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Will Modi succeed at the Centre?

Modi seems to have endeared himself to the voters in Gujarat (editorial ‘The Gujarat battle’, December 5). The affluent, urban middle class Gujaratis worship Modi and love his brand of politics which is essentially Hindutva politics rooted in Hindu nationalism, founded on authoritarian governance and widely supportive of business-friendly economic policies.

It is indeed a pity that the Congress party in Gujarat lacks a leader who can match the political adroitness of Modi. At the national level, the Congress party does not need to worry so much about him. The three-time CM of Gujarat who is likely to lead the state for the fourth time in a row has yet to emerge as a national leader.

Modi may be projected as a PM candidate in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. Will he be acceptable to a large majority of people who believe in secular polity, pluralism and inclusive economic growth? His fiery brand of Hindu politics and his unflinching, blatant support to crony capitalism and exclusive economic growth which benefits only the urban middle class and the captains of industry to the detriment of the poor, rural people and the unprivileged sections of society, remains to be weighed on the national scale of people’s preference.


Relevant questions

The brutal murder of an ASI of the Punjab Police who tried to save his daughter from an eve-teaser is not only shocking but also very shameful (editorial “Murder most foul”, December 7). Being an office-bearer of the main ruling party, perhaps he was sure his political mentors would help him to escape law. It is hoped the government will not yield to any “political pressure” which may come after the issue dies down. The assailant deserves severe punishment. The family of the deceased needs counselling and an assurance that the murderer will get exemplary punishment. How will the young girl ever be able to forget the barbarism inflicted on her father?

It is high time for the civil society to question themselves. Who is responsible for the deviant behavior of this type? Has our education system failed to evolve balanced personalities? Has the traditional type of parenting failed? Is our media/cinema playing its due role? Is there any nexus between money and muscle powers? What is the role of our politicians? Do they encourage or discourage a culture of violence? Will “policing” be ever free from politicians? When will women be truly respected as equals? When will people with feudal mindset change themselves?



Even if consider the unfortunate incident that happened in Amritsar as an isolated one, criminalisation of politics has become a mundane affair. The commercialisation and criminalisation of politics has posed serious danger to the society. Akalis were once considered honest, morally upright and disciplined. Now, its almost the opposite. People with criminal bent of mind have penetrated into its rank and file. Ironically, the SAD leadership has no time and sense to realise that they had done enough damage to the society at large by allowing these criminals to have a field day.

RANBIR SINGH, Hoshiarpur


The fact that a father, that too a policeman, was murdered by an office-bearer of the ruling party for protecting his daughter speaks volumes of insecurity in the state and the virtual free run enjoyed by goons under the cover of politics. In such a situation, one can well imagine the plight of a common man.

This is not the first incident; attack on innocent citizens and officials have taken place earlier also. The attack on revenue official Gobinderpal Singh Benipal in Ludhiana in 2009 and the murder of hotelier Gurkirat Singh Sekhon last year in Jalandhar by SAD leaders and their associates clearly speaks that Akali leaders have the licence to cross the limits of power.

H K MONGA, Ferozepur

Tight EC rules

With elections taking place far too often and the poll schedules unduly overstretched, urgent development work comes to a halt every now and then (editorial “Welfare on hold”, December 6).

Fear of violence or disturbance of peace is misplaced and imaginary. We have had the experience of holding elections on a single day in the whole of the country in the past. Nothing went wrong, nor would it, if tried in future.

The 2014 general elections throw a challenge at the Election Commission. It should aim to hold the election in a day. The commission has one full year at its disposal. It should kick start the preparations, do the spade work, alert the security forces, take all parties and the government in confidence and put out its best foot forward to achieve a perfect “one-dayer”.

Gradually, say in 5 years time, the government and the Election Commission should endeavour to have simultaneous elections to Lok Sabha and the state assemblies, clubbing together the elections by preponing some and postponing some others. This will save colossal amount of money going waste and cause minimum disruption in the timely execution of essential welfare schemes.

Wg Cdr CL SEHGAL (retd), Jalandhar

It’s double taxation

A Bill has been introduced in Parliament for the benefit of senior citizens. Raising the income tax limit is not a solution. There should be no tax at all on pensions. A government employee is already supposed to have paid income tax while in service. The corpus out of which a retired person gets pension was accumulated from his/her salary after deductions of taxes at source. Taxing pension amounts to double taxation.

Dr SS BHATTI, Amritsar

Amritsar-Kalka Mail

The Amritsar-Kalka Mail was discontinued in 1984 and never revived thereafter. The recently started Amritsar-Chandigarh superfast express does not touch Kalka which is only 15-20 km from Chandigarh but an important station connecting Punjab with Himachal Pradesh.

The train halts for about 9 hours at Chandigarh before its return journey to Amritsar. The train should be renamed as Amritsar-Kalka superfast express and it should run between Amritsar and Kalka with an additional halt at Mohali railway station. There are many government offices located at Mohali and many people are forced to travel by buses due to lack of rail connectivity.

Besides bringing people closer to the Golden Temple, there will be an enormous increase in railway revenue. It will also be helping people to travel conveniently to Mohali, Kalka and Himachal Pradesh.

Dr AL ADLAKHA, Amritsar



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