Letters to the Editor

Print edition : May 10, 2019

Election 2019

THE Cover Story (April 26) gauged the strengths and weaknesses of the parties across the length and breadth of India. While the BJP is on a slippery slope, the Congress finds it difficult to crawl back to its former pre-eminence. It seems the resurgence of regional parties will hold the key in the post-election scenario, with the Congress as the glue to stick the opposition parties together.

Ayasseri Raveendranath, Aranmula, Kerala

IN this Lok Sabha election campaign, the BJP has once again embarked on an aggressive and divisive polarisation agenda. The aftermath of the Pulwama and Balakot episodes has given the BJP an edge. With Prime Minister Narendra Modi as the BJP’s mascot, the party’s arrogance is in full display. The one certainty in this election is that the BJP will not be able to secure the same number of seats as it did in 2014. The results in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, West Bengal, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh will be crucial as regional parties are likely to be the winners in these States.

S. Murali, Vellore, Tamil Nadu

THE article “Deepening divide” (Cover Story, April 26) delineated the characteristics of the electoral fray in Tamil Nadu. The BJP does not have any compunction about polarising people to gain electoral advantage. Bringing the defence forces into campaign speeches is a new low in Indian politics. The E.C. has not risen to the occasion and forbidden such speeches. In Tamil Nadu, the AMMK is the fifth wheel to the coach and is playing spoilsport against the AIADMK, which is dancing to the BJP’s tune. The PMK, the forerunner of casteist politics in Tamil Nadu, has a history of reneging on its promises and turning foes into friends without an iota of embarrassment. Both the AIADMK and the PMK fought like Kilkenny cats but now, for the sake of votes, have joined forces. These political parties claim to stand for the eradication of the caste system, but they merrily feed such weeds in electoral contests.

Harold J. Laski’s lament in “Democracy in Crisis” that “[t]he first great element of difficulty is that of the electorate itself” is more relevant now than ever before. Voters in Tamil Nadu have thus far denied themselves the wonderful chance of exercising their own choice in elections in the face of money power.

B. Rajasekaran, Bengaluru

New Zealand

THE fact that a relatively peaceful and cosmopolitan nation such as New Zealand suffered the worst terror attack in its history to date is a grim pointer to the fact that the menace of terrorism transcends nations and nationalities (“Racist terror”, April 12). The attack exposed the vulnerability of even developed nations to such attacks. That the assassin live-streamed the carnage on the Internet reveals how technological innovations such as social media can be grossly misused. Jacinda Ardern’s timely outreach to the victims provided them much-needed solace.

B. Suresh Kumar, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu


IT was heart-wrenching to see the cover page picture of the issue that covered the attack in Pulwama (Cover Story, March 15). Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s statement that his government would act if there was proper evidence is laughable. What other evidence is needed when the Pakistan-based JeM claimed responsibility for that attack? China’s veto in the U.N. over listing Masood Azhar as a global terrorist for the fourth time on the grounds of lack of evidence is unacceptable. Enough dossiers have been handed over on JeM’s involvement in the Mumbai (2008), Pathankot (2016) and Pulwama (2019) attacks. With things standing like this, India should rather focus on strengthening its borders rather than depending on external factors.

Vidhya B. Ragunath, Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu

West Bengal

WEST BENGAL Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s actions prevented the CBI from going ahead with its probe into the Saradha scam (“Sounding the bugle”, March 1). She cannot hope to hide the truth forever just by calling it vendetta politics and making baseless allegations against Modi. Instead of cooperating with the CBI, she went back to her street-fighting ways to block a fair investigation. It is unfortunate that her unconstitutional actions were backed by the opposition. It speaks volumes that no one wants the truth to come out and the guilty to be brought to justice.

K.R. Srinivasan, Secunderabad, Telangana

WHILE the BJP is in power, it freely uses the card of “corruption” and its investigating and enforcement agencies to scare and silence its opponents. In this way, it has quite “successfully handled” leaders such as Lalu Prasad, Mamata Banerjee and Mulayam Singh Yadav. The Saradha scam case, which the Supreme Court transferred to the CBI in 2014, was in slow gear but was accelerated to top gear to create the impression that Modi is ruthless in his fight against corruption just a few days after Mamata Banerjee organised a mammoth election rally of opposition parties in Kolkata. However, by instantly resorting to a dharna, she not only deflated Modi’s plan to demoralise her party and send a threatening message to the opposition but also succeeded in fortifying opposition unity.

M.N. Bhartiya, Alto-Porvorim, Goa