Looking ahead to 2011

With reference to “Blessings in disguise” by Gopal Sankaranarayanan, the year gone by had witnessed an unprecedented rise in public cynicism towards political class with scams hitting headlines on a regular basis and thus exposing the lack of accountability and transparency in governance. The disclosure of Niira Radia tapes was a sort of revelation to many as it had brought in to fore the manipulation of our democracy by corporates through their lobbyists. It should be understood that public confidence in democratic institutions is inextricably linked to its transparent functioning and accountability of its officials. Concrete measures to ensure transparency and accountability in governance is the need of the hour and it should be the priority for the year 2011. Decline in public confidence towards democratic institutions does not augur well for the future of our mature democracy.

M. Jeyaram, Singapore

As Gopal Sankaranarayanan says the New Year is one not of dismay, but of hope. Last year was India's bane, perverted with scams and scandals, bribes and kickbacks. India yet yet to learn a lesson in making development available to all sections of society. The progress of countries like China and other much smaller countries should inspires us. Of course, the new year ignites hopes and stokes dreams.

Faris Hani K., Areekode

Though Gopal Sankaranarayanan had hoped that there will be some blessings for 2011 in disguise, in India today there is only disguise, no blessings. There is no chance of any improvement in the near future. Our beloved country is under the control of mafia groups and the parallel economy created by them

P.V. Antony Pullen, Thrissur

2010 witnessed the gradual decline of public faith in democracy and its various institutions. It was an year of disillusionment and what is in store for us in 2011 is unpredictable and I am unable to agree with Gopal Sankaranarayanan that the shocking stories unfolded in 2010 are blessings in disguise. It was an year of unprecedented scams and logjam in Parliament and it is all the more distressing that even the judiciary is not an exception as there are allegations of corruption in upper reaches of judiciary. There is a fundamental breach of constitutional faith on the part of governments and their policies. There is incredible debasement of democratic institutions with a few exceptions and the common man stands bewildered wondering what this New Year will be offering him.

V.K. Sathyavan Nair, Advocate, Kottayam

Of late, there has been a dismal projection of India as one of the most corrupt nations in the world with its many leaders enmeshed in scams. This messy state of affairs has brought India's prestige many notches down and our leaders are to blame for the mis-governance. Even men of judiciary and army have not lagged behind in their brazen conduct. These improprieties are a stigma on this proud nation of over one billion people. It is our duty to bring a paradigm change in the mindset of people who elect leaders to improve their lots. The electorate should be choosy in casting votes and prefer men of probity and rectitude whose career has been above board. They should refrain from accepting gifts or money from leaders who shower clandestinely at election times. Only then the desired change can take place in Indian polity. We should also avoid the policy of hunting with the hound and running with the hare and take an unwavering stand on the choice of our leaders who are to lead our destiny.

Iqbal Kaur Saini, SAS Nagar, Punjab

Yes, as we move into the New Year , the happenings and revelations of 2010 should give us more hope than despondency. And the best way Indian society can leverage this opportunity to bring about positive changes in the country is by the citizens getting more involved in the governance of the country and holding politicians, beauraucrats , judiciary and media more accountable.

V.J. Nambiar, Jakarta

With regard to Sevanti Ninan's “The MoJos are here” (January 2), this is the time when media professionals have to exercise great caution and utmost restraint while presenting the information that they have gathered to the audience. Gadgets may make the profession easy and cosy, but in that process, values such as integrity, honesty and transparency, inherent in their duties must not be given a cool go-by. The temptation to easily convert themselves into “saleable commodities” must be resisted to the hilt. Gadgets may come and go, but the media professionals go on forever!

B.R. Kumar, Former Deputy Director-General, AIR & DD, Chennai

The article “Cautious Hope” by Neeraj Hatekar (January 2) has clearly brought out the most indispensable factor required for development i.e governance. Most of the schemes and programmes taken up in various states do not result in development as the major portion of funds released are misutilised or diverted elsewhere. Leakages and pilferage are common in all states. All these happen for want of good governance. Governance particularly good economic governance is crucial if real development has to take place. Nitish Kumar has shown how good governance can change the face of state economy and win the hearts and suffrage of people. All the Chief Ministers in all states must follow the governance model adopted by Nitish Kumar if entire India is to progress. If such good governance happens by the union government and by all states India can surely show double digit growth on consistent basis in the years to come.

Dr. K.K. Ammannaya, Udupi

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Sunday MagazineJune 28, 2012