• Contesting the 2009 general elections will be an uphill task for most parties. The electronic media and its reach have increased the awareness of the electorate manifold. From deprivation to corruption,poor policy implementation to misappropriation of funds,the media has exposed every problem before the electorate. Thats why its becoming harder for political leaders to take voters for a ride as consistently as they used to.
• The brutal death of 19-year-old Aman Kachru is shocking and outrageous. That this happened despite Amans complaint against the offenders to the college authorities is worse. His death is a clear case of college authorities failing to follow legal guidelines. Those institutions where violent incidents of ragging are reported should be closed and their administrative authorities punished. Students who rag should be banned from educational institutions. If we cannot provide even the basic security of life to our students,of what use are governments and the legal machinery?
• Its time we admitted to ourselves that we are becoming an increasingly violent society. In our well-to-do strata such violent tendencies result from parental deficiencies and an increasingly lax attitude of school and college authorities. Counselling from school onwards,parents included,should form a first step. The second step should be the quiet one-man equivalent of the examination flying squad except that this would be during admissions. Also,it should be made compulsory for school and college websites to carry information on incidents of ragging.
Third Front chaos
• This refers to the editorial Combo meal. The re-emergence of the Third Front may prove catastrophic for India. It consists of heterogeneous parties temporarily joined by the glue of power,not ideology. Besides,it has overambitious party leaders,each with aspirations of becoming PM. Yet not one of them has a national vision or understanding of global politics and economics. Each is consumed by regional interests,overriding national priorities. If these parties are unable to form the government after the elections,they will continue to exploit the Central government using the threat of withdrawing support from the UPA or the NDA.
• Why cant people understand that the CISF guard,Poonam,was merely performing her duty and not being high-handed? It is not impossible that a terrorist might pretend to be disabled to evade the security check. Poonam was doing exactly what she is paid to do. If she didnt do so,and then things went wrong,her very critics would lash out at the security personnel.