Barkha Dutt in A President of our own (May 19) has correctly said that the first citizen of India should stay above partisan politics. President Kalam has made sure that the president is no longer seen as a rubber stamp of the government but as the final arbiter of disputes on ethics and integrity. The political parties should either arrive at a consensus on giving Abdul Kalam another term or nominate someone who does not belong to the political fraternity.
I agree with Barkha Dutt’s view that the office of the President should be above party politics and it is not our concern whether the person has a political background or not.The President’s sole motive should be to maintain the decorum of the office he holds and not act as a rubber stamp of the government.
I shudder at the suggestion that the President of India should be elected through a direct election. The President’s office is ceremonial and will remain so. There are some who adorn the office and some who are adorned by it. The majority falls in the second category. The middle-class’ apathy towards politicians is creating more problems.
If the President is to remain a figurehead for signing resolutions passed by Parliament, and if at the time of his or her election, every Tom, Dick and Mayawati’s consent is necessary, then it’s time to think about the relevance of the post. As things stand now, it would be better to constitutionally authorise the Chief Justice of India to sign resolutions passed by Parliament.
Much ado about nothing
It’s a pity that the editorial Half done’s well begun (May 23) portrays the half-hearted efforts of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) as a good beginning. This hype over the achievements of the UPA government in the last three years aptly conforms to the saying — ‘much ado about nothing’. The acid test for any government is how it fares in certain critical areas like poverty alleviation, universal literacy and providing health facilities for the masses.How long are we going to indulge in complimenting successive governments for making only a beginning towards achieving these goals?
The editorial Not a learning experience (May 24), is accurate and timely. Admissions to colleges have become difficult due to poor regulation, lack of faculty and political interference. The Delhi University’s decision to cut 8,000 seats from undergraduate courses is another blow to admission seekers. This will only lessen our confidence in the education system and encourage students to go abroad.
In the editorial Domestic dangers (May 22), you have correctly raised a neglected but important issue: our lack of sympathy for the people who help us run our homes while we are busy with other chores. This happens because of our subconscious feudal mentality. We are oblivious of today’s social realities.
Rajdeep Sardesai’s analysis Not this Gandhigiri (May 25) on the plight of the Congress is marred by an attempt to promote the dynasty. Sonia Gandhi must refrain from foisting Rahul Gandhi on the country. Instead, she should encourage him to work at the grassroots level for five years, free from the glare of self-destructive publicity. The brighter side is that Ms Gandhi has time and again demonstrated her capacity to think big and take correct decisions.
A KamAraj-like plan for the revival of the Congress, as suggested by Rajdeep Sardesai, is a distant possibility. From the erstwhile Karnataka arrangement, constitutional mockery in Goa, bartering a chief minister in Maharashtra to resisting the pressure in Jammu and Kashmir to let Mufti Mohammed continue, the current leaders of the Congress have proved to be power hungry. In such circumstances, the easiest way for the Congress would be to pass on the baton to its young leaders and ask them to revive the party in the states.
Apropos of JS Rajput’s article Democratise education (May 22), today’s education system has become autocratic. Higher education is slipping away from the reach of the poor because of the fee structure. Implementation of the Kelkar Commission’s recommendation could end the reservation issue and bridge the wide gap.
Subhash C Shukla
It is sad that a well-known cricketer like Maninder Singh indulged in substance abuse because in a country like India a sizeable population considers cricketers as icons. Whatever may be the reasons for Maninder for doing this, we hope that good counselling and help from his family will help him recover.
Ashok Kumar Ghosh
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