The Lokpal Bill must be passed, but after a proper debate
With reference to Ramachandra Guha's article Let us live in hope (History Matters, January 10), the writer deserves praise for reminding the government as well as civil society activists about their responsibilities. While the UPA is leaving no stone unturned in delaying the passage of the Lokpal Bill in Parliament, activists have been making unfair demands and putting a great deal of pressure on the government. In the process, both are making a mockery of our democratic set-up. It's important for both sides to follow the suggestions made by the sociologist Andre Beteille, whose essay Guha quotes in the article.
It's interesting how Guha dashed off a long article by just quoting from a sociologist's essay. The writer doesn't state any views of his own. He simply asks politicians and activists to closely read the essay, most of which he anyway quotes in the article. This is unbecoming of a talented historian like Guha. He could have said the same in lesser words or expressed his opinions on the issue.
--Aarti Sahni, via email
They have a gift for flouting rules
With reference to the report MEA officials in gift scam shame nation (January 10), it's shocking to learn that officials in the ministry of external affairs are flouting rules and tarnishing India's reputation. Now that the Hindustan Times has exposed the shameful acts of our babus, foreign minister SM Krishna must take action against the culprits. Such scams reinforce the need for a strong Lokpal Bill to check corruption in the bureaucracy. Is the UPA listening?
--C Ramesh, via email