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Politics of quid pro quo

After the Rs 70,000 crore Maharashtra irrigation scam came to light a couple of days back, Deputy CM Ajit Pawar had to resign saying that he was ignorant of the entire scenario. With this, Congress-NCP ties came under severe strain. The BJP, though, was jubilant.

Right to Information (RTI) and  India Against Corruption (IAC) activist, Anjali Damania, however, opened another set of can of worms. She claimed that she had prior knowledge of it and she had approached BJP national president Nitin Gadkari to expose the scam that had taken place under Ajit Pawar’s nose. However, Gadkari had turned her away saying, “Hum ko unse char kam padte haim and unko humse char kam padte hain.’’ — ``They come to our help when needed and we help them when they need us.”

When confronted with Damania’s charges against Gadkari, both the BJP and Gadkari dismissed it as false and  termed it as an attempt by the Congress to tarnish the image of the BJP. When confronted with the BJP’s allegations, Damania said that she had nothing against the BJP but if Gadkari denied it and threatened her with a legal notice, all that she would like to say was that he should face her and look into her eyes and deny that the conversation had not taken place. The conviction with which Damania repeated the charge on TV channels shows that there is a grain of truth in her allegations.

However, the overall picture with regard to the observance of the rules of probity in the political parties that emerges is not very inspiring. 

It appears that give and take between the political parties has become a reality. The political parties in and out of power have a tacit understanding to help each other in matters such as exemption from payment of taxes, relief from prosecution, allotment of office spaces, state funding and other such benefits.


Dealing with transition

The editorial Mere words won’t do”  (September 27) is right in saying that had the National Commission for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes not taken the administration to task, the arrest of the five rape accused in Hisar would not have taken place. The circumstances under which the shocked and helpless father of the victim committed suicide speaks volumes of the miserable condition of the civil and police administration in the face of dominating upper caste domination. Had the police acted in time, the father of the victim would have been alive.

Although Indian society has metamorphosed into a modern society, there are some regions where society is in a state of flux. The traditional caste system and its bye products are changing. The dominance of the upper caste is being challenged in all spheres — social, economic and political. This is what is creating a conflict. The upper caste wants to retain the lost ground where as the lower caste wants to break free from the barriers of caste. The social tension is growing. Under these conditions, everyone must play their role in maintaining social harmony.

Political leaders should refrain from using caste for political gains. Media needs to be more alert and should immediately highlight the atrocities on the Dalits by the upper castes. The civil and police administration should shed caste bias and fulfill their legal and constitutional obligations and maintain law and order and provide security to one and all.



The recent spate of gangrapes in Haryana has shown a certain pattern: Most of the victims usually belong to socially backward and economically weaker families. Having insulted, humiliated and trampled upon the honour of girls and women, the powerful and influential people strike “a compromise” with the accused. Nothing can be more disgusting and disappointing than this. The medieval mindset of belief in caste system does not allow them to accept poor and Dalit women as equals. I agree with the argument mentioned in the editorial Mere words won’t do”  (September 27) that the vice-chairman of the National Commission for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes has rightly “ruled out any compromise between the accused and the victim”.

Dr  RAJ BAHADUR YADAV , Fatehabad (Haryana)

Political prisoners

A Kolkata court’s orders that nine suspected Naxalites arrested in an illegal arms manufacturing case should be treated as “political prisoners” is a step that will have tremendous impact on our country’s war on insurgency. Maoists are not just people with a different political ideology; they are gun-totting criminals. The argument by some that they are part of our society and we should make attempts to bring them back to the mainstream is misguiding. This is a war. And, as Erasmus said: “War is delightful to those who have had no experience of it”. There are no half measures in a war. Before giving Naxalites the status of “political prisoners”, it would be apt to spare a thought for our security forces fighting the rebels in the jungle.


Green ‘ATMs’ 

Besides monetary benefits, there are social, environmental and ecological benefits which no FDI can render. In fact, the trees (especially fruits and medicinal) are our “Green ATMs” —- just pluck fruits and exchange them for currency notes. The pulp, husk, fruits and leaves of trees are like notes, they are in demand and shall remain till eternity. Our learned Prime Minister must be careful while saying things like “money does not grow on trees”.

The UPA government is in a dilemma of choosing between the devil and the deep sea. The Prime Minister and the UPA government must realise and dedicate 2013 and 2014 for growing more and more trees to save our ecology. It is a universal reality that actually money grows on trees as well, and fruits and medicinal trees are our real ‘Green Any Time Money’.




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