Letters to the editor: Democracies, old and new

Updated: Oct 10 2013, 10:38am hrs
Apropos of the column Rebels without a clue by Paul Krugman (FE, October 1), the US government shutdowna result of intense political one-upmanship between the Republicans and the Democratsis a rare privilege given to large democracies. Back home, we have the BJP-led Opposition that is not very different from the Republicans. If in the US House one man does the filibuster, at home a collective of MPs perform the same taskthe proceedings just do not proceed! The BJP fights the very same proposals now, such as the GST and the FDI, that it had moved while in power. The Republicans had espoused near similar Healthcare scheme, some of the states under them are already implementing this, but when it is pursued under Obama they are prepared to force the government come to a grinding halt. Perhaps it is better to be dogged like the Republicans and disagree on good policies and schemes than agree like the BJP on patently bad ones as the Food Security Bill. That could be the difference between a two-century-plus democracy and a six-decade-one.

R Narayanan


Independent judiciary

Apropos of the news story Lalu convicted in fodder scam, faces disqualification as MP (FE, October 1), conviction of the RJD chief and former Bihar CM Lalu Prasad Yadav by the special CBI court in the 17-year-old fodder scam case shows that the law is gradually catching up with even the strong and high profile political leaders who are guilty of wrongdoings and establishes their equality before lawall thanks to an independent judiciary, vigilant and assertive media and awakened citizenry. With a minimum punishment of three year imprisonment for the offence for which Lalu has been convicted, he may be the first MP to lose his Parliamentary seat under the Supreme Court verdict on disqualification of convicted MPs/MLAs. Our judicial process which took 17 years to decide the case needs to be fast-tracked even more.

MC Joshi


Rahuls role

Apropos of the column His moral highness by Shekhar Gupta (FE, September 30), the PM has only himself to blame for his public humiliation by Rahul Gandhi. Indeed, throughout his tenure, Manmohan Singh has exhibited an unbecoming servility towards the Nehru-Gandhi family. To the extent that, less than a month ago, he announced that he would be happy to serve under Rahul Gandhi. Coming from, to quote the author, a man of dignity, intellect and integrity, Singh has, due to his own weakness and inability to stand up for himself, become a sad and feeble figure, clinging to power and to a prestige long fled. Yes, as the author rightly points out, India cannot survive another term under a Prime Minister Lite. Therefore, it is imperative that Rahul Gandhi now unequivocally declares himself as the partys candidate for the post of the Prime Minister in the upcoming general elections, and, in the process, give the voters clarity of choice. Or, again as the author rightly points out, this will end up as another likely Congress story.

RP Subramanian

New Delhi