Barkha Dutt’s article The BJP’s many avatars (April 7) is an attempt to denigrate a national political party rather than a journalistic analysis. Every party has its own agenda, manifesto and public support on which it is structured. The emergence of the BJP in five states and its success in the MCD elections bear testimony to the people’s acceptance of its identity and programmes. People in these states rejected the unpopular policies based on caste, reservations, rising prices and kid glove treatment of extremists. The middle-class in India is a barometer of public opinion and it is impolite to call it ‘notoriously fickle-minded class’.
Barkha Dutt has tried to confuse readers by equating Hinduism with Hindutva. She must know Hinduism is the faith that may be different in practice from other faiths and Hindutva is a way of life, which is above religion and stands for nationalism. But her anti-Hindu nuances will not create any doubts in the minds of crores of Hindus who do not read such biased pieces and who would sacrifice anything to protect and project Hindutva as an alternative to obsolete forces.
All political parties are cursed with the cult of personality and there are different ideological directions that drive their cadres. The political scene in the country has failed to distinguish between the ideology of various parties and their probity is questionable. Politics in India revolves round terrorism and ‘minority appeasement’ irrespective of caste, religion or backwardness.
Barkha Dutt has raised some pertinent questions about the locus standi of the BJP. Since the party hasn’t had a universally acceptable political philosophy, it is left replete with ambiguities. In its deluded frame of mind, it is able to justify anything from the demolition of the Babri masjid, post-Godhra pogroms, India shining and the issue of Hindutva at the cost of democratic values.
Apropos of the report Arjun’s last shot at quota: a mercy petition (April 12), the Supreme Court’s stay on OBC reservation is a welcome move. Our founding fathers had suggested having quotas for 10 years, but it has dragged on for more than five decades because of vote-bank politics. The best thing for the economically disadvantaged sections is a good education and proper training to compete with others.
Mushirul Hasan in Not just a status symbol (April 11) emphasised the need to preserve the idea that all citizens deserve to enter public space on equal terms. Why should they be segregated on the basis of religion, caste and ethnicity? All citizens need education and equal opportunities for their growth. There should be an inner urge in the disadvantaged sections to rise but this is missing. They wish to continue with the doles and jobs at the expense of those who sweat it out.
One must endorse Mushirul Hasan’s views that the State must guarantee minorities their right to practice their religion and encourage them lead a dignified life. This will integrate them into the mainstream. On the part of the State, minorities deserve unqualified support.
Razwan Lateef Khan
Instead of joining the mainstream and availing opportunities, Muslims continue to fall prey to political machinations. The seeds of minorityism blossomed into the demand for Pakistan by Jinnah. Continued minority appeasement has accorded political legitimacy to Muslim separatists who persecuted the Pandits, forcing their mass exodus from Kashmir 17 years ago.
With reference to the report Orissa vigil squads on anti-Posco patrol (April 12), it is amusing that the Left parties are cautioning the government against the project. This shows the double standards of the Leftists as they came out in support of industrialisation in West Bengal while opposing it in Orissa. Our political parties must work together to ensure the development of citizens and not just their own people.
Merit and means
Abhishek Singhvi’s views in Revise reservation (April 12) are in bad taste. What is at stake is the much larger issue of determining the best policy mix in pursuance of Article 15(4) that enables the executive to make special provision for the advancement of backward classes. Isn’t the scheme of merit-cum-scholarships far better than the controversial OBC reservations?
Vivek Sagar Minocha
Abhishek Singhvi in Revise reservation (April 12) misses certain facts about the creamy layer. If these elite sections are given preferential treatment, they will corner the lion’s share of available benefits. It will be at the cost of their own downtrodden brethren. Hence, to include the elite as beneficiaries will be against the very logic of reservations and the spirit of assisting those who need help.
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