Lalu, Maya and Modi: A study in contrast

S NIHAL SINGH’s article, “New kind of leaders” (Dec 18) made interesting reading. Mr Lalu Prasad Yadav, Ms Mayawati and Mr Narendra Modi began their political careers on ideological basis. Mr Yadav and Ms
Mayawati espoused the cause of socialism — the first as Ram Manohar Lohia’s follower and the second as a defender of Dr B.R. Ambedkar’s concept of social resolution. But, once in power, both did not remain steady on their chosen paths.

Mr Modi remained stuck to the ideology of “cultural nationalism”. The other leaders function within the democratic framework, but Mr Modi has not. In his previous term as the chief minister, he ruled as an autocrat. While Mr Yadav empowered the BCs and the OBCs, Ms Mayawati helped the Dalits and rural women. Thus, both have democratised the political processes at the grassroots level. This cannot be said of Mr Modi.

Mr Yadav and Ms Mayawati are the products of a fragmented social milieu. The people they represent can understand the language natural to them. Thus, these leaders’ style has to be rustic, populist and folkloristic.

G.S. BAL, Jalandhar


Crime and politics

I read the editorial, “Criminals galore” (Dec 29). People would like to know why no qualification has been prescribed for the MLAs and MPs and the logic behind the non-applicability of retirement for them vis-ŕ-vis public/civil servants.

If an official is not expected to perform duty efficiently on account of his age, how can our representatives and ministers do so competently at the ripe age? The editorial pointed to the people’s duty and responsibility. Yes, people who are nourishing the world’s largest democracy are the true hope.

We have proved our faith in democracy and showed to the world how we have changed governments through the ballot box. The day, “We the people of India” resolve to elect the right person to represent us, impossible will turn into possible. Let the New Year be our year of such resolve.

B.S. GHUMAN, Chandigarh

Sanitation problem

Sanitation is an issue of major concern. The big hindrance is the hefty commercial charges in big cities and towns as against residential charges. To create civic sense among the public, public toilets should be maintained well by the civic bodies. People are starved of clean toilets.

Globally, 2600 million people defecate in the open of which 700 million live in India. People easing themselves in the open is a common sight. Why should the Municipal Corporation of Amritsar and civic bodies of other cities levy hefty commercial charges?

If commercial and public places like hospitals, shops, hotels are directed to provide public access to toilets, they will render a big social service. But then, the commercial charges for keeping toilets etc. should be as low as possible in public interest.


Time to root out Naxalism

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s advice to the chief ministers to eliminate the virus of Naxalite extremism is welcome. As many as 12 states, stretching from Nepal border in North Bengal to Andhra Pradesh, are Naxalite affected. In many districts of these states, Naxalites are indulging in violence, mine explosions and jail breaks.

The law and order situation is deteriorating. Newspapers are full of gory stories of violence against women, children and the poor.

The Prime Minister’s determination to root out Naxalite extremism should be translated into action. Good governance, efforts to reduce poverty and unemployment, and controlling burgeoning population will help improve law and order.

Brig DALIP SINGH SIDHU (retd), Patiala

Gurgaon tragedy

The Gurgaon tragedy is the outcome of our faulty education system which is today promoting insanity, indiscipline and vandalism among the taught. The teacher is helpless because he or she is devoid of the logic ‘Spare the rod, spoil the child’.

For all purposes, the Gurgaon incident is a red alert to parents and teachers to be careful. As the western life style has made dent into our life, we should tread with caution to prevent another Gurgaon.

SUNDER SINGH GIANI, Dialpura (Mohali)

Modi’s victory

The main reason for Narendra Modi’s victory in Gujarat elections is the inability of the UPA government to bring the Gujarat Chief Minister to book for his alleged role in the riots. The Congress leadership, the so-called secular political parties and, above all, the Centre simply failed to bring Mr Modi to book even after five years of heinous crimes in the state.




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