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

Need to fight corruption, not Team Anna

This refers to your editorial ‘Opposition rides Anna wave’ (December 13). The day-long fast by Anna’s team at Jantar Mantar on Sunday saw a huge turnout of supporters and it got support of the opposition parties too. The mood of the gathering was expectedly anti-government because people felt that Team Anna’s core members have been targeted in the past two months. The anger of the people is somewhat natural because instead of fighting against corruption, the government is fighting Team Anna.

We cannot deny the fact that there was no other time in our democratic history in the last six decades when many ministers and leaders were sent to jail. There was no other government which sacked so many ministers and chief ministers on corruption charges. There was no other time when so many scams of the ruling party were exposed. Above all, there was no other time when an Indian prime minister looked as unfazed as Manmohan Singh. The Congress and its allies were using his honesty as a facade to safeguard their dishonest ways.

That is why there is great need to bring about radical change in the system. Inaction or insensitivity from the government’s side at this crucial juncture could lead to a powerful tide of public movement against it.


Night shelters

Kudos to the Supreme Court for issuing direction to the state governments to build an adequate number of night shelters to ensure that no homeless person has to sleep under the open sky this winter. A detailed report on the status of night shelters in the respective states is to be submitted by January 3. A large number of poor from the rural areas have been moving to towns and cities in search of a livelihood. It takes quite a while before one can find a home. The state governments should equip the shelters with the required facilities. Most states would try to wriggle out of this responsibility pleading lack of funds.

Looking at the expenditure which they incur on tours, allowances to ministers and officials and misuse of official cars, lack of funds for the purpose of building shelters would be nothing but a convenient excuse.


Beyond imagination

The middle ‘Fudging the DNA’’ by P Lal  (December 9) is an amazing satire on the extent of decay which has set in the criminal justice system of our country .The writer has used his uncanny wit and humour to drive home the point as to how the high and the mighty manage to get out of the claws of law by making use of the experience of shrewd  policemen.

The policemen over the years master many such ways to let the noose out of the neck of the guilty.

S C CHABBA, Panchkula

Fighting disasters

The news report ‘Disaster management not on government’s agenda’ (December 12) highlights the indifference of politicians and bureaucrats towards safety of the people. Natural calamities like earthquakes, floods or man-made accidents may pose difficult situations. The central government releases huge grants to the states to impart training to the staff.

The Punjab government has been neglecting this important aspect and has not spent a single penny the Centre’s grant for training its functionaries. It is strange that a premier institute like Administrative Training Institute (ATIs), entrusted with the task of disaster management training, also did not care to arrange the laid-down training schedules. The institute also failed to utilise the funds meant for the purpose. 


Education today

In her write-up ‘High time to go high-tech’ (December 13), Satinder Kaur has tried to highlight various facets of modern classroom teaching. The hard fact is today, education is handicapped without modern technology. From ‘bhojpatra’ of ancient times to present-day smart classrooms, we have travelled a long way. Let us admit that online education which is the net result of conventional education and modern technology is a boon for mankind.

Think of a surgeon with a patient on the operation table getting inputs from a specialist from a distant medical institute through video-conferencing. The writer’s apprehension that lack of human touch in online education makes it less effective is baseless, when we think of the effect of visual media on human psyche.

Dr V K ANAND, Patiala

Why target Swamy?

It is unfortunate that Harvard University has decided to drop the summer classes conducted by Subramanian Swamy over an article he wrote for an English daily. I am aghast at the manner in which the university has taken such a decision, without giving Swamy an opportunity to defend his view. Harvard never questioned author Salman Rushdie’s views in his controversial book, ‘The Satanic Verses’.

Instead, the university honoured him in 2007 by calling his views as ‘cultural humanism’. In the same year, the university invited writer and Nobel laureate VS Naipaul to discuss his book, although he had openly attacked Islamic fundamentalism and British colonialism. Given the university’s prestige for being a champion of freedom of speech and expression over the decades, it should re-look into the decision to terminate Swamy’s services.


Tough talk

One cannot agree with CEC Dr SY Quraishi’s observations as carried in a news item, ‘CEC disapproves of Anna movement’ (December 13). Holding public rallies or protest marches does not mean taking to the roads. Nor can one agree that the Indian democracy is effective and admirable.

Most MPs do not represent the majority. They get elected by polling barely 30 per cent votes. There is no provision for recall. Disruptions in Parliament are the order of the day. Many important Bills like the Money Bill are hurriedly passed without any debate due to paucity of time. Corporates fund elections, votes are openly purchased.

The situation is unmanageable for the authorities and confusing for the voters. It is foolish to believe that the Election Commission is unaware. It is the highest constitutional body in the electoral system. It should give specific suggestions, if not directions, to the government to improve the system. It is competent to do so. Just a general talk on electoral reforms will not help.

Wg Cdr CL SEHGAL(retd), Jalandhar

Anna vs Rahul

The way Anna Hazare accused Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi of weakening the Lokpal Bill and ridiculed his UP campaign was not only in bad taste but also proved that his thinking was clearly anti-Gandhian. Why has Rahul Gandhi become the whipping boy of the Opposition and Hazare?

Rahul is neither a minister nor the Congress president; he is only an MP. Rahul is in favour of a strong and effective Lokpal Bill. It is Rahul and Sonia Gandhi who had the guts to send their own ministers and MPs to jail. Hazare’s attack on Rahul is meant to embarrass the Congress and the UPA government. Besides, the BJP should remain indebted to Hazare for coming to its rescue when it did not know how to tackle Rahul Gandhi.




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