* This refers to Or else,Modi by Shekhar Gupta (IE,November 16). I beg to differ with the writer. First,Gupta assumes that the next prime minister will have to work within the parameters of the Constitution and uphold its core values. This may not be the case if we have a PM who supports a communal agenda. It is not difficult to flout democratic norms in this country. After all,was Gujarat 2002 not at odds with our democracy and Constitution? Second,it is erroneous to state that the Congresss campaign is a single-point one. The Congress is also building upon its several welfare schemes.
* We have institutions that have been established to prevent the undermining of our democratic set-up. But our institutions reflexes are very slow. Had they been more efficient in their functioning,the people responsible for the 1984 anti-Sikh riots,the 1992 demolition of the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya,and the 2002 Gujarat communal riots would have been brought to justice by now. Further,if Indian democracy was strengthened by Indira Gandhis Emergency,why have so many people with seriously questionable track records bounced back to power time and again? If people want to have Narendra Modi as PM,so be it. After all,we are a democracy and have cast iron institutions.
* This refers to Politicians idiots,says Bharat Ratna awardee (IE,November 18). C.N.R. Rao is one of the best scientists that India has ever produced. He richly deserves the Bharat Ratna. It was right of him to lament how the IT industry has drawn talent away from pure science,and the lack of funding for research. However,it does not behove such a distinguished person to call politicians idiots. He could have been more polite and still made his point. Nonetheless,its good that attention has been drawn to the need to finance scientific and technological research. After reaching a certain point of development,a country can only progress through scientific and technological innovation.
* This refers to Opinions and anxieties by Alistair McMillan (IE,November 18). Ever since the recent opinion polls forecast a gloomy picture for the ruling UPA,it has been advocating a ban on them. This should not be done. However,opinion polls need to self correct as well. As of now,they are quite opaque. If such flaws are remedied they could be much more effective and useful.