* The BJP’s prime ministerial candidate, Narendra Modi, exhorted small traders to face the challenge from large, organised retail (‘Don’t run from big retail chains, face them, Modi tells traders’, IE, February 28). Modi’s mockery typifies everything that is wrong with unrestrained liberalism. Where is the level playing field? How can small traders go online and create virtual malls? Who is going to bankroll Modi’s expansion plans for small businesses? Though Modi’s vision for good governance inspires hope, which is, doubtless, badly needed in these bleak times of systemic failure, thanks to the UPA, he needs to adopt policies with a human touch.
— Abhishek Raskar
* This refers to the editorial ‘Gone adrift’ (IE, February 28). The defence minister also needs to share the flak that the former navy chief, Admiral D.K. Joshi, is facing. He is not the only one to blame for the recent INS Sindhuratna mishap or for the string of incidents that preceded it. The Indian navy’s track record severely impairs India’s ambition of becoming a blue-water force and raises questions about the maintenance of assets during peacetime. This is an especially important question, given China’s aggressive military policy.
— Swapnil Wankhade
More, not less
* This refers to the editorial ‘Opinions and scruples’ (IE, February 28). The free expression of opinion is the hallmark of a democracy. The need of the hour is more, not less, opinion polls. Pollsters deal with issues of great socio-political import. They must strive to constantly upgrade their knowledge and techniques. Transparency in surveys is an important aspect. Pollsters should work towards publishing surveys that people have faith in.
— R. Narayanan
* This refers to ‘Don’t appreciate Khurshid jibe: Rahul’ (IE, February 28). The standards of decency in political campaigns seem to be declining. Rahul Gandhi was right in discouraging such comments. It is wrong for a spokesperson of a national party to use such language. Apparently, the BJP does not need to work hard to project Narendra Modi as a good candidate for the prime minister’s office. The clear insecurity of the Congress shows that it is already convinced of this fact. The Congress is doing a splendid job of shooting itself in the foot. As Adlai Stevenson had observed: “The hardest thing about any political campaign is how to win without proving that you are unworthy of winning.”
— H.N. Ramakrishna