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Politicians hold back police reforms

This refers to the article 'Police reforms: More talk than action' by Manoj Chhabra (September 5). The writer has analysed all aspects of the police system and suggested some police reforms. It is an open secret that a person pays a hefty bribe to get recruited as a constable. What such a policeman will do after he wears the uniform is anybody's guess.

A policeman has to do duty for 12 to 18 hours. According to the writer, an SHO in Delhi has to do six days' night shift in a week and he is a frustrated and depressed lot as he remains away from his family for most of the time. Their pay and perks are not decent and far from satisfactory. He remains at the beck and call of his seniors all the time. Besides, politicians, VIPs and bureaucrats exploit him to the hilt. Until and unless there is an end to political corruption in the country, there is little hope of the policemen or their mindset will ever change.

Over one-third MPs in Parliament are corrupt and criminals. The Supreme Court's verdict to root out criminals and corrupt MPs and MLAs from Parliament and assemblies must be implemented immediately. Only then will the long-pending police reforms be introduced and implemented to improve the image of the police in the country.

R K KAPOOR, Chandigarh

Dithering Obama

The entire media of the world is stunned at the last minute 'dithering' displayed by Barack Obama in launching a crushing and punitive attack on Syria for the massacre of thousands of innocent Syrians in cold blood. The much-awaited attack has been cancelled. In this connection, and on the birth anniversary of Dr S Radhakrishnan, I am reminded of the great thinker's paradoxical observation that 'the world has suffered more at the hands of some right-thinking people than at the hands of scoundrels'. The context in which he said these words was his well-known lecture made in 1942 when World War II was being glorified.

I think it is not a mistake to review and defer any decision. A dithering Obama and all other 'peace-mongers' will go down in history brighter than a blundering Bush. Give peace and dialogue yet another chance.


Growth slips

The editorial 'Growth slips further' (September 2) has well exposed the BJP's double standard on Bills and economic reforms piloted by the UPA government. It readily voted for the controversial food security and land acquisition Bills as it did not want the Congress alone to claim credit for their passage. The BJP is no exception when it comes to giving nod to populist policies to embolden its vote banks. One fails to understand why it has not supported the insurance, Direct Taxes Code and Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bills.

Owing to both parties' vested interests, the country is now faced with a serious economic crisis with the rupee plumbing new lows. The current account deficit is unprecedented and the local and foreign investors are not investing here because of our bad policies. It is time all parties put their heads together to stop the economic decline.

TARSEM SINGH, via email

End reservations?

Apropos the letter 'Reservations should not be forever' (August 30), it is wrong to say that the quota system should be abolished without knowing the real economic and social conditions of most of SC/ST/BC people. Still, their condition is the same as it were before Independence, barring a few people.

According to the writer, the Constitution provides for 10 years' reservations for SC/ST/BC categories. Are SC/ST/BC candidates really getting their rights given by the Constitution? Recently, various SC/BC candidates outshone their general category counterparts in a competitive exam, but the government department declined to accept them. A number of cases of discrimination against them in recruitment drives have been pending in various Indian courts. Moreover, no one has the right to abolish reservations.


Grain storage

Farmers have adopted production techniques developed by agricultural universities. This has led to a quantum jump in the production of grains and crops. Unfortunately, our government has failed to provide sufficient infrastructure for the procurement and storage of grains. Owing to the inclement weather, grain procured by government agencies starts rotting even in mandis as there is no space for storage. A solution to this problem could lie with panchayats and enterprising rural folk, who could be roped in to develop storage capacities.

Long-term loans could be provided to panchayats and un-employed youth on easy terms along with the scientific guidance to build stores. These panchayats could be paid reasonably for providing storage and watch and ward facilities.

DR K K SHARMA, Ludhiana

Hooda vs Modi on Lokayukta 

Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi is under fire from the Congress for trying to have a Lokayukta Act in which he can have a greater say in the selection process. But will UPA chief Sonia Gandhi ask Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda to amend the Act in his state in which Hooda has the final say in the decision to appoint a Lokpal in case of a difference of opinion between members of the selection committee?

Admittedly, Hooda has inherited this Act from OP Chautala, but what prevents him from amending it? It goes to the credit of Bansi Lal that he got passed the first Lokpal Act in which the Chief Minister did not have the final say in appointments.

Bansi Lal had appointed Justice I P Vashisth, known for his integrity and honesty, as the first Lokpal of the state having wide powers of taking suo motu cognizance of cases. But Chautala scrapped the Act to get rid of Vashisth, claiming to bring a more comprehensive and powerful Act which came in its present form.

Interestingly, at that time Hooda and Randeep Surjewala had urged the Governor not to give sanction to the Act, describing it as toothless. But Hooda is following it now even during his second term as it suits him also. Nobody wants a powerful Lokayukta Act, particularly after Santosh Hegde's indictment of Karnataka Chief Minister Yeddyurappa.

While addressing IAS, IPS and IFS officers at a foundation course in Gurgaon, Hooda called upon them to work for a corruption-free society. If he is sincere, he should empower the Lokayukta to deal sternly with such elements.




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