Both US and India need to reinvent democracy | india | Hindustan Times
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Both US and India need to reinvent democracy

Vir Sanghvi in The American President (May 11) has made some pertinent observations about America. But it’s not just being conservative and being American that helps win elections in the US.

india Updated: May 17, 2008 23:26 IST

Vir Sanghvi in The American President (May 11) has made some pertinent observations about America. But it’s not just being conservative and being American that helps win elections in the US. Americans have earned their democracy unlike Indians who have got democracy courtesy national elites who have turned it into their family fiefdoms. Americans do not like divisive politics and that is evident from their reaction to the electoral campaign of the Democrats who are fielding white against black. Sanghvi should feel sorry about India’s state of affairs. India has a democratic system but we lack a democratic society.

Abinash Chaudhary, Delhi

II

The process of selecting a leader in any country puts no emphasis on the character of the leader. In America too, leaders despite their vision, have to rely on personal charisma. Today, as the diverse non-white population is becoming significant in the US, cracks have begun to show in the process of nominating the right candidate. We may see some amendments in the US presidential election process in future, better attuned to meet the problems of a diverse population, somewhat similar to ours.

R Mohan, Mumbai

III

we have a multi-racial and multilingual population and the electoral verdict is inevitably fractured. The Constitution of India is modelled on the British system and is just a continuation of the format that existed before Independence. No party in India has a national policy and regional compulsions guide all their actions.

VN Kesavan, via e-mail

So far, so food

Indrajit Hazra in Eating less, I’m lovin’ it (May 11) has rightly chosen to skip a meal to save the world, especially the US, from hunger. We should not try to beat the US at their own game. But how is Hazra going to take up the issue of Indians joining the race to grab the packaged pet food industry though the US has spent $15.9 billion on it against India’s $29 million?

GK Arora, Delhi

Mind your language

Karan Thapar's article Terms of address (May 11) is indeed welcome to educate the next generation in India who, unfortunately, are not exposed to such nuances of the English language and even protocol. I am afraid I do not agree with his theory on ‘Princess Charles’. It is either Diana, Princess of Wales, or just Princess of Wales. Princess Anne is, of course, correct. Regarding the use of ‘Ms’ for women, it was designed to be the equivalent of ‘Mr’ and thus not indicate the marital status of a woman. Unfortunately, under current usage, it is being used to indicate a divorcee.

Atul Dev, Gurgaon