Apropos of the column “Rebels without a clue” by Paul Krugman (FE, October 1), the US government “shutdown”—a result of intense political one-upmanship between the Republicans and the Democrats—is a rare privilege given to large democracies. Back home, we have the BJP-led Opposition that is not very different from the Republicans. If in the US House one man does the filibuster, at home a collective of MPs perform the same task—the proceedings just do not proceed! The BJP fights the very same proposals now, such as the GST and the FDI, that it had moved while in power. The Republicans had espoused near similar Healthcare scheme, some of the states under them are already implementing this, but when it is pursued under Obama they are prepared to force the government come to a grinding halt. Perhaps it is better to be dogged like the Republicans and disagree on good policies and schemes than agree like the BJP on patently bad ones as the Food Security Bill. That could be the difference between a two-century-plus democracy and a six-decade-one.
Apropos of the news story “Lalu convicted in fodder scam, faces disqualification as MP” (FE, October 1), conviction of the RJD chief and former Bihar CM Lalu Prasad Yadav by the special CBI court in the 17-year-old fodder scam case shows that the law is gradually catching up with even the strong and high profile political leaders who are guilty of wrongdoings and establishes their equality before law—all thanks to an independent judiciary, vigilant and assertive media and awakened citizenry. With a minimum punishment of three year imprisonment for the offence for which Lalu has been convicted, he may be the first MP to lose his Parliamentary seat under the Supreme Court verdict on disqualification of convicted MPs/MLAs. Our judicial process which took 17 years to decide the case needs to be fast-tracked even more.
Apropos of the column “His moral highness” by Shekhar Gupta (FE, September 30), the PM has only himself to blame for his public humiliation by Rahul Gandhi. Indeed, throughout his tenure, Manmohan Singh has exhibited an unbecoming servility towards the Nehru-Gandhi family. To the extent that, less than a month ago, he announced that he would be happy to serve under Rahul Gandhi. Coming from, to quote the author, a man of “dignity, intellect and integrity”, Singh has, due to his own weakness and inability