Praying For Indias Salvation

Updated: Apr 30 2004, 05:30am hrs
This refers to the article Markets fear setback to reforms (April 29) by N Chandra Mohan. If exit polls are anywhere near right, the country is going to be the loser. Countrymen must give a clear mandate to one of the two national parties. But with so much affection for regional and caste-based parties, that will perhaps be a day dream. The country will be in reverse gear, when others race towards developed nation status. But the fault lies somewhere in our system which talks about vague things like unity in diversity and which cannot eliminate Rabri Devi and her husband who are taking a rich state to a primitive era. The thinking classes can only pray.
I R Sharma

II

The article reveals the authors very heavy bias towards the NDA. There are a number of derogatory references to the Congress and doomsday predictions on what would happen if the NDA is booted out. Chandra Mohan would do well to remember that it is the electorate that would decide who stays and who goes. An India that shines for the author is not necessarily an India that shines for the masses.
V Nandakumar


Tickets Via ATMs
Apropos the news report Rlys signals ATM booking (Apr 29), tickets on ATMs are fine but the actual bottleneck is availability of seats. So what we need is increase of train seats, not booking counters. Now if you go to book a ticket 60 days in advance, it will be full in three minutes against the present five minutes!
Sunil Tahil

Cotton Subsidy Ruling
With reference to your news report of Apr 28, why the US should grow 16 billion bales of cotton a year and export much of that, at the expense of its tax-payers who subsidise nearly two/thirds of that, is mystifying in economic terms. The US and EU, ardent supporters of free trade, want it to work a la carte in the sectors where they stand to gain. What the US will do with the WTO ruling in an election year is anybodys guess.
Kangayam R Rangaswamy, Madison, Wisconsin

His Masters Voice
Very often it appears that Indias financial press holds a candle for the wealthy. For instance, the FE article on CalPERS by Omkar Goswami states categorically that in the US, 49 per cent of the corporate equity is held through the employees. Contrast this with India where promoters hold the bulk of equity.
As far as disinvestment is concerned, there is no effort to sell loss-making PSUs. The fate of Chandrababu Naidu in AP (detailed by N Chandra Mohan) is a sad commentary because he is a sincere politician and so is Mr Vajpayee. But if urban consumers pay more for power and react, one should also consider that disposable incomes have declined due to lower increase in salaries.
I think the press is trying to hide its inadequacies in correctly analysing the Indian mood as it got swayed by the Shining India campaign little realising that workers, government employees, contract labour, weavers and farmers have expressed their anguish at their fate.
Hari Parmeshwar