Living in hope
Sir — The Union cabinet’s decision to set up an AIIMS-like hospital at Raiganj before the elections is interesting (“AIIMS cousin for Bengal”, Feb 6). The need for such a hospital in West Bengal is obvious, but I wonder why the announcement had not been made in the last five years. The project would have been complete by now. It remains to be seen how fast the hospital is built so that people in the state do not have to go to Vellore or New Delhi for treatment. The Centre should take up the project seriously and ensure that it is not just an election gimmick.
Debasish Deb, Calcutta
Sir — Our legislators showed their true colours in the Uttar Pradesh and the Andhra Pradesh assemblies on February 10 and 11 respectively (“After UP, House row in Andhra”, Feb 12). We are now used to the unruly scenes legislators create for the sake of their own interests. In almost every state assembly or even in the Parliament, Opposition members regularly resort to disruption, leaving the grievances of the electorate unaddressed.
Why should political parties not train their elected members on how to behave in the House? They must be taught that the assemblies and the Parliament are places of meaningful debate, not spaces for muscle-flexing or hurling microphones at one another. In the coming election, we must insist on electing those representatives whose political lives are spotless and who do not routinely disrupt Parliament and assembly proceedings.
B.K. Chatterjee, Faridabad
Sir — The lawmakers of India have again revealed themselves as troublemakers. In the Orissa assembly, protesting Congress legislators of the Opposition created pandemonium and even tried to climb the podium of the Speaker (“No-trust stalls House”, Feb 12). After similar skirmishes in the West Bengal, UP and Andhra Pradesh assemblies, it would seem that to prove that one is in politics one has to create a ruckus. With the general elections coming closer, legislators should remember that they are under the intense scrutiny of the media. As Abraham Lincoln had said, you cannot fool all the people all the time.
Priyadarshi Pal, Calcutta
Sir — One should be grateful for small mercies — for the fact that Samajwadi Party members of the legislative assembly in UP just threw paper balls at the governor (“Paper-ball attack on governor”, Feb. 11). What about the West Bengal assembly, where chairs, microphones and other missiles are thrown by legislators? MLAs in most states are an unruly lot and a number of them are history-sheeters. Assemblies must evolve a code of conduct in consultation with all MLAs so that such shameful incidents do not occur and there is no damage to public property.
A.S. Mehta, Calcutta
Sir — After exposing the deplorable state of healthcare, Kunal Saha did the nation a service by getting two “junior officials” of the Supreme Court arrested for demanding a bribe from him (“SC clerks held in doctor case”, Feb 10). The second job was more difficult, because the operations of the justice machinery seem mysterious to the layman. Eighty-three other cases filed after Saha’s were dealt with first. It is unquestionably the discretion and prerogative of the competent authority to prioritize cases, but such prioritization should be transparent. It seems baffling to the layman that pettifoggers should be arrested and punished first.
Md. Motleb Ali, Calcutta