AAP has dashed our hopes

Before the 2014 general elections, we expected so much from the Aam Aadmi Party.  But its poor showing and the infighting among its party cadres makes it seem on the verge of a split.  Active leaders are indicating they would like to withdraw from the party membership and this only serves to show its chief, Arvind Kejriwal, in a poor light.  Instead of fulfilling promises given to the people, the party is now struggling with internal politics and a spate of exits.  The public feels utterly foolish, having looked up to the AAP with hope.  Even the four seats that the party won in the elections is four too many, as the party seems to lack the will to win the hearts of the people. Kejriwal and his associates must take a long, hard look

at their mistakes or it will be time to write off this party.

 C K Subramaniam

Stronger laws, weak enforcement

In order to stop the increasing number of atrocities on women in the country, the government rightly introduced stringent anti-rape laws. However, these enactments seem to have had an inexplicable effect, as is evident from the sudden and alarming spurt in the number of rape cases across the country. The new government at the centre should now take an urgent call in the matter and decide how the existing statutes could be made more effective.

Arun Malankar

A’bad autos take you for a ride

Modi’s Gujarat is famous for its smooth roads, but one cannot say the same thing about RTO rules for autorickshaws.  A visitor to the state is certain to be taken for a ride and Ahmedabad in particular, is infamous for its cheating auto drivers. They do not seem to believe in charging according to the meter and will take you to your destination through the longest route possible, to maximise their fare.

There are auto drivers who are likely to lose their tempers and get violent if you ask to look at the fare card.  Most of them do not even seem to carry these.

Is this any way to treat newcomers to the city?  Even the locals have a tough time tackling these errant drivers and this has been going on for more than two decades.  Development has sadly not touched this aspect of life in Gujarat.  Why aren’t the people of Gujarat making a noise about this problem?

Bhavesh Jani

Prostrate with relief

The Prime Minister has set a good example by asking parliamentarians to refrain from touching his feet. He should have gone ahead and advised his MPs to discourage such sycophantic displays towards themselves too. It is amazing that politicians are flattered by such gestures from their cronies and the public.

This is akin to former princely rulers in politics still taking pride in being addressed as ‘maharaja’ and feeling visibly upset if such a form of address is not used. When it comes to ruling parties, even bureaucrats are seen touching the feet of their political bosses. It is time that politicians of all hues upgrade their mindsets. It is time to do away with such traditions.

Subhash Chandra Agrawal

‘Copy-paste’ doctors?

West Bengal’s newspaper readers learnt of three incidents on June 5, 2014. One was the presence of unauthorised persons inside the MBBS examination hall in the SSKM Hospital on this date. These outsiders were strongly suspected of enabling mass copying. Now imagine the quality of the would-be-doctors from among the examinees and the predicament of the patients who would be treated by such doctors. Another was the attack on Dr Apurba Kr Roy for the most grievous offence of attending the cremation of the late BJP leader Tapan Sikdar, an ex-union minister. The third was the felicitation of Shah Rukh Khan, the owner of KKR (no relation to the city of Kolkata except for the first word in its title), with Alphonso mangoes, instead of our very own Himsagar, which are certainly not inferior in any way. It will not be a digression to mention that the Chief Minister of West Bengal took a special flight from North Bengal, keeping in abeyance her official programme. It is painful to wash the dirty linen of my state in public, but then it is the tale of just one day.

N  K Das Gupta

Happily, Modi picks Bhutan first

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s decision to pick Bhutan, over bigger countries, for his maiden foreign visit, is indeed a pleasant surprise. However, it clearly underscores the new “Narendra Modi diplomacy” that has been put in place by the prime minister. In every action of his, his desire to send  strong messages to the countries of the world is quite evident. India shares a unique relation with the small Himalayan country. It can be recalled that India almost acted as an elder brother to Bhutan in the friendship treaty, spanning nearly sixty years until 2007. Bhutan is a key trade partner of India, with which the latter’s import and export policy is unambiguous. While India helped Bhutan to tide over its liquidity crunch, Bhutan had a huge say in providing India with the much needed hydro-electric supply when it mattered most. However, border compulsions have often put Bhutan in embarrassing situations with China, which the latter desires to cash-in on. Seen in this backdrop, Narendra Modi’s bypassing bigger countries in favour of Bhutan is a clear signal to other countries that India’s top priority is its neighbours, and India will never fall short of siding with its neighbours on key issues like security.

Ganapathi Bhat

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