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How Pranab can contribute as President

Pranab Mukherjee is a highly experienced and active politician and a troubleshooter for his party. The nation has great expectations from him as the new President (editorial “A pragmatic President”, July 24). He has a choice between becoming a rubber stamp President and a ‘productive President’.  In my view, a ‘productive President’ would mean triggering the government of the day to perform and push the nation out of the morass of corruption and economic slowdown, while safeguarding the Constitution. The President should have no politician qualms about the 2014 general elections and its outcome at this stage. Let’s concentrate on the task in hand.

The second task which the new President should take on is to ensure that the Parliament passes an effective Lokpal Bill within a year. Let it not be seen as Anna versus the Congress, but let it be a ‘nation versus corruption’ crusade. Pranab will make history if he can be instrumental in eradicating corruption from our country. 

The third challenge before the President is to remove the ‘soft state’ tag from the country which is the root cause of recurring terrorist attacks. No one respects or helps a weak nation. We have to be strong and mean business.  Indian armed forces play a major role in upholding the territorial integrity and safety of the nation. As Supreme Commander of the armed forces, Pranab Mukherjee can contribute in some form or the other as much as his powers allow him to.

Once inside the Rashtrapati  Bhavan, Pranab Mukherjee will be separated from the people by several layers of protocol. May he never lose touch with the common man. May we see an active President breathing alongwith the nation.

Col RD SINGH (retd), Ambala Cantt


It is true that Pranab Mukherjee's role as President will come under close scrutiny at the time of the 2014 General Elections when, it is presumed, that there will be a "fractured" verdict keeping in view the dismal performance of UPA 2. The general trend of the regional parties creating obstacles by forcing their views and stalling government initiative to bring reforms in various sectors will also have to be handled by Mukherjee.

Mukherjee has to decide on death sentences of known anti-national elements. He should rise above politics to arrive at the correct decision since as he has a long political experience of handling crises.

R K KAPOOR, Faridabad

Dressing right?

The issue of the right dressing sense of girls comes up time and again. When a state DGP remarked that women should avoid skimpy dresses, he was accused of bureaucratic approach and gender bias. Then, a woman Congress MLA came up with a similar advice (News report, “Women must wear right dress to avoid trouble: Assam MLA,” July 20). What would you accuse her of?

It is not that wearing short and revealing clothes is the only reason for molestation of girls but this is one of the contributing factors. Vulgar display on TV and films displaying commodification of women makes matters worse.

No law can take care of all possible situations, neither can the police be present everywhere. Self check, role of parents, society and the media can play a big role in the emancipation of women.

Wg Cdr CL SEHGAL (retd), Jalandhar

National foresight

People in Australia often enquire from me about the problem of growing population in India (editorial “Birth Control", July 24). I tell them that India is a democratic country, she cannot adopt totalitarian methods like China to control population. Late Sanjay Gandhi understood the magnitude of the problem and tried to spell out measures to control population at its Guwahati session in 1976. Alas, people did not understand the significance of Gandhi’s efforts and could not appreciate his foresight and vision. The Congress was routed in the elections in March 1977. No leader now even talks about population control.

AMAR JIT SINGH GORAYA, Griffith, Australia


The editorial has rightly identified the challenge of demographic disaster in India which can be avoided with political will, the Bangladesh way. To control over-population, we need to recruit more human resources in putting family welfare programmes (FWP) into practice.

Over-emphasis on female participation in family planning in India and being soft on men is not in good taste. There is an urgent need of sex education among all by the rhythm method of population control.

There is a strong case to make child bearing and child rearing costly. We need to adopt suitable pricing policy for birth, death, marriage and pregnancy registration which can act as source of financing FWP in a big way. FWPs deserve to be given the status of basic infrastructural activity in India for making it a human resource development activity in the strict sense.

Dr MM GOEL, Kurukshetra

Positive role for khaps

The ban imposed by the Haryana government on the consumption of smokeless tobacco is a welcome step which needs to be implemented with seriousness (editorial ‘Avoidable deaths’, July24). This marks the beginning of an era in which products with proven health hazards are being kept out of the reach of masses to provide them more healthy and hygienic surroundings.

The people in urban areas are getting enlightened but the rural masses, a mix of young and old, still seem to be insulated from info on harmful effects of these products. The use of tobacco in ‘beeri’ and ‘hukka’ is quite common among the old in villages. The urge and habit of smoking thus very naturally descends in youth. The khaps and panchayats should take the initiative of banning the use of such products and should lead awareness campaigns in their respective areas.

The government has taken a bold and much-needed initiative which should be further implemented with seriousness and in the true spirit. The experience of Delhi govt in strictly adhering to emission norms for entry of heavy vehicles and acceptability of the ban on smoking at public places are indicators of the public following legal rules.




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