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Letters to the Editor

Print edition : Jan 18, 2019 T+T-

Assembly elections

IT is curious that the shrewd duo of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Amit Shah was unable to read the “writing on the wall” in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh (Cover Story, January 4).

Hardly six months ago, Rahul Gandhi’s speech on the no-confidence motion against the Modi government indicated the point of change.

Since then, the BJP and its favourite news channel tried hard to ridicule and demoralise Rahul Gandhi and scare away his potential allies. But everything thrown at Rahul Gandhi only sharpened his politicial skills.

While Rahul Gandhi correctly assessed that the downfall of the BJP in these elections was due to Modi’s refusal to “listen to the heartbeat of the country”, he should not forget how people have reposed their faith in the Congress and should rise to meet their expectations

Bidyut Kumar Chatterjee, Faridabad, Haryana

FOR the BJP, which has been riding on the popularity of Prime Minister Narendra Modi since 2014, the defeat in the recent Assembly elections comes as a rude shock.

It marks the logical culmination of the common man’s resentment with the Modi government’s failure to effectively address agrarian distress, curtail the prices of essential commodities and generate employment.

Complacency, a gross underestimation of the Congress party and excessive reliance on the Prime Minister’s charisma were the other factors that led to the BJP’s debacle.

B. Suresh Kumar, Coimbatore

IT is true that the Modi-Shah juggernaut has been halted and the Congress has gained electorally in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh, but the focus of the Congress and its allies on unfounded allegations against K. Chandrasekhar Rao and his family in the run-up to the election cost them dearly in Telangana. As KCR plans to float a strong non-Congress and non-BJP federal front comprising regional players, political equations are likely to change. Both the BJP and the Congress would do well to change their attitude. Otherwise they will not be able to counter a strong third alternative in the next Lok Sabha election.

K.R. Srinivasan, Secunderabad, Telangana

Kartarpur corridor

BOTH India and Pakistan missed an opportunity to open a dialogue (“Passage to peace”, January 4). India did not invite any representative from the Pakistan government when the foundation stone for the Indian side of the Kartarpur corridor was laid by Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu.

Ever since taking over as Prime Minister of Pakistan, Imran Khan has been talking about a dialogue with India. Unfortunately, India has been sticking to its stand of “no talks till cross-border terrorist incursion ends”.

Opening a dialogue with Pakistan is not a sign of weakness but of willingness to discuss bilateral issues with an open mind. The sworn enemies South Korea and North Korea opened talks recently in an attempt to normalise bilateral relations. We should learn from such instances of reconciliation between previous enemies.

D.B.N. Murthy, Bengaluru

Partition trauma

THE review of the book “The Psychological Impact of the Partition of India” was timely (“Partition trauma and social identity”, January 4). Those who argue that had Partition been avoided, the Holocaust-like killing of nearly two million people of all faiths—Hindu, Muslim and Sikh—could have been avoided are ignorant of the ground realities that prevailed before Partition. It is a moot question why the large-scale killings were not anticipated by the then rulers and appropriate measures not taken to ensure a smooth transfer of people between territories.

It is sad and tragic that the same kind of communal hatred is now being encouraged by Hindutva elements. It is easier to spread hatred than to contain the same. Let us hope that the reverses in the State elections will make them realise that people are least interested in communal bickering and expect only their lives to change for the better.

S.S. Rajagopalan, Chennai

Target Varanasi

THE Central and State governments’ pet project at the complex comprising the Kashi-Vishwanath temple and the Gyanvapi mosque complex is making life unbearable for people living in and around Varanasi (“Target Varanasi”, December 7, 2018). In my view, it has the potential to demolish the cultural heritage of Varanasi.

Muhammed Javed, Taliparamba, Kerala

Gujarat exodus

THE stunning silence maintained by the Prime Minister on the mass exodus from his home State, Gujarat, is bewildering considering that he is a person who untiringly mentions “sabka saath sabka vikas” in almost all his speeches (“Enemies overnight”, November 9, 2018). An enigmatic approach to this sensitive issue may be part of his political strategy but was not what those who were victimised expected of him. He should have condemned the attacks against migrant workers in the strongest terms, which would have helped him not only project himself as a Prime Minister for all Indians but also given credence to the BJP’s position that it was not behind the violence.

Jaideep Mittra, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh