Gujarat Chief Minister and prime ministerial aspirant Narendra Modi’s haste to challenge Prime Minister Manmohan Singh verbally on Independence Day is rather obnoxious (“Modi dares Manmohan to debate on development, governance,” Aug. 16). He has reduced himself to the level of a street fighter. Instead, he could have selected a proper moment to raise the issues without rhetoric and bravado and acted like a statesman. He is losing points in the hurry to score brownie points. BJP leader L.K. Advani is right in saying that the occasion is not suitable to derive political mileage.

Dr. D.V.G. Sankararao,


It is a fact that while in the past, the Prime Minister’s speech from the ramparts of the Red Fort was awe-inspiring and looked forward to, in recent times, irrespective of whoever holds the post, it has become a customised ritual. Dr. Singh sounded like he was rehearsing for 2014 and the UPA’s election manifesto.

That said, Mr. Modi’s counter attack was unwarranted. Although his clarion call for a public debate with Dr. Singh on issues confronting the nation needs to be welcomed, the timing and venue were inopportune and in bad taste. A national day is not a moment for a political slugfest but one to remember the struggles/sacrifices of countless freedom fighters.

B. Suresh Kumar,


An empty vessel makes a lot of noise is what applies to Mr. Modi. In sharp contrast to Dr. Singh’s well-meaning message delivered for his domestic audience and a no-nonsense warning to Pakistan in a tone and tenor befitting the occasion, Mr. Modi has twisted it to suit his usual sabre-rattling and also to give it an extra thrust to his staggering ambition to rule India.

Capt. Thongath Raju (retd.),


What Mr. Modi said is exactly what the country wants answers for from the government. Pandit Nehru was concerned with the same problems in 1947. Were not 66 years time enough to bring about a change? The food security bill is nothing new but an attempt that is focussed on winning the 2014 election, instead efficient PDS systems in some States.

Sumit Sharma,


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