UPA not serious about recovering 2G losses
Apropos of ‘2G auction is not as hot as it sounded on the cell’, the Cellular Operators Association of India, as it was predicted, cartelized the first phase of the auction, indicating what could follow. The truth is that whether prior or post the Supreme Court verdict on the 2G licence issue, the UPA government has not shown any earnestness to recover the losses to the exchequer. In the first instance, it has not put the entire spectrum of cancelled licences on auction. Its decision to make the 1994-95 spectrum allotees pay retrospectively on the new auction price was political with no financial prudence. The enthusiasm that was evident for the 3G auction in 2010 is missing now. The opposition BJP’s apprehension over P Chidambaram heading the empowered group of ministers on 2G pricing has been vindicated by the chain of events. And the process turned out to be an exercise to prove the CAG and the SC wrong, while assisting the MNCs and Indian corporates at the cost of public exchequer.
—N Ramamurthy, Chennai
Kejriwal has done what govt only promised
Isn’t it surprising, nay shocking, that our government has been assuring us all these years it will give details of the money parked with foreign banks, but it has not fulfilled its assurances so far. But Arvind Kejriwal has come out with detailed information within a matter of days, and he has put it in the public domain immediately. Now, how do we decode this information? In the first place, stashing away people’s hard-earned money outside the country borders on sedition and the persons involved in such seditious activities must be tried in the court of law. Not surprisingly, these rogues, from their high perches, say the information is baseless. Is it a coincidence that there is a marked increased in the number of foreign jaunts by our politicians, probably looking for safe havens for their ill-gotten gains. With the rise in illegal activities by our rulers, no amount of Samvad Baithaks, or so-called reforms, will convince the people about the government’s intentions. The people are realising that our rulers are actually helping each other in misappropriating the country’s assets, while denying the majority of the population of these resources. And time is short for many of them, who fear that they may not return back to power.
—KK Wajge, Mumbai
What’s in a name?
Arvind Kejriwal has acted in the way Eklavya respected his guru Dronacharya, by offering the name of India Against Corruption to Anna Hazare, confirming his loyalty to his mentor. It may not be known that the name, India Against Corruption, was coined by Kejriwal together with some colleagues in the basement of a building in the Institutional Area of Gole Market, New Delhi, when Anna was not yet in the movement. It must also be noted that it is Anna’s current associates, and not the veteran leader, who have made a verbal claim on the name. But what’s in a name? It is personalities that matter. The Congress (O) claimed and ultimately got the original name when there was a division in the party in 1967. But that acclaimed ‘original’ Congress is nowhere and the Congress (I) has emerged as the only Congress for all practical purposes!
—Subhash Chandra Agrawal, Delhi
The decision not to allow the transport of elephants from Kerala to Mumbai for the Thrissur Puram festival is laudable. Animals are put to needless cruelty for the entertainment of man, in the name of religion and festivals. While the journey itself would be traumatic, putting these animals through the loud music and bursting of noisy firecrackers could have dangerous consequences. No civilized society should allow activity that harms innocent animals.
—Brinda Upadhyaya, Mumbai
A ‘monkey’ and a ‘horse’
For many years, it had become a force of habit for me to grab “The Times of India” each morning and look for the hilarious cartoon of the master cartoonist RK Laxman. When the cartoon did not appear on some days, it was a bad start to the day. Today, I follow the cartoons by Manjul and I have to say that this has become a daily practice for me with the DNA. There is a flicker of Laxman in Manjul’s messages and I am sure that his asset value will rise. And there are many who are reading. We now have a ‘monkey’ in the BJP and a ‘horse’ in the Congress. One hopes that the monkey’s barat will take place soon, as the horse is standing ready. The earlier the better!
No strong alternative
Shyama Prasad Mukherjee, Deendayal Upadhyaya and Atal Behari Vajpayee devoted their entire lives to building a nationalist party that is the BJP today. Some of those who worked with Atalji, like LK Advani, Rajnath Singh, Jaswant Singh, Venkaiah Naidu, or Ram Jethmalani, have taken a backseat and have left the party to be steered by a relatively young bunch of leaders, among them Sushma Swaraj, Arun Jaitely and Anantha Kumar. Regional leaders like the former chief minister of Karnataka, BS Yeddyurappa, have shown little respect for the central leadership. We were told that no one is bigger than the party, but Yeddyuarppa made the party stoop down to woo him back. The average BJP follower is confused over why Jaitely was sent to Bangalore to meet Yeddyurappa so many times. Was it that the party high command could not assess the seriousness of his actions, or was it plain desperation? So also with Kejriwal, when the party jumps to support his disclosures without thinking about it sufficiently. From these actions, the party cannot be considered to be a strong alternative to the Congress.
—MVN Raj, Bangalore
Doctors deserve better
Apropos of ‘Docs’ TB nudges BMC to act’, it is shocking that 650 resident medical officers in Sion Hospital are cramped in 100 rooms like cattle in the pounds, living in pathetic conditions as seen in the photographs. It is not surprising that 11 of them have suffered TB in the past year. It’s likely that there are unreported cases as those who have contracted the disease would not want to disclose their identities because of the stigma associated with the disease. The BMC has an annual budget of about Rs10,000 crore and there is no reason why it cannot improve the living condition of these doctors immediately.
—Dr V Subramanyan, Thane