“An open letter to Narendra Modi” (May 19) was a perfectly timed article and the right kind of advice to the Prime Minister-designate to ensure the all-round and inclusive development of all Indians without any discrimination. However, Mr. Gopalkrishna Gandhi’s suggestions on the selection of panels for the minorities may not be very pragmatic. In addition, the statement that 69 per cent of voters did not vote for Mr. Modi is debatable. They might have voted indirectly for other “BJP- related” parties (the BJD and the AIADMK), having kept the NDA in mind.
The letter is a reminder to the Prime Minister-designate that he too comes from the land and the State of the Mahatma; the Mahatma never hurt any segment of the population. The suggestions for an eminent person to be made the Deputy Prime Minister and bridging the north-south divide need to be taken into account.
S. Irudaya Selvaraj,
The letter has touched upon all the real concerns that secular forces and the minorities in India want assurances on. I wish Mr. Gandhi had also looked at the issue of moral policing by right-wing elements in the name of cultural policing, who Mr. Modi needs to rein in.
I can empathise with Mr. Gandhi. In just two days I realised that this is no win just for Mr. Modi but a victory also for the corporate world. It only reinforces the impression that politics and business interests are interlinked.
Maruti Ram Praturi,
The letter has deep within it a great message. The country may be enthralled by Mr. Modi’s win, but what about the 69 per cent? The huge task before the Hindu nationalist leader, who has many ideas to transform the country’s economy, is to look into resolving the issues that the minorities face. If this is done sincerely, the BJP can be assured of an even greater vote share in the future.
The message in the letter is that civil society must keep a close vigil over the core values and principles of India and ensure that they are maintained.
The report, “Jaitley compares Ramdev to Gandhiji” (May 19), shows why this brilliant open letter is extremely relevant. The as-yet unspoken fears of diverse and minority groups struggling to find space and equilibrium under the new dispensation have to be addressed. Which way will you sway, Mr. Prime Minister-designate?
Judah S.G. Vincent,
Mr. Gandhi has shown how getting a majority of the seats in Parliament does not mean that the whole of India backs Mr. Modi, who has now been given a chance to show that the minorities will be safe.
Lidia Mariam Benoji,
In the euphoria over the BJP’s landslide victory, Mr. Gandhi has done well to remind Mr. Modi that an overwhelming majority of the electorate is not with him. This should make Mr. Modi introspect with all the sobriety required of a man going to be the next Prime Minister. One only hopes that he listens to the sane and honest advice of Mr. Gandhi, who otherwise has no axe to grind, and reinvent himself as a “Wazir-e-Azam” in the hearts of the people of India.
An equal responsibility lies with India’s minorities to offer a meaningful contribution in making India big and strong. I would also like to add that Mr. Modi seems to have seen the Indian masses as one and has addressed them as one, unlike leaders of other national parties.
K. Bala Sundram,
Although the “open letter” was written with good intentions, was it not rather premature? It could be too early to think about threats to minorities; the nation is expected to give a fair and reasonable amount of time to the new government which has yet to take office. At this juncture, the minorities should not lose hope and the leaders representing these communities should cooperate with the government.
I applaud The Hindu for publishing such thought-provoking pieces, outlining the unspoken concerns of minorities in India. But I find Gopalkrishna Gandhi to be statistically dead wrong. His gratuitous advice bordering on condescension to one who has successfully managed a State for 13 years seems unwarranted. “Lies, damned lies, and statistics,” a phrase popularised by Mark Twain, fits well here. For example, the statement that “the BJP has won the seats it has because you captured the imagination of 31 per cent of our people …be noted that 69 per cent of the voters did not see you as their rakhvala,” can be turned toward the Indian National Congress. It won 19 per cent of the seats, and 81 per cent voted against the INC. A 31 per cent share in a country where 36 parties have won a place in the 543-member Parliament is a phenomenal achievement, unheard of in the post-Nehru era. The writer appears to have failed to read the public distrust with the Congress and its allies. Happily, Mr. Modi has declared that the Constitution is our holy book.
Vembar K. Ranganathan,
Irvington, New York
It is a bit of a surprise that the writer has taken up the “minority issue” just at the beginning of Mr. Modi’s term. There are BJP-ruled States and the minorities there are safe.
The letter seems to have been written with certain imaginary fears in the mind. Barring Gujarat 2002, Mr. Modi has shown that he is committed to development and to promoting a strong administration.
India follows the First Past The Post (FPTP) election system. This election recorded its highest voter turnout since Independence. I do not think Jawaharlal Nehru would have got such a vote share of 31 per cent. Mr. Modi should ignore such advice and prove that he is “Asoka the Great” and not Hitler.
Raushan Kumar Modi,
Why is there no such open letter to Sonia Gandhi? And why were there no open letters to the Congress after the 2G spectrum, Coalgate and Commonwealth Games scams?