Lawmakers hardly worked

This refers to the editorial, ‘Gloomy legacy of 15th Lok Sabha’ (February 24). This Parliament has earned the dubious record of passing the least number of Bills by any full-term House. If the bonhomie displayed by leaders, cutting across party lines, on the last day is any indication, then surely Parliament could have done better in all this while. However, the passing of Bills of social value came as a welcome relief.

 Lakhs of cancer patients will benefit from the passing of The Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances(Amendment) Bill, which was long overdue.  Similarly, The Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending Bill will help more than 10 million urban street vendors in India who live a precarious livelihood. Most of them are migrants to the towns and cities and had to consistently tread with heart in their mouth fearing harassment at every step.  Street vending is also a type of dignified self-employment which is, unfortunately, looked down upon by many of us, who treat vendors with disrespect, forgetting theirs is a service-oriented employment, wherein they bring food materials, among other things, to our doorstep.

A mechanism must be put in place to ensure that Parliament works harder for our sake and parliamentarians really earn their keep, which is funded by taxpayer money.

Ganapathi Bhat

How new states are birthed in US

This refers to the article, ‘Birth of Telengana is telling’ (February 24).  A lot of violence preceded the creation of new state of Telangana – for the first time, pepper spray was used inside the temple of democracy – Parliament, when the bill for the creation of the new state was to be tabled. In contrast, look at the situation in the USA, where a similar demand to split California into six states is gathering momentum – there is no violence on the streets and no legislative bedlam. The reasons for splitting California into smaller states are the same – some regions feel that they are being neglected. The US Constitution allows bifurcation of states, if it is approved by the affected state and the US Congress.  Another state where the demand for separation is being raised is Florida – seeking to be divided  between north and south Florida. The difference is that citizens and political parties are submitting petitions on the issue and not adopting violent methods.  The petition submitted by an elected member of the state legislature needs to be approved by the secretary of the concerned state, followed by signatures of voters, to put it on referendum.

Deendayal M Lulla 

Promises are made to breach

Isn’t it the biggest example of hypocrisy – on the one hand we want rapists to get death sentences and on the other, we keep electing them term after term. Yes, one is talking about our politicians who ‘molest’ our dreams and hopes and ‘rape’ our future with their false promises, election after election. When will a stringent law come in force that will make them accountable?  Will the law question them on the vast difference between their promises and the actual delivery of the same? Will they ever be asked to set a time-frame for the promises they make in their manifesto? Will non-compliance with their manifesto lead to fines and legal action against them? Elections will come and go nothing will change, except the bunch at the top, and as for the ‘aam janata,’ they will continue to be victims, as they have been, decade after decade.

Abdul Monim

Dutts need no further help

Apropos the news item on Sanjay Dutt’s parole being further extended by a month (February 19), on the grounds of his wife’s ill health.  Maanyata ‘s illness seems to be a long one.  Going by newspaper accounts, she suffers from tuberculosis.  She is not bedridden, but is moving around like any normal person.  The Dutt family is rich and famous.  They obviously have a house full of servants and relatives.  In what way Dutt’s presence is required is not clear.  There must be many other prisoners in Yerwada Jail more deserving of parole than him.  But no one cares.  The public is getting the impression that the law is different for different people.  Dutt’s crimes are serious.  His punishments have been confirmed by many courts.  If he can play around with the law, it will set a bad example for the country.  Crime must be punished.

Peter Maddox

Whatever happened to Snoopgate?

In the midst of the tightly packed last session of the 15th Lok Sabha, and the urgency to get some important Bills passed, one ‘sensitive’ matter seems to have been put on the back-burner, though temporarily, by the UPA II. It is the Snoopgate issue over which the secular alliance wants to corner the BJP’s PM nominee, Narendra Modi. With the heat generated over the creation of Telangana now appearing to have settled, the Congress-led coalition can now be expected to fully concentrate on catching the Gujarat C M on the “wrong” foot over the alleged spying scandal.

Arun Malankar

Amir Aadmi Party?

This refers to ‘AAP wooing builders to boost funds, alleges NCP’ (February 21). Read along with ‘Aam Aadmi on Fund-Raising Blitz In Financial Capital’ elsewhere, isn’t any signal for AAP’s chances in Mumbai North-West – where its Mumbai convenor is promoting himself as the solitary candidate here. There’s opposition to his candidature too.

With the likes of Samir Nair, ex-CEO, Star India, Manisha Gupta, ex-chief marketing officer Axis Bank, and Satish Jain, senior fund manager, HDFC, managing the fund-raising blitz of the Aam Aadmi Party in Mumbai, it’s no surprise that an unusual model is emerging – ‘far from aam aadmi’. All these don’t go well with the attempts of AAP in Mumbai. The only hopefuls could be Meera Sanyal and Medha Patkar.

Subrahmanian S H

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