Verdict in U.P.
The game changing verdict by voters in Uttar Pradesh (“Mulayam delivers hard blow to Maya, upends Rahul,” (March 7) has given the Samajwadi Party the wheels of power and not the chair as it has tasted power earlier.
Every Assembly election has its basket of surprises. The national parties should cooperate with the regional parties and ensure that the fruits of development reach the people. They should also strengthen their regional organisations.
The Election Commission deserves accolades for conducting the Assembly elections in a smooth and fair manner (“Five verdicts, one lesson,” editorial, March 8). It shows that the national parties are in the political wilderness. Voters are also confused and divided on diverse lines — religion, community, caste, money and muscle power being the influential factors. The trend is unlikely to change.
Congress president Sonia Gandhi's candid admission (“Too many leaders are our problem, says Sonia,” March 8) on the reasons behind the party's dismal performance — wrong candidates and organisational weaknesses — is welcome. However, her statement that too many leaders contributed to the defeat of the party cuts little ice. It is well known that the Congress was striving for its revival in Uttar Pradesh and hoping to cash in on the charisma of the Gandhi family. There was no State leadership in the foreground as all one saw was various members of the Gandhi family.
The results point to the fact that the Congress adamantly refuses to learn from history. But it should be happy that the wake-up call has been sounded two years before the big battle in 2014.
B. Suresh Kumar,
In future, regional parties will sit at the high table in national politics and dictate policy-making to suit their political interests. The track record of power sharing by such outfits in Delhi does not inspire confidence in their ability to rise above their parochial agendas and work towards nation building. The performance of UPA-II is proof of how policy-making can be paralysed by their obstinate conduct.
The message from the elections is specifically addressed to the Congress. Unless it changes its ways of functioning, it will end up very hurt in 2014.
At last, Ms Gandhi has realised that the organisational set-up in U.P. is weak. Whether the leadership accepts it or not, the coterie syndrome, a culture of sycophancy, factionalism and the reluctance of the leadership to take action are responsible for the party's poor show.
It is surprising that the Congress is indulging in stocktaking after the results. The party's dismal show should open the eyes of its somnolent leaders. The party has many talented leaders and it is a pity that it still relies on the family to lead the way.
The irony of political parties seeking an alibi behind the veneer of anti-incumbency for monumental failure defies logic. While the preliminary cause for defeat could differ from State to State depending on local grouses, the truth is that deep-rooted corruption has caused disenchantment with those in the seat of power.
A recent London School of Economics study points out that poor political leadership is one of the problems faced by India. Leadership does not merely mean charisma. A leader should have an ideology and a programme capable of addressing all issues facing the country. Currently, we are caught in the quagmire of rank opportunism, obscurantism and communalism, and have lost our sense of direction.
During the freedom struggle, we had too many leaders, but they all accepted the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi to achieve our goal — independence. The size of our country needs mass leaders, organisational workers, eloquent speakers and powerful writers to inspire our nation to achieve our goals and lead our country to growth and prosperity. Ms Gandhi is partially right in saying that the party has too many leaders.
S.A. Srinivasa Sarma,
The statement by Mr. Akhilesh Yadav (March 7) that “it is time our political energies are focussed away from the politics of personal attack and sharp-edged hostility … It is time for change and people will lead that change based on their hopes and aspirations …,” should be an eye-opener to all politicians.
The Fukushima accident serves as a glaring reminder for the Kudankulam anti-nuclear plant activists that states do not have solutions for serious social, economic and ecological crises of our time (March 8). On the contrary, governments are making disasters, not unmaking them, risking our collective future for their own short-term gains. The legacy of Chernobyl or Fukushima proves that nuclear power is not without enormous risk. Though the government is fond of nuclear power because it has already invested crores in the industry, we are ill-prepared for the coming of nuclear power. A nuclear plant gives us 40-50 years of cheap, clean energy, followed by 1,00,000 years of waste management. The government can also think of an alternative way to promoting renewable energy.
The article “What they don't teach you at Indian B-schools” (March 7) is a polemic discussion that contradicts itself and is logically incongruous. While everyone is feeling the repercussions of globalisation and the resultant impact of a shrinking universe, the beaten monochromatic argument on shunning western concepts in favour of oriental thinking holds no water. It is a global village today, thanks to the inroads made by information technology and where an earth divided on the grounds of socio-economic-cultural factors is fading into obscurity. This is pretty evident from the author's suggestion of so-called innovative alternatives for the Indian Railways, which essentially stems from his western experience.
This refers to the report “Madhavan Nair sees international conspiracy” (March 3), which quotes the former Chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation, G. Madhavan Nair, as saying that “he would not discount the possibility of an international conspiracy in raking up a controversy over the Antrix-Devas deal, targeting the nation's top scientists.”
He also says: “The ISRO spy scandal [which vilified the names of some top scientists earlier apparently without any reason] had come out in the open just after the success of the PSLV mission,” thereby suggesting that the “spy scandal case” was also the result of such an international conspiracy. One of the basic principles of science is “not to believe hearsay but only something which is proved by observation and experiment.” The ISRO spy scandal case was investigated by the CBI, and its 200-page report was perused and upheld by the Supreme Court, which in 1998, ordered a closure to all further investigation in that case. As a person who had perused the said report, I can vouch for the fact that there was not even a shadow of doubt raised about any “international conspiracy to vilify top scientists,” as declared by Mr. Nair. I hope he will clarify the details of such a conspiracy in his next statement.