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Heart of the matter

Shekhar Gupta’s advice to the BJP to switch from its sectarian “Hindu Right” mode to a centre-right mode will be endorsed by everybody looking for a viable two-party....


May 12, 2009 10:42:54 pm

•Shekhar Gupta’s advice to the BJP to switch from its sectarian “Hindu Right” mode to a centre-right mode will be endorsed by everybody looking for a viable two-party or two-formation system at the Centre (‘Hindu rate of BJP growth’,IE,May 9). But for that to happen,both national parties — the Congress and the BJP — must be strong and representative. The BJP’s conservative approach to many contemporary social problems doesn’t help the party. It carries the albatross of the Babri demolition and the Gujarat carnage round its neck; and continued perceptions of an anti-minority attitude — periodically sharpened by the likes of Varun Gandhi — still plague the party. That is the BJP’s tragedy and it’s for the party to change it.

— Y.G. Chouksey Pune

Hope and despair

•It’s good to hear from Zardari that the Taliban is a larger security threat for Pakistan than India. But it is also legitimately believed that Pakistan is using the Taliban as a bargaining chip to get more aid. Nevertheless,as the Pakistan army’s assault continues,we can only hope that something lasting will come of it. After all,there’s no denying that India needs to see the Taliban crushed.

— S.C. Panda Bhubaneswar

•That Pakistan is moving some troops from our border is hardly comforting. It might even create a vacuum for other militants to slip into India. We can’t therefore lower our guard. Also,India must constantly remind Obama of his own campaign claim that Pakistan misused aid in the past to strengthen its military machine against India.

— J.M. Manchanda Delhi

Maya’s call

•This refers to the report ‘Is this a school? A hospital?’ (IE,May 10). When so many people migrate to other states from UP,because of the lack of adequate employment opportunities,Mayawati spends crores of rupee erecting political memorials in her state. Were she to use this money in developing industrial zones or improving infrastructure,she would be doing her duty as CM — creating not only jobs but permanent public assets. Needless to say,she should build schools to provide education and skills to the workforce,and hospitals,where the poor could get subsidised,quality health care. But at her rate,one fears that if Mayawati were PM,her first priority would be installing her own statue in every state capital.

— Prabhakar Borse Pune

EVM tips

•The secrecy involved in casting one’s vote seems to be compromised in voting through the EVM. It’s not because of the machine per se,but the fact that the voter’s standing position,combined with the reduced height of the covers around EVMs,allows party agents to discern who one is voting for by the row and sequence in which the hand moves. In trouble-spots,such as many rural areas,this could compromise the democratic process,as voters can be harassed and intimidated by local power pressures.

— Devesh Vijay Delhi

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