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Policies not reducing rich-poor divide

As we prepare to celebrate the 63rd anniversary of Republic Day, the Indian State has miserably failed to effectively implement most of the public welfare programmes and policies like the Integrated Child Development Scheme, the Midday Meal Scheme and the Supplementary Nutrition Programme. The welfare projects have ultimately become money-spinning machines for the corrupt, shameless and selfish administrators who are abetting malnutrition, disease and death in our country.

The editorial The child stays hungry (January 19) exposes the hypocrisy of the Indian state glorifying its economic growth rate even as India has 42 per cent child malnutrition.  All of us — politicians, government, bureaucrats, media, NGOs, civil society — collectively as a nation, under the hypnotising influence of market forces and obsession with economic growth rate have turned our faces away from the millions of children who continue to remain hungry, malnourished and sick.

Globalisation has added fuel to the fire of ever-increasing divide between the rich and the poor and, the urban and the rural populace. In metros and big cities, we find children battling with obesity related diseases and disabilities and on the other end, are the scrawny stick-legged children playing in villages ready to die young.

In the present scenario, the role of the media, NGOs and civil society is important to expose and highlight the moral, social and administrative deficiencies in the political system.

They can play an important role in building public opinion and mobilising mass movement to promote transparent, effective, corruption-free and honest governance. The inactivity of these groups of people will let the caravan of malnutrition, disease and death grow swelling in numbers everyday.

Dr VITULL K. GUPTA, Bathinda


Due to class disparity between the rich and the poor, a certain under-current of discontent is spreading like a simmering volcano throbbing below the visible greenery of a verdant hill. Armies of stone-throwers, naxals and criminals draw their ranks from this discontented lot of young people, who believe that the system holds no  future for them.

A certain outburst of hate pulls them deeper into the darker recesses of despair. Once in it, it becomes impossible to retrace their steps because of the bellicosity which is injected into their veins by their new-found mentors. Cries of their poor, helpless parents do not pull them out of the abyss they have fallen into in which they get lost forever.

In the editorial ‘Widening disparities’ (January 19), economic inequality is mentioned as being the most palpable in J&K. Karl Marx had this chasm between the rich and the poor in mind when he said that capitalism is pregnant with the seeds of revolution. One may not at all agree with the political creed he espouses, as it has already failed in many countries, but can one wish away the horrific effect that such a divide is capable of throwing up?

What kind of economic reforms are these which have led to such aberrations in society? One is left speechless and surprised when one finds a Montek Singh Ahluwalia or an FM or a PM waxing eloquent over GDP growth, liberalised economy, globalization et al.

All these concepts, it seems have largely done the same to India what ‘Perestroika’ and ‘Glasnost’ did to the erstwhile Soviet Union, a world power now reduced to a fragmented land in turmoil.


Laying the blame

There is a lot of debate on performance of the PSEB (Punjab State Electricity Board). I would like to discuss that the same PSEB has given pride to Punjab by giving 100 per cent rural electrification to Punjab; commissioned thermal units in record time at Ropar and brought about the green revolution to fulfill food grain requirement of country.

Suddenly, the same PSEB has become the culprit but has anybody thought why and how it happened. PSEB is producing the cheapest power in its plants (thermal and hydel). The political brass is forcing PSEB to purchase deficit power from outside and private players at high rates.

We know that in-house production is cheap and also generates employment to local youth. But government never supported the idea of setting up power plants in the state sector, instead it is running after private parties.


Regional bias

Stepmotherly treatment is being meted out to the politically passive and developmentally neglected area of Karnal by the state government.

A medical college was approved in early 2010 to be built in Karnal city, the foundation stone of the medical college has not been laid yet. The state government had decided more than five years ago to shift the bus stand from the present location to Sector 12, the matter is still stuck up.

A large number of projects are going on in Rohtak and Jhajjar districts. Rohtak is the constituency of Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda. His son Deepinder represents Rohtak parliamentary seat which includes Rohtak and Jhajjar.

The state government should do justice to other backward areas of the state in infrastructural development in the same spirit and urgency as is being done in Rohtak and Jhajjar.


Litmus test

India is a vortex of diverse cultures, languages, religions and castes and there are many sub-divisions in its milieu. People want to continue the process of democracy as a rule of governance.

Democracy can subsist only when its values and principles are followed in a meaningful manner. Corruption and reservation of all kind is a stumbling block in the progress of democracy. The results in the 5 poll-bound states will reflect the outcome of the parliamentary elections. The coming Assembly elections is a litmus test to know how much people are alive and awakened to the cause of ‘rule of law’ and justice based on democracy.

DAYA NAND, Bhiwani

Calling a spade a spade

The tough procedure through which bureaucrats get selected is good enough. Only the top brains get through the preliminary and the best clear the main exam. When a young IAS officer joins service after training, his mind is unadulterated, but it is the muddy political system in which he has to perform produces changes in him. When he sees his semi-literate political boss (read minister) making money with both hands, he too gets tempted to have his own pound of flesh.

There is no doubt that the corrupt bureaucracy is a byproduct of the corrupt political system. But individual perseverance, honesty and tenacity to call a spade a spade can help the officer in keeping his hands clean. Instead of indulging in unclean practices, the bureaucrats should stand up with honesty against any unlawful command of political leaders. A strong Lokpal Bill is also the need of the hour to stem the rot of corruption in bureaucracy.




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