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A few lessons from the American polls

Vir Sanghvi in Brown man’s burden (Counterpoint, November 9) sums up what democracy really means to Americans.

india Updated: Nov 15, 2008 21:40 IST

Vir Sanghvi in Brown man’s burden (Counterpoint, November 9) sums up what democracy really means to Americans. In India, however, we remain mired in caste, creed, region, religion and seldom evaluate any government on the basis of its performance. Yet, we boast of being the largest democracy in the world. The recently-concluded elections in the US should serve as a lesson on how a real democracy functions.

S.K. Gupta, via email

II

Barack Obama’s historic victory has come as a ray of hope not only for the US economy, but also for all countries whose economies have been affected by the economic meltdown. With his charismatic personality, comparable to that of Nelson Mandela, Obama has the potential to steer the world out of the present crisis.

Ashwini Kumar Lal, Delhi

III

Vir Sanghvi is not quite right when he says that no other country has an electoral system where a man from virtually nowhere can end up in the White House. In India too, most of the presidents, ministers and prime ministers have come from nowhere. A few dynastic scions currently in politics have been given positions of importance, but none of them has so far been able to fire the popular imagination.

Sutender Mohan Mehra, via email

II

With reference to Karan Thapar’s article, Our politicians versus theirs (Sunday Sentiments, November 9), the comparison of US President-elect Barack Obama with Indian leaders is an insult to the Americans. Over the last six decades, our politicians have always played up differences among people for their selfish political gains. Obama, on the contrary, talks of people’s unity as vital to taking his country forward. Our politicians could draw some lessons from this.

Bhagwan Thadani, Mumbai

II

I wonder how an excellent journalist like Karan Thapar could include a statesman like A.B. Vajpayee in the same category as L.K. Advani, Sonia Gandhi and other politicians who shy away from interviews for fear of being held accountable for different crises. Then there was Pandit Nehru, who appealed to every grade of intelligence by his oratory, his humour, and denunciation of pettiness and intolerance in politics.

Baldev Jalandhary, via email

Bursting a bubbly fact

In the article, ‘Tinkered, tailored, soldiered spy’ (Sunday HT, November 9) on the ‘new’ James Bond, the text box claims that 007 would only drink Dom Pérignon 1853. Bond’s preferred champagne is actually the 1953 Dom Pérignon. DP’s first vintage was 1921.

Piyush Gadkari
The Wine Society of India