THE victory of the Congress in the general elections surprising even the party is not a sign of revival of the party and not a mandate for neoliberalism. It is primarily a vote against the diabolically divisive campaign of rightwing elements (Cover Story, Congress resurgence, June 5). And it is certainly a warning for the Left parties to get their act together.
Psephologists who predicted only marginal gains for the Congress were at pains to explain the behaviour of the Indian voters after the results came out. The media have played a commendable role in educating Indian voters.Bichu Muttathara Pune* * *
THE CPI(M) leadership should ponder why a large segment of the Muslim peasantry chose to support the Trinamool Congress, which was a close ally of the BJP earlier. It is surprising they did so despite all the benefits accruing to them from land reforms.
The fact that the Left has kept West Bengal totally free of communal violence is appreciated by Muslims all over the country. One can only conjecture that the alienation of sections of the Muslim peasantry from the Left has something to do with the fears created by the State governments policy of acquiring agricultural lands for industrial units. In these matters and in others, like the Rizwanur Rahman case or the alleged under-representation of Muslims in public services and educational institutions, it is important to be sensitive and responsive to peoples apprehensions. Immediate measures should be taken by the CPI(M) and its allies to rectify the errors that the election results have so patently exposed.Iqtidar Alam Khan Aligarh, U.P.* * *
VENKATESH ATHREYA gave a very valuable analysis in his article Not a mandate for neoliberalism. This needs to be taken seriously by the new government.
It is now proved beyond doubt that the mandate for the UPA is for good governance and people-centric policies. Undoubtedly, the NREGS and the pro-people measures of the UPAs National Common Minimum Programme have earned votes for it. Now is the time for the government to act fast and focus on agricultural revival and employment generation. Top priority should also be given to investments in health and education and to revive the public distribution system. K. Nehru Patnaik Visakhapatnam
THE Congress resurgence was made possible by the maturity of the electorate. It has chosen a party that could provide stability and ensure development. Unlike the Congress, the NDA, the Third front and the so-called Fourth Front indulged in negative campaigning, preached hollow idealism and made lavish offers of freebies. In fact, the personal integrity of Manmohan Singh, peoples faith in the good governance and stability he promised and the Congress bold decision (prompted by Rahul Gandhi) to go it all alone in U.P. and Bihar tilted the scales in favour of the UPA, though exit polls had predicted a strong voter preference for the opposition.
The faith the people have reposed in the Congress must inspire Manmohan Singh and his team to work towards rooting out corruption, creating more employment opportunities, stabilising prices of essential commodities and improving national security. The Congress is in a better bargaining position now than it was in 2004, and hence implementing its promises may not be difficult even if the allies make unreasonable demands now and then.K.R. Srinivasan SecunderabadNepal
NEW DELHIS attempts to interfere in Nepals internal affairs is bound to erode the goodwill that India enjoyed until 2006 (Blundering in Nepal, June 5). Bidwai is correct in saying that policy-makers in Delhi do not understand that the people of Nepal do not want their country to be the 29th State of India. Events in Sri Lanka provide some hard lessons for India and the rest of South Asia.D.H. Adhikari KathmanduHyundai
THE article Advantage Union by S. Viswanathan is a biased version of the happenings in the Hyundai factory in Chennai (June 5). As regards the recent strike in the factory, only the version of the CITU and the workers is presented. The Hyundai management has not been given a chance to explain facts, figures and the attempts it has made to resolve the matter.
The statement that the Hyundai management did not show up for meetings or the description of poor working conditions in the factory amount to distortion of facts. We at Hyundai hope that our views will be represented in a more unbiased manner in the future.
Rajiv Mitra Head Corporate Communication Hyundai Motor India New DelhiMysore
IN the Focus on Education in Mysore (May 22), the name of Sir K. Seshadri Iyer is incorrectly given as K. Seshadri Rao.Y.K. Sheshadri Mysore
ANNOUNCEMENT Letters, whether by surface mail or e-mail, must carry the full postal address and the full name, or the name with initials.