* India’s response to the alleged mistreatment of Devyani Khobragade is timely and appreciable. We were right to remove the US embassys security barricades and recall the diplomatic ID cards that were issued to US consular employees. The humiliation meted out to Khobragade exposes the US governments hypocrisy. This matter brings back memories of the similar humiliations of Shah Rukh Khan,A.P.J. Abdul Kalam,George Fernandes,Meera Shankar,etc. Its high time the US tended an unconditional apology for its mistreatment of Indian citizens.
* This refers to The great quick fix (IE,December 18). Finally,all these years after an Indian ombudsman was first conceived,Parliament has passed a law that constitutes a lokpal,which shall consist of a chairperson and a maximum of eight members. While it is understandable that 50 per cent of the members must have a judicial background,the 50 per cent combined reservation for women,minority,SC,ST and OBC members is inexplicable. Of course,we should always safeguard the vulnerable sections of society. But to reserve seats for them in the lokpal makes little sense. Similar institutions like the higher judiciary or Central and state vigilance and anti-corruption organisations have no such provisions. Only persons of proven competence,regardless of their backgrounds,must be chosen on account of their illustrious records.
* After 46 years of dilly-dallying on the issue,we finally have a lokpal. The fine print of the legislation may not please everyone. But the lokpal will definitely serve as a deterrent against corruption. We must not get disillusioned so quickly. No bill can be absolutely perfect from day one. Even our great Constitution has undergone several amendments. Arvind Kejriwal,who has made several sweeping statements about how ineffective the present version of the law is,must concede that at least a start has been made. Its a good day for democracy.
Lame duck standing
* This refers to A sleepwalking economy by Pratap Bhanu Mehta (IE,December 18). There are several ominous signs that the economy is going through a stagflation falling growth combined with high inflation. The writer was right in saying that the cause of GDP growth has no patron saints in our polity. The worrying bit is that the crisis may not have bottomed out yet. How will this lame duck government with all its povertarian ideas save the economy?