Et tu, Kejriwal?

For an admirer of Arvind Kejriwal it is quite unbelievable that he must have made the statement he is supposed to have made and for which the EC has sent him a notice. He has said that voting for the Congress or the BJP will be equivalent to treachery against God and the country. In Hindi, with the use of the word ‘Khuda’ for God, it sounds more communal and hence more detestable: ‘Ek bhi vote agar Congress ya BJP ko pada, toh Khuda ke saath, desh ke saath gaddari karoge.’  This statement is quite comparable to the much-condemned statement of the Samajwadi Party’s Abu Azmi  that Muslims who did not vote for his party were not true Muslims. The Muslim community has hauled him over the coals for this statement.

Dr Mookhi Amir Ali

Looking ahead for Rahul

 Should Modi fail 2014-2019, there is a possibility for a Rahul Sarkar next time. But Rahul will have to work hard, tour the country vigorously and interact with the people of India. But before that, should Congress be the main opposition party, Rahul will have to be the leader and he will have to be regular in attending all sessions of the Parliament. But as the leader of the Opposition, he will have to do serious business. But Rahul is likely to have competition in Kejriwal, provided Kejriwal’s associates don’t desert him and continue to sustain the same spirit as in the past. But, both Rahul and Kejriwal will have to bear in mind what Modi faced during his rise, encountering each hindrance successfully; it may be their turn.

So, in conclusion: ‘Shayad agli baar, Rahul Sarkar; aur uske baad Kejriwal?

Kedarnath Rajah Aiyar

Prayers for abducted girls

This refers to the report, ‘Missing girls on Boko Haram video, may have converted’ (May 13).  It is very unfortunate that nearly 300 school girls have been abducted in the border areas of Nigeria by Boko Haram – a terrorist organisation.  Boko Haram is threatening to sell these hapless children into forced marriages or for sex rackets.  It is good that France, China, Britain and the USA have decided to help Nigeria in tracking these abducted girls and the Nigerian government has accepted the offer.   This operation is akin to fighting piracy in the Gulf of Aden, near Somalia, where navies of different nations patrol the sea and piracy has been brought under control. The US could press its Navy Seals into action or send in drones. One can only pray that the hapless girls are safe and will be rescued at the earliest.  It is good to hear that some girls have escaped.  It is also heartening that Nigeria has rejected Boko Haram’s offer to swap imprisoned Boko Haram activists for the release of the abducted girls.

Deendayal M Lulla

Voting-counting lag matters

All the exit polls can be proved true, if and only if not a single EVM is tampered with anywhere in India. ‘Anything’ can be done with the EVMs before or after voting, like between April 7 and May 16. The gap between voting and the actual counting of votes is of 40 days. There was a similar gap of 42 days between voting and the actual counting of votes in the latest Himachal Pradesh assembly election. The 2009 exit polls went ‘wrong,’ obviously because of tampering with the EVMs. All of Europe and the US have stopped using the EVMs for so long because of their doubtful results and have preferred to go back to the use of ballot papers, along with the counting of votes immediately after the voting closes, without waiting even for a minute.

Hansraj  Bhat

Big hand for the voter

This refers to the editorial, ‘Shorten poll process’( May 13). The Election Commission (EC) should find ways to curtail these marathon polls. Polling should not last for more than one month.

 A long-drawn out election process literally brings all important decision-making to a grinding halt. It also brings in an excruciating waiting period for the early phase voters, on whether their choice has made it to the winning post. The EC should also act on the missing voter rolls in some constituencies. That being said, it did a reasonable job.  However, the biggest winner of 2014 poll is the voter, who braved interspersed government holidays, children’s vacations, scorching heat, and threat perception in certain areas to record a 66 per cent turnout.

Ganapathi Bhat

Winning ways of a CEO

Almost all exit polls predict an ‘exit’ for the Congress-led UPA at the centre as it seems most likely that Narendra Modi would be sworn in as the next prime minister. Modi’s leadership qualities can be compared to those of a successful CEO of a private, profitable organisation, who is not only accountable for his deeds but also has a broad vision for the future. He is a leader who assigns duties, unlike the Congress, which works on the ‘supremo’ model and dynastic politics.

S N Kabra

Exit polls are a big farce

The Congress Party has rightly decided not to take part in exit poll debates orchestrated by the electronic media. While such polls have the curiosity satisfaction quality, even the best among them are a statistical estimate of electoral outcomes. To treat them as reality and asking the parties to analyse the causes of their victory or defeat, about their future plans and the effect on the party morale is so farcical. Add to this the high decibel voices of the participants, as if their professional ability is being questioned. When they speak simultaneously, it is sheer cacophony.  If there is no heat generated, the anchor asks some provocative questions to the debaters and then enjoys the fun. When the election results are announced , get ready for round two of the theatre of the absurd.

Y G Chouksey

 Two lives frittered away

The news item ‘ Two engineering students die in road mishap’ (May 13)is shattering. Not only have we lost two highly educated youngsters, but their loved ones must accept and live with this fact for the rest of their lives.  The high court has issued directives that all those who ride motorbikes are supposed to wear helmets. Only two persons can ride on a motorbike.  But educated riders do not follow this law. The police on the road from which the students passed may have seen them along the way, but instead of warning them, they did not act, so consequently, two of them died while one is serious. We know that there cannot be police at every corner, but I am sure that busy roads have police monitoring the traffic. I think that these human lives can be saved by them if only they act. In Mumbai and around, we see bikes carrying more than two riders, and sometimes we see couples with their two children in tow on a motorbike and the police watch helplessly. Recently I was near the Mahalaxmi Racecourse and saw a quartet on a bike. Upon asking the police nearby, I was told they could not take any action as many of these bikers were political workers and if action was taken, the policeman faced the prospect of being  transferred from one chowki to another. Tell me, who is responsible?

Marcus Dabre    

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