Sunday , 15 September 2019
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No-holds-barred LS Polls

THE election process in the country will come to an end on Sunday. However it must be noted here that these parliamentary polls will go down in history as the most bitterly fought elections ever. It has been an election campaign which has seen personal attacks like never before. In all this not even leaders who passed away have been spared. Jibes have been made against the late prime minister Rajiv Gandhi.  Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal was even slapped while on a road show. There was violence on the streets of West Bengal where a college was targeted, forcing  the Election Commission to curtail campaigning in that state, a first in India’s electoral history. In all this basic issues like jobs for the youth, sanitation, providing water, tackling farmers’ woes have been sidelined. In Goa, things have not been much different. Basic issues like open defecation, water crisis, shabby roads, parking woes, etc. have been sidelined. Political parties seem to be indulging in smear campaign only to score brownie points on their opponents and divert attention. But the voters are smart enough to see through all this and will not be influenced by such diversionary tactics.


Demerits Of Multiphase Polls

IN most countries voting is held on a single day. Holding elections spread over 39 days even for security concerns may prove counterproductive as we have seen in West Bengal. Political leaders are virtually on tour for two full months!  The problem is that over such a long period of time political leaders run out of ideas and so stoop to low levels in running down the opponents. This causes hatred among groups of people leading to violence. I would like to suggest that canvassing for all the seven phases must come to an end along with canvassing for first phase. This will minimise hatred, violence and expenditure including use of black money.


Audit Smart City Works

THERE are serious allegations of corruption in the Smart City project underway in the state capital. Hence a through audit must be conducted into the Smart City works to uphold public probity. The money that is being spent on the project is the money of the hard working taxpayers. It has also been alleged that corrupt practices were adopted for the installation of 223 electrical poles with fixtures on the Atal Setu bridge, which calls for an audit on the expenses relating to the new Mandovi bridge.


Paean For Free Press In India

NEWSPAPERS and magazines are integral parts of a human being.   No amount of information dissipation can substitute the role of the press in moulding public opinion. Democracy craves for a reliable and impartial press that transcends pulls and pressures. Truth is an essential ingredient of press freedom.  The newspapers have thrived in India on absolute integrity, and dedication to duty, of the owners and editors of newspapers. Independence of press, however, is always under scrutiny. The 2019 theme for the World Press Day – ‘Media for Democracy: Journalism and Elections in Times of Disinformation’ – could not have come at a better time when India is holding a multi-phased elections. Freedom of expression as a human right cannot be seen separate from people’s access to fair and unbiased information. For that, highest level of professional and ethical integrity on the part of journalists cannot be overstressed. Training and skills, objectivity and perfectionism, go together with inborn qualities.  Because, of all security, a total security is said to be provided by a free press. In addition, the ‘freedom of thought’ is paramount for journalism to flourish. Idea exchange should involve both celebrities and the common man for a successful journalism.  Press is the watchdog of democracy, but the people are the watchdogs of an independent press. Thomas Jefferson famously said that he would have a free press without a government but not a government without a free press.


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