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Separation of powers

Print edition : Mar 09, 2007

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THE articles on the recent Supreme Court judgment on the Ninth Schedule offer brilliant insights into the sensitive issue of separation of powers within the context of India's vibrant parliamentary system of government ("Judicial challenge", February 9). The difficult task of balancing the "fundamental" rights of the individual with the interests of the "community" as a whole and the socio-economic agenda of the government of the day must be undertaken within the larger context of the changing Indian polity. But we should guard against making a false dichotomy between these two goals, and against forming any rash conclusions that one bad apple is enough to abandon the whole barrel.

The doctrine of separation of powers demands an onerous responsibility on the part of all three organs of the state to act in furtherance of the common interests of the Indian public.

K. Venkata Raman Kingston, CanadaSharing a river

CONCEDING that it is nearly impossible for any tribunal to satisfy all the parties involved in the row over the Cauvery, it must be said that Karnataka has reasons to be disappointed (Cover Story, "Sharing the Cauvery", February 23). Though the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal accepted its argument for a distress formula, the final order will be seen on the whole as a victory for Tamil Nadu's aggressive pursuit of its case.

J. Akshobhya Mysore

THE final award of the tribunal comes after a lot of ground work and research. It is impossible to please everyone in a dispute like this. It is unfortunate that Karnataka is trying to escalate the issue.

J.V. Narasimha Raju Vijayawada, A.P.

THE trouble over acute water shortage has, over the years, become embroiled in regional chauvinism and selfish politicking, particularly in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, the chief contenders in the dispute. No matter how closely the allocation reflects the realistic needs of the States, the leaders of both States seem to be under some kind of obligation to oppose it. This trend is not peculiar to the Cauvery dispute alone. It was evident in the other irreconcilable differences over river-water sharing between Punjab and Haryana and between Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra, to name a few instances.

J. Akshay SecunderabadState of Bihar

NOTHING much will happen in Bihar unless the State government and the people of the State pay attention to education and health ("Waiting for deliverance", February 23). It is unfortunate that the government is so keen to jump onto the "public-private-partnership" bandwagon. The government should be ready to shell out money towards primary education and basic health facilities for all. The backwardness of Bihar is further complicated by intricate caste divisions and the poor status of women in society. Women's emancipation can be achieved only by empowering them through education. It has to be ensured that each girl is sent to school.

Angel AND Jeevan Kuruvilla Bagayam, Bihar

THE articles on Bihar analyse critically the development-related problems in the State. Bihar needs financial help from the Centre to improve basic amenities and infrastructure.

Akhil Kumar New DelhiEducation

JAYATI Ghosh has rightly analysed the issues relating to quality in education ("The farce of `school choice'", February 23). In Tamil Nadu, school education was exempted from tuition fees as early as 1964, and this continues to hold for Tamil medium schools. Chief Minister M.G. Ramachandran introduced the nutritious meal scheme in the early 1980s. Around the same time, education was opened to private agencies. The number of fee-levying, non-grant English medium schools has risen from 34 in 1978 to nearly 4,000 now. The period also saw the neglect of public schools. These schools are starved of resources and teachers. The midday meal scheme is certainly praiseworthy as a way of enrolling poor children, but the poor quality of education is driving these children out of the education system.

S. S. Rajagopalan ChennaiANNOUNCEMENT

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