I agree completely with the ideas expressed in the article ‘Two interviews’ by Shailaja Bajpai (IE, April 17). I believe that the interview conducted by Rajat Sharma was just another exercise in Narendra Modi’s publicity campaign. Modi was not asked any direct questions on his role in or accountability for the 2002 riots. Sharma did not question him on the “paanch ke pachchees” speech that he delivered soon after the riots. What about all the talk terming relief camps “baby-making factories”? Sharma was silent on the fact that the Supreme Court had to intervene in some riot cases, move them out of Gujarat. On one hand, Modi and Rajnath Singh are trying to woo Muslim voters. On the other, they can’t even tame Amit Shah. If it really wants Muslim votes, the BJP will have to shed its rightwing image and transform into an inclusive party. The fact of the matter is that the riots of 2002 and Modi’s continuation as chief minister of Gujarat were the main reasons that the NDA didn’t come back to power in 2004.
This refers to ‘Nobody’s game’ (IE, April 18). The BCCI should consider itself fortunate that the Supreme Court has refrained from taking a more radical decision. The cricket board should view the latest court order as a final warning to set its house in order. The cash-rich BCCI should know that there is more to Indian cricket than money. Since the popularity of cricket has pitchforked the board to a position of strength, without the support of the fans, it is nothing. Therefore, its affairs should be more accountable and transparent. New members must begin work in right earnest to cleanse the BCCI. The key recommendations of the Mudgal committee, like legalising betting, must be looked into. Addressing the the “conflict of interest” issue should be a priority as almost everybody seems to be affected by it. An internal probe, as ordered by the apex court, should go to the root of the problem. All this is easier said than done, but with the issue being monitored by the Supreme Court, all hope is not lost.
— Ganapathi Bhat
Apropos of the report ‘Vote for Supriya Sule or lose water, “threatens” Ajit Pawar’ (IE, April 18), if it is found true that Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister and NCP leader Ajit Pawar did threaten residents of a village on the eve of polling, the Election Commission should take severe action against him for abusing his official position and violating people’s right to cast their vote freely and without fear — as well as their right to state resources. A swift response from the EC is necessary in the interests of probity.
The article ‘Seeing is believing’ by Amrita Shah (IE, April 18) has provoked me to think about the human quality of believing things without critical reflection. The dexterous presentation of Narendra Modi’s achievements has made significant UPA achievements seem lacklustre. This shows that the BJP has entered the election tussle better equipped than ever before, and has outclassed the Congress on this count. But the idea of the ruling party revolving around a single figure makes me apprehensive.
— Swapnil Wayal
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