SPOTLIGHT

Letters

Published : May 30, 2024 11:00 IST - 3 MINS READ

Readers respond to Frontline’s coverage.

Election 2024

The 2024 Lok Sabha election will go down in history for two reasons: first, the blatant disregard of established democratic principles, and second, the misuse of the Enforcement Directorate and the Election Commission to intimidate the opposition and bend the rules of the game to suit the ruling party (Cover Story, May 31).

After the second phase of polling, the BJP’s campaign has assumed diabolical dimensions. Narendra Modi’s hate speech is unbecoming of a Prime Minister, an abominable crime committed for petty political gains.

T.N. Venugopalan

Kochi, Kerala

The Cover Story has rightly analysed the decline in the Election Commission’s standards over the years. Campaigning in this election continues to be marked by personal attacks, mudslinging, and hate speeches by political leaders, including the Prime Minister, who have thrown decency and decorum to the winds. The Election Commission’s recent directive both to the BJP and the Congress to shun divisive speeches appears to be a damage control exercise, a case of too little and too late.

At this juncture, one cannot help remembering with admiration former Chief Election Commissioner T.N. Seshan, who discharged his duties without fear or favour and turned out to be the biggest nightmare of errant politicians.

It is a matter of utmost regret that elections in the world’s largest democracy continue to be fought on caste/communal lines, with candidates resorting to personal slugfests and a sectarian agenda rather than debating and discussing issues relating to growth and development, relevant to the common man.

B. Suresh Kumar

Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu

The trajectory of autocratisation towards authoritarianism in the country is too conspicuous to avoid the attention of any diligent mind. As the saying goes, eternal vigilance is the price we have to pay for undiluted liberty. Rabindranath Tagorehad the foresight to observe: “The real freedom is not freedom from, but freedom for....” But we are in the midst of a situation where both varieties of freedom are in an evanescent phase.

The phraseology “twisting the knife in the deeply wounded electoral process” was vindicated byPalanivel Thiaga Rajan’s article “ECI ushers India toits electoral nadir”. That the electoral process in the country, regarded as the bedrock of a functional democracy, is actuallyridden with pitfalls at every turn of the process is flabbergasting.

Ayyasseri Raveendranath

Aranmula, Kerala

Poverty in the UK

It was pathetic to read about the state of education and healthcare in the world’s fifth richest country (“Down and out in the UK”, May 31). The news that 17.5 million people in the UK are living in overcrowded, dangerous, unstable, or unaffordable housing and the rise, year after year, in the number of people sleeping on London’s streets speaks very poorly of the country’s basic infrastructure while exposing the bureaucracy’s ineptitude in addressing it.

As the UK grapples with issues of transport poverty, illegal migration, and unaffordable healthcare, its Indian-born Prime Minister Rishi Sunak seems to be busier with elections rather than focussed on addressing these humanitarian issues.

R.V. Baskaran

Chennai

Era of deprivation

When I saw the word “neoliberalism”, I suspected the article was authored by an academic, and for sure it was (Cover Story, May 17). When will it dawn on professors and the media that the days of plentiful jobs are long over?

The plague may be back but not the era of well-paying non-stressful lifetime jobs with all their sops and benefits. Hand-wringing will not help; constant relearning and honing of skills useful to others may do the trick. Also, even the most efficient government policies and programmes or global charitable works will never be enough to cover the already burgeoning population. Tough drastic measures need to be taken to control the population first.

S. Sumant

Bengaluru

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