Letter of the Week Award
To encourage quality reader intervention The Indian Express offers the Letter of the Week Award. The letter adjudged the best for the week is published every Saturday. Letters may be e-mailed to editpage @expressindia.com or sent to The Indian Express, B-1/B, Sector 10, Noida-UP, 201301.
Letter writers should mention their postal address and phone number. The winner receives books worth Rs 1,000.
Letters to the Editor
A new direction
A CPM battling to retain its base has chosen Sitaram Yechury as general secretary (‘CPM old order changes, new chief Yechury talks of the future’, IE, April 20). Known as a moderate with a rapport with leaders across the political spectrum, Yechury faces the tough task of leading his party towards growth. It is to the credit of Indian communists that even when the ideology was waning in the West, pragmatic leaders like Harkishan Singh Surjeet were able to ensure that the party remained relevant. The problems of being dogmatic were underscored in 2008, when then Lok Sabha speaker Somnath Chatterjee was hounded out of the party for not toeing the party line on the nuclear deal. Chatterjee’s contention that, as speaker, he was not bound by party ideology did not find any takers. Yechury’s tenure could turn out to be the Surjeet model, 2015.
— J.S. Acharya
n The noise around Prime Minister Narendra Modi sealing the deal to buy 36 Rafale combat aircraft was just that: noise (‘For PM Narendra Modi, 36 ready-to-fly Rafale jets wrapped in Paris red carpet’, IE, April 11). This obsolete technology has reportedly been rejected by most countries shopping for new aircraft. More shockingly, unlike the UPA deal, which was caught in a deadlock, the current transaction has no provisions for transfer of technology. Why was Modi so interested in buying the aircraft, in spite of his “Make in India” campaign?
— Bidyut K. Chatterjee
This refers to the editorial, ‘World of business’ (IE, April 20). No two ways about it, Modi has made effective use of his diplomatic skills. His reaching out to various countries has made up for India’s dubious record on economic relations with the West. It speaks volumes about his desire to make India a favourite foreign investment destination. But his real test lies in his ability to ensure the timely delivery of what is being promised.
— S.K. Gupta
Rahul Gandhi finally reappeared in the public eye to address a farmers’ rally on Sunday. The Congress’s campaign against the land acquisition ordinance may have turned the spotlight on the party. But it will have to do more to regain lost ground. It is time Rahul shed the image of the reluctant politician. He needs to lead the party from the front, both in Parliament and outside. If he chooses to persist with occasional outbursts and leaving the scene when it matters the most, he will hardly inspire voters or galvanise cadres. The Congress cannot think of a leader outside the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty to lead it and be its rallying point and unifying force. But with voters having matured and developed an aversion to nepotism, the party must develop an alternative style of politics.
— M. Jeyaram