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Where we stand as a nation?

On the Republic Day celebrations like every year, it is time to review the situation in which country has slipped down during the last 58 years of freedom. The Constitution is either highly defective or has been badly implemented. Some reforms are immediately required.
By Prof RK Gupta, Chandigarh | None, Cityju@rediffmail.com
PUBLISHED ON JAN 25, 2006 08:16 PM IST

On the Republic Day celebrations like every year, it is time to review the situation in which country has slipped down during the last 58 years of freedom. The Constitution is either highly defective or has been badly implemented. Some reforms are immediately required.

It is sad to see cases like indictment of Buta Singh working on a sublime position of Governor of a State, Anti-corruption charges against the killer called Encounter specialist in Maharashtra Police. What it points to? Are we as society completely corrupted, insensitive and degraded by now? Who is responsible for this?

Some simple reforms are recommended which people should force for implementation. No politician should be made Governor. He or she should be a legal luminary, a renowned businessman, a scholar or a social worker of eminence and role model for people. All the elected office terms should be for two terms. No one, who is not a graduate, should be eligible to hold any public office. All types of reservations should be reduced to 25% maximum. People should be encouraged to study and improve qualifications by institutional and financial support by the State and corporate funding at soft terms that can be paid back over 20-30 years period.

Police organisations should report to Governor and not Ministers. Any person against whom a court has initiated full trial in a case of heinous crimes should be debarred from election process and holding any public office. Increase penalty under PCA to life imprisonment and confiscation of entire property to national exchequer, preferably with co-prosecution of spouse as abettor. No permission of department should be required.

Set up state wise and National portals where people can view and post brief complaints about officials and politicians giving name, office and department. These public feedback should be got checked for authenticity and made main basis for retention in service, promotions and increments.

The concept of permanency of public servants should be done away with. After 10 years of service it should be made renewable for every 3 years and citizens feedback should be important component, especially for all class I post. In every selection/promotion committee public nominees should have 50% representation.

Reduce Income tax rates to maximum 20% and VAT to maximum 8%. After doing this avoidance of tax should be made serious criminal offense with 10 times penalty of evasion amount. Launch massive public pension, social security, and unemployment allowance as social welfare measures. Why only government servants are given more and more facilities and life long payments? Why all schemes is run only for public servants?

Expand judiciary immediately and make cases time bound. Police should be made criminally and financially liable for false cases, harassment, illegal custody, misbehaviour and physical manhandling of people. Every government servants must be given targets to achieve and his/her conduct with citizens must be made supreme criteria for evaluation. Government must pay attention to mass scale housing projects and house rental companies at reasonable prices. Tenancy laws should be made to help owners and companies running apartments to quickly evict defaulting tenant.

If even above mentioned simple reforms are carried out, there will be dramatic changes in our society. We then will hardly need constitution to interpret laws on daily basis. Let us stop talking too much of law and interference of judiciary in day-to-day working of system which they are now forced to do because of failure of politicians and executives alike. India must rediscover the lost sense of ethics, brotherhood and honesty as basic value system of this great country of past.

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