Barkha Dutt in Art of reinvention (May 12) is right in her assessment that the appalling crime situation in Uttar Pradesh ensured Mayawati a thumping victory. At the same time, one wonders how all exit polls were proved wrong. Mulayam Singh’s claim of returning to power was debunked. Any hope the Congress had of improving its tally has been dashed and the BJP has proved to be a non-starter. These are reflections of a maturing democracy.
Arjun Narain Jaiswal
Mayawati was helped by both negative and positive developments in UP. On the positive side, she succeeded in ensuring that the Dalits voted in favour of her Brahmin candidates. On the negative side, the Muslims voted en bloc for Mayawati. On one hand it’s a refined version of casteism, while on the other, it is a desperate flight towards security. If true democracy is to become a reality, the Congress and the BJP will have to think about their policies afresh.
Barkha Dutt is right in declaring that the Indian voter is simply too smart. But Mayawati is no less smart. She changed ‘Bahujan’ into ‘Sarvjan’ and in the process gave tickets to upper-castes, who were bound to win in their respective wards.
Mayawati, by her sheer art of social engineering, has brought under her wing the Dalits, minorities, Muslims and Brahmins. It appears that the days of Mandal-kamandal politics are over. Mayawati has reinvented herself. It is now up to Maya memsaab to take steps to bring the law and order situation under control.
Mayawati should aim to re-establish law and order in the state. The faith which the people of UP have shown in electing her should be respected. In the march towards a developed India, parks with statues of B.R. Ambedkar are not going to provide long-term benefits to people.
Throwing a party
Apropos of the report Sonia blames it on weak organisation in UP (May 17), the combined charisma of Rahul, Priyanka and Sonia in Uttar Pradesh didn’t work. The Congressman hasn’t changed in 60 years and remains a sycophant. In UP, people were looking for a better party and they voted for the BSP. To apply balm on their wounds, the Congress now says that since they do not have an organisational structure at block and district level, the hard work put in by Rahul Gandhi didn’t convert into votes.
Art vandalism in Gujarat
Apropos of the report Chandramohan would never hurt anybody (May 16), all right-thinking persons would criticise any work of ‘art’ that is derogatory to any religion. In the name of freedom of expression, nobody can be allowed to traverse the limits of decency. Artists and art-lovers must remember that the aim of art is to possess an inward-looking significance.
Nandini R. Iyer’s report Food worth Rs 58,000 crore goes waste (May 12), was shocking. Surely, we have enough funds to put in place the logistics of food management. It is the apathy of the government which allows the wastage of such staggering amounts of produce.
The editorial The colour of intolerance (May 15) was thought- provoking. Some time ago, the Bombay High Court had lifted the ban issued by the Maharashtra government against sale of the book Shivaji: Hindu King in Muslim India by James Laine. However, the Shiv Sena chief overruled the court order and directed his cadres to seize copies from bookstores and burn them. A case of a leader donning the role of moral police is no surprise. Our courts and police are mute spectators when such incidents take place.
The question of what is acceptable in society is relative and depends largely upon its culture. Our politicians should
have the courage to tell the public that it is not in our culture to invade private spaces. Are the guilty of the Vadodara incident listening?
Omar Luther King
Reaping the whirlwind
Apropos of the report Suicide bomber kills 25 in Peshawar (May 16), with the frequent suicide bombing in Pakistan, it seems that the country is reaping the bitter fruits of the seeds it sowed in its proxy war against India. Remember, Allah is neither blind nor a passive viewer.
Eyeing the tiger
With reference to the report Thwart China’s wildlife diplomacy (May 17), conservationists around the world have taken a big step by urging India not to partner China in lifting the ban on the trading of tiger body parts. If the ban is removed, it will magnify the intensity of poaching and virtually wipe out all tigers.
Readers may e-mail letters to the editor at: firstname.lastname@example.org