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Rahul vs Modi: The battle begins

With reference to editorial ‘Rahul speaks: But needs to fire imagination’, it is true that Congress vice-president and a strong PM probable deserves to be heard, especially when he has subtly positioned himself vis-a-vis the emerging BJP rival Narendra Modi.

The 2014 Lok Sabha elections are not far away and the two main parties in the country are chalking out strategies to outsmart each other. While the Congress is banking on the Gandhian legacy, the BJP’s poll plank would be ‘Ram Rajya’.

Right from the time when India attained Independence, the Congress, especially Gandhis, have been at the forefront in running this country. From Pt Jawahar Lal Nehru, Indira Gandhi to Rajiv Gandhi, the baton of leadership has been successfully carried by each one of them. If the Congress gets lucky at the hustings this time, the responsibility of carrying forward the legacy may fall on the “reluctant” shoulders of Rahul Gandhi. It will be an enormous task for the young leader, who has yet to really prove himself at that level. On the other hand, the ‘Ram Rajya’ model of Gujarat Chief Minister may not find many takers among NDA allies. The JD-U is already made its differences over Modi loud and clear.

If the gullible voters are swayed by the rhetoric of clever politicians, they may throw up another feeble-kneed dispensation. It would compound the miseries of people as policy decisions would depend on coalition factors and political combinations, ignoring the genuine needs of people.

The imagination and vision of an elected head alone is not enough. It is imperative for a leader to possess a right mix of grit and sincerity in his actions.


Savages in uniform

In the past one month, there have been instances where the police has shown its most brutal face to innocent, helpless people.  Be it Tarn Taran, Amritsar, Aligarh or New Delhi, the atrocities by those donning the khaki have shamed all.  While force was mercilessly used against women and the weak, rapists, drug mafia and anti-social elements enjoyed patronage of the so-called law protectors. A shopkeeper is looted and a police party stationed a few yards away from the spot turns a blind eye towards him. A girl protests in Delhi and she is given tight slap on her face. The Supreme Court has been pressing time and again for police reforms. However, even the advice and instructions of the apex court have fallen on deaf ears of lawmakers. While the police is busy adding more muscle to its brutal image, the Indians can continue to feel meek, vulnerable and unsafe.

MK SHARMA, Amritsar

Musharraf in dock

Pakistan’s former military ruler General Pervez Musharraf has been arrested and sent to 14-day judicial custody. His sprawling farmhouse has been converted into a sub-jail. According to his aide, the former President has been given access to just two rooms at his farmhouse. When Musharraf came to know about the rejection of his bail plea, he fled from the court only to be arrested later. It was unworthy of a General, who once commanded the entire army of Pakistan, to have escaped like that.

In fact, it seems, Musharraf has failed to gauge the mood of his own people. His strategy to 'come back and save his country' after a four-year self-imposed exile seems to have backfired. Musharraf’s troubles started soon after his return to Pakistan. First, he was booted out of the poll fray as his nomination papers were rejected. Then his bail plea was turned down and finally he was arrested. The recent developments in Pakistan are likely to trigger more chaos in the country which is already grappling with serious challenges like terrorism, bankruptcy and practically no-governance.  The conditions were not conducive for Musharraf to return. He has made a mistake and is paying for it.


Biased coverage

I would like to draw the attention towards media bias when it comes to reporting incidents. Rapes, accidents and murders happen across the country but a special treatment is given to them when they take place in the national capital.

In Jessica Lal murder case, the media gave it a frenzied coverage because it involved high-profile people and the incident happened in a plush Delhi café. The Uphaar Cinema fire has been highlighted in the media so much. Nearly 60 persons died in this fire tragedy but there was a blaze bigger and deadlier than Uphar that charred 300 students to death in Kumbkonam in Tamil Nadu. It went unnoticed and many people won’t even know about it. Reason: It happened in a small town and that too in far-away Tamil Nadu.

In India, every year, around 1.5 lakh people are killed in road accidents. While the accidents involving blue line buses in Delhi get full media coverage, many mishaps occurring in the remote areas go unreported.

It is the duty of the government and the media to give proper attention and coverage to small villages and towns when it comes to reporting.


Justice awaited

Apropos the editorial ‘Justice must prevail’ (April 12), the court deserves to be praised for ordering the CBI to reinvestigate the allegations against Congress leader Jagdish Tytler in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots in Delhi.

These riots can easily be compared with the Jallianwala Bagh massacre in which hundreds of innocent persons were killed on the order of Brigadier General Reginald Dyer. The difference between the two events is that even Sir Winston Churchill had condemned the action of General Dyer whereas in the anti-Sikh riots case, no such condemnation was made by any party.



I fully agree with the views expressed by the editorial that the Congress should show its remorse by fully cooperating with the CBI which is probing the role of its leader Tytler. Though the year 1984 may be far back in time, the feeling of lack of justice keeps it alive in the minds of the victims.





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