No smoke without fire
* This refers to Smoke and mirrors (IE,October 12). The editorial rightly points out that having well-defined,transparent rules for conducting business is the only lasting way to check corruption. More discretionary power vested in the government means greater chances of corruption. The post-reform era has been characterised by massive wealth creation and falling standards of governance. We need high growth to fund our social welfare programmes. The chances of attracting capital will increase if we have less cumbersome business processes and a more market-friendly policy environment. We must make the sources of political funding more transparent to avoid accusations of cronyism,which in turn gives a bad name to reforms. The PM was right to highlight the prevalence of corporate corruption. However,few administrative reforms have happened in his tenure. With cleaner politics and better governance,the ability of corporates to influence policies in their favour will be greatly reduced.
In good faith
* RURAL development minister Jairam Rameshs remarks must be viewed in perspective (Jairam says toilets more important in India than temples,IE,October 6). Ramesh clearly wished to make a statement that would have an impact at the function to flag off the Nirmal Bharat Yatra,a campaign against defecation in the open. But perhaps the rural development minister should have worded it differently. Recently,the apex court ordered the states and Union territories to ensure that there were toilets in all schools. This direction was re-issued after the states failed to comply with an earlier order. Our local governance bodies have failed to provide for the minimum sanitation needs.
Out of turn
* APROPOS First family,second nature (IE,October 13),if Congress chief Sonia Gandhis son-in-law Robert Vadra is really a private individual,why have the party spokespersons and other loyalists decided to take on Arvind Kejriwal? Vadra should deal with the charges against him as he chooses.
For your information
* PRIME MINISTER Manmohan Singhs comments on RTI and privacy indicates the governments intention to prevent the requisition of certain kinds of informations under the RTI Act (RTI cant prevail over right to privacy,says PM,IE,October 13). The government has the authority to make laws that serve the public interest but it cannot be the interpreter of the law. The judiciary alone has the power to do so,and can decide whether the disclosure of certain information will infringe someones privacy instead of serving the public interest. The RTI Act is a tool of empowerment for the people of this country. The government must desist from curtailing their right to information.
From Colorado to Uruguay,experiments with legalising marijuana usage. India should take note...
The insensitive state response to an alleged rape and murder shows what hasnt changed for women...
The prime minister finally held a press conference but evaded the questions,shifted the blame...