I was comforted and delighted to read Shekhar Gupta’s National Interest column “Secularism is dead!” (FE, April 21). Gupta does well to give us a dose of practical good sense at a time when “intellectuals” seem preoccupied with grand narratives and ideological battles about the making or unmaking of India. Most of the time, we seem to have forgetten that we are talking of an election. Whom we vote for, or against, is a simple electoral act. The voters’ concern is simply to elect a good and responsive government to power so that good governance is delivered. At the moment, a BJP-led NDA seems to promise that better than the Congress’s UPA. If they deliver, it would have been a good decision on the parts of the voters. If not, they will be thrown out of power in the next election. As for the debate about the idea of India, it seems very elitist to me. If the idea of India is intrinsically Indian, surely the people of the country would know what it is without having to be told? Whatever the idea of India is, it is nearer and dearer to the people who inhabit the geographies and diversities of India in their daily lives than it is to the scholarly mind.
Gurpreet S Goraya