The accidental PM

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SummaryShekhar Gupta's ‘Accidentally, in history’ (IE, December 1) is a warm tribute to I.K. Gujral.

The accidental PM

Shekhar Gupta's ‘Accidentally, in history’ (IE, December 1) is a warm tribute to I.K. Gujral. Gujral’s most brilliant legacy is the pathbreaking Gujral Doctrine, which is widely acclaimed in India as well as abroad. It became the touchstone for Indian diplomacy with the country’s immediate neighbours. Gujral belonged to a genre of politician and intellectual, which has profoundly influenced the country’s foreign policy.

— Dilbag Rai, Chandigarh

Missing the point

This refers to ‘Sushma Swaraj gets off the fence, wants Narendra Modi as Prime Minister’, (IE, December 1). Swaraj responded positively to a query about Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi’s ability to become India’s prime minister. The Economist, in a recent article, sees Finance Minister P. Chidambaram as the probable Congress candidate for PM. It is hard to understand why these two statements have deflected public attention from a more serious discussion on the qualities India’s PM should have. Swaraj has not pronounced Modi the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate; she has merely said that among others, he too is fit for the job. It is astonishing that her statement and The Economist’s piece have received such media attention.

— M.K. Sharma

Amritsar

No easy transfers

THE article ‘An Aadhaar for Aadhaar’ (IE, December 2) expresses disapproval of government-run welfare schemes. It is true that there are several obstacles to implementing such schemes, from monitoring the flow of funds to holding individuals accountable for mismanagement or corruption. Direct cash transfers may prove to be most beneficial to the poor by streamlining the process and removing the middlemen. Aadhaar will hopefully ensure that subsidies are only granted to the deserving.

— S.C. Vaid

Greater Noida

Hitting a dead end

THE article ‘House on dead-end street’ (IE, November 29) portrays India as a dying democracy, constantly damaged by opportunism. A huge chunk of the country’s wealth disappears into the coffers of a select few. Parliamentary proceedings have degenerated, and the electorate has been cut off from its representatives, except during elections. There are stark discrepancies between food production and food availability, and increasingly, education is being commercialised. Given the current state of politics, the expectation of inclusive growth seems too optimistic.

— Mohan Singh

Amritsar

Nehru’s gift

THIS refers to ‘Raising Democracy’ (IE, November 30). Ashutosh Varshney has rightly said that Nehru is the father of Indian democracy. Nehru is also the father of India’s secularism, independent foreign policy, science and technology, and nuclear energy. Although he called major industrial projects the “temples of

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