The conviction of Lalu Prasad has dealt a body blow to the RJD, a party gasping for resuscitation. As in 1997, when Lalu Prasad’s arrest became imminent, the party has done what it does when faced with a crisis — turn to Rabri Devi. What should worry RJD leaders most is that neither Rabri nor Tejaswi has displayed the ability to fill Lalu’s shoes. For Nitish Kumar, the verdict is a shot in the arm at a time when he has lost a bit of his lustre.

Padmini Raghavendra, Secunderabad

While it is a matter of satisfaction that the law has caught up with Lalu Prasad, one is also sorry that a man of great abilities who rose from humble beginnings to become a great leader, gave voice to the poor, unified the backward sections and Muslims into a solid unit, was accepted as the unassailable ruler of Bihar and was hailed as a management guru for his achievements as Railway Minister, should face such a pathetic situation. But then, someone must be made a lesson for others who would be tempted to walk the same path.

A.N. Lakshmanan, Bangalore

Lalu’s conviction has not come as a surprise. The judicial verdict is only a formal confirmation of a fact. Though the conviction may act as a deterrent, it will not by itself put an end to corruption since corruption is by top political leaders. Political parties will have to take the issue seriously and put up honest candidates in elections.

N.G.R. Prasad, Chennai

The prosecution has done its job well. As for “the promise held to an underclass crushed by ... upper caste oppression” (“The ghost returns,” Oct. 1), self-appointed caste saviours have hardly delivered on their lofty promises anywhere in India. The poor were often deluded into believing in the dawn of a utopia which never materialised. These leaders used their social identities for mobilisation of support for the outfits they launched.

I.S. Kanthimathinathan, Tirunelveli

The law is gradually catching up with high-profile leaders guilty of wrongdoings and establishing their equality before law, thanks to an independent judiciary, a vigilant and assertive media and an awakened citizenry. However, our judicial process which took 17 years to give a verdict in the fodder scam case needs to be fast-tracked.

M.C. Joshi, Lucknow

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