Letter to the Editor

"Closed" Manch

While the openness of "Khula Manch" is under question, the main purpose of the programme should not be forgotten.  The programme aims at providing an opportunity to the people to present their problems first hand to their elected representatives and to have interaction with them to arrive at some solutions.  However, the programme, as it has been presented till now, seems to have consisted of a series of attacks on the Ministers and inadequate defenses offered by them.

In the programme, featuring Railway Minister George Fernandes, most questions were asked in a rude tone which hurt the finer sensibilities of the viewers. Mr. karan Thapar, the co-presenter of the programme, too, spoke in a most offensive language.  While this gave the impression that a fight in the studios, in which the Railway Minister kept his cool, his replies were most evasive and did not bring out in any manner his concern for the problems being faced by a common railway passenger.

Surprisingly, the Minister even tried to show his ignorance of well-known malpractices of selling the tickets in black, taking bribes by the ticket checkers, overcharging by coolies, allowing men in ladies' compartment etc.  All of us encounter these problems daily and the Minister's replies only brought our the truth that no one in the Railway Ministry is ready to make efforts to eliminate these evil practices.  How else is it possible that all these and many other such crimes should be committed under the Minister's very nose at the railway stations in the Capital in broad day light?

-Anil Sarwal
in The Tribune