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Letter to BS: Extremes are required to check on liberal ideas gone too far

A culture of coalescence, compromise and consensus cultivates group think, discourages dissent and leads to the continuation of bad policies

Business Standard 

Washington: President Donald Trump speaks to members of the media at the White House in Washington, Wednesday, July 24, 2019, as he departs for a short trip to Andrews Air Force Base, Md., and onto Wheeling, W.Va., for a fundraiser. AP/PTI(
US President Donald Trump | AP/PTI

This refers to the editorial “The rise of the extremes” (September 11). It places too much faith on compromise but compromises can sometimes be worse than doing nothing. For example, compromising on a half bridge is dumber than no bridge or a whole bridge. The decisions by such as scrapping Iran deal and the policy of no-deal with dictatorial/tyrannical regimes in North Korea and Afghanistan are examples where a compromise is neither feasible nor advisable. A culture of coalescence, compromise and consensus cultivates group think, discourages dissent and leads to the continuation of bad economic policies such as the MGNREGA programme. Enhanced allocation to the leakage-prone programme by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) — a party opposed to wasteful digging and filling pits activity — is an example of how the glorious middle ends in a muddle.

Extremes are required to put the brakes on liberal ideas that go too far, too fast. Mollycoddling terrorists in Kashmir or accepting too heavy a burden of the Bangladeshi/Rohingya refugees in the northeast are again examples where a well laid-out and clear-cut policy is the only and the best alternative instead of giving in to woolly-minded altruism of the jholawallah brigade.

We may rue that the BJP is no longer the party of Atal Bihari Vajpayee but it has to be conceded that Narendra Modi’s decision for a surgical strike and the Balakot aerial bombings went a long way in protecting our strategic interest than Vajpayee’s ill-advised, costly and eventual failed mission — Operation Parakram after the 2001 Parliament terror attack.

Ajay Tyagi, New Delhi


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First Published: Wed, September 11 2019. 21:10 IST
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