Letters to the Editor — April 5, 2021

Democracy matters

It is interesting to note that the COVID-19 pandemic has not diminished voter enthusiasm. It is a tribute to democracy that voters are enthusiastic about exercising their franchise as ever. Do not be surprised if there is a higher voter turnout in the Assembly elections than usual.

The Assembly elections are not just about the continuance or change of governments; they are far more significant in that democracy, secularism, social justice and constitutional values are at stake. People should be able to identify the party or alliance that genuinely cares about them, the common people, and not just corporate behemoths and religious zealots.

While the BJP is irrelevant in Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry, its performance in Assam and West Bengal will be keenly watched. The elections will obviously beget State administrations. But then they will be far more important for the BJP’s and secular parties’ shares of the popular vote and what they mean for the secular fabric of society.

G. David Milton,

Maruthancode, Tamil Nadu


No teeth

Every election over the years has seen violations of various kinds being highlighted by the Election Commission of India, but nothing seems to be acted upon excepting for a few moves to take cognisance of the very serious nature by countermanding elections. In general, many parties and their candidates seem to get away with token punishments. Either the Election Commission does not have the wherewithal to take the cases to their logical end or lacks the teeth to pursue these cases to next stage. This is a sorry state of affairs that needs to be remedied. The onus is on the ECI is to publish a white paper on election-related cases and the action taken.

A.V. Narayanan,

Tiruchi, Tamil Nadu

It is difficult to believe the ECI’s neutrality in the light of some of the happenings in the recent past, especially in Assam and Tamil Nadu. The ECI is on the backfoot when it comes to enforcement of the model code of conduct, curbing money power and establishing the supremacy of the body. The ECI should not only be fair, but, also seen to be fair. The recent instances in the election-bound States cast a serious doubt over the impartiality of the ECI. Those who run the ECI should understand that it is an autonomous body.

J. Anantha Padmanabhan,


Second wave

Just when it appeared that India had come to grips with the pandemic, going by the number of cases on a daily basis, comes news that the virus is back with a vengeance. Although not all States are affected, there is hardly any guarantee that the proliferation of the virus could remain restricted only to the States that are now witnessing a surge. Reports in the media that the second wave has been largely affecting the younger segment of the population is alarming.

C.V. Aravind,


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