L E T T E R S    T O    T H E    E D I T O R

ECI toothless

The impending arrest of SS Chatwal, a Padam Bhushan recipient, in the USA for offences related to election funding should make us think whether we really deserve to be called the biggest democracy in the world. The Election Commission of India has proved to be a virtual toothless tiger. Offences as innocuous as carrying two loudspeakers instead of one invited action while serious offences related to the use of money power for votes were let off with warning. The Chatwal case should make us think about the vulgar amounts of money spent on elections in India. The source of funds for such mega campaigns is well known but is never put to scrutiny.

The EC should take the lead in pressing for an amendment of laws related financial contributions to political parties and clubbing the party expense with that of the candidate. An honest man, howsoever well qualified, cannot even contest for the post of a Sarpanch.

The Chatwal case also exposes our weakness for the "NRI brethren" who rub shoulders with the high and mighty in foreign lands. They are given undue importance and titles by our politicians and projected as symbols of our spirit of enterprise. Another such person is Rajat Gupta who has been convicted of stock exchange-related crimes in the USA. He was a key player in the Public Health Foundation of India (PFHI) which was allegedly constituted against norms by the previous PM.

NS Khaira, Ludhiana


Release RGNF funds

The Rajiv Gandhi National Fellowship (RGNF) is an initiative of the University Grants Commission (UGC) to provide financial assistance to SC/ST students so that they can pursue research in MPhil and PhD. But these students are facing problems regarding stipends. Though they have submitted the requisite documents in the respective banks, they have not been receiving the fellowship amount for about five months, despite reminders. How will they deposit hostel and department fees and buy study materials?

The authorities concerned say that there are insufficient funds in the Treasury and the Ministry of Disability Affairs has not released the fund.


Drugs: High-ups mum

Though many politicians and senior officials are directly or indirectly involved in the drug trade in Punjab, they do not admit their guilt. Drug racket accused Jagdish Singh Bhola, currently in jail, has named an Akali minister, but neither the minister nor his party has ordered a probe nor talked of resigning on moral grounds.

The resignation of the Jail Minister does not seem to be on moral grounds, but under some compulsion. The public will punish the guilty at the right time.

Harbhajan Singh Sarwara, Rajpura

Dealing with drugs

Considering that responsible public personalities have alleged that the drug racket is being run by bigwigs having links with some ministers, how can the Punjab Government give a free hand to the police in dealing with the drug menace? The menace has not taken the alarming shape in a day. It has been in operation for long and under the nose of bigwigs.

Had the government taken strict steps earlier, this menace could have been controlled to a large extent.

Manjit Kaur, Chandigarh

Drugs crippling

Drug peddling/smuggling is a termite that has crippled Punjab over the last few decades. The recent figures of confiscation and seizure of drugs are frightening. They speak about an intricately knit network that runs almost hassle-free in the state. The recent crackdown by the Punjab Police has hit the supply of contraband for the addicts. They are now queuing at de-addiction centres.

Apparently, this flux of drugs and narcotics is impregnable without the intervention of high-ups. It corroborates the existence of a big fish somewhere. The news of even some jail authorities being involved in dru peddling shows the magnitude of this crime.

Neha Verma, Chandigarh

Remodel UPSC exam

The Union Public Service Commission should revamp the syllabus of the civil services exam 2014 as its CSAT paper-2 seems to be more like a banking services exam. The quality of questions on decision-making stands nowhere for the country's premium services like IAS, IPS, IRS etc. Civil services is different from other fields, so their exam pattern should be different. Or, the CSAT paper-2 could be made of a qualifying nature. Removing one optional in the mains exam from the two earlier was a good decision. Also, the weightage of the general studies paper could be increased so that only the best quality students qualify to serve the nation.

Nikhil Sharma, via email

Hear students, HPU

Why are the HPU authorities not agreeing to the demands of students for which money has been already sanctioned? While as of now, the students are resorting to peaceful means, they may take to other means like chakka jam, boycotting of classes or voilence. The authorities must channel the students’ energy positively and not force them to adopt the course of agitation.

Anil K. Jaswal, Gagret (Una)

Komagata Maru incident

Hats off to The Tribune for reproducing a news item dated June 6, 1914, titled 
The Crisis in Canada” in the column “100 years ago”. As a student of the history of the freedom  struggle, I value the espousal of national causes during the peak days of British supremacy not only in India but also the world. The item raises the voice of anguish and protest regarding the predicament of hapless Komagata Maru passengers, right from their departure to arrival at Vancouver on May 22, 1914, and the barbaric attitude of the Canadian authorities speaks for itself.

As per my record, The Tribune did not relent in raising the voice  of protest likewise in the subsequent events, in particular the bloodbath upon the ship’s return  at Baj Baj, Calcutta on September 29, 1914. It would, however, be more appropriate if the write-ups relating to Komagata Maru are displayed more prominently to catch the attention of the readers.


Letters to the Editor, typed in double space, should not exceed the 200-word limit. These should be cogently written and can be sent by e-mail to: Letters@tribuneindia.com



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