Separate Cadre for Election Commission
There may be more than a grain of truth in Delhi Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party’s (AAP) national convenor Arvind Kejriwal’s allegation of the Election Commission siding with one or the other party during the conduct of elections. He had made this comment in the context of Goa where the Chief Secretary is in charge of the Election Commission in the state. This situation, one would feel, would be true across India since the Election Commission does not have a separate cadre of officials to conduct elections and depends on the central services cadres to provide them staff. These officials are more often drawn from the state in which the elections are being held. Thus these officials but naturally will show their allegiance and favour to the party that is most likely to win the elections which may not be necessarily the incumbent party. Thus it is best that we develop a separate cadre of officials to run elections in this country which will staff the senior level of officials in the Central Election Commission as also the state level commissions to ensure free, fair and impartial elections. This kind of a cadre will be worthwhile since for a large country like India some or the other election is happening all the time.
S KAMAT, Alto St Cruz
Dent in Tamilians’ Reputation Over Jallikattu Controversy
Tamil Nadu is one of the most progressive states in India in terms of education, literacy, industries, family planning, arts, culture and sports. Unfortunately, the Jallikattu controversy has soiled the reputation of Tamilians. Burning of police stations and public property reflects poorly on the culture of the people. That the police retaliated by resorting to vandalism themselves adds further blemish to their character. Many who support the Jallikattu ‘culture’ have conveniently ignored the cruelty to which the bulls are submitted. Others defend this cruelty by stating that horse racing and animal food industries also involve cruelty. They are wrong in saying that, as the animal food industries are governed by strict ethical regulations. Even otherwise, one cruelty does not justify another. The constant harping on the greatness of their own culture further reflects poorly on the self confidence of any community. Tamilians are a vibrant people and one hopes that issues will be resolved in a civilised manner in the future.
SESHAGIRI RAGHU KUMAR, Dona Paula
Let’s Put An End To Social Scourge
This is in response to Rozario Menezes’ rational letter titled ‘Absurd demand of apology from Portugal PM’ (NT, January 26). Seeking apology for the sins committed in bygone eras remains a favourite pastime of the fanatic brigade only. No sane society cares to exhaust precious time and energy to demand apology from the present generation for atrocities committed by their ancestors in distant past because, unlike video cassette, history cannot be rewinded. If each and every ethnic/religious group or nation starts revisiting the history books and demands apology from its earlier perpetrators, then the international community will have to abandon all work for the present and future and get fully engaged in framing statements of regret only! Rather, instead of immersing in zealous patriotism or trying to undo historical wrongs, the need of the hour is to draw lessons from bitter, gory and imperial past and see to it that such atrocities do not get repeated. Each and every group in the whole world irrespective of its language, religion, caste, colour, political belief or sex is entitled to enjoy equal rights and freedom. But the hard reality remains that perhaps barring the Scandinavian countries or New Zealand; humanity gets trampled on a daily basis throughout the globe, thanks to the dominant mindset of different power groups. The Nadir Shah, Tamerlane, Hitler, Pol Pot who are embedded within us need to be eradicated from our system instead of demanding apologies from the societies which had hosted the persons of ill repute. In this perspective, I get reminded how certain self-declared nationalists asked David Cameron to express regret for the massacre unleashed by the British imperialists in Jalianwala Bagh almost a century ago. Why don’t the “patriotic” Indians, expecting or demanding apology from Cameron, examine the record of their very own country? Despite the constant rhetoric of India’s “liberalism,” the fact remains that infinite cases of social atrocities have got committed on the “untouchables” and womenfolk in this “great” land in the name of caste and religious rituals. Are the self-declared guardians of Hindus ready to express apology for it?
KAJAL CHATTERJEE, KOLKATA