Supreme  Court  cleanses  the  system
SIR, The Supreme Court has disqualified convicted MPs and MLAs. With effect from the date of conviction, they will lose their posts even if they appeal to a higher court. They will indeed be disqualified during the pendency of the appeal. This strikes down a provision in the electoral law that protects a convicted lawmaker from disqualification on the ground of pendency of appeal in higher courts. 
Far from welcoming the court order, some politicians have openly opposed the judicial intervention. They claim that the Supreme Court does not have the power to frame laws and regulate elections.  Are the politicians trying to suggest that convicted legislators are entitled to participate in the exercise of formulating laws. How can law-breakers make the law? Yet this is precisely what has been happening in this country. It is a fact that a country gets the Government it deserves. But why do people vote for corrupt candidates? It is because they have no alternative. Our electoral laws are defective and they must be amended. A person with a criminal background is not eligible for a Government job, but he can take part in elections and become a policy-maker. This is a mockery of democracy. This is exactly what the Supreme Court is trying to rectify.
Almost all political parties have tainted members because politics is a lucrative profession. Politicians can amass wealth at the cost of  the tax-payers’ money.  Across the spectrum, there isn’t a single party that is interested in winning elections in a fair manner.
Yours etc. Mahesh Kapasi,
New Delhi, 13 July.
Passing of Pran
SIR, The passing of Pran, Bollywood&’s “villain-actor, marks the end of an era when negative roles were portrayed with a gentlemanly touch coupled with a unique power of speech. Pran Sikandar, during his career spanning more than five decades, had mastered the art of excellent portrayal of “dubious” characters. Thus was he able to earn the appreciation of thousands of viewers. For some time in the late Seventies, he performed character roles as in Amar Akbar Antony and Don. Memorable indeed were his villains in Brahmachari, An Evening in Paris, Bobby, Jish Desh Mein Ganga Baheti Hain, Dil Diya Dard Liya and Ram Aur Shyam. Very fortunately, he received the Dada Saheb Phalke award three months before his death.
Yours etc., R Sekar,
Visakhapatnam, 13 July.
SIR, Jesus Christ said: “That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed  adultery with her already in his heart” (Matt. 5:28); and His prophet Abinadi said: “He that persists in his own carnal nature…remaineth in his fallen state and the devil hath all power over him…as though there was no redemption made, being an enemy to God.” (Mosiah 16:5). When we are tempted to lust after someone or abuse ourself or to be sexually intemperate in the least degree outside the bounds the Lord has set, which would be outside the bonds of matrimony between a man and a woman, we should ask ourself the question: Do I want to be judged an adulterer and an enemy to God with the devil on Judgment Day?
If we ask and answer that question before being tempted, we are more likely to be judged a friend to God with the penitent on Judgment Day and under the redeeming power of the Infinite Atonement of the Saviour Jesus Christ. Otherwise, as the resurrected Christ, the spirit and physical Son and Lamb of Heavenly Father, the pre-mortal Jehovah and Co-Creator, Animator and Populator of innumerable worlds said, speaking of His experience in the Garden of Gethsemane: “They must suffer even as I. Which suffering caused myself, even God, the greatest of all, to tremble because of pain, and to bleed at every pore, and to suffer both body and spirit.” (D&C 19:17-18). I know that asking and answering this question to ourselves daily will bring us closer to God to help us shun pornography and immoral establishments and behaviour and to garnish our thoughts with virtue to our eternal benefit and the benefit of those we come in contact with every day. I also know, from my own sad experience and the near-death experience of a friend, that if a man does not have and demonstrate respect for women, especially his wife in public and in private like our Heavenly Father does, that man will make a hell for himself. I pray our Heavenly Father will accept this letter as part of my repentance in these matters.
Yours etc. Michael W. Jarvis,
Salt Lake City,
 (Utah/USA), 4 July.
SIR, It is a pleasant surprise to read  The Statesman with its new type face.  The "Old lady of Chowringhee", which seemed to be on the downhill road, has been revamped. And the experience of reading the paper is both refreshing and encouraging. I have been reading your paper since childhood. And I love The Statesman for a variety of  reasons. Its top priority is the opinion of the readers. Its articles are remarkably analytical and its reports impartial.
Your Bengal paper, Dainik Statesman also needs to be spruced up.   My compliments to both papers for their high standard of journalism.
Yours, etc., Subhabrata Kabiraj,
Kolkata, 5 July.