The Congress has realised, a little too late in the day, that it has alienated Hindu voters by overplaying the Muslim card. We are a multi-religious society. Religion is too deeply ingrained in our psyche for us to be secular in the Western sense of the word. Many people who are secular in their public life are devoutly religious in their personal life. Peace between various religions is delicately balanced. In this environment, if you appear to favour a religion, you are bound to upset the other. The Congress would do well to learn from Nehru. While he successfully protected minorities, he never favoured them.
— S.K. Agarwala, Delhi
I have been a reader of The Indian Express for almost 20 years. But yesterday, for the first time, I did not finish reading the opinion pages. I started reading the article by Aruna Roy and Nikhil Dey (‘One “adarsh” village is not enough’, IE, January 2) but had to stop halfway. Their negativity stopped me in my tracks. It was not healthy criticism. The writers make it sound as though a very successful programme is now being throttled. But it is well documented that, despite good intentions, the MGNREGA is a thoroughly corrupt scheme. It does not provide employment so much as loyalty bonuses for party functionaries at the block and panchayat level. Also, is it really necessary to mention that there are no Muslims in the village adopted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Varanasi? Is that the best they’ve got against Modi? I request the editor not to spoil our mornings by giving space to articles with such poor choice of words and vitiated thoughts.
— H.D. Lohani, Delhi
This refers to ‘Arun Jaitley dials Mufti Sayeed as BJP, PDP “look” at Jammu Kashmir options’ (IE, January 2). It seems that tying up with the BJP is emerging as a serious option for the PDP. The comments of Mehbooba Mufti, after her meeting with the governor, also give this impression as she conceded that the “huge mandate” for the BJP in Jammu was an “opportunity” for Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Some senior PDP leaders are also said to be in favour of an alliance with the BJP. They oppose the idea of forming a government with the help of the Congress. Under the circumstances, it would be in the larger interest of the people of the state if a BJP-PDP coalition formed government.
— Yash P. Verma, Pune
A majority of the words and phrases curated in the editorial, ‘The 2014 lexicon’ (IE, January 2), have a negative connotation. Phrases such as “love jihad” and ghar wapsi send a chill down the spine. The only positive words included in the lexicon, vikas, for instance, now stand for unfulfilled promises. We are still hopeful that these promises will be fulfilled in the coming year. But we don’t seem to have started the new year on a good note. The opposition to pk shows that we are on the same path that led to an unhappy ending in 2014.
— Paritosh Walvekar, Pune
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