Tharcius S Fernando,
With the passing away of Nelson Mandela at the age of 95, we ought to learn from his life and the supreme sacrifices he made. From the moment of his release after nearly 28 years of incarceration in 1990, it was apparent that Nelson Mandela held the moral authority in a nation whose predominantly white-minority government had lost all legitimacy. After Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King, he was perhaps only the third person from the last century who ought to be rightly called the Mahatma. As pointed out in your editorial Celebrating Madiba (FE, Decemeber 7), he is one person without whom the South African nation will look very different today, and must I add, the whole world will look different without this Mahatma from Africa.
Ashok Jayaram, Bangalore
A verdict for governance
If the landslide victory for the BJP in the just-concluded assembly elections in the four states is anything to indicate, it is clear that the BJP is emerging again as a front-runner in national politics. Ever since the time Narendra Modi was projected as the Prime Ministerial candidate by the party, the Congress has been wary of this and has been desperately trying to steal the show, but in an irresponsible manner by making absurd statements and that has further worsened the Congresss credibility. The ultimate fact is that the Modi factor has taken a heavy toll on the Congress, which was largely expected. From a high of 9.5% a decade ago, the GDP growth has consistently slid to sub-5% now, thanks to continued poor governance and inconsistent policies pursued by the Congress-led UPA. It is also time for the Congress to do a lot of soul-searching. For the BJP the game has just begun and it is time to consolidate the gains achieved and march towards winning the final Parliamentary elections due soon. Thats again not enough. There is another success story in these elections by the name of the Aam Aadmi Party that has not only won seats but also the hearts of the people by its exceptional showing in the Delhi assembly elections. Therefore, it is time for the BJP to also undertake a clean-up act, which, surprisingly, it also needs. Arvind Kejriwal has the potential to influence the national politics in a big way.