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Time to say goodbye to nepotism

The news item 'Relatives of 9 judges appointed Law Officers' (July 8) is unfortunate and discouraging. Nepotism and favouritism have made deep inroads into our judicial system. Resultantly, it has created various kinds of dangers in the whole system. Why is the relative of a particular high court judge not competent to be appointed as law officer before his elevation? Why does he become competent overnight? The particular judge may be honest and upright, but it definitely casts aspersions on his integrity. Why does the advocate general oblige such high court judges? The reasons are obvious. In lieu of favouritism shown to a particular judge, the Advocate General might be expecting favour in cases pertaining to the government or even after his term expires and he again starts his practice in the same high court. After all, this appears to be the policy of "give and take".

Unfortunately, this disease of nepotism is not confined to the office of Advocate General. There are certain advocates in the high court who try to win the favour of judges in one way or other, as for instance, by spending heavily on the marriage of their relatives or making arrangements for their foreign tours or by arranging houses for them.

The practice is not only to be condemned, but also curbed by taking stringent measures. The revolt of a section of the lawyers of the Punjab and Haryana High Court needs to be appreciated. But are they sincere to the cause? They should take the help of the Bar Council and the Bar Association and, if need be, the Ministry of Law.

KK PURI, Gurdaspur

Protecting democracy

An active judiciary and civil society organisations, an alert media, responsible political parties and an awakened electorate are essential to protect democracy. Thankfully, the Supreme Court's directions to the Election Commission to regulate the functioning of political parties and restrain them from making false promises in their pre-poll manifestos has come at a time when the country is gearing up for the Lok Sabha elections next year (editorial 'Promising freebies', July 8).

But the worrisome fact is that even the initiatives taken by the SC and the EC are unable to check political parties from fleecing the gullible voter to remain in power for a long time. Given their past record, it is futile to expect that these parties will behave responsibly and observe the rules of electoral democracy and strengthen its roots. Therefore, it becomes imperative to evolve a more efficient mechanism.

A strong Lokpal will surely deter political parties from indulging in populism, corruption and criminal activities. Strict action should be taken against erring poll officials. And those who perform their duties honestly should be recommended and suitable rewarded. If possible, at least some basic educational qualifications for both candidates and voters should be fixed. If the government fails to introduce the requisite election reforms, it will lead to social unrest that may ultimately jeopardise democratic institutions in the country.

D S KANG, Hoshiarpur

No stopping Modi

Apropos of the article 'Modi factor in Indian politics' by TV Rajeswar (June 28), the writer wrongly accuses Narendra Modi of being 'divisive' or a 'Hindutva' follower. He also has a problem with Modi using the digital technology in electioneering.

Both LK Advani and Nitish Kumar themselves have an eye on the PM's post which is the main reason for their opposition to Modi. As for the Congress, it is getting jittery over the rising popularity graph of Modi. How has Nitish suddenly become 'secular' for the Congress when as a partner of the BJP for 17 years he was 'communal'?

And 'Hindutva' is a mischievous term coined by some mischief-mongers. Hinduism would be the right word. Unfortunately, any talk of Hindus, the majority community, is dubbed 'communal' by the vested interests while talking of the minorities gets one the 'secular' tag. An anti-Hindu tirade followed by some people and parties to garner Muslim votes is indeed sad.


Not a clean city

I often hear one preaching the benefits of cleanliness. But in reality, not even a single person comes forward to contribute his mite in this regard. Being a resident of Jalandhar, it pains me to see mounds of garbage across the city. Be it roads, streets, lanes, marketplaces, there is hardly any place that does not have mounds of garbage and stray cattle, dogs and pigs roaming around them. Even safai karamcharis do not sweep the streets nor remove garbage on a daily basis. Passersby are a harried lot as they have to bear the stench emanating from accumulated garbage. The municipal corporation faces a severe fund crunch, which is also a factor for the poor upkeep of the city. The government should take concrete steps to make it a clean city.


Digvijay Singh: a loose cannon

This refers to the news item 'Cong, BJP in war of words over Digvijay's remarks' (July 9). The irresponsible statement that there is a link between the Bodh Gaya blasts and Modi made by senior Congress leader Digvijay Singh explicitly represents his subliminal Modi-complex, which unfortunately seems to have spread like a contagious disease within the Congress party. In fact, whenever Congress leaders say something negative about opposition leaders they are not at all playing any politics, but a type of deliberate "goondaism", which would categorically harm the Congress party in the coming elections.

Leaders of the ruling party should know how to speak wisely, correctly and on the basis of evidence about leaders of the Opposition party. Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru would certainly have dismissed such leaders from his party, had they dared make such a cheap statement against any opposition party or leader. He always stressed that a political leader in India must be a man of prestige and status, rank and esteem, respect and self-respect.

However, Digvijay's statement, the Congress party should recognise it, seems to be encouraging terrorists to perpetrate attacks. In the past, Digvijay had also made goofy and preposterous remarks. His "Osamaji" remark still surprises, amuses and angers the whole country.




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