Election 2009

Published : May 22, 2009 00:00 IST

DESPITE the realignment of forces in the search for a non-Congress and non-BJP government at the Centre, one is surprised to see that the unity among the new partners has become fragile (Cover Story, May 8). Moreover, they take different stances on the Sethusamudram project and Sri Lankan Tamils issue in Tamil Nadu, there are violent clashes between workers of major political parties in Andhra Pradesh, parties are indulging in communal and caste politics in Karnataka, and Muslims are moving away from the Left in Kerala. These factors are bound to upset the calculations of pollsters. All the combinations practise caste and communal politics, raising doubts about the future of democracy in the country.

K.R. Srinivasan Secunderabad* * *

THE Cover Story gave a realistic picture of the elections. Election time generally sees migrations of politicians from one party to another and of the political parties from one alliance to another. This time, with a Third Front in the fray, the contest has become a lot more interesting for the voters but it is a headache for political parties.

Siddharth Chaturvedi Lucknow* * *

THE compilation of the salient features of the manifestos of three major political parties does help discerning voters to look critically at the priorities of each political party (What is on offer). The CPI(M)s manifesto reflects the concerns of the common man. Any political party that is genuinely concerned about the health of our parliamentary democracy should take a stand not to give the ticket to criminals.

M.O. Peter New Delhi* * *

THE comparative presentation of manifestos gives their viewpoints on several basic national issues, which will enable a discriminating voter to choose the best party to govern us for the next five years. The manifestos are silent on how the parties will implement their promises. Unfortunately, while the elite who can assess the manifestos will not turn up to vote, the vast majority of the people will have no knowledge of the manifestos and will be taken for a ride by the rhetoric in public meetings. In Tamil Nadu, the election has been turned into a kind of a referendum on the Sri Lankan issue and all the issues affecting the common man have been pushed to the background.

S.S. Rajagopalan ChennaiVembanad

FRONTLINE has done well in bringing into focus the problems of the Vembanad lake in Kerala (Wetland or wasteland?, May 8). The second largest wetland in India has shrunk to a third of its size and is a sink of pollutants. Long years of neglect and wrong policies have led to this state of affairs. There are reports suggesting ways to prevent the pollution of rivers. The State government should have the will to implement them.

Jacob Sahayam ThiruvananthapuramNehru

IN the essay Power drive, A.G. Noorani speaks of Nehrus secularism (April 24). Nehru carried his caste identity in his name throughout his life to identify himself with Brahmins, who are held in high esteem by the Hindu community. The secular Nehru, who brought about changes in the Hindu law to uplift women in the Hindu community, did nothing for Muslim women. He was afraid of losing the communal vote bank. After the Chinese invasion in 1962, he allowed the RSS cadre to participate in the Republic Day parade.

Satya Prasad New Jersey, U.S.IPL

THIS refers to R.K. Raghavans article on the shifting of the Indian Premier League to South Africa (A victory for the terrorist?, April 24). The first phase of elections held on April 16 has proved that the Home Ministers citing of elections as a reason for the governments inability to provide security to IPL is a hogwash. The naxalite violence on polling day in Orissa shows that the government and the Election Commission have not done their homework well. The IPL had to be shifted because of the Congress politics and not because of security issues.

S. Suriyanarayanan Surat, GujaratILO report

THE ILO report Global Employment Trends for Women delineates the reasons behind the gender differentials in employment and also suggests remedies. Any effort to overcome the problem should involve greater investment in womens education, changes in labour legislation and sharing of family responsibilities by men, which would provide women opportunities to participate equally in the labour market.

Neha Raghuvanshi LucknowStates role

THE Cover Story on the real issues before the electorate (Time for change, April 10) indicates that this is the time to asses our economic system. Neoliberalism has failed to solve the basic problems of the country. We need to change the system.

Sarbeswar Padhan Burla, OrissaANNOUNCEMENT

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