Letters to the editor

Print edition : August 05, 2016

The Brexit vote

After being part of the European Union for 43 years, Britain has decided to quit the union. The negotiations on the terms of withdrawal will be a long-drawn-out, messy process that will take two years, but until the exit is made formal, Britain will have to abide by E.U. treaties and laws.

Although the 51.9 per cent of people who voted for Brexit because they felt Britain was losing out by being part of the union will be a happy lot, it should not be forgotten that Britain has to negotiate trade treaties and agreements with both the United States and the E.U. almost from scratch. The road ahead will not be smooth for the E.U. as well. It will lose its global clout and there could be more threats of exit from other countries. Germany and France will have to play a strong role if the E.U. is to remain united.

The impact on India will be minimal, but there will be serious consequences for companies such as Tata that have manufacturing bases in the U.K.

Bal Govind, Noida, Uttar Pradesh

WILL London lose its status as the financial capital of the world? Other European cities, such as Paris, Frankfurt and Vienna, are in the race to replace it. The U.K. is no longer a united kingdom but a divided kingdom. Will English lose its status as a language of convenience? It is difficult for other European languages such as French and German to replace it.

There is uncertainty over Brexit. First, it has to be approved by the British Parliament, and Scotland’s MPs are in favour of remaining in the E.U. Media reports say that former British Prime Minister David Cameron did not want to initiate the process of exiting the E.U. and preferred to let his successor deal with it. There are also reports that a large number of people who earlier voted for Brexit are now repenting.

Deendayal M. Lulla, Mumbai

The U.K., as a member of NATO, was responsible for unprecedented migration of people from Arab countries, and it is only natural that it is facing the consequences now. It is unbecoming of Britons to cry over spilt milk.

K.P. Rajan, Mumbai

There is more to it than meets the eye in the triumph of the “Leave” campaign. The working class has been at the receiving end for long because of the policies initiated by Margaret Thatcher and followed by successive governments. Over the years, the Labour Party had diluted its ideology and was seen to be on the same page as the Tories regarding economic policies. The anti-immigration and racist United Kingdom Independence Party carried out a successful campaign, playing on the fear that immigration would hurt jobs in Britain.

S. Murali, Vellore, Tamil Nadu

THE U.K.’s exit from the E.U. will have serious repercussions and it confirms that the world is changing fast. It remains to be seen how both the E.U. and the U.K. negotiate these changes.

P. Senthil Saravana Durai, Vazhavallan, Tamil Nadu

Money power

The evidence that Frontline has collected on the large-scale bribing of voters in the recently held elections in Tamil Nadu points to the clear betrayal of democracy by the major parties (“We pay, you vote”, July 22). We do not know how many voted according to their conscience, but the fact that a large number of people sold their votes is symptomatic of the malaise prevailing in a State reared on populist policies. It is a facile justification to say that people are just taking back what the politicians had looted from them while in power.

Electoral reforms and punitive action are needed to break this vicious cycle. If it is true that the Election Commission had venal elements that connived with these candidates, we are deluding ourselves that we are a great democracy holding free and fair elections.

Anand Srinivasan, Bengaluru

Raghuram Rajan

Raghuram Rajan’s impending departure from the Reserve Bank of India in September 2016 is indeed a bad omen for the Indian economy. (“Victim of tirade”, July 22). Rajan took charge at a time when the economy was in the doldrums, and his tireless efforts helped the economy take the right trajectory. His major achievements include stabilising the Indian rupee, managing inflation successfully and waging a relentless war on crony capitalism to recover the bad loans and non-performing assets of the public sector banks. One hopes that his successor will play a decisive role in streamlining monetary policy without yielding to North Block and vested interests.

Jayanta Mukherjee, Kolkata

Education system

When District Boards were abolished in Tamil Nadu in 1958, elementary schools were transferred to the newly created panchayat unions. A high power committee under the chairmanship of R.A. Gopalswami, I.C.S., the then Education Secretary, was constituted to decide on the future of the District Board High Schools. There was a proposal for the government to take over the schools, but the Education Secretary shot it down saying that the manager and the inspector could not be one and the same person. He opined that it would lead to neglect of schools. The committee proposed the constitution of District Secondary Education Boards on the lines of the Local Education Councils in England to take over the management of District Board High Schools. In addition, it would be the authority disbursing grants to aided schools. A cess was proposed to finance the District Secondary Education Boards.

Unfortunately, the committee’s report was not taken up for implementation and the government took over the schools in 1970 after a 12-year wait.

S.S. Rajagopalan, Chennai