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Where new is welcome, old is ignored 

When the blind lead the blind, both fall into a ditch. The news report ‘Building new memorials but ignoring old ones’ (December 29) must have saddened most of the readers. Many museums in Punjab are dying for care and need immediate attention. Despite their poor maintenance, the ruling government is setting up new museums. It is like putting the cart before the horse. If we cannot take care of our old museums, how would we be able to save our new museums?

Museums play an important role in our society to preserve culture and old artefacts and boost tourism. Every state and country has a museum to exhibit its history and art. However, any museum would be worth visiting only if proper care is taken by the government to maintain it. Museums or art galleries in London are popular mainly because of their proper care and renovation from time to time.

It is shocking to know that Guru Teg Bahadur Museum, which exhibits the rich history of our Gurus, is in a desolate state. The museum does not even have a cleaner to wipe off dust on important artefacts. 

All museums need to be given due importance. It makes no sense to raise new museums when we cannot take care of our existing museums.


Rampant corruption

According to a recent survey, one-third of South Asians pay bribes. The survey was conducted by Transparency International’s 2011 Integrity Index in respect of corruption in India. Barring a few individuals who carry on with their work honestly, many of our politicians and government servants are less than clean. Since the supervisory officers are not themselves honest, they are not able to check their subordinates.

Because the executive has many corrupt elements, it cannot control the bureaucrats. With the lower judiciary reportedly tainted, it cannot check and balance the other two wings of the country’s democracy. The fourth estate, the media, which can exercise tremendous influence, also stands compromised.

That a government, established by law, feels nervous when Anna Hazare, till recently an unknown individual, throws a challenge to pass the Jan Lokpal Bill on the issue of corruption, is indicative of the fact that the government acknowledges the presence of massive corruption but does not know what to do about it. Vote-bank politics and serious economic and social inequalities have further compounded the problem.

The executive, the legislature and the judiciary must put their heads together to set things right to prevent a people’s uprising.


Anna, move on

After the successful implementation of the Right to Information Act, 2005, another milestone of the UPA government was the tabling of the Lokpal Bill together with the Whistleblower’s Bill and Judicial Accountability Bill, as visualised in the editorial Safety of whistleblower’ (December 29). Whatever the ruckus over the Lokpal Bill, both the central government and Team Anna deserve credit as they made an attempt to refurbish the tarnished image of India vis-a –vis corruption. As per observations recorded since the launch of the movement in April, 2011, there has been a perceptible change in the mindset of corrupt people. Any loopholes in the implementation of the Lokpal Bill, if and when passed, can be plugged by amendments from time to time.

Anna and his team should now divert to electoral reforms which are essential for checking graft. The Whistleblowers’ Bill would protect the bona fide informers and punish those who make frivolous complaints.



People have started seeing through the haze around Anna Hazare and members of his team.

If one created a flutter by voicing anti-India sentiments on Kashmir, the other stated that the unelected Anna was above Parliament. The only cure for the cancer of corruption is for people to make it a principle in life not to pay a bribe.  Hazare opposing the Congress and supporting the BJP and the morally-bankrupt Badals is proof enough that his team wants to create a political front.


Welcome decision

A Russian move to ban the holy book of the Hindus, the Bhagwat Gita, was a condemnable step that hurt the sentiments of the Indian masses. Now a Russian court has lifted the ban. The Siberian court found nothing extremist in the sacred literature. If Russia had banned the book, it would have created tension among different sections of the society. The people of our country, who gain divine knowledge from this holy book, will appreciate the Russian court’s decision.

We should always understand the religious sentiments and culture of every country and respect them.


Opposite Ds

The Indian masses have never been able to differentiate between dynasty and democracy. Since Independence, we have trudged the path of democracy-holding the fingers of the Gandhi family from Jawaharlal Nehru to Rahul Gandhi. Democracy is for the people, by the people and of the people. We foresee Rahul Gandhi as the next Prime Minister of India. Why is dynastic rule still a rule in our Indian polity?


Pressure tactics

This year the killing of Osama bin Laden by the US forces in Pakistan brought some good news for India. Strike when the iron is hot. The time is ripe for India to pressurise the US and other countries to declare Pakistan as a terrorist state. Once it happens, it would become easier for India to seek extradition of other terrorists like Dawood Ibrahim, who are hiding in Pakistan, and punish them for killing innocent Indian citizens. 


Life is a relay race!

The middle ‘Parting in style’ (December 29) was an interesting piece. The satirical verse with an element of wit exposed the lusty desires of persons who always try to cling to their posts and positions. The Nixons and Musharrafs are present in every society and are not ready to rise and see beyond self-interest.

Life is like a relay race where the baton has to be passed on to the next runner very smoothly and at the right time. Any delay in transition or transfer can cost dear. The way stagnant water tends to stink and the flowing one keeps itself and the environment fresh, the older generation should welcome the younger one, who is suitably and adequately equipped and waiting to prove its mettle.

They should learn to derive pleasure from watching the younger lot taking the reins into their hands and perform better than them. Any delay or reluctance in making exit gracefully is bound to breed and brew discontent and dissatisfaction in the minds of the younger generation.

Let the music flow in exits and partings to pave way for the next generation who is ready to strike fresh notes and strings and keep the melody and its freshness alive.




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