Cong shouldn’t repeat NDA’s mistakes

In his front-page editorial “The big change” (May 14), H.K. Dua has aptly commended the Indian democracy for a smooth change of government through the power of ballot. While Mr Dua has rightly extolled the statesmanship of Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayee for his leadership in the past six years, it will be worthwhile to highlight the overwhelming sentiment of the voter which impelled him to change the NDA government.

The NDA rule was largely corruption-ridden and, in some cases, tainted by scams. There was no respite for the common man from the fear of violence either due to acts of cross-border terrorism or internal disturbances as in Gujarat. Slogans like “India Shining” and “Feel-Good” further confused the ordinary people for whom little was done on the ground.

Obviously, we cannot expect wonders from the new government. They would do well, however, to avoid mistakes of the last government and genuinely work for the betterment of the common man.

Brig GOVIND SINGH KHIMTA (retd), Shimla




Indeed, it is a “big change”. The common people could not accept Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayee as Nehru. I don’t agree with Mr Dua’s opinion that he was an “outstanding” leader of the masses. Mr Vajpayee never challenged or questioned the “Modification” of Indian politics. Yes, sometimes he seemed to be morally upset on Gujarat riots. Mr Vajpayee tried to revive dialogue with Pakistan and the people of both countries appreciated this positive development in the subcontinent.

Mr Dua is right in his objective assessment of the Sangh Parivar “that a workable ideology cannot be divorced from the nature of India’s plural society”. Even in Gujarat, the common people have given the same message by voting against Mr Narendra Modi’s style of governance.

I support Mr Dua’s conviction that most BJP leaders had become very confident and arrogant and felt sure of their victory. They shabbily and irresponsibly treated their allies. A few BJP leaders talked of securing a massive mandate even without the help of regional parties. The common people did not like the smearing campaign against the children of Mrs Sonia Gandhi.

The election results have proved once again the resilience of Indian democracy and the existence of a pluralistic society and culture which can never be hijacked by religious bigots. I support the stand taken by The Tribune for opposing the opinion and exit polls as they influence the voting behaviour of the ordinary electorate. Most opinion and exit polls went on boosting the morale of the NDA combine till the last moment. And they were proved wrong.

Dr R.B. YADAV DEHATI, Kathmandi (Fatehabad)


Psephology in India is as unreliable as the weather. The election results have turned earlier predictions topsy turvy. So carried away were the BJP bosses with the initial success of their own rhetoric that they forgot that “India Shining” or “Feel-Good” were mere slogans, which didn’t always correspond to ground realities. Little wonder, the BJP is now not feeling so good.

The Congress, which provided a stable government for a number of years since Independence, managed to do so because of its secular character by offering shelter and shade for diverse opinions — it managed to be the party of the Hindus, the Dalits and the Muslims at the same time.

The poll results show that the Congress still retains a widespread and varied vote base because it subscribes to an ideology that accepts India as a pluralist society. Hindutva, being an exclusivist political agenda, is an ideology that revolts against the concept of a multi-religious, multi-ethnic and multi-cultural society. In my opinion, the Indian voter has perhaps come to realise that a political leadership which believes in Hindutva will no longer be able to head a coalition.

K.M. VASHISHT, New Delhi

Compassion for animals

Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s successful completion of six-year rule at the Centre, despite the NDA’s defeat in the elections, is a befitting tribute to his personal stature and unimpeachable integrity. His credibility and credentials will come to the force whenever the nation faces a crisis. His political skill and finesse are needed for the country irrespective of his status in the Lok Sabha as the Leader of the Opposition.

While spending a few days in Manali, Mr Vajpayee was concerned about the cruel manner in which animals were treated during sale, transport and slaughter. He was compassionate enough to write from Manali to all Chief Ministers to initiate steps for the effective enforcement of laws for humane treatment to animals. Credit also goes to him for constituting the National Cattle Commission for the uplift of cattle wealth in India.



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