proposed Citizen’s Right to Grievance Redress Bill is passed during the impending winter session of Parliament.

As the editorial aptly points out, mere passing of the said bill would not be enough; it must be ensured that the public-friendly enactment is faithfully implemented, failing which the desideratum would remain  a far cry.

TARA CHAND, Ambota (Una)

Treat the ‘Extras’ with love & respect

This refers to the middle, “Extras of life” (November 14). The writer is right when he says that ‘the Extras of life’ are like Mother India. A mother takes care of her child unconditionally. Similarly, the ‘Extras’ take care of us and it is very difficult to assess the value of their services. After my mother came back from the hospital, she needed someone to take care of her all the time.

There was none to look after her. A maid offered to serve her. I asked her to help us. She accepted the job and was with my mother till her end.

The maid served her like her own mother. Without her services I would not have been able to work and would have surely lost my job. But it is true that we look down on them and forget their contributions in our lives. The ‘aam admi’ is not really ‘aam’ in that sense. He is the producer of all the commodities that we fondly consume. We cannot do without their services. Therefore, they must be treated with love, compassion and respect.




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