Sen, sense and conscience

Sen, sense and conscience

Your editorial “Conscience and Binayak Sen" (Mint, 28 December) contains an ad hominem argument: Members of the National Advisory Council cannot have an opinion about the Sen trial because their liberty has not been curtailed. The argument does not make sense because it is logically incorrect and an ad hominem one.

That said, how is public voice made? Is it not made by the private opinion of those who wield the most power? Is there no space for private voice? Do we stick to the “public voice" when the law itself appears to be unlawful and not in line with freedoms enjoyed by other citizens?

To end with a side note: Hobbesian logic was, by the way, most famously used by the National Socialists in Germany. You get the drift, don’t you?

—Anand Bala

This refers to the editorial “A crisis of legitimacy" (Mint, 17 December). Your comments correctly present the current political situation in our country. But you can’t hold Manamohan Singh responsible for this situation. He does not have the necessary powers to rule effectively. He is a compromise candidate supported by fragmented political parties. It is only our good fortune that an intelligent and honest individual is currently sitting in that chair surrounded on all sides by opportunists.

The fault is with our political system. Nobody points that out, let alone solve it. We are not fit to be a multiparty parliamentary democracy. Even England and Australia are experiencing similar problems of collusion governance. We need a US type presidential system where the commander-in-chief is directly elected by the people, giving him all the powers.

Our Constitution does not provide for the qualifications, experience or integrity of the representatives to be elected. It does not give people the right to call back useless representatives. It has no control on the number of parties. Each leader can have his own party and there is no shortage of chamchas.

The states and panchayats have no autonomy powers, and the Central government and babus rule even the smallest activities in the remotest of villages. This has created problems in Kashmir and the north-eastern states. As a result, Maoism has emerged.


This refers to the editorial “Tendulkar’s truest talent" (Mint, 21 December). Indeed, some of Sachin Tendulkar’s records are too steep to be surpassed. He is not called the god of cricket for nothing. By reaching his 50th Test century, he has again proved how much passion he still has for the game. And though he has often had critics, he has always managed to transcend them. There have been many legends in this game of cricket, but what sets Tendulkar apart is not only records, but his approach and attitude. He is one of the few gentlemen left in what was once a gentleman’s game.

Tendulkar is like old wine, getting better with age. No one has better shouldered the weight of responsibility and expectations for so long.

—Bal Govind

Just before the Congress plenary session at Burari, on the outskirts of Delhi, your editorial “A crisis of legitimacy" was not only an eye opener, but also an honest assessment of “the absence of leadership in government and in the political system". Citizens have helplessly watched the way the winter session of Parliament was wasted over the 2G spectrum issue. Our parliamentarians may have forgotten that in a parliamentary democracy, people want a responsive government, along with a strong, responsible opposition. But neither the UPA nor the opposition has fulfilled this.

This is the time for the country’s leadership to step in, be it Manmohan Singh or Sonia Gandhi. Their responsibilities are not limited to blaming the opposition, but checking corruption permanently. They must not fail.

—Bidyut Kumar Chatterjee

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