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Presidential poll has lent more colour to the kaleidoscopic Indian politics

Business Standard 

Political crystallisation 

The Presidential poll has lent more colour to the kaleidoscopic Indian We have now become conscious that parties that are not constituents of the 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, and are clearly closer to the than the and the Left. The way these parties have rushed to extend their support to the 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 and the RJD in Bihar. Nitish Kumar has sent signals that he is gravitating towards the His support to the 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 identity. But less is said about what actually won him his elevation to the presidency is his unswerving loyalty to the Hindutva cause. The and the Left certainly have a point when they say that the has brought to the fore the battle between two ideologies — one represented by them and the other by the The numbers are stacked in NDA’s favour; but then the battle for the soul of cannot be lost. 

G David Milton, Maruthancode 

Limiting innovation

In his column, “The paradox of innovation” (June 22), Shyamal Majumdar brilliantly concludes that 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 is our national culture, made worse by our 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 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 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 for the last 60 years and the 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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First Published: Thu, June 22 2017. 22:37 IST