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Cn Heard

It would be inappropriate to say that the police is subservient to politicians,but unfortunately,the instances of nexus between these two have been so frequent that public perception is sceptical.

Written by Express News Service | Chandigarh |
March 30, 2009 1:55:04 am

Who is investigating?
It would be inappropriate to say that the police is subservient to politicians,but unfortunately,the instances of nexus between these two have been so frequent that public perception is sceptical. This was witnessed in a recent case at the high court. A Haryana police officer who is investigating a murder case allegedly involving INLD leader Abhay Singh Chautala,replied in the court that he has called Chautala for a fresh round of questioning. At this,the judge smirked and sarcastically remarked,“ Will he come to the police station or will you go to his place? Who will question whom? Will you question him or would he question you? This might be a bit unkind,and we guess that the best way for Haryana Police now to reply to this sarcasm would be to ensure that the case investigation is finished in a quick and just manner.

Brevity? Who is she?
After a torturously long address by Dr N K Ganguly,Director General,ICMR and Advisor to the Union Minister of Health at the 58th convocation of Panjab University,the mike was passed to Chief Guest Professor Sukhdeo Thorat,Chairman of the UGC. To everyone’s relief Prof Thorat had apparently gauged that the long speeches were inducing somnolence on the audience. So he prefaced his comments by saying that his speech would be brief. But the brief speech lasted well over 40 minutes. Now,if the brevity of speech ensured that it went for so long,the very thought that how long the actual speech would have been,jitters the imagination.

I hate you,but I will speak to you!
There is hardly any bonhomie between the Chief Election Office in Punjab and the state’s media. On the first day of interaction a senior officer expressed her antipathy in no uncertain terms when she said,“I don’t like to talk to media actually. It is the election commission’s guidelines which mandate me to have these press briefings.” Some one needs to tell the concerned officers that media plays a pivotal role in ensuring free and fair elections. Undoubtedly,Election Commission has done a yeoman service to this nation for always having ensured fair election even under the most trying circumstances. But the fourth estate is important to ensure the flow of vital information. To give an impression that by interacting with media,the officers are doing any favour is inappropriate. It is their duty and they should do it ungrudgingly.

Food for no thought
Everyone has been flummoxed by the Administration’s recent decision to act against two-wheelers used for food delivery purposes by various restaurants and eating joints. While no apparent reason has been given,this attitude of ‘zero tolerance’ looks totally out of place when blatant violations of traffic rules are taking place everywhere. The number of traffic offences,accidents,injuries and deaths is on the rise. Under these circumstances,if the Administration is ‘focussing’ on people who don’t have any past history of any public/traffic nuisance and are basically important service providers,then it surely looks to be case of misplaced priorities and apathy towards public needs.

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March out
Rising incidents of violence at the Punjab University is the biggest scourge of the varsity. Several elaborate measures including expensive security paraphernalia have been found to be wanting to check these instances. There is certainly a need of fresh ideas and more importantly a requirement of sensitising students. It was in this context that a forum to fight violence at the campus was launched. The vice-chancellor and Dean Students’ Welfare,duly presided over the function. But even before the speeches were finished,the V-C walked out. Other guests and the DSW followed soon thereafter. We can imagine that the onerous schedule of the V-C could mean that he won’t be able to attend the full function but at least others could have had the felicity to hear the speakers,especially when the issue being debated upon was a compelling one.

Gag orders
The Education department is leaving no stone unturned to stop its teachers and principals from interacting with the media. As an act of tyranny,Samwartak Singh,Director Public Instructions (Schools) has issued gag orders as per which no teacher is supposed to give any quote to the media. Apparently he has also told them that anything that goes to the media has to go through him with him being the face of the department. When a principal shared views about a particular topic,he issued show cause notice to the concerned official.

Mo-Dull code of conduct
The model code of conduct seems to be nagging our media savvy bureaucrats who love to read their name in the newspapers. “Yaar,cant I just appreciate the good work done by our department,just this much that when contacted Mr …. said” this was the curious query of a bureaucrat to his friend over the phone desperately trying to find out a way to see his name published. Alas! the speaker on the other end advised not to mention his name. “I will advise you not to take a risk mate!” was the opinion from the other end.

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