In his article “Great power and greater responsibility” (Aug. 2), Harish Khare has rightly pointed out the shortcomings of a welfare state. We expect a lot from the government, and wish that our babus become beacons of integrity and righteousness. But as individual citizens, we falter on our obligations. We expect the cleanest of roads, promptest of public transportation, and the best of civic amenities. But how much we respect rules and public property is questionable.
The article was an eye-opener. Yes, we always talk of our rights and privileges but say nothing when it comes to duties and responsibilities. We are ready to point fingers at others without realising that four fingers point at us. What we get from society depends on what we do. We reap what we sow.
Why should they pay taxes if their wealth is to be wasted on giving food or medical aid to the poor is a question that comes to almost all taxpayers’ minds. The answer lies in the fact that social security can be realised only if the economic divide is bridged. When more and more deprived sections move towards naxalism, we will witness social unrest that will affect every section and hamper national progress. The education, health care and food given to the poor will enhance their trust in the government and help foster stability.
I am ashamed to realise that the taxes that I pay, meant to uplift the poor, never actually reach them. And when a citizen feels his money is being wasted, he knows that the wastage is not being done at the bottom of the pyramid.
Bikers can indeed be obnoxious and I have no doubt the Delhi bikers were no different. But the police’s response was excessive and indefensible. They claim that the bullet was aimed at the motorcycle’s tyre to deflate it, but they should have known that their action could have terrible consequences as the target was moving. Daredevilry like that of the Delhi stunt bikers is aimed at seeking attention. The best thing to do is to turn a blind eye to it. Those in the social circle of such bikers should be plain in their disapproval. Most important, parents should refuse to finance such children.
Srikant Sekhar Iyer,