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Grapes of loss

Reading Arun Jaitley’s article (‘The triumph of the moderate’,IE,May 27) it is clear that the BJP is devoid of fresh ideas....


May 28, 2009 12:42:19 am

•Reading Arun Jaitley’s article (‘The triumph of the moderate’,IE,May 27) it is clear that the BJP is devoid of fresh ideas. Instead of a visionary party,it has become a reactionary one. Though Jaitley tries to ascertain the reasons for the BJP’s debacle,it seems the BJP cannot form a single thought without the word “Congress” in it. The phrase repeating itself in my mind is “Khatte angoor”. The BJP will do well to take good care of its sour grapes and nurture them so that,over the next five years,they turn sweet. Words will not make a difference to the grapes.

— Salil Chaturvedi Noida

Course correction

•This refers to Arun Jaitley’s article. It’s strange that the writer seems to be more concerned about the Left’s defeat than that of his own party. He goes on to say that voters wanted to free the Congress from the shackles of the Left and SP. While failing to pin down the reason for the BJP’s defeat,Jaitley doesn’t seem to be giving the Congress credit for its victory. He appears to believe that the BJP’s vituperative words against Manmohan Singh were the main reason. The BJP should first admit its mistake,and then change course.

— M.H. Nayak Mumbai

Other answers

•I largely agree with Arun Jaitley’s views except for the following: first,almost every political leader or scribe praises voters for voting for stability. The voting pattern is very complex,dependent on local conditions. The Congress got more seats at the expense of the Third and Fourth Fronts. Second,the BJP failed to properly capitalise on security,price rise,unemployment,Swiss money,etc. Third,the Congress exploited L.K. Advani’s age while ignoring Manmohan Singh’s and the fact that he didn’t contest these polls. Finally,the BJP’s ambivalent ideological stance was probably also a factor.

— S.C. Panda Bhubaneswar

Punjab fragments

•The riots have not only damaged Punjab’s image but also that of India. If Vienna has black sheep who killed a religious leader,has the world to burn as a result? Surely the adherents of no religion or sect can feel so threatened as to unleash violence. Punjab’s caste problems run deep. It is altogether in the interest of the politicians and people of the state to discourage sectarian trouble-makers,especially since such troubles naturally feed anti-socials and goons. Punjab has to heel its fractures.

— Iyer Amarkumar

Ahmedabad

All for all

•I disagree with Abhinav Chandrachud’s assertion that the application of vermilion by working Indian ladies,or India’s motto being from the Upanishads “betrays” India’s secularism (‘Secularly swearing’,IE,May 26). The fundamental flaw in his argument is the application of the Western concept of the secular as separation of Church and State to India. Our tradition is assimilating,wherein various religious and cultural identities have combined to produce a pluralistic norm where “secular” means “everybody’s welcome”.

— Abhishek Dwivedi

Thane

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