The surge of the BJP, the mauling of the Congress and the helplessness of regional parties represents an uncomfortable turn in Indian politics. Most regional parties were founded by men with pan-national credentials who circumscribed regional aspirations within national themes. That gave us the valuable experience in coalition politics as also took democracy to many new doorsteps. But, soon enough, the game of numbers made their aim insular and the vision narrow. It was the Left, with its transnational moorings that was able to provide a shared platform and some political glue to these disparate outfits and helped extend their relevance. The Third Front was its brainchild. The weakening of an intellectual Left has taken away a vital third balancing force that was both ideological and political. It would be sad if our political canvass were now to be reduced to black and white, without that intriguing shade of grey that added depth to our political motif.
R Narayanan, Ghaziabad
Pay heed to national interest
Prime Minister Narendra Modis call to MPs and MLAs to adopt one or two villages and improve them does not seem to have picked up momentum. Good calls are largely ignored. Politicians should rise above difference in matters of national interest. This is what Modi has been doing, exerting the NDA MPs in the high tea party hosted by him on October 26 to do as much. In Karnataka, HD Devegowda has participated in the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. Others should follow his lead.
KV Seetharamaiah, Hassan