Communal campaigns

The 2019 general elections are becoming more and more bizarre (“The Daily Fix: The ABCD of Maneka Gandhi’s contempt for India’s Constitution”). Earlier, Chief Minister Adityanath said that the Bahujan Samaj Party and Samajwadi Gathbhandan can have their Ali, because we [the BJP] have our Bajrang Bali. Now, Maneka Gandhi has threatened Muslims to vote for her. The election campaign season has become a circus with politicians behaving like clowns. All of them, both in ruling party and opposition. – Albert Colaco

Modi magic

There is no one who can come up with a solution to all the problems listed here and otherwise (“Opinion: Why I’m hoping Narendra Modi will be elected prime minister for a second term”). India has not had a single genuinely selfless leader since the Vedic time, except maybe AB Vajpayee and Morarji Desai to some extent. In Modi, we have a man who wants to undo all the wrongs, put things straight, protect and defend this country. This has not been witnessed in any prime minister in the past, none in the present and none in the making. All the faults and failures you have listing are myths and exaggerations, because no one can solve all this except through a miracle. So we have to make do with an honest and uncorrupt man. – Sridhar K


This made for good reading, much more thought-provoking than most stuff one comes across these days. My initial thought was yes, let’s have Modi in charge when the going actually gets tough and watch his bubble burst. But on second thought, this did not feel right.

First, one cannot justify letting an entire country suffer just to prove a point. If Modi is an inept leader, he should be voted out before the real challenges come because if he fails, a a large number of people will suffer as well, just like what happened in Turkey.

More importantly, there is a lot of talk that a “cobbled-together” coalition will be much worse. But even looking at it from the same prism that Girish Shahane does, a leader who can keep a coalition together successfully, like Vajpayee and Manmohan Singh did, are also the leaders India can fare much better with if faced with an economic storm. It is these leaders who can keep a diverse country together.

Both NDA and UPA, in their traditional sense, can lead India with a reasonable sense of responsibility but the longer we have this one-man show nonsense continuing, the bigger the crash will be, so even if Shahane’s theory sounds tempting, I would still wish this scenario does not come true. – Pushpinder Singh

India votes

This piece only goes to show that Indian voters do not reason and do not vote on social and economic factors even when they are affected (“Half the Vote: This shop owner in Hyderabad is voting for BJP – even though her business has fallen”). They blindly vote for someone whom they consider a hero. Sadly, the Indian voter does not need a leader, they needs a good actor who can enact a drama on the political stage. They don’t understand the big picture. Add to this the fear that is instilled in the voter of Hinduism and the country being in danger. The voter also falls for projections and publicity.

Additionally, some will vote for the BJP regardless of their performance because of their prejudice against Muslims. All this is not going to be good for the country in the long run. Unless the voter is smart enough to see through parties’ lies, India will not progress. – Shabir Ahmed

Rafale deal

Indeed, journalism has won and so it should. However despite the admissibility of the papers procured by The Hindu in court, their contents are not substantial or serious enough to imply any wrong doing by government (“What the Supreme Court said about Rafale and why it is a huge victory for Indian journalism”). In thousands of office notings, it is never expected that recommendations will be same from desk officer, various other intermediate senior officers and the boss. It’s always the prerogative of a senior to accept or overrule his junior. Highlighting the disagreements between juniors doesn’t amount to anything. The Prime Minister’s Office is the ultimate boss of all ministries, so what’s wrong if it monitors the deal? – Amresh Kumar


Freedom of press does not mean one can enter someone’s home or office, steal papers, and then make those public. This is a democracy, where somebody is claiming the possession of government classified documents and neither the court nor the government is taking steps to nab the thief. The partisan media of Indian democracy is absolutely silent over the theft.

We, the public, know that there is a conspiracy by some reputed institutions to cancel the deal in favour of some other company. We don’t care for elections, but all intellectuals have time to give opinions on the deal.We also know that nobody was convicted in the infamous Bofors scam though everybody knows the authenticity of the scam. In this case, there is nothing in public interest in these documents, and national interest should prevail. – Soubhagya Mohanty

Security concern

I applaud for carrying the article by Sanjiv Sood about the leadership gaps at agencies such as the CRPF (“Opinion: CRPF’s poor training was partly to blame for the heavy casualty count of Pulwama attack”). It is with great consternation and concern that the Indian people plod through multiple administrative and policing failures ranging from basic law and order failure to more high-profile tragic terrorist incidents, despite having a much celebrated IAS/IPS system in control of our lives. India’s politicians are not expected to have much by way of intelligence or administrative competence to contribute to the country. However, much is expected of the so-called civil services who are sadly a den of administrative mischief and clearly need to be disbanded and their powers of interference and abject callous incompetence punished in exemplary ways.

I would like to suggest that your team analyse the performance or lack thereof of the civil services so that we can be better informed of the reality of the culpability of this tribe of self-anointed demi gods who seem not accountable to anyone while in service or thereafter, as mischief mongers in the Election Commission and elsewhere, and are most concerned only about successive pay commission salary hikes. – S Sarangi

Student protests

The police who came to ITI Karnal acted in a most cruel, barbaric and inhuman fashion (“Watch: Police beat up people for protesting after the death of a student in an accident in Haryana”). The authorities did not bother to gauge the gravity of the situation following the death a student in a road accident allegedly caused by a Haryana Roadways. No responsible person was present to handle the situation. Senior district officers did not care to rush to the spot. The police were like reckless vandals. No Duty Magistrate was present to declare the assembly unlawfully before police resorted to tear gas, lathi charge and firing in the air. It was jungle raj. The police entered the ITI premises without the permission of the principal. Even female students were not spared and beaten mercilessly. An inquiry by persons responsible is mere eye wash. A judicial inquiry is needed. – Vinod Aggarwal Karnal

Degree row

When I cannot question any politician on how and where from they get money for political campaigns, why worry about this (“‘Mantri Bhi Kabhi Graduate Thi’: Congress attacks Smriti Irani, asks her to step down”)? When a person in jail cannot vote but a person in jail can contest elections, why worry about this? When a person cannot vote from two places but a person can contest from two different places, why worry about this? When an illiterate cannot get a job in any government office but a person who has not completed their education can become part of the government, why talk about this?

Typically in India, democracy is all about fooling around with public memory. Why worry about whether a contestant has a fake degree or not? Let’s not run such articles. Let’s instead ask all the leaders what they have have done for their constituency, why they are contesting elections from two places, what they have done for farmers and why they make false promises. – Padman Venkat


Truth will always prevail . Eloquence in English does not necessarily mean that a person is highly qualified. On the contrary, respect for scholars and institutions of excellence does indicate one’s attitude and aptitude towards education. – Debjani Neogy


Smriti Irani must be the most honest, introspective and philosophical of Indian politicians. Her educational status goes up and down as she learns and unlearns in life. – Anand M

Philosophical debate

When you talk about pontificating to children, you have subscribed to the western Aristotelian narrative (“To save India’s democracy from bigotry and intolerance, we need to talk politics with our children”). The Western culture aggrandises its superiority to children with no rationale. What is disturbing about news outlets like yours is that you are more interested in reducing discussions to banal morality, something that was correctly rejected by Marx and Nietzsche. You want to preach diversity but not let them live diversity. You laugh at the ancient Indian concept of plural gods. It was a professor at Georgetown university who explained to me how exclusivity, theocracy and dogmatism is a part and parcel of monotheism. Polytheism was democratic and multicultural . For once eliminate the banal Empiricist logic of Ockham and do some due diligence.

Marx and Nietzsche tried to demolish such pontifications but the West is stubborn in retaining its Aristotelian Judeo Christian Muslim paradigm. It is your choice to accept or reject my thesis but my regret is that you do not take interest in attempting to understand the Eastern paradigm. – Arun Jetli

Tough talk

Like Prime Minister, like Cabinet Minister (“Watch: Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad left a live TV show because he didn’t like the questions”). Narendra Modi walked away from Karan Thapar’s show, unable to bear the heat as a one-way walkie talkie. Now, his minister runs away from a TV show? How can these cowards defend the country? – Pragasam Anthony