Letters to the Editor

Published : May 28, 2014 12:30 IST

Election Commission

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An Indian election official marks the finger of a voter with ink after voting at a polling station in a primary school in the Shirgaon village of Pune district, some 130 kms south-east of Mumbai on April 17, 2014. India is hosting its biggest day of voting in its marathon election, with the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty battling to save the ruling Congress party from defeat to opposition Hindu nationalist leader Narendra Modi. Voters lined up at 7:00 am (0130 GMT) in 121 constituencies across a dozen states where more than 195 million voters are eligible to cast ballots in the largest single day of polling in the five-week election which ends May 12. AFP PHOTO/INDRANIL MUKHERJEE

THE Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has levelled serious charges against the Election Commission, which, for security reasons, did not allow Narendra Modi to hold a rally at Varanasi (“Challenge to democracy”, Cover Story, May 30). The party has forgotten that the E.C. is a constitutional body. Several BJP leaders led protest marches in Delhi and Varanasi. It was appalling to see Modi criticising the E.C. at a rally in Azamgarh.

This kind of irresponsible behaviour by a national party is likely to dent its image. Challenging a constitutional body is tantamount to undermining the Constitution itself.

Jayant Mukherjee


“WE are a country of 128 crore people and there may be 128 crore views. This is the maturity of a democracy. For a person making such a speech, it may not be a hate speech.” This what the Supreme Court said in its verdict on a public interest litigation petition, which wanted the apex court to direct the E.C. to stop politicians from making hate speeches and “flash promises” designed to influence voters. However, one wonders whether the ruling is right when one considers the kind of vitriol spewed by politicians of all hues. This brings to mind George Orwell’s observation that corrupt politics and corrupt language are inextricably linked and Charles de Gaulle’s words: “Politics is too serious a matter to be left to politicians.”

S.M. Kompella

Kakinada, Andhra Pradesh

THERE is no truth in the allegation that the E.C. acted in a biased manner. It intervened in several instances whenever it noticed violations of the Model Code of Conduct.

P. Murali

Vellore, Tamil Nadu



_Indian security personnel stand near the bodies of the victims killed in attacks at Baksa district in the northeastern Indian state of Assam May 3, 2014. Security forces in northeast India found the bodies of nine Muslims on Saturday, raising the death toll to 31 in a spate of attacks by suspected tribal militants as a weeks-long general election re-opens ethnic divisions. REUTERS/Stringer (INDIA - Tags: CIVIL UNREST ELECTIONS POLITICS) TEMPLATE OUT

THE recent communal clashes in Assam once again brings to the fore the ethnic divide between Bodos and Muslim migrants in the Bodoland Territorial Area Districts (BTAD) that has persisted over many years (“River of blood”, May 30). It is sad that despite bloodshed and displacement of lakhs of Bengali-speaking Muslim migrants nothing has been done by the State or the Centre to resolve the ethnic unrest.

The remarks of the State leaders of the BJP and Modi against “illegal immigrants” in the election rallies in Assam added fuel to the fire and complicated the situation further. And with every party fishing in troubled waters to score political points, the situation turned worse.

With the Assam government responding poorly to the situation, urgent steps are needed to ensure the safety of the large section of Muslim migrants who have settled in BTAD and also find a political solution involving all stakeholders so that such conflagrations do not recur.

K.R. Srinivasan

Secunderabad, Andhra Pradesh

THE Assam massacre shows how matters can take an ugly turn and snowball into a major crisis if narrow and parochial sentiments are left unchecked.

It is needless to say that the Tarun Gogoi government is squarely responsible for the recurring instances of ethnic violence, which has now engulfed the State. The need of the hour is to impose President’s Rule and hand over the day-to-day administration of the State to the Army.

B. Suresh Kumar

Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu

Tsunduru’s Dalits

THIS is with reference to the article “Tsunduru’s agony” (May 30). The assumption being made is that in all such conflicts only the upper-caste people are the aggressors while the Dalits are at the receiving end. It is true that the legitimate democratic aspirations of any group are to be appreciated and upheld. But how does one justify eve-teasing, harassment, or heckling of classmates in the name of caste?

Duggaraju Srinivasa Rao

Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh


The article entitled "Enduring Erdogan" ( Frontline , May 30) brought nothing new to your readers apart from a collage of factual errors and common platitudes that have recently marked several reports about Turkey. In addition to botching accuracy on data like dates of elections and percentages of votes, the article confused the issues. It also made statements like Turkey has already placed orders for a China-made missile system, whichi is news to this Embassy.

The article expressed no mercy for the Syrian people whose legitimate demands were met with Cruise missiles and chemical weapons. It repeated the very talking points uttered by a Syrian propaganda master during her recent visits to India.

I think your readership also deserves to know that let alone a recession, as the article alleged, Turkey's economy is forecast to grow significantly in the times ahead. Turkish democratic reforms have moved Turkish democracy to unprecedented heights. Turkish foreign policy actively promotes democratic peace and stability in perhaps the most volatile part of the world. As the last local elections have shown, the Turkish people as the ultimate arbiters have expressed their resounding support to Prime Minister Erdogan.

Dr Burak Akcapar

Ambassador, Embassy of Turkey, New Delhi

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