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This refers to 'Speaking for ourselves' (IE, January 23) by Seema Chishti. In India, the opportunities for the under-privileged to improve their economic lot are still inadequate. As a result, a large section of the population looks to the government for patronage. This seems to lead to people forming pressure groups based on identities, and political parties resorting to identity politics for votes. For this to change, the government's agenda must become development-oriented, with the prime objective being the economic empowerment of people. Unfortunately, at present, schemes such as the NREGA, the farm loan waiver and the National Food Security Bill do not seem to adequately meet this objective.
— Kishor Kulkarni
Too little too late
THE punishment meted out to Om Prakash Chautala, his son Ajay Chautala and 53 others is just the tip of the iceberg ('The mercenaries', IE, January 23). All the institutions that charged candidates hefty amounts while recruiting them as teachers or faculty should be probed. The corruption in the education sector seems rampant, with several political leaders parking loyalists in the educational institutions they own.
— Ravindra Zinjurke
THE 10-year sentence for the Chautalas seems to be a mockery of our judicial system ('The mercenaries', IE, January 23). As the legal maxim goes, "justice delayed is justice denied", and it took several years to sentence the culprits. Will the money they made through corrupt practices be returned to the poor teachers with interest? In all probability, the Chautalas won't even serve out the entirety of their sentences. They may even attempt to contest elections in future. This case is only one example of deep-rooted corruption in India, which needs to be tackled at all levels. The judiciary must be reformed so that cases of corruption are tried with greater expediency.
— S.N. Kabra
THE BJP seems to have elected an uninspiring president at a crucial time ('Rajnath Singh, not Nitin Gadkari to be BJP President as script changes at last moment', IE, January 23). While it was correct to ease out Nitin Gadkari after the recent charges of corruption against him, the party had a wide range of candidates other than Rajnath Singh to choose from. He does not seem to inspire the masses, even in his own state of Uttar Pradesh. The BJP does not appear to have given serious thought to the general elections of 2014, where it must fight the Congress. It had several other options, including L.K. Advani, Sushma Swaraj, Arun Jaitley and Narendra Modi, but instead it chose a leader who may not be much of a challenge to Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi.
— H.K. Kulkarni