Ashok Chavan may step down as Chief Minister of Maharashtra (editorial, Nov. 3) but will the enquiry into the Adarsh Society scam reach its logical conclusion and lead to the conviction of any politician or bureaucrat? The maximum enquiry panels investigating scams can do is to submit reports.
People have become accustomed to corruption. They have lost faith in the investigating agencies. No politician of perceptible stature has been jailed in the last six decades for corruption.
With his embarrassing governance record and diminishing popularity, Mr. Chavan will perhaps be the most forgettable leader of the commercial capital. The root cause of corruption in Maharashtra is the property market of Mumbai. With a few exceptions, most Chief Ministers have concentrated on Mumbai, parcelling out land, doing property deals and further corrupting its real estate industry. How long can India's once shining city sustain such high-profile scandals? Has the goose laid its last golden egg yet?
The editorial rightly says Mr. Chavan's “23-month tenure has been little more than an unending series of controversies and scams.” True, the Congress has not produced a leader of Statewide standing since Vasantdata Patil. The non-Congress parties, including the BJP-Shiv Sena alliance, have not produced such a leader either. The State needs a dynamic leader. If corruption is not reined in, only politicians will become millionaires in future.
It is unfortunate that the All-India Congress Committee in its meet on November 2 conveniently forgot to discuss vital issues of alleged corruption in the Commonwealth Games or the Adarsh Housing Society scam in Mumbai (“AICC meet skirts scams, targets sangh parivar,” Nov. 3). Deliberations on these matters would have given more credibility and relevance to Congress president Sonia Gandhi's leadership. Sweeping them under the carpet will only make matters worse for the party.
The AICC meet saw the RSS and its sister organisations being strongly criticised, while vital issues like inflation and corruption were left out. Terrorism is now a global issue and it is ridiculous to have picked on certain political outfits in the verbal attack.
The article “Irom Sharmila ... 10 years on (Nov. 3) indeed sums up what is going on in Manipur and other States where the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act is in force. The security forces have misused the draconian Act. Sharmila who has been on a fast for 10 years — in the Gandhian mode — demanding the withdrawal of AFSPA from Manipur has no parallel in recent Indian history. Congress leaders, for whom satyagraha is all about rotating the charkha on Gandhi Jayanti, must learn a lesson or two from satyagrahi Irom Sharmila.
That no one — the Centre, the State government, rights activists, et al — has been moved even a bit by the pathetic condition of Irom Sharmila (or ‘Iron' Sharmila) is shameful. The rape, torture and killing of Thangjam Manorama by the security forces and the nude protest by elderly women have all been woefully neglected by the Centre. Sharmila deserves the attention of the powers that be. Her demand for the withdrawal of AFSPA should be met. The Centre should think of some other way to put down insurgency in the State.
The article was moving. What a determined woman Irom Sharmila is! Instead of sitting at home and commenting on the happenings around her, she has taken a big step forward with great courage and risk. She has created history. Her name will remain etched in our memory.
Ten years of resolute fast, a milestone in itself, has become nobler by the cause it espouses. A decade of fasting by an ordinary citizen should compel the state to introspect. The statistics are revealing in themselves: militancy in Manipur has proliferated at a higher level post-AFSPA. The military approach is no solution for an overwhelmingly political and ideological issue. The way to peace may necessarily lie in the amendment of the horrifying Act, if not its blanket withdrawal.
As a true patriot and Manipuri, I salute the brave woman and her never-say-die spirit. Without any doubt, the root cause of all problems in Manipur is AFSPA and its misuse. Manipur has been neglected for far too long by the Centre. One fails to understand how many Sharmilas will have to starve for decades before the government notices the issue.
Angom Amarjit Singh,
The article made me aware not so much of AFSPA or its fallout but of Irom Sharmila, a name that needs to be written in golden letters. We can take comfort from the thought that there are still people among us who respond to the tyrannies of society, without being part of any political outfit.
I was amused to hear my grandmother say after watching a serial: “They should not let her go unpunished. She should be shot.” The extent to which television serials have captured the interest of women, mostly home-makers, is shocking.
Susanna K. Jose,
I am one of the unfortunate captive viewers of television soaps which travel from infancy to the grave, and then rise like the Phoenix. I admire the ingenuity of the story-tellers who can go on and on, with twists and turns.
But they seem to escape the wrath of feminists who have enough grist to crack down on the depravity a woman is subjected to.
It is wrong to blame the makers of television serials for all the ills. They are business people, not philanthropists. They sell what is in demand. Despite all the criticism about the portrayal of women in soap operas, the fact remains that they are a huge success. This proves that the tele-serials show what people, especially women, want to see.
A simple story without any masala does not thrill the audience. Doordarshan serials, which are largely progressive and do not denigrate women, are good but they fail to attract people. Even those who criticise soap operas cannot resist watching them till the last episode.