This refers to Mr. N. Ram’s article, “We need to talk about this Manifesto” (April 7). The BJP did not release a manifesto on time but intends to back it up with a running charge sheet against the UPA. Its prime ministerial candidate does not believe in making promises either before or after the polls as his forbidding presence precludes the BJP from doing so. The Congress, being old and traditional, has issued one from its archives of the decades of the 2000s. The Left has the least problem as its manifesto will remain the same. Fortunately for us, the Senas have spared the nation with weighty thoughts, busy as they are with each other. The scene in the South mirrors this. As far as the larger picture is concerned, the TMC, the SP and the BSP have their sights trained on post-poll arithmetic. In this age of Apps, manifestoes are old hat.
The failure on the part of the regional parties which have forged alliances with the BJP — on the presumption that people are in favour of the BJP — in obtaining an undertaking or arriving at a common minimum programme in the event of the combine getting a majority, will prove to be a costly mistake. The attempts to brand Mr. Modi as an unblemished statesman and wear the mask of development through an advertisement blitzkrieg while allowing his close confidant Mr. Amit Shah to ignite communal passions on the eve of voting, expose the BJP’s duplicity.
The points in the article are apt. Will the BJP eventually show its true colours by spreading communalism and undermining secularism? Right from 1996, there has been a consistent pattern by the party in fielding core-Hindutva issues and wounding religious sentiments.
Mushfique Imran Khan,
For a party that aspires to lead and govern the nation, it is immoral to seek votes without letting the electorate know of its vision and its possible stance on critical issues. In this case, the delay on the BJP’s part has impacted informed decision-making. Election rally speeches and debates in television studios are no substitute for a concrete, written policy document.
It may not be right to indulge in speculation and spread anxiety that the BJP manifesto in particular will harm the minorities. Let us not create the feeling that a Modi wave means an anti-minority wave. There is no Modi wave as such. It is an anti-Congress wave. People are fed up with corruption, wrong economic policies and development not reaching the needy even though some fantastic schemes were launched by the UPA. Finally, our strong Constitution, impartial judiciary and the people will protect the country irrespective of the “ism.”
A proxy for exercising power is detrimental to a nation. If it is alleged that the Prime Minister is a proxy for the first family of the Congress, it is also said that the BJP is a proxy for the RSS. Such an arrangement of power and responsibility not vested with the same person is the last thing the nation needs.
Is Mr. Ram warning people of Doomsday in the event of a Modi tidal wave? Let us assume that the opinion polls are right and that the Congress will be wiped out. Does it mean that if the Congress on its own had built the Ram temple, abrogated Article 370 and brought in a uniform civil code during its 10-year rule, it would not lose the election? Sky-high inflation and mega-corruption is what will lead the Congress to biting the dust.
Victor Frank A.,
So much of political dust has been kicked up by the political opponents of the BJP, and some vociferous sections of the mass media over the party’s decision to delay the release of its manifesto. But let’s examine the facts — over 95 per cent of voters do not read any party’s manifesto before deciding whom to vote for; every political party needs to make available copies of its manifesto to an astronomical number of 800 million voters, the hidden message in every manifesto being “give us a chance to plunder your and the nation’s wealth”! The intellectual activity of wording the promises and statements made in any manifesto, the astronomical amounts spent on printing them, the ecological havoc in felling trees to produce the paper needed to print this entirely wasteful document, are in sum a total waste.