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Letters to the editor

'Ashutosh Varshney's suggestion that the Delhi elections were a referendum on Hindutva is absurd.'

Updated: February 20, 2015 12:19:51 am

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Apples, oranges
APROPOS ‘Ahead of Track II meet, Pakistan denies visa to PDP spokesman’ (IE, February 19), apparently the visa application of Naeem Akhtar, chief spokesperson of the PDP, was rejected to prevent a repeat of last year’s cancellation of the foreign secretary-level talks. But those talks were cancelled because the Pakistan high commissioner met Kashmiri separatist leaders in spite of New Delhi’s objections. The PDP is a recognised political party and has emerged as the single largest player in the recent assembly elections in J&K. It cannot be compared to the separatists. Akhtar’s visa application was to attend a Track II conference, which was  being jointly organised by the Jinnah Institute of Pakistan and the Centre for Dialogue and Reconciliation, New Delhi.
— M.C. Joshi

Honeymoon’s over
THIS refers to ‘No more economic bandaids’ by Ajay Shah (IE, February 19). The writer’s pertinent and persuasive plea for “bold” economic reforms is well timed. While nine months in government may be too short a period of time for the aam aadmi to realise the benefits of achhe din, it is long enough for the discerning analyst to observe the emerging contours of policy change. Murmurs of impatience in business circles about the tardy pace of reform are beginning to increase. One hopes the budget won’t be a damp squib like it was the last time around.
— Naren N. Joshi

‘Gotcha’ spirit
ASHUTOSH VARSHNEY’S suggestion that the Delhi elections were a referendum on Hindutva is absurd (‘What Delhi rejects’, IE, February 19). It is intriguing that the writer includes Brahmins, Vaishyas and even Jats in the “summit of the Hindu social order” but leaves out Kshatriyas/ Thakurs. He also conveniently leaves out Jains, more numerous in Delhi than Christians, when he discusses religious minorities’ voting patterns. Every time the BJP loses an election, it is party time for the Indian left. This was also the case when the BJP lost a few bypolls immediately after the general elections. The “gotcha” spirit, however, floundered in the face of emphatic BJP victories in Maharashtra, Jharkhand and Haryana. Also, by what logic can en-masse voting by the so-called upper castes be considered “unhealthy” but similar herd-behaviour among the minorities and other backward classes “healthy” for democracy?
— Ajay Tyagi

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Party time
THE Mumbai police commissioner has done well to forward a proposal to the government to keep bars, restaurants and nightclubs in non-residential areas open all night. The Maharashtra government should approve the proposal and other cities of India should take a cue from the Mumbai example.
— Ganapathi Bhat

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