ANNA HAZARE has sought to subvert the democratic process by insisting that his version of the Lokpal Bill be passed by Parliament, and that too within the time frame prescribed by him (Rallying forces, September 9). He has not been true to the Gandhian philosophy and has been carried away by the mass hysteria.
Corruption cannot be abolished or even contained merely by a Lokpal. The root causes of corruption need to be addressed. Licence raj, high taxes, ceiling on remuneration in the corporate sector, and so on, were once considered responsible for corruption and black money. In the name of liberalisation, all these were removed or diluted in favour of the rich, but corruption has only increased and the amount of black money stashed elsewhere has reached astronomical proportions.
Natural resources which, according to the Industrial Policy of 1956, were the sole property of the state have now been thrown open to the private sector. Private greed and the bureaucrat's power are two prime reasons for corruption. Unless we set the clock back, no Lokpal can arrest corruption.S.S. Rajagopalan ChennaiCapitalism's crisis
ONLY an economist with political vision like C.P. Chandrasekhar can give such an insight to fellow Indians about the ill-effects of the global recession (Cover Story, Return to recession, September 9). He is absolutely right in saying that the only way to save the vulnerable sections of people from chaos and anarchy is a consolidated political movement.
Debates on economic recession have a long history. The Great Depression of the 1930s brought forth many economic theories on how to resolve the deadlock of the free market. The U.S. experience has once again revealed the limitations of government-spending in a market economy dictated by profit-minded global players. In the U.S., more government-spending means higher debt-to-GDP ratio and lower tax on profit. This is not a sustainable solution as the market players will not allow the government to increase tax to redistribute the surplus value created by innovative technology to guarantee employment. The global players have designed win-win' strategies to align with their counterparts in the less-developed regions of the world. For them, the recession is an interval to readjust their game plan to retain their global domination. For the deprived sections, however, loss of employment or income is life-threatening and the only way to save them is consolidated action.Johnykutty lukose Punalur, Kerala
PRABHAT PATNAIK'S article Capitalism's crisis was a brilliant comparison of previous boom and bust cycles with the present one. It highlighted how this state of confidence clearly reveals the spontaneity of capitalism, which is not self-corrective in nature.Aditya Ramesh Delhi
WITH the world economy tottering on the brink of yet another crisis, it is evident that the facade of capitalism is crumbling. Socialism, too, bit the dust years ago. If we are optimistic enough, we could take this as a new beginning for mixed economies like ours. Even an imperceptible shift from extreme global dependency to indigenous production might be a huge boost for the Indian economy in the long run. What is needed is planning with a vision, and a strong will to implement it. But with a government that buckles at even the mention of a Jan Lokpal, this could be far from easy.Meenu B. Alleppey, KeralaMercy petition
THE article Uncertain mercy portrayed the uncertainty in executing judicial pronouncements owing to the President's procrastination in deciding on mercy petitions (September 9).
We continue to abide by the Anglo-Saxon legal system inherited from our British rulers, which in many respects is anachronistic in the present milieu. There is an urgent need to revamp many of our laws, including the Indian Penal Code. There should be a rethink on the death penalty, which is a barbaric form of punishment.
Going by the crime data, the death penalty has not acted as a deterrent on criminals. As Mahatma Gandhi said, the policy of an eye for an eye will make the whole world blind.B. Rajasekaran Bangalore
THE Union Home Ministry has advised the President to turn down the mercy petition filed by Afzal Guru, who is convicted in the Parliament attack case, not long after she rejected the mercy petitions of three convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case.
It goes without saying that there needs to be a strong deterrent against heinous crimes, especially acts of terror. An attack on Parliament certainly qualifies as one of the rarest of rare crimes. A terrorist must be forced to think hard before waging war against the state.
Now, this mercy petition will, of course, reignite the debate whether the death penalty is desirable in a democracy like India. To be fair, the decision on mercy petitions should be taken within a reasonable time frame.J. Akshobhya Mysore
THE delay in deciding on mercy petitions gives some reprieve for the convicts. It also calls into question the accountability of the President's office. The President has to take decisions in a reasonable time frame otherwise citizens will lose faith in democracy.K.V. Ramana Murthy Secunderabad
NOW that the decks have been cleared for implementing Afzal Guru's death sentence, President Pratibha Patil should not delay the decision on the mercy plea. Mercy should be shown only to those who have mercy on others or those who repent.
This is no ordinary case. It is a case of waging war against our nation, and the judgment has been upheld by the highest court of the land. Had Afzal Guru acted in such a manner in China, Pakistan or Saudi Arabia, he would have been executed in full public view in 2001 itself.
Had the Indian legal system not been merciful, the Mumbai terror attack convict Ajmal Kasab would not have been treated so kindly for so long. The Indian judicial system exhibits great patience and gives the accused all possible opportunities.S. Balakrishnan Jamshedpur, JharkhandAnna Hazare
TO first vilify and then incarcerate, a frail, peaceable 73-year-old anti-corruption crusader in Tihar jail, along with corrupt politicians, rapists and terrorists, was utterly foolish (Rallying forces, September 9). But at the core of Anna Hazare's protest is an undemocratic demand. He wants Parliament to accept his version of the Lokpal Bill. This means he wants to be a lawmaker and thus erode the supremacy of Parliament.
In spite of the availability of constitutional means of protest, Hazare chose an unconstitutional route that B.R. Ambedkar had called the grammar of anarchy.K.S. Jayatheertha BangaloreOil spill
INCIDENTS of oil spill are becoming too frequent (Floating danger, September 9). The mile-long oil spill caused by a leak from an ONGC pipeline off the Mumbai coast and the mv Rak Carrier's sinking off the same coast are standing examples.
To safeguard marine ecology from the threats of oil spill, countries of the world should come together to chart out strict rules regarding the movement of ships carrying dangerous cargo and laying of oil pipelines through sea routes.
P. Senthil Saravana Durai Vazhavallan Tuticorin, Tamil NaduSurrogacy
POVERTY should not be exploited to make women surrogate mothers and risk their health (Wombs for rent, September 9). All the women in the report came from poor backgrounds and were probably told that they could make a few lakh rupees by becoming surrogates. In the past, people used to sell kidneys and now they rent wombs.
Lawmakers need to work on this issue. As pointed out in the article, there are no proper laws in this regard and that is why childless couples are flocking to India, and to Anand. Those who make money out of this situation need to do some introspection.
Praveen Seshabhattar Louisville, Kentucky U.S.Uniform syllabus
I APPRECIATE the Supreme Court decision directing the Tamil Nadu government to implement uniform education (Uniform & equitable, September 9). Education is a liberating force, cutting across the barriers of caste, class and culture. In our country, we have numerous boards whose syllabi and pattern of examination force students to hanker after numbers rather than knowledge. Uniformity in syllabus should bridge the gap between private schools and government schools.
The quality of education and better teacher-student ratio have to be emphasised.Syed Khaja New DelhiAarakshan
GENERALLY films hold a mirror to what is happening in society (Flawed perceptions, September 9). In this case, the director went beyond his mandate by delving into the sensitive issue of caste. Directors should therefore make movies in a focussed manner, and the decision of the Central Board of Film Certification should be final.P. Ramakrishna Reddy Kurnool Andhra PradeshShammi Kapoor
SHAMMI KAPOOR, hailed as the Elvis Presley of India, had no enemies in the film industry (Epitome of energy, September 9). The legendary singer Mohammad Rafi's voice had played a great role in moulding the film career of Shammi Kapoor.Bidyut Kumar Chatterjee Faridabad, HaryanaANNOUNCEMENT
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