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Punish the corrupt

With a steep decline in the quality of bureaucracy, the administration in the country has suffered over the years. To get plum postings, promotions and jobs after retirement, a majority of civil servants indulge in all kinds of shenanigans to please their political masters. This politico-bureaucratic nexus breeds corruption and governance becomes the casualty. Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal has unjustifiably blamed the (corrupt)) bureaucracy for the SAD-BJP's dismal performance in the Lok Sabha election (editorial "Babus give govt a bad name?", July 15). An honest self-introspection will reveal that the administration has been so much politicised that some officials, known for their integrity, probity and efficiency, are not allowed to work independently. Being at the helm of affairs, the Chief Minister should realise that the state is faced with many problems that need immediate solutions. Instead of mindless bashing, he should take necessary steps to insulate the bureaucracy from political interference, restore its self-respect and confidence, and initiate strict disciplinary proceedings against those found guilty of corruption. Likewise, no leader of the ruling alliance should be allowed to flout the law with impunity for personal gains, whatever his power and position. In a democracy, if the elected government lacks interest or shows its inability to do so, it has no moral right to hold on to power any longer.

D S Kang, Hoshiarpur

Put own house in order

Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal’s remarks that corrupt bureaucrats are giving a bad name to the government has triggered a debate, with his rivals accusing him of having failed to rein in the bureaucrats. But much ‘bad’ bureaucracy results from a hierarchical/power relationship, often between the ruling party and bureaucrats.

But it is unfortunate and unwarranted for the CM to make such a statement without pin-pointing a specific case. Why has he been mum over this issue for years? Why has he not reported the matter to the authorities concerned to take action?

Most of the leaders and ministers in his government are allegedly greedy and corrupt and they patronise criminals and drug peddlers, resorting to unprovoked loot by grabbing each and every business while rendering the state bankrupt. The should put his own house in order also.


Criminal bonding

In the editorial “Babus give govt a bad name?”, it has been rightly diagnosed that “usually Punjab’s ruling politicians and officials display tremendous cooperation and understanding while engaging in corrupt practices.”

But, may be, Badal is feeling that collecting money illegally is the right of politicians only. It seems that now there is competition and, not cooperation, between bureaucrats and politicians in making money and nobody has the time to solve people’s problems.

Prof K K Garg, Chandigarh

Tackle graft together

A July 13 report quotes the Chief Minister as saying that “the bureaucrats are busy collecting money. They are not interested in improving governance, and if I say anything, they gang up and support each other. The politicians are always busy fighting amongst themselves. But these officers flock together when one of their own gets into any trouble.”

It seems that Badal has spoken the truth. Now it is the moral duty of the public and even the Opposition to support him in tackling corruption.


Badal blames babus

This refers to the news item of July 13 in which Badal has said that corrupt bureaucrats are giving the government a bad name. Is this statement not strange, especially coming from the Chief Minister? Delivery of good governance is the responsibility of the elected representatives of the people. In a democracy, the public servants are advisers and not masters in matters of governance.

There could be two reasons for such a remark by a skilful politician. Firstly, the bureaucrats in Punjab have gone out of government control. Secondly, the government lacks the will to take stern action against corrupt public servants.

Politicians are responsible for dividing bureaucrats on party lines and giving corrupt public servants protection. Politicians remain hand in glove with public servants in the misdemeanours they commit. Bureaucrats take advantage of having information of misdeeds committed. If the CM is genuinely interested in eradicating this evil, he needs to take hard-hitting and unbiased decisions.


Nexus rules

While addressing a NABARD function in Chandigarh where top bureaucrats, including the Punjab Chief Secretary, and others were present, Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal said, “The bureaucrats are busy collecting money.” But his statement is untenable. The prevailing capitalism is the systematic form of corruption where a nexus of capitalists-politicians-bureaucrats plunders public money by one way or the other.

SK Khosla, Chandigarh

Badal to blame

It is rightly observed that Badal should blame himself for poor performance. No babu can afford to be corrupt if politicians are honest. Corruption is the curse of our democracy, wherein “politicians and officials display tremendous cooperation and understanding while engaging in corrupt practices”. This is due to citizens like us, who give money to escape violation of traffic rules, crease the palms of babus to get licences quickly, loosen our purses to get passports easily and throw lavish dinners to get things done.

SA Srinivasa Sarma, Hyderabad

Clash of dates

I would like to bring the difficulties being faced by BTech first year aspirants. This year there is a clash of counselling dates of two reputed universities: Thapar University, Patiala, and Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar. The in-person counselling is scheduled for July 21 in both institues. The candidates will have to miss one of the counseling sessions, which is not fair. I am one such student -- confused and in a fix!

ARUN KUMAR, via email

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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