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

Writing on the wall for dictators

After pronouncement of the jail term, former Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak will now spend the remaining part of his life in jail. He has been charged with complicity in the killing of about 800 protesters during the popular uprising against his dictatorial rule, One fails to understand why Mubarak has not been held guilty of defrauding Egypt financially. In fact, the revolution in Egypt is still incomplete. There are many Mubarak loyalists still in the army.

The people of Egypt need to remain vigilant against elements who may try to undo the gains of the pro-people transition. The army will do its best to keep the country under its direct or indirect control under one pretext or the other. Dictators must remember that people’s yearning for democracy can not be curbed. They must see the fate of dictators in Tunisia, Libya and Yemen, Syria being next.

Egypt must move towards completing the democratic revolution by electing a President who can ensure justice and liberty. The minorities must feel secure and respected in a democratic Egypt. The dictators in other countries of the world must read the writing on the wall.


Controlled subsidies

Subsidies in services like education, research, health, drinking water, sewerage disposal, LPG, PDS, provision of low cost houses is welcome, but about 30 per cent people do not come in the domain of this category (Sucha Singh Gill’s article "The provision of subsidies”, May 31).

In the 2010-2011 budget, corporate sector was provided a subsidy of Rs 4.60 lakh crore, which is a handsome part of the annual budget.

The state governments’ debts are swelling year by year for giving subsidies year after year irrespective of any ceiling. West Bengal is under Rs 2 lakh crore debt and Punjab is reeling under 78,000 crore debt. The government spends taxpayers’ money recklessly and the rich are reaping maximum dividend of subsidies.

There must be ceiling on every kind of property. Agriculture should be taxable. Marginal farmers should be exempted. Big landlords who have big landholdings must be taxed.

Former finance minister Manpreet Singh had raised his voice against subsidy to the rich. He had said that it was not wise to give subsidies by taking loan. Nobody listened, rather was thrown out of the government.

BANSI RAM, Hoshiarpur

All on board

Advani’s suggestion of a collegium for selection of CEC and CAG is timely and apt. Generally, the appointments’ committee headed by the PM does not include members of the Opposition. This leads to decisions which are often one-sided, are hastily taken and lack foresight. Formation of collegium for appointment to important posts shall invoke a feeling of confidence among the general public also. Often, the wrong people sit on important positions and the government has to cut a sorry figure for their deeds. The senior functionaries should be chosen on seniority basis, not on priority which seems to be the rule. It is high time the government works in unison with the Opposition, just as in other developed countries of the world, like the US.



Kuldip Nayar has aptly pointed out in his article “Case for Presidential form of government” (May 28) that parliamentary system of government has undergone a sea change because of mindless legislation which has made the domicile qualification for the Rajya Sabha members redundant. This, however, does not mean that the country should throw the baby along with the bath water.

The danger of “totalitarianism” inherent in the Presidential form of government cannot be brushed aside lightly. The flaws in the parliamentary system of government that have crept in it over the years are not incurable. The system has undoubtedly ushered tremendous material progress in every walk of life during the post-independence era. Above all, it has ensured peaceful transition of political power and thus helped strengthen forces of stability. Look at Pakistan where a stable civil government still eludes the people.

TARA CHAND, Ambota (Una)

Creating awareness

Smoking and chewing of tobacco is an integral part of the society in India (Editorial “The Tobacco epidemic”, June 5). Slow poisoning due to this addiction gives rise to serious health hazards like asthma, cancer and various other ailments. Use of inferior tobacco products is directly related to poverty index. Like liquor, tobacco too generates huge revenue for the government. Hence, banning these products seems remote for obvious reasons. Creating awareness is the only way out to tackle the problem.


Considerate view

On a recent visit to the Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission in Delhi, I was shocked at the treatment a senior citizen widow was given by the commission. She was being unnecessarily harassed due to some discrepancies in correspondence and later due to the insensitiveness of the commission. Does a normal middle class person really get justice? The Commission members never turn up in the court before 11 or 11:30 am.

The Commission should take a considerate view in cases where people have lost their lives and their families are struggling hard to get justice.


Need for a fresh look at laws

Our property laws lay down legal rights for heirs in blood relations in the family hierarchy. Women are empowered with dual rights — firstly as a daughter in parents’ home and secondly as a wife in husband’s property. Women may have little interest in this dual right provision but it is misused most of the times. This right should be applicable only in the absence of son(s).

The Government of India needs to have a relook at all property laws and evolve a safe, single and compact law to pinpoint real heirs by repealing the existing Acts. This reform can lessen the tensions in Indian society and reduce the burden of litigation in property cases.

LD KATHURIA, via e-mail 



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