Cold light of office

* This refers to 'AAP and them' by Pratap Bhanu Mehta (IE, October 8). The writer's reflections on the AAP movement and the lessons it holds for Indian politics are interesting. Ironically, change is difficult in a democracy. Leaders like Indira Gandhi and Bansi Lal, whose administrative styles were dictatorial, succeed in bringing about change. The reason why democratic polities are slow to transform is because while elections bring about a change in the leadership, the underlying administration structure remains the same. When electrifying electoral rhetoric comes face to face with reality, compromises are struck. Barack Obama's experience fortifies the notion that politics is the art of compromise. For instance, his promise to dismantle the Guantanamo facility looked very different in the cold light of office. The AAP is a work in progress. Its commitment to its causes can only be tested after the elections.

R. Chopra


Elder statesman

* For quite sometime, Sachin Tendulkar's performance has been below expectations. Even though the media is celebrating his career after he announced his intent to retire after his 200th Test match, it has, for a while now, been pressing him to call it a day. Be that as it may, the BCCI should devise a way to include him in some aspects of its functioning, so that it might benefit from his vast breadth of experience. The batting maestro must continue to mentor younger players in the Indian cricket team. Mini Kapoor was right to observe ('Sachin's next innings', IE, October 11) that Sachin's international experience outstrips the next most experienced player's in the team by a long shot. His mere presence in the dressing room can rejuvenate players to give it their best. His advice can be of immense value, especially at crucial moments of a match.

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