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

Useful tips on electoral reforms

There is always scope for improvement as the editorial 'Election watch (January 23) suggested. The editorial advocated constitution of the institution of ombudsmen by the Election Commission to oversee the activities of the elected representatives in each constituency.

Along with the body of ombudsmen, I would suggest that the commission should also constitute a panel for scrutiny. A representative of this panel should be stationed in each Assembly constituency. He should collect information on the MLA and MP within his jurisdiction. The information may include sources of income, criminal record, payment of taxes, educational qualifications, debt, personal bank or post office accounts, political history, if any, etc.

Political parties should furnish details of the candidates in elections to the assemblies or Parliament. Details of covering or standby candidates, including their profession, business, criminal record and educational qualifications should also be submitted to the panels' representative. Independent candidates must also do so. The details must be supplied six months before the expected election deadline. This would give the commission sufficient time to go through the information and scrutinise it. The report of the scrutiny panel should be supplied to the Returning Officer before the date of filing of nominations so that he can utilise the report while accepting or rejecting nominations.

The commission should take the help of information technology experts to develop such a software through which information contained in the electronic voting machines (EVMs) is directly downloaded into a compiling machine. This compiling machine can be further connected to a big TV screen. The Returning Officer, election observers, contesting candidates, technology engineers, the vediography team and accredited media persons can witness the proceedings live and results can be declared. CCTV cameras may also record these proceedings. It would eventually minimise human error and ensure transparency.

Tek Chand, HAS (retd), Una (HP)

Wrong entry

One wrong entry made at the time of filling the UPSC form at the initial stage has landed Army Chief Gen VK Singh in trouble. The entry of 10.05.1950 as date of birth whether made by school teacher or as informed by school clerk cannot be out of ignorance but certainly with purpose.

My case being quite similar to his, I can understand the paradoxical situation he is in. My actual date of birth is 24.08.1942 but in the matriculation certificate (1957) it is 24.08.1941. I had sought a correction in 1977-78 but it was not allowed by Panjab University, which took more than three years to decide. My sponsorship papers were rejected by the Canadian authorities due to this anomaly. Similarly, at the fag end of my service (58-60 yrs), on the suggestion of my juniors I did try to get right my actual date of birth in the records but it was politely refused by the management (a Government of India undertaking).

In the horoscope my date of birth is 24.08.1942, but in service/pension/identification documents it remains as 24.08.1941. The reason for going back by one year is for getting admission in King George Middle School, Kasauli. In March, 1947 (admission time), I was not five years of age and that made 1942 as 1941. One wrong entry made in the records made me suffer.

Similarly, in the case of Gen VK Singh, may be, 10.05.1950 was entered in the UPSC form with the intention of getting more than one chance for appearing in the NDA exam as no one is 100 per cent sure to clear it in the first attempt.


Marital wisdom

Among today’s youth, marital relations are found to be constrained in most of the cases which is hindering family peace. Sometimes, the elders of the family are either ignorant or intentionally ignore the strained relations between their son and daughter-in-law in the hope of an improvement with the passage of time.

But if there is no bonhomie between the two, it does not remain a secret for long. If the female partner with her ingenuity works to normalise the relations, it is wonderful. Otherwise, there is no solution.

In educated employed couples, particularly, the supremacy of the wife over her husband is the main hindrance in family life. No doubt, both are equal partners, but there should be one leader. In arranged marriages, caution should be taken while selecting a match.

It would also pay rich dividends if the girl’s parents mentally reconcile to a no-interference policy in the decisions of the couple or the in-laws. In actual practice, most of the dowry cases are fabricated by over-ambitious girls, which serve as an exit route for them having legal force. Severing marital ties is not the solution, at least in India. Let us learn to respect each other’s feelings, consider one as the leader and the other partner should walk along without pointing out the weaknesses. Let all decisions be discussed as it happens in a Cabinet meeting. Senior citizens of the family should also be involved in taking decisions. Let the day start with a warm ‘namaskar’ to them.


Clash of cultures 

In the middle Mom, dad-who?(January 31) the writer rightly avers that there is a problem with the Western model of bringing up children. The clash of cultures has come in the way of childcare. After all, who can rear and connect emotionally with a child better than parents. William Penn puts rightly, “Next to God,thy parents.”

Frances Kish says, “Children need parents to be parents.”

Norwegian social workers’ objection to the three-year-old boy sleeping on the same bed as his father is shocking.

When my father was on his death bed, he won’t let me leave the village for my urban house for long. When he let me leave, he shook his hand with me. Alas! This was his first ever and the last handshake!

The Western model is invading us too. NRIs are already in its grip. I was alarmed to hear the comment of an NRI child whose father had died just a few days ago. "We have come to India to make fun but could not do so because Dad had died," the child bemoaned. We have enjoyed comforts but lost our connections.




HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Letters | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |