Imran Faces Tough Pitch
Politicians across the globe will agree that the late Indira Gandhi’s statement that winning or losing of the election is less important than strengthening the country could only be attributed to a world leader at the dizzy heights of her power. Imran Khan’s crowning glory as the Prime Minister in-waiting of Pakistan validates this empirical truth. In the run-up to the Pakistan National Assembly elections he was seen as a mere shill for the Pakistan army which is credited with ‘doctoring’ the pitch for Imran’s Tehreek-e-Insaf party. With the overwhelming control of the army in all its internal and external affairs, civilian governments in Pakistan merely mirror the democratic credentials of the country to the world – for the military’s convenience, that is. The army has ruled the country directly for three decades and wielded its clout backstage for the rest. Will Imran come out of the shadows of the army to assert his role as the head of the country, or will the role be merely titular! The rise of the flamboyant star from being a cricketing legend to the Prime Minister in-waiting of Pakistan can only be termed ‘spectacular’ from the point of view of his more than two decades of political campaigning and much of it spent in political wilderness. But the new premier will now have to delicately balance his inexperience at governance with the appointment of a highly professional team to assist him. This is where he will have to exercise prudence and steer clear of those endorsing a radical agenda. Pakistan over the decades has been a hotbed of Islamic terrorism and it is but natural that sympathizers to the cause might have even infiltrated the political spectrum in the country.
PACHU MENON, MARGAO
Confession An Article Of Faith
The sacrament of reconciliation (confession) is an article of faith and is not negotiable. The state or the NCW doesn’t have the right to interfere. The chairperson of the National Commission for Women (NCW) Rekha Sharma has created an unnecessary controversy by stating that confessions should be abolished as priests were misusing it. She added: “The priests pressure women into telling their secrets”. For the record, priests cannot pressurise women into telling their secrets. It is a person’s choice to choose one’s confessor. In the unlikely event of a woman feeling pressurised by a particular priest she can just walk away without further ado and never go back to the said priest. However, if she willfully keeps going to the same priest, that’s her business. There may be a few transgressions. But do we ban all religious pilgrimages just because there are a few accidents along the way?
ROBERT CASTELINO, CALANGUTE
Children Dying Of Starvation
The news of the death of three children due to hunger in Delhi was shocking and tear-jerking. It is indeed a matter of great shame for us that even after seventy years of Independence we are still reeling under the quandary of poverty, as more than 30% of our population is living below poverty line, which means that the income is insufficient to support the food requirements with no access to other basic necessities like health, education and shelter. According to hunger facts, twenty crore Indians go to sleep hungry every day and about two lakh Indians die every month due to hunger. Providing its citizenry basic necessities like food, clothing, shelter and health facility is the prime duty of the government. This sorry state of affairs only goes to highlight the government’s failure in addressing this malady. What we get is only promises being made by our leaders for eradicating poverty, but in reality nothing much is done in that direction. The termite called corruption has hollowed not only our system from top level to bottom but has also hollowed our conscience to such an extent that our leaders don’t mind filling their coffers on the expense of the dead corpse of poor. Despite National food security act which aims at providing subsidized food to the people, the misery of the people has not ended mainly due to governments faulty implementation procedures, faulty storage and distribution system, where tonnes of food grains either get spoilt in warehouses or are destroyed by rodents, and the remaining hardly reaches the poor. Hazrat Umar (RA) the second caliph of Islam when he was at the helm of affairs had once said “If a dog dies hungry on the banks of the River Euphrates, Umar will be responsible for dereliction of duty.” Such was the fear of sense of accountability that apart from looking after the welfare of people, taking care of animals was also of utmost importance. One wonders how our present leaders get sound sleep when crores of people sleep on the streets hungry in their constituency.
SAMIR KHAN, MAPUSA