Public money is being frittered away in umpteen ways,
by the Government, both at the Centre and at the States.
Day after day, wastes, scandals, and such other appalling
blunders in administration are being uncovered, and
the public is rather bewildered at the sight of those
stinking state of affairs.
The major ones involving lakhs of rupees catch the public
eyes, but the government is callous enough to defend
the culprits. Instead of punishing them, Pandit Nehru
and his colleagues, engage themselves in slinging mud
at the accusing finger!
Pandit Nehru’s recent attack on the Bose Board, which
had been appointed by the government itself, to go into
the Mundhra deal, is indeed a devastating one.
Mr. Bose, a reputed member of the judiciary, had remarked
in his report that there was perhaps, a quid pro quo
in the Mundhra deal, as Mr. Mundhra had donated a large
sum amounting to some lakhs, to the coffers of the Congress.
If Pandit Nehru had any fact to disprove such a statement,
he might have shown it in the public and thereby implied
that there was no such quid pro quo.
But on the contrary, he entered in path, unbecoming
to his power and prestige, and commented on the statement
in a scathing manner.
“Whoever he might be – a judge or anybody – it is foolish
to conclude in that manner” - he remarked in a press
conference some weeks back.
This remark has created great repercussions and there
are many who detect a defiance to, and an encroachment
in, the Judicial powers.
Of course, they have ample grounds for arriving at such
conclusions – and it needs no explanation as to where
such a trend would lead us to!
Many a political scientist, since Montesquieu, has commended
the Separation of Powers and have warned against the
combination of powers, of the legislature, executive
The encroachment of one functionary in the arena of
another, amounts to combination and the move is not
a salubrious sign!
Apart from this, there is nother aspect of the problem,
which causes our concern.
If the culprits, who squander away the public money,
are left unpunished, where is the security that scandals
would be averted in the future?
In fact, Mr. H. M. Patel who was involved in Jeep scandal,
has again involved in the Mundhra deal! Now again he
Emboldened at the government’s ‘reaction’ the corrupt
men might become more and more corrupt! Integrity and
efficiency in the administration would then become rare
The following episode, beautifully reveals the blunders
Over a year ago, the railway authorities built a brand
new platform and a booking office, in a suburb of Patiala.
They posted a chowkidar to look after the place until
the staff arrived, and bags of railway tickets stamped
with the name of the halt, were duly dispatched. Yet
until today, it is said, cows roam in the platform,
the chowkidar has been sacked, the tickets lie unopened
in the bags – and not a single train stopped there!
The reason attributed for not using the booking office
is even more fantastic.
It was the outcome of the disagreement over the name
of that halt. Originally, it had been decided to call
it “RAGHBIRSINGPURA,” after a former Chief Minister
of PEPSU, and this was stamped on the tickets.
Then as the locals objected, the railway authorities
changed their minds and decided to call it “New Patiala”.
They wrote to the local D.C. asking for the correct
spelling of this name in Urdu, Hindi, and Gurmukhi.
D.C., unwilling to take the responsibility, wrote to
the Language Department of the Punjabi Government, and
there the matter seems to have gone off the rails!
This ‘interesting episode’ costing the public coffers
more than a lakh of rupees, bears indeed an irrefutable
testimony to the carelessness of the administrators.
In fact, nobody can belittle the demand of the local
citizens, to call the station by a particular name.
Their demand is to be heeded to , but the government
should have decided the name before printing the tickets,
and erecting the platform and booking office.
Again there is another incident – an even more appalling
one. At least in Patiala, the Railway authorities knew
that the station lay unutilised.
In North-Eastern Railway, a machinery installed about
three years ago is lying idle and the local railway
authorities have been telling the Railway Board that
all machinery was being fully utilised.
The list of the machinery not being utilized for some
reason or other, includes two forging machines each
costing Rs.60,000 – a heat treatment shop completed
with the installation of modern furnaces at an expenditure
of abut Rs.3 lakhs – four British moulding machines,
each costing Rs.36,000/- and two hammers each costing
On the whole, the cost of machinery lying idle amounts
Is it not pertinent at this juncture to urge upon the
government to bridle the bureaucracy and avert such
sorry state of affairs?
(Sub-Editorial - 05-07-1959)