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Letters to the Editor

Print edition : April 27, 2018


Abraham Lincoln is once supposed to have remarked that “one cannot fool all the people all the time” (Cover Story, April 13). This seems to hold true for Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He came to power using false “rhetoric”, but the people no longer believe in it.

His demonetisation move did not help anyone, and small traders have been put to much trouble by goods and services tax. Fraudsters played havoc on the economy and fled the country. Communal flare-ups have increased by leaps and bounds in BJP-ruled States. Discontentment among farmers is widespread as evidenced by the recent massive kisan march from Nashik to Mumbai. There have been more than 1,000 encounters in Uttar Pradesh in the first year of office of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, a BJP “warhorse”. The CBSE exam fiasco has created panic among students across the country. This cascade of events has set in motion a wave against Modi.

N.C. Sreedharan, Kannur, Kerala

THE popularity of the BJP has waned for various reasons. If Mamata Banerjee succeeds in forging a third front, the 2019 Lok Sabha election will be significant.

She met with leaders of various political parties, except for the Congress, to build such a front against the BJP at the Centre in the next general election. United Progressive Alliance chairperson Sonia Gandhi held a dinner party at her residence in New Delhi on March 13 sans Mamata Banerjee with the same objective: defeating the BJP. It is clear that all opposition parties have this one goal in common.

Jitendra G. Kothari, Mumbai

THE BJP’s setbacks in several byelections are testimony to the fact that elections are indeed a great leveller and voters cannot always be taken for granted. The reverses came as a rude shock as the party had scored memorable victories in the Assembly elections in Meghalaya, Nagaland and Tripura and dented the BJP’s aura of invincibility. The 2019 general election will certainly not be a cakewalk for the party. It needs to look beyond the personal charisma of the Prime Minister to get favourable election results. However, it would be premature to script the epitaph of the BJP on the basis of a few electoral setbacks.

B. Suresh Kumar, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu

THE BJP’s losing two important constituencies in Uttar Pradesh and the Araria constituency in Bihar is a sign that its popularity is on the wane. It is significant that the Samajwadi Party-Bahujan Samaj Party combine broke the hold Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath of Uttar Pradesh had in the Gorakhpur constituency. The defeat in Bihar is a reminder to Chief Minister Nitish Kumar that voters might not appreciate his proximity to the National Democratic Alliance.

As far as Uttar Pradesh is concerned, it is generally believed that the State government’s failure to provide e-governance, create jobs and generate investments; its serious lapses, for example the death of about 100 children in a government hospital; the breakdown of law and order, communal flare-ups, the agrarian crisis, and the erratic power supply angered people. His regular sermons on Hindutva failed to impress the electorate. The track record of the BJP is not so bright because of its failure to fulfil its election promises.

Jayant Mukherjee, Kolkata


IT must be a miserable life for the many Syrians trapped in the war (“Hell on earth”, March 30). War is still raging in eastern Ghouta, though most of the major cities of Syria are under the government’s control. Thousands of homes have been wrecked and thousands of citizens are internally displaced. Billions of dollars will be needed to rebuild Syria’s infrastructure. The economy is in ruins, with most of the country’s funds being diverted to the war effort.

In 2011, I spent about 10 days in Syria, which has much to offer tourists. Now there are too many international players with their own agendas trying to influence the war and policies of Syria. Peace is still a long way off, and it will be decades before Syria regains its pre-war economy.

D.B.N. Murthy, Bengaluru

Meenakshi temple

THE Madurai Meenakshi temple, which is a great treasure of Tamil Nadu, should be better maintained (“Heritage in peril”, March 16). Allowing shops to come up at its four entrances has damaged its basic structure. Further, the risk of fire is high as many of these shops use gas cylinders and there are electrical short circuit problems. The buildings that have been constructed without open spaces obstructed the path for the fire service vehicles and ambulances. Also, political parties organise meetings near the temple, often erecting huge banners and hoardings with little regard for safety provisions.

A.J. Rangarajan, Chennai

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