* This refers to The power of negative voting by Mini Kapoor (IE September 28). The Supreme Courts ruling,which ordered the introduction of a none of the above (NOTA) button in EVMs is very welcome. This empowers voters and enables them to exercise their democratic right while maintaining secrecy. Earlier,voters were not able to cast a secret ballot vote if they intended to reject all candidates. Now that people can choose NOTA,it will create moral pressure on political parties to field candidates who are more widely acceptable,even though the right to reject will not impact the outcome of an election. If the right to reject were to have an impact,it could threaten and destabilise democracy and the unity of our country. It could strengthen separatists and extremists in sensitive states by reducing the legitimacy of the political process.
Ajitdada V. Kadam
* This refers to Shinde to CMs: No Muslim must be wrongfully held on terror charge (IE,October 1). Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shindes directive to states is absurd and a violation of our right to equality. It is not okay if anyone,irrespective of his religion,is held wrongfully. And it is not okay if any terrorist,irrespective of his religion,is let off.
A mighty fall
* The Ranchi courts verdict,after a trial that lasted nearly two decades,on the fodder scam is welcome. The law has finally caught up with the RJD chief,Lalu Prasad. This verdict will hopefully seal his political career,at least for a while. The ordinance protecting convicted MPs,widely perceived to have been promulgated in his defence,was not to be,and is likely to be withdrawn due to Rahul Gandhis outburst. Lalu will almost certainly apply for bail and file an appeal on his conviction and sentence in a higher court. However,if the recent judicial activism,aimed at cleaning up politics,is any indicator,he is unlikely to succeed in either his appeals or his bail application.
* This refers to the editorial,Going the distance (IE,October 1). It is heartening that the Indian and Pakistani prime ministers met in New York. They must be congratulated for going ahead with their meeting despite the opposition from foreign policy hawks in both countries. Their agreement that the two countries armies must engage in talks to strengthen the ceasefire is a welcome and positive step.