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Letter of the Week: Question for Naidu

The Constitution is the supreme law of India. Jyoti can’t get away with just an apology and some hilarious excuses.

December 13, 2014 12:31:07 am

This refers to Brinda Karat’s ‘Prime minister’s choice’ (IE, December 5). I am writing to express my views regarding the matter that rocked both Houses of Parliament, as mentioned by Karat. I completely agree with the fact that Prime Minister Narendra Modi must not let his duty to uphold the Constitution of India be overshadowed by other objectives and imperatives. This is the right time for him to prove that he does indeed uphold the Constitution and that liberal principles and values are dear to him. He must ask Niranjan Jyoti to resign immediately. Such hate speeches bring shame to our democracy. The silence of our secular country’s prime minister and the promotion of hate-speech-makers as ministers is horrific. It only adds fuel to the fire. Also, I wish to ask Parliamentary Affairs Minister Venkaiah Naidu: Does the Indian Constitution have any provision or special rights for “village women” to make hate speeches? The Constitution is the supreme law of India. Jyoti can’t get away with just an apology and some hilarious excuses.
— Prakash G. Kamble

A dangerous game
Apropos the editorial, ‘The bigot within’ (IE, December 12), it looks as if the Sangh Parivar and BJP MPs are deliberately diverting the attention of the people from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s development agenda. The strategy appears to be aimed at polarising votes along religious cleavages so that the opposition continues to have to rely on the divided minority vote. Unfortunately, the opposition parties are falling prey to this trap and are agitating in Parliament. Further, the BJP is successfully projecting the opposition as anti-Hindu and is thereby the beneficiary of the consolidated Hindu vote. The utterances of BJP and Sangh Parivar leaders are not harming the government as much as they are damaging opposition parties. This is a dangerous game. The opposition would be well advised to ignore such utterances and stick to challenging the BJP on its development promises. That would pull the rug from under the BJP’s feet. Its leaders would think twice before making incendiary remarks because their chauvinism would not yield fruit.
— H.K. Kulkarni

The alleged forced conversions, the UP governor’s references to Ayodhya, and BJP members’ unnecessarily provocative speeches, do not augur well for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s agenda of development and inclusiveness. Just as he was initially strict about government servants and ministers being punctual and proper, he must stem Sangh Parivar members’ bad behaviour, too. The day when this government will be widely despised due to its divisiveness may not be far off.
— Dinesh Shah

Poverty traps
SURJIT S. BHALLA’S ‘Move from NREGA to cash transfers’ (IE, December 12) highlighted the need to move towards cash transfers. But direct benefit transfers will have unambiguous negative consequences for two reasons. First, direct transfers will end up creating a large population trapped in a vicious cycle of poverty. Even people just above the poverty line will stop working and live off the transfers. Second, even if the government incentivises the poor to break out of poverty, it cannot readily adjust the transfers to account for inflation.
— R.A.S. Garg
Sri Muktsar Sahib

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