The Presidential poll has lent more colour to the kaleidoscopic Indian politics.
We have now become conscious that parties that are not constituents of the NDA
are not opposed to the BJP, and cannot be counted as part of the wider Opposition in any meaningful sense.
In fact, parties such as the AIADMK, BJD, TRS
and YSR Congress
are clearly closer to the BJP
than the Congress
and the Left. The way these parties have rushed to extend their support to the NDA
choice for presidency, Ram Nath Kovind (pictured), has conveyed their endorsement of Narendra Modi’s three-year rule.
The Presidential poll has given greater visibility to the uneasy relationship between the JD(U)
and the RJD in Bihar. Nitish Kumar has sent signals that he is gravitating towards the BJP.
His support to the NDA
candidate has shrunk the space for him to emerge as the consensus choice of the Opposition to challenge Modi in 2019.
A lot is spoken of Ram Nath Kovind’s Dalit
identity. But less is said about what actually won him his elevation to the presidency is his unswerving loyalty to the Hindutva cause. The Congress
and the Left certainly have a point when they say that the Presidential election
has brought to the fore the battle between two ideologies — one represented by them and the other by the BJP.
The numbers are stacked in NDA’s favour; but then the battle for the soul of India
cannot be lost.
G David Milton, Maruthancode
In his column, “The paradox of innovation” (June 22), Shyamal Majumdar
brilliantly concludes that India
has far to go in the field of innovation, in spite of its jump from the 81st ranking in 2015 to 60th in 2017.
The biggest hurdle in innovation
is our national culture, made worse by our education
system. We are tradition loving, status-quoist people, with a high sense of obedience towards established order. The best age for nurturing creativity is through primary education.
The rote system of teaching kills that spirit early. Consequently, that skill comes from an instinct or self-learning, so the number of innovative persons is bound to be minuscule.
Indian universities do not have a culture of research since the faculty is engaged in a mix of academic and non-academic activities and teaching is not the first choice of top talent in the country. Also, in a culture where the purpose of education
is equated with a well-paying job, young people find no attraction in a research-based career.
Furthermore, Indian business houses don’t see much need for new ideas as benchmarking and buying second-rate technology serves their purpose. As long as GE’s 360-degree method of performance appraisal, or Toyota’s just-in time serves the purpose, why spend on research?
Y G Chouksey, Pune
Creature of politics
The NDA’s Presidential candidate and the justifications for his nominations, along with the statements in media, have boiled down to this: Unless you are a Dalit, Muslim, or a minority, don’t dream of becoming a President in the near future.
It is time, becoming a President had only one eligibility criterion — the candidate should never have been a member of any political party, or any legislature, even as an independent candidate. Unless this is done, we won’t be able to undo the damage done to this high office by the Congress
for the last 60 years and the BJP
now, who has reduced the persona of the President to a ruling party’s biggest silent election campaigner and banner.
So much for the touted statement that the President must be above politics, religion, caste, etc. The office has now turned into a creature of politics, religion, and casteism.
T R Ramaswami, Mumbai
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