Chaitanya Kalbag is spot-on in his article Mai-baap re baap (July 5). The civil service is the only profession in India where power remains stuck with the official concerned throughout his or her tenure. Even after retirement, the person enjoys various lavish facilities. Governments come and go, but the IAS and IPS officers remain the same. In fact, civil servants directly or indirectly command or lead a district, a state, even the whole country in many instances. These are the basic reasons why many are attracted to the services. Even though a number of career options are available today, none has as much power as that vested in the government services.
As far as corruption and other irregularities in this profession are concerned, much could be due to the low salary structure, which is at variance with that in many other nations.
Ramesh Kumar Raja, Delhi
The civil services need to be modernised in order to bring in corruption-free and responsive governance. In the present form, we can never reach even a modest level of development by 2020. The relationship between the political bosses and the top administrators is one of mutual benefit. This needs to be broken by appointing top- and middle-level administrators from different fields to bring in competition.
The inter-service disparity in the service conditions of the different departments has created widespread dissatisfaction am-ong officers of various central services as there is no value for specialisation. Therefore, no department works in tandem with another to achieve a common goal. No politician or a senior officer wants to retire. This has prevented the younger generation from entering public service at an appropriate age.
Raja, via email
III Society is still split on reservations
Apropos to Vir Sanghvi's article When The Saints Go Marching In (Counterpoint, July 1), India needs bold, unbiased and mature columnists like him.
As every Indian has the liberty to believe in any religion/God of his or her choice, there should be no objection to any religious educational institution admitting students belonging to its religion.
Omar Luther King, Delhi
Let people come out openly against the reservation policy and demand to uplift the poor irrespective of their caste or creed. Otherwise, the future generation will not be able to function without the crutches of reservations. Let us not get carried away by petty greed at this moment but think in a broader perspective for the future generation. We should not let politicians succeed in their ulterior motives.
GK Arora, New Delhi
St Stephen's College has opened another pandora's box on the reservation issue. There is already reservation in institutions promoted by minority institutions. Apart from reservation for STs and SCs, thanks to VP Singh, there are also reservations for OBCs. Now the Gujjars want ST status. Tomorrow some other powerful group will demand reservation in order to corner the benefits.
This has become a political gimmick to retain votes and garner fresh votes. Reservation in states like Tamil Nadu is almost 80 per cent.
How long will this reservation on caste and religion continue at the cost of merit?
In today's world, there are only two castes, the rich and the poor. Today many poor in the non-reserved category are unable to get seats in medical/engineering colleges or jobs.
Reservation of any kind should be conditional on economic status and education should be made free for the poor. The
maximum reservation should be pegged at 25 per cent.
S Srinivasan, via email
Why do we need religion-based reservation on the pattern of caste-based reservation in educational institutions? Maybe it is due to so many students aspiring for a good educational career in these days of tough competition. What is wrong if some average students get an opportunity on the basis of the reservation policy? What about the loss of a good education for those unlucky students in the general category?
S Mukherjee, Lucknow
Vir Sanghvi promises to start a lively debate on a very important subject with far-reaching implications. Not only are religion–based 'entrance quotas' and reservations anomalies in a secular society, they go against the very grain of national integration. Such educational institutions as Christian colleges (which indirectly serve to spread the Christian faith), Muslim madrassas, Hindu universities, etc also serve the same purpose in that they promote the concept of separateness rather than integration. The absence of a Uniform Civil Code helps different faiths claim the validity or legality of different laws and statutes that apply only to them.
Babuji, via email
India is a secular and democratic country comprising a large number of religions and communities. So every community has the right to take steps for the upliftment and betterment of their future generations and their community. I believe there is nothing wrong with the change in St Stephen's admission procedure and reservations for Christians.
Manu Himanshu Jagat, Ludhiana
X Small goals
Apropos of Karan Thapar's 'Can women make their own luck' in (Sunday sentiments July 1), there are millions of women who run their homes with meagre incomes and who are eager to supplement this by doing errands and semi-skilled work. They have only a few small goals, to raise and educate their kids, secure their future and have a better lifestyle. The money many spend in one evening in a mall is what many average families live on in a month.
Madhumita Satpathy, via email
XI Selling heritage
This has reference to Indrajit Hazra's Our Experiments with bidding (July 1). Rare manuscripts and historical sites should not be subjected to sales/auctions. They carry a lot of cultural and historical importance. It's so very unpleasant to learn that money can buy all these.
Yashi Vikram, New Delhi
XII Overcome Stigma
Sanchita Sharma's story on the social status, acceptability and stigma related to leprosy in her article 'Children of a lesser god' was alarming. Leprosy patients should be accepted by society since the disease for all practical purposes is curable. People, voluntary organisations and NGOs along with the government should work for their social rehabilitation.
Damini Sinha, Jaipur
XIII Original tunes
The article "Soul Mate" by RM Patwardhan traced the triumphs of SD Burman's musical career in stark detail. His compositions were a class apart. Unlike other music directors of his day, he did not repeat old tunes. All the songs under his direction proved to be great hits. The success achieved by Dev Anand in a number of films was due to the superb music by SD Burman. Burman's magnum opus was Guide. The song Din Dal Jaaye from the film Guide was rendered to perfection by Rafi. Burman's compositions were far ahead of his time. Perhaps his swansong Badi Suni Suni Hai for the film Mili expresses the vacuum felt by his untimely demise.
RM Patwardhan's article (Radio days, July 1) on SD Burman was thought-proking. Burman used the voice of Talat, Lata and Rafi very effectively. Talat - Bharam teri wafaon ka (Armaan), O zindagi ke rahi himat na haar (Bahar), Doob chale Aakash ke taare (Angare); Lata - Rote rote guzar gae raat (Buzdil), Gam kyuen ho jeene walon ko (Shahanshah); Rafi - Duniya mae aaj meri (Do Bhai), Hum baekhudi mae (Kala Pani), Khoya Khoya Chand (Kala Bazar).
Suresh Bhatia and Chander Nawani, New Delhi
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