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National interest takes backseat

Jagdish S Chhokar's article "Win elections, stay in power" (November 13) exhibited a true picture of the prevailing politics, especially in India. It is true for the two national parties, the Congress and the BJP, and the regional parties, like the SP and the BSP as well. Each is busy downgrading the other in all respects. Each party accuses the other of being corrupt, without looking into their own Augean stable.

Politicians, irrespective of the national or regional party they belong to, have a single aim: win elections by whatever means and stay in power for the next 5 years. Power is the only tool which gives them the licence to commit wrongdoings in the form of corruption, nepotism and hooliganism.

Laws are manipulated and twisted and new laws are made to serve a particular target group based on region, religion, caste, vote bank, etc. In the name of national interest, they fill their own coffers at any given opportunity.

R K KAPOOR, Chandigarh


In Indian democracy, keeping the winnability of a candidate in mind, some party tickets are sold informally at hefty rates and the credentials of a candidate are ignored even if he is a history-sheeter. Caste plays a major role in the selection of candidates. Ugly scenes in august Houses are a testimony to the characters and ethics they possess.

Party supremos are, infact, power brokers, demanding their pound of flesh according to the number of ticket getters who go on to win elections.

The dismal record of coalition governments at the Centre due to the compromises they have to make with each other speaks volumes about the coalition system of governance. To run the UPA II government, history was created with largest number and the biggest scams breaking out.

The country pays the price for bad governance while the coalition partners demand plum positions. Money stashed in Swiss banks is used to buy votes at the time of elections. Big corporate houses invest in elections and the winning candidates dance to their tunes. Populist measures based on caste and creed are adopted to create vote banks.



Our political parties exist to win elections for getting and remaining in power and not for serving people (Jagdeep S. Chhokar’s article “Win elections, stay in power” (November 13). They accuse one another of wrongdoings more for exploiting their opponent’s critical position than to bring facts to light. It is very much evident from the fact that very rarely do our leaders present themselves for investigation into charges levelled against them. In fact they try their best to stonewall them on one ground or the other.

With people as mute spectators, our political parties have a field day. Unless the public does not stand up against their vested interest, the political class will continue to take us for granted for serving their own selfish motives.


GM research

The ban recommended by the technical expert committee appointed by the court on field experiments of GM (genetically modified) crops seems to be a step taken in haste (editorial ‘GM crops on trial’, November 13). What is the need to impose a ban on field experiments of genetically modified crops? The Genetic Engineering Approval Committee, a government-appointed body of scientists, is conducting proper field trials before recommending the release of a GM crop for mass cultivation.

For health and environment safety, we must follow developed countries like the US, which is more aware in following safety measures. If these types of new initiatives are halted, the farmer community which is in dire need of new technologies, will keep abusing their fate.



India needs to go ahead with GM research, but with adequate regulation (editorial “GM crops on trial,” November 13). Parliament must pass the Biotechnology Regulatory Authority Bill at the earliest, with prior wide-ranging public debate. It should also obtain a detailed report from the Genetic Engineering Approval Committee constituted for conducting proper field trials before recommending the release of a GM crop for mass cultivation.

HARISH K. MONGA, Ferozepur

Paying bribe a norm!

Be it the registry of a property or getting a driving licence or an NOC or a death certificate made or getting an electricity connection– you have to pay up, in cash or kind. Nothing is for free. In case you insist on straight dealings, then you will be harassed on flimsy grounds, and your work will keep lingering.

We have come to accept bribe as a norm. Even if it is as simple as exercising our basic right like admission of our child in a school or getting an electricity connection, we will readily pay a bribe if need be. That is why corruption has become a part of our daily life. Nothing moves without greasing the palms of officials or for that matter any one who provides services.

Will an Anna Hazare or Kejriwal be able to stem the rot which exists within all of us? Will corruption end by exposing the big fish?

No, because most of us relish freebies, want our work done in the earliest possible time with minimum leg work. If want to cleanse India of graft and black money, then we must look within ourselves. Each one of us needs to make a small sacrifice — a commitment to ourselves to control our greed.

Col R D SINGH (retd), Ambala Cantt 



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