Better late, or not at all
Apropos of “Cong flexes muscle at Ramlila rally, talks of FDI-spurred Ram Rajya”, it is as well that the age-old party came out of its hibernation and made a strong statement, something that it should have done long back. In fact, the party has never realised the importance of reaching out to the people at large, to regularly project its actions and plans, so much so that the opposition has hammered it relentlessly. Its public relations has been so poor that its own national TV channels haven’t been utilised as effectively as the opposition has used a few channels 24x7. As for the speeches, the Congress president was quite right in remarking that the opposition has not yet come to terms with its electoral losses in 2004 and 2009 and that it should introspect before accusing her party of corruption. Rahul chipped in, saying that there is no point in blindly opposing anything and everything that they do blindly. Such a massive rally cannot be branded as ‘anti-people’ by any stretch of imagination and the opposition will do well to work on a constructive agenda, leaving the job of making accusations to the Haryanvi.
—Dr V Subramanyan, Thane
About the Congress’ Ramlila rally, it must be easy to get the applause of a crowd that has been mobilised, but it would be quite difficult to get similar acknowledgement from the common man. The words of the people in power carry weight, so they impress the simple folk who take this at face value when the going is smooth. Talk about FDI in retail, the food security bill, economic reforms, functioning of parliament, or foundations of democracy, can hardly be the concern of the common man who is hit hard by high prices and corruption. With assembly elections round the corner in some states, and the general election only a little further away, the time for rhetoric and blaming others is over. The electoral prospects of the Congress and the UPA would largely depend on what it is able to actually deliver, with respect to the cost of living and curbing corruption.
—MC Joshi, Lucknow
The Congress president’s statements at the rally in Delhi on Sunday expressed her party’s concern for FDI in retail and so-called economic reforms, the expected and much-vaunted benefits of which are, at this stage, only a pie in the sky. There was absolutely
no trace of remorse in her tone or tenor for unabashed appropriation of public funds for personal use. Janata Party president Subramanian Swamy has also highlighted a Rs16,000 crore scam for which the Congress president alone is responsible. But she chooses to keep mum on these exposes. And the prime minister is more worried about economic growth figures. The welfare of the people or the battle for survival by the aam aadmi seems to be of no concern to him. How do they expect people to trust them after repeatedly letting them down? It would be better if they do what they are used to, that is keep their mouth shut and not try people’s patience.
—KK Wajge, Mumbai
Who is providing platelets for Kasab?
Apropos of “Hot news: Kasab is fighting dengue in his anda cell”, a team of doctors from the state-run JJ Hospital is treating the 26/11 convict on death row at state expense. But when it comes to the average citizen suffering the disease, the families are required to arrange blood donors to extract platelets to be injected in patients. Who is donating blood to provide platelets for this terrorist? Is Ajmal Kasab a guest of the country that he gets exclusive, privileged treatment that even Indians are not provided?
—Madhu Agrawal, Delhi
The report about Kasab affected by dengue is one more signal to the BMC, which has not bothered despite the number of cases being registered daily in the poorer areas of the city. Is Kasab more human than our people? The sanitation in Mumbai has deteriorated and the breeding spots for disease have increased. Even a lay man can see breeding spots every few metres, caused by water accumulation. Only after the death of Yash Chopra have we seen civic teams trying to do something about the problem. The dengue mosquito attacks even in the day, unlike the malaria-spreading Anopheles which is nocturnal. This means that one could get affected with dengue while at work, or even on the road.
—Arjun Vekariya, Mumbai
Change pub timings law
The frequent raids on clubs and bars for being open beyond the permissible hours, is the result of restrictive laws that were enforced in pre-Independence days to regulate the movement of people, and should be amended. The disrespectful manner in which the cops have treated the offenders rounded up during the raids is indicative of the hostility of arch conservatives towards a certain culture of Western origin. And the super rich, who can visit five stars for their drinks at any time, have no issues.
—Vanita Shenoy, Mumbai
Love is essential for life
Last week, Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi’s description of Sunanda Tharoor as Shashi Tharoor’s “50-crore girlfriend”, blew up into a controversy that he probably did not expect. As a politician he should think before making such statements. There is absolutely no doubt that Modi’s remarks were uncalled for and that he should not indulge in such personal attack. A girl friend or wife is a very personal matter. And love, Mr Modi, is a respectable and at the same time much-valued requirement for life! Whether it is one’s wife or girlfriend, brother or sister, son or daughter, love is an essential part of life. It is quite another matter that the media thinks nothing can be kept personal or private for public personalities. But then there are some people who love money more than personal relations. The corruption charges that have been traded recently indicate the depth to which politics has plunged; what respect and personal life can there be for such politicians?
—Mahesh Kumar, by email