And now, an ad-gate?
This has reference to ‘Give ads to my paper, Cong MP Darda tells corporates’ (Oct 11). Vijay Darda, the MP from Maharashtra openly soliciting corporates to place advertisements in his forthcoming publications only shows the deep nexus between politicians and corporates. It also smells of black money and unethical business practices. The sad part is that the said politician has used his official letterhead to solicit such business. Since this politician has already been in news in connection with the ‘coalgate’ scam, he should have at least desisted from doing this. It is a sad thing that we have moved far away from morality and ethics and these days the only aim appears to be to make money by any means, fair or foul.
—Guruvayurappan K,Navi Mumbai
Vijay Darda has built a large empire of newspapers spread throughout Maharashtra. Many of his newspapers do not require introduction to Maharashtrians and are leaders in their own right. In fact, there is hardly any special thrust required to promote these newspapers because advertisers seek successful newspapers and not the other way around. One wonders why Darda, who has already been embroiled in the coal scam, thought it fit to provide a fillip to his newspapers in a big way through deviant methods by using his official status and the national emblem. He has justified his stand by saying that he has been doing this for many years and there is nothing wrong or new in it. If so, then kudos to DNA for bringing Darda’s method to light. Using official designation for private means, more often than not, goes unnoticed. Letterheads of many politicians and ministers across the country are being used unscrupulously. The national emblem, which forms a part of all official letterheads of Government of India, is a symbolic representation of the nation. The State Emblem Act of India (prohibition of improper use) Act 2005, says no person shall use the emblem for private purpose or any trade or business. Recently, boxer Vijender Singh and cartoonist Aseem Trivedi were in the news for denigrating the national emblem. The former, ostensibly, had no knowledge that a national emblem should not be printed on the wedding invitation and the latter is a maverick who hardly requires a mention or introduction. But being a responsible news baron and a senior politician, Darda should have known by now that disrespecting the country’s national emblem is an offence and the Act invited punishment. One hopes better sense will prevail upon him at least from now and I request the DNA to keep up its good work of bringing such facts to us.
—Ganapathi Bhat, Akola
God save our country!
In reference to the report ‘Negativity damaging India’s image: PM’ (Oct 11), Manmohan Singh has said while addressing the conference: “It can only damage the nation’s image and hit the morale of the executive”. However, I don’t agree with him that it would damage the nation’s image. In fact, it is bound to damage the Congres-led government and party’s image. But yes, the morale of the executive has taken a good beating. Thanks to India Against Corruption (IAC) for exposing Robert Vadra’s dealings. The very fact that a battery of top ministers have gone all out in defence of Vadra itself proves the guilt. That is why Vadra does not feel the need to defend himself. This itself proves that what Manish Tiwari, spokesperson of the Congress party, said, was wrong. He said that the deal is between two private organisations. Any ordinary person having excessive wealth than his known source of income would be taken to task by the Income Tax department. But Vadra is well protected! Mayawati, Mulayam Singh, Jaganmohan Reddy — however big they may be — have the CBI hovering over their heads if they do not support UPA-2. Have we forgotton the Bofors scam? How Ottavio Quattrocchi was rushed out of the country a day before being charge sheeted and the then external affairs minister, Madhavsinh Solanki, telling the CBI to go slow against him? With the current finance minister mentioning no investigation against Vadra, will the Income Tax have the guts to investigate his assets? God save our country!
—Sharad Kumar, via e-mail
Arts, science & commerce
It is not surprising to read that ‘Girls dump arts for science, commerce’ (Oct 11). There is a flip side to this. It is a trend among students to opt for science and commerce on the basis of marks scored in SSC due to peer pressure, and not necessarily because of aptitude. There is a strong bias against arts stream which is not difficult to understand. The students and parents are simply ignorant about the job opportunities. The students of SSC do not have proper career counselling. Consequently, they go by the trend and opt for science and commerce streams. A vast number of engineering and management graduates is unemployed because they are weak in GK and cannot communicate effectively in English. The students opt for science stream because it is easy to cram the science subjects and score high marks. In contrast, the arts subjects demand rigorous intensive study and good communication skills. There is a misconceived perception that science students have better job opportunities. In fact, the arts students have an edge when it comes to employment opportunities due to general awareness and good communication skills. At any given time, a bright Arts graduate can make a good teacher, a lawyer, a journalist and a public administrator. The art subjects like English, political science, psychology, sociology, history and economics deal with the matters relating to the society and the state. They provide right perspective on socio-economic and political issues. At the most prestigious St. Xavier’s College Mumbai, the admission tor FYJC Arts closes at a percentage higher than that of the FYJC Science.