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

Regional parties are here to stay

The election results have again strengthened the trend of the regional parties coming to the fore at the cost of the oldest and strongest national parties like the Congress and the BJP (“Setback to UPA” March 7). What is really encouraging is the overall voter turnout percentage that has shown a visible and marked improvement in all the states.

Equally encouraging is the fact that at least three major states — Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Manipur — have opted for stable governments this time. This augurs well as far as tackling major problems of corruption, communal disharmony and terrorism are concerned. It is far easier to mould or educate a stable, even if corrupt, government to check and combat critical and sensitive issues. The same cannot be expected from the most honest and intelligent leaders who run a government through completely unstable and fractured coalitions.

If only leaders like Dr Manmohan Singh and Atal Behari Vajpayee had been given a clear and solid mandate, the face of the country would have been better than it is today.



The two national parties need to deeply analyse results of the five state Assemblies. These results are surprising in many ways. Why was the Congress not able to play on the strong anti-incumbency factor against the SAD-BJP combine and emergence of Manpreet's PPP in Punjab?

Why did the UP electorate prefer Mulayam's ‘goonda raj’ instead of the two national parties, the Congress and the BJP, to get rid of Mayawati’s autocratic and corrupt regime.

Why was the BJP not able to encash the anti-Congress wave created by Team Anna and Baba Ramdev ? Congress and BJP need to ponder on these questions keeping the battle for 2014 Lok Sabha in mind.

AK SHARMA, Chandigarh

Right and wrong

It is common to find wrongly-spelt English and Punjabi words and wrongly constructed sentences written at public places in Punjab. Wrong usage of words and sentences not only irritates those who know their correct form but also misinform the public. One glaring error of this type is the use of word ‘bye’ in ‘Bus Lay Bye’ written on roadside signboards in many districts like Mohali, Fatehgarh Sahib, Patiala etc. ‘Lay Bye’ is no phrase and, thus, has no meaning.

The correct phrase is ‘Lay by’ which, according to Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, means ‘an area at the side of a road where vehicles may stop for a short time’. The sign ‘bus stop’ which was already in use at these places was more appropriate and acceptable.

Prof ACHHRU SINGH, Mandi Gobindgarh

Criminals as rulers!

It is a matter of grave concern that all leading parties give preference to criminals during allotment of tickets. In the UP Assembly elections, over 337 candidates having criminal charges pending against them were given tickets by the SP, BSP, BJP and Congress. All party leaders announced time and again that people having clean records would be given tickets. Justice Rajinder Sachar (retd) in his article “Whither Indian polity?” (February 24) clearly mentioned that no party is talking of the real problems. Minorities are being treated as the football of politics.

The leaders are talking of giving laptops to students of weaker sections whereas a large numbers of schools have no blackboards or toilets for girls. Our leaders should promise what they can provide in reality and what is required and not show false dreams which cannot be fulfilled.



Unfortunately, politics in our country is under the influence of corruption. The Supreme Court nearly a decade back, in a writ petition filed by People’s Union for Civil Liberties directed that proposed candidate should disclose at least six months before the date of election, if he\she is involved in violation of criminal law. The SC’s direction is nowhere in practice. Is it not contempt of court?


Happiness Vs comfort

A coin has two sides -- upper ‘head’ signifies happiness and the lower side denotes comfort. The two sides are opposite. It is not necessary for a person to have all comforts to be happy. It is not necessary for a person to be happier if he has all the comforts. Happiness is the inner natural quality of a soul, whereas comfort means materialistic pleasure which gives comfort but not happiness. Happiness cannot be replaced by comfort. Instead when we fall short of comforts, happiness can replace it in many ways. Comforts make our lives easy but degenerate our power of thinking and generating thoughts. Comfort is directly proportional to dependency.

ANSHU KAPIL, via e-mail



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