Travesty of Durga shakti
SIR, It is true that grave injustice has been done to Ms Durga Shakti Nagpal, the young IAS officer of the UP cadre. And one cannot and should not complain if the media has taken up this issue so vociferously. But it makes one wonder if this is the only instance of such injustice. Many luminaries of society have articulated their anger against the injustice to Durga. I wonder where do the media and these stalwarts hide when grave injustice is meted out to upright citizens; some have even been murdered?
Is the harm caused to Durga more serious because she is a woman? Or is it because the media could sense that the issue had the potential of giving it some mileage? Or was there some other hidden motivation for taking up the issue so vigorously?
Through your paper, I had once highlighted the leakage of Rs 5000 crore of public money every year because of corruption and faulty procurement policies of the Railways. I have been suffering personally ever since. I am yet to receive my gratuity and PF more than one-and-a-half years after my voluntary retirement. More hurting is the fact that the leakage and faulty policies are now still more pronounced. Neither Sonia Gandhi nor the Prime Minister have taken steps to stop such irregularities. I had brought the matter to their notice; yet they have not reacted to the harassment that I am being made to suffer. The media and the political parties have neither bothered about the continuing leakage nor the injustice to a non-entity like me.
Is it rank hypocrisy of Indian society or do I lack the wisdom to realise that the media alone has the ultimate wisdom and the right to decide which injustice must stand out as more equal?
Yours, etc., Atul Kumar,
Kolkata, 7 August.
SIR, The forthcoming summit between the Prime Ministers of India and Bangladesh may not be a particularly smooth affair. In terms of territory, India will be the loser if there is an agreement on the exchange of enclaves. The issue is much too emotive. The fencing of the Bangladesh border should start at zero-mile from the Indian side of the border. Because of the illogical stand of our eastern neighbour, the barbed wire fence has been put up 150 yards within our side. Consider this continuity along the vast contours that mark the border. A vast tract of land is officially in India, but virtually in the control of Bangladesh. Indians, who live in that artificially extended no-man&’s-land, are at the mercy of the Bangladeshi smugglers. Delhi must convince Dhaka that fencing along the border will not prejudice its interest.
Smuggling of cattle and human-trafficking are the two major problems. A fence along line-zero should not be considered to be a waste of resources; we do spend a fair amount on Siachen, where not a blade of grass grows. Swapping of enclaves and sharing of Teesta water will benefit Bangladesh. The porous border must be sealed to guard against terrorism and the illegal influx.
Yours, etc., Sandipan Khan,
Rishra, 5 August.
SIR, The appointment of Shashi Kant Sharma as the Comptroller and Auditor- General of India has sparked a controversy. His tenure as Defence Secretary was under a cloud over arms procurement.
Therefore, it may not be possible for him as CAG to examine the irregular defence procurement in recent years. Nevertheless, this doesn’t make him unfit for the constitutional office. Ideally, a senior Accountant-General, who belongs to the Indian Audit and Accounts Service, ought to be appointed as CAG.
Yours, etc., Sripati Ranjan Chaudhuri,
Kolkata, 5 August.
SIR, The granting of banking licences to industrial houses will have its inherent pitfalls. Such banks will be inclined to divert public deposits to their own industries. A Reliance bank will try to sanction loans to Reliance companies.
Similarly a Tata bank will try to divert funds to Tata companies. Only those organisations which are engaged in the business of non-speculative finance should be given banking licences. Fifty per cent of the branches should be in the rural sector.
Yours, etc., KP Jhunjhunwala,
Kolkata, 5 August.
SIR, Like the sessions in the recent past, the monsoon session of Parliament is also likely to be a washout. The legislature doesn’t seem to be serious about the pending Bills. Members by and large are indisciplined; they use Parliament to play politics by shouting slogans. Regretfully, certain Bills have been introduced and passed by the Congress-led UPA government without discussion.
How can Parliament claim that these Bills are for the majority and in the interest of the nation? The sanctity of Bills can be ensured only if the session is normal; the present quite palpably isn’t. The Bills need to be presented and discussed in a proper manner. If passed in an unparliamentary manner, they must be regarded as void ab initio (illegal). They must never be passed in the midst of disruption.
The number of days and hours must be fixed for discussions. Should the need arise, Parliament must function 24X7.
Yours, etc., M Kumar,
New Delhi, 6 August.
STUDENTS TO THE FORE
SIR, This is with reference to the report, "Teachers join students in school road repair" (6 August). Compliments to the students and teachers of the school in Khanakul village for setting an example for others to emulate.
They have showed us what to do if the state and the system are indifferent. They have offered a ray of hope amidst the overwhelming gloom. Students are regarded as the pillars of the country. But it is the political system that forms the foundation of society.
Yours, etc., Abhijit Chakraborty,
Kolkata, 6 August.