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Need for transparency in parties’ funds

As the saying goes, “When buying and selling are controlled by legislation, the first thing to be bought and sold are legislators.” One of the major sources of income of political parties in India is donation and voluntary contributions. However, most donations come from undisclosed contributors. When a donation is made to a political party then it is obvious that the donor is expecting something in return. Political parties are being funded by industrialists and big trading houses and in return they get benefits one way or the other.

Basically, corporate houses are the real fountain of corruption in our country. They entice the politicians with a huge amount of money to bend the rules in their favour. Almost every business house is indulged in this wicked activity and they should be taken to task for it.

It is mandatory for political parties to provide names of the contributors who donate above Rs 20,000. However, no one bothers to do it. Leaders take off to exotic locales to attend conclaves from donation money while the employees in their state struggle to even get their salaries.

Transparency should be the key when it comes to funding of political parties. Leaders should be discouraged to accept whopping amounts as donations for their parties.  Russia recently enacted a law making any organisation receiving foreign funds as an agent of foreign interest. India could enact a similar law making it mandatory for any organisation (political, religious or charitable) to publicly declare such donations.


Faith in judiciary

The editorial ‘Judiciary vs Executive: Finger pointing will not help’ (April 9) highlights the key points that emerged at the April 7 joint conference of Chief Ministers and Chief Justices in Delhi.

The whole exercise lays bare the prevailing conditions in our courts  — over three crore pending cases, thousands of vacancies and suffering justice seekers. All growing systems need periodical cleansing and the judicial system is no exception. The judiciary does not function in a vacuum. It functions in the same setting where the other two systems — the legislature and the executive — do.

The Constitution of India sets clear-cut objectives and areas of operations for the executive and the judiciary. Finger-pointing starts when the focus is lost or is misplaced.  When the functionaries start engaging in the turf war instead of focusing on the ‘citizen — the relief seeker’, digression is bound to take place.

A large number of people have yet to develop high faith and confidence in the judicial system of our country due to the erosion being caused by acts of omission and commission by those motivated by greed and tainted thinking.

It is very important to realise that the judiciary is the pillar that gives unfailing and unstinted timely support and relief to the law-abiding citizens. For an orderly and democratic society, a sense of justice among its citizens is a prerequisite.


Sidhu must stay

Navjot Singh Sidhu is very upset with the way he has been treated by his party and it was evident in the outburst of his wife, who is also a legislator. It seems that Sidhu is all set to quit politics. However, I feel this is not a trait of a true sportsman. If Sidhu knows that something wrong is going on in his party which is harming people's interest, then it is his responsibility to expose it.

It is more honourable to put up a fight and then lose the match than simply backing out. Sidhu should complete his innings with confidence and poise.


Hurdles in Himachal

Ram Niwas Malik in his letter ‘Himachal needs overhaul’ has suggested some ways to bail the hill state out of fiscal mess. It is very important here to understand that no improvement is possible in Himachal without overcoming bureaucratic hurdles. The Himachal Government is elected by the all-powerful government employees’ lobby.

Most government employees have strong party affiliations and remain busy in their activities. They hardly do any concrete work or push for overall development of the state. They just do their routine office work and that too not with much efficiency. The policies and procedure for implementation of any new project in Himachal are cumbersome. Inefficient government employees only compound problems for those who want clearances for various projects in the state. So, Himachal definitely needs an overhaul but it should begin with bureaucracy.




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