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Opposition in India and the US

It is strange that the two largest democracies of the world, the US and India, are battling an incorrigible Opposition. Both the BJP and the Republicans are professed right wingers. In their bid to regain power, they have been holding the nation’s economy to ransom. Obama proposed major job measures that would have created nearly two million jobs in an election year.  Republicans blocked them by not allowing a debate in the Senate. The BJP did worse by not allowing Parliament to function and by not letting the government debate on critical issues like the 2G scam and the Coalgate.

The BJP would rather have our sovereign rating downgraded than help enforce fiscal discipline much as Republicans are against tax cuts and other measures to help small businesses that create employment. It is a sign of BJP’s political hollowness that it is obstructing the introduction of GST (Goods and Services Tax), an idea mooted by it when in power earlier. Both these right wing parties across a continental divide would stand accused of  an orchestrated power grab and a script written with an eye on the forthcoming general elections. The growing concern in both these nations is whether growth is being deliberately slowed down to service narrow partisan political stakes?

R. NARAYANAN, Ghaziabad

Research is the key

Over the last five decades, medical science has made the sort of progress and advancement which go beyond the imagination of the common man, but much more needs to be done (editorial “Beyond cancer drive”, October 3).

Providing infrastructure facilities for the diagnosis and cure of a fatal disease may not suffice to do away with agonies suffered by the victims. What is most urgently required is huge investment on research facilities which may lead to breakthroughs in treating serious diseases like cancer. However, in the post-reformed milieu of a liberal and global economy and information technology era of the 21st century, incurability of a host of diseases inter alia cancer and AIDS poses a very big question before mankind.

Francis Bacon once said that remedy is worse than the disease. So, the government needs to initiate steps to explore areas in the country which abound in carcinogenic factors and take remedial measures. Meanwhile, subsidised treatment for cancer patients may bring some respite in their lives.


National good forfeited

The apex court’s verdict on the non-auctioning of natural resources (editorial “Significant Verdict”, September 29) has brought major relief to the government and may be acceptable to any ruling party but the nation is circumspect. Natural resources are the property of the people and they should not be allowed to be used as a tool by any government for its autocratic disposal. High profile economic issues such as 2G, Coalgate and others require input from experts.

If mere auctioning doesn’t serve the interests of the country, then the resources must not be given on a platter to the executive merely on the ground that the court lacks the necessary expertise to handle these intricate economic polices.

A variety of trials are running in the courts and it is true that the judges may not be possessing the required expertise in every field. In that case, we have researchers, economists and other right- minded people  to suggest ways and methods to exploit these sources.



The editorial “Significant verdict” (September 29) involves a lot more by implication than the apparent ruling given by the five-judge SC Bench on the presidential reference seeking clarification over the February 2 SC verdict on the 2G spectrum allocation.

No doubt, the President of India is well within his power to seek clarification or advice from the apex court on any of its verdicts or issues. But it should be sought in the rarest of rare instance. The President being a part of the Parliament could have enhanced the dignity of his office by making his own stand clear in the wake of the parliamentary logjam instead of referring the matter to the higher judiciary.

The CAG is part of the executive and has done its constitutional duty by looking at the rationality of the policy being followed by the government in a particular case of allocation of natural resources. The ball is in the court of Parliamentarians now.


Nuclear energy

The Kundankulam (TN) nuclear plant is ready for operationalisation. It will commence producing power despite cynicism of Opposition parties who tried to nip the nuclear deal itself during the negotiations with US and other countries.

An agitation having political overtones, led by socialist activist Uday Kumar is to thwart the plant going operational. Politically ambitious Arvind Kejriwal of India Against Corruption fame has, irrationally joined the stir.

The protest is unjust and reprehensible. Renowned atomic scientists and experts including Dr APJ Abdul Kalam and even the Tamil Nadu High Court have opined that the plant has all requisite safety parameters in place. No government will ever compromise on the safety of its citizens.

It is not possible to guarantee against the Fukushima type of unforeseeable natural disasters. India needs power for which all sources, including nuclear energy, ought to be exploited.

Lt-Col BACHITTAR SINGH (retd), Mohali

Travesty of justice

‘Rape Victims’ (October 1) was an apt editorial focusing on an effective law and its proper implementation. The State is the parens patriae of its subjects. Rightly, money cannot be a substitute for the trauma, a rape victim undergoes but it can definitely help her to start life afresh. For this purpose, Section-357A of CrPC provides for Victim Compensation Scheme which gives power to the respective state governments to award compensation to various categories of victims including rape. However, there is a disparity between the quantum of compensation fixed for rape victims in various states. For example, in Manipur, compensation offered to a rape victim is Rs 20,000; in Bihar, it is Rs 50,000; in Chandigarh, it is between Rs 2-3 lakh. This is because the compensation amount is subject to a state’s financial status. It is a mockery of justice for the rape victim. If penal law is uniform in India, the compensation part should also be uniform irrespective of state’s financial capacity.

Dr SUNAINA, Mohali



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