MyVoice: Views of our readers 3rd March 2024

MyVoice: Views of our readers 23rd April 2024

MyVoice: Views of our readers 23rd April 2024


Ahead of the Lok Sabha election polls, the Election Commission of India (EC) is reported to have issued an advisory and asked political parties and their leaders to refrain from seeking votes on the basis of caste, religion and language, and not insult the devotee-deity relation or make any suggestion of a divine censure.

EC’s writ should run even after elections

Ahead of the Lok Sabha election polls, the Election Commission of India (EC) is reported to have issued an advisory and asked political parties and their leaders to refrain from seeking votes on the basis of caste, religion and language, and not insult the devotee-deity relation or make any suggestion of a divine censure. It also has advised not to use temples, mosques, churches, Gurudwara or other places of worship for election propaganda or electioneering. This is one hundred per cent right. This should not be an advisory at the time of elections alone. It should be made a law so that caste and hate speeches can mostly be avoided.

Use of money and muscle power in elections is also an offence. But who dares and fears for the rules. Elections held based on caste, money and muscle power. Laws also bend for the politicians. Politicians escape the clutches of law since the ECI has little or no power to prosecute the offender. After the elections, cases are transferred to local police for investigation and prosecution. The cases are either dumped for long or get neutralised as the case may be. In my opinion, the ECI should be armed with more powers. It should be given the power to investigate, prosecute and punish political criminals who vitiates the atmosphere of the corridors of power.

Sravana Ramachandran, Chennai.


It is highly commendable that ECI, the high priest of electoral democracy, has come up with "ten commandments" to prevent misuse of caste and religion by the political parties in India, in the runup to GE 2024. (Don't seek votes on caste, religion - 2 March). Lamentably, the use of religion and caste to win votes has become a malignant cancer today.

We have seen how sensitive issues like Mandir, Masjid, Khabarastan Shamshan, Manipur & Nuh are misused in the political discourse, on the eve of elections. Unfortunately, legislative assemblies and the parliament have been used to promote the issues of religion and caste. In states like Maharashtra, affluent Marathas are being given reservations for political mileage. In certain states, caste census is projected by certain parties as their political Brahmastra. Not only political parties, the media also has become mouth pieces of certain parties and are playing a key role in propagating religious and caste issues.

Apart from political discourse, the manifestos of political parties also should be strictly scrutinised to rid them of promises relating to issues of religion or caste. In the final analysis, we, the people of India, are hopeful that ECI would enforce the law without any fear or favour.

P H Hema Sagar, Secunderabad


What we witness nowadays in the country is quite contrary to the lives we have led as Indians. In the present,disturbing scenario ridden with stinking politics, our leaders,nay politicians in power and out of power, focussing on vote-bank politics through their hate-speeches, tearing the secular fabric of the nation, are unashamedly and blatantly indulged in stoking religious and communal differences and prejudices among people. They woefully stoop down to exploiting religion, caste and community with the sole objective of capturing and retaining power. Whether elections are round the corner or even far off,our politicians, throwing to winds, moral values and democratic principles of the country, make inflammatory, fiery hate-speeches, targeting certain religions or communities, instigating masses and creating religious and communal disharmony which ultimately culminate in violent religious and communal riots in the country. Why these hate-speeches, assaulting religions and communities? Whether a person is a Hindu or a Muslim or a Christian or a Sikh, we are all the children of Mother India and just Indians, breathing the same air and drinking the same water in India.

Let wisdom dawn over our politicians to refrain from making hate-speeches against religions and communities and stoking religious and communal differences among people for their political gains and safeguard the secularism and democratic principles of the country in the interests of nation and for the welfare of the country. We are all just INDIANS irrespective of religion, caste, community, creed, race, region and language.

Dr Venugopala Rao Kaki, Kakinada

370 not a safe bet

Apropos, "Target 370: Is BJP oversanguine?" (THI (Mar 2). Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s confident assertion that the Bharatiya Janata Party will win 370 seats in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections has generated a lot of chatter. The BJP hopes that the positive fervour generated after the inauguration of the Ram Mandir, the Opposition being in complete disarray, a 10-year performance track record, and the popularity of Modi can help it (and its allies) cross the 400-seat mark. The BJP won a historic 282 seats in the 2014 elections, the only party to breach the halfway mark in three decades. In 2019, it won an even bigger mandate of 303 seats.

To accomplish Mission 370, the BJP needs to maintain its 2019 tally and hold on to all the seats it won. It needs to maintain a 100 per cent strike rate in these seats, which is not going to be easy. In 224 of the 303 seats, the BJP recorded more than 50 per cent vote share, exhibiting its strength and a higher probability of maintaining its score. However, the BJP's presence in southern India barring Karnataka is very low. It needs to gain atleast 50-60 seats in Southern states which is herculean task. Add to this, it should also make further gains than its tally of 2019 in Odisha and West Bengal.

Regardless, Mission 370 is a highly ambitious target and many such targets have been missed in the past in state elections. The BJP may achieve this feat. But the probability is low at best.

N Sadhasiva Reddy, Bengaluru

Enduring value of cursive writing

I am writing to emphasise the significant role that cursive writing plays in a child's development and education. In the age of digital communication, the art of cursive writing might seem outdated to some, but its importance in a child's cognitive and motor skill development cannot be overstated.

Cursive writing offers numerous benefits to children as they embark on their educational journey. One of the key advantages is its impact on fine motor skills. Learning to write in cursive requires precise hand-eye coordination and control, which contributes to the development of a child's fine motor skills. This, in turn, can have a positive effect on other aspects of their academic performance.

Furthermore, cursive writing has been linked to improved brain connectivity and enhanced cognitive function. As children learn to connect letters in a flowing manner, they engage both hemispheres of their brain, fostering neural connections that are not as activated when printing or typing. Research suggests that this cognitive engagement can positively impact a child's ability to retain information, problem-solving skills, and overall academic achievement.

In addition to its cognitive benefits, cursive writing holds cultural and historical significance. Many important historical documents are written in cursive, and the ability to read and write in this script allows children to connect with the past. It also instills a sense of appreciation for the written word and the evolution of language.

While digital literacy is undeniably crucial in today's world, we must not overlook the enduring value of cursive writing. Incorporating cursive into the curriculum ensures a holistic approach to education, addressing both technological and traditional skill sets. As parents, educators, and advocates for children's development, it is our responsibility to recognise and uphold the importance of cursive writing in shaping well-rounded individuals.

In conclusion, the inclusion of cursive writing in a child's education is an investment in their cognitive abilities, motor skills, and cultural awareness. Let us continue to foster an environment that values the diverse skills needed for success in the modern world.

N Nagarajan, Hyderabad

Care for the elderly people at homes

Why are old age homes mushrooming across the country? Of course, it has become a global occurrence. Disappearing joint family system is a mentionable reason behind children sending their parents to old age homes. Until a couple of decades ago, people used to live in joint families. When people started embracing nuclear families, the bond between old age parents and their children began waning. With the idea that nuclear families enhance independence, children are staying away from their parents. In this process, children are not only troubling their parents but also missing the cushion of love and support of them.

Having no one around them to take care of, parents are spending their last days in agony. And the most pathetic thing is, as most of the parents staying alone, sometimes they are losing lives in their homes in nobody's presence.

However, old age homes are good for the elderly people that have no children or other family members to look after them. But in the case of elderly people that have children and other family members, they should not be sent to old age homes. According to the Indian culture, elders are equivalent to Gods. Elders should be considered as assets in our lives. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres says "older persons are invaluable sources of knowledge and experiences and have much to contribute towards peace, sustainable development and protecting our planet." It implies how important taking utmost care of older persons is. Old age is venerable. An old person in a home is a living treasure. Considering all these things, the United Nations General Assembly designated October 1st as the International Day of Older people in the year 1990. This decision has been taken by UN to raise awareness about issues affecting the elderly, such as senescence and elder abuse.

People should stop thinking their old age parents as a burden. Whoever we are and whatever we do, we should daily spend some quality time with our parents. A mother's goodness is deeper than the sea and a father's goodness is higher than the mountain. Parents' love is unbreakable.

K Manoj Kumar, Huzurabad

Strictly follow exam timings

Recently, an Intermediate student committed suicide after not being allowed to write exams for being late by a few minutes. The board has put a strict rule of not allowing anyone even if it is one minute late. The rule may look harsh and merciless but that is what we need to respect to avoid any malpractice of paper leak or other types of cheating in the exam. The exam staff starting from Chief Superintendent down to the invigilating and monitoring staff should implement the rule strictly but should also take up the task of counselling all such students and see that they are escorted safely to home and also explain to their parents or guardians about the importance of sanctity of exam and at the same time soothing their disturbed minds. Such students should also be shown some videos on importance of time and punctuality besides being comforted that such

small disappointments are part of parcel of life and they should not resort to any hasty act leading to loss of life or inflicting injuries. They should be made to feel convinced that they would be more careful in future.

Parents should also be called to college and students should be given hall tickets along with a pep talk, duly explaining the examination process, importance of time and punctuality so that their hard working and sincere children do not become victim of any malpractice whatsoever. It should be mandatory for parents to be present at the time of giving hall tickets.

D Nagarjuna, Hyderabad

Brazen defections make a mockery of democracy

Highly disturbing developments are taking place which are nothing but a mockery of democracy. The recently held elections to Rajya Sabha in a number of states reconfirm the trend of political parties and their elected members behaving indifferently towards the aspirations of the people and the principles their parties stand for. In Himachal Pradesh, six MLAs of Congress voting in favour of BJP candidate and still remaining in the House as MLAs of the Congress party is something which the voters may find very difficult to understand. Now, the very survival of the State government is in stake. The Chandigarh Mayoral candidate declared elected by the Supreme Court is yet to take oath and assume office as the opposition party seems to be waiting to move no confidence vote immediately after assuming office, which indicates activities towards a coup.

Political parties promote certain ideologies, formulate policies and programmes. Based on the policies and programmes, voters choose the party to rule for the specific period. Under this system parties, their policies and programmes play an important role in influencing the voters to make their choice. While switching over loyalty to another party an elected member is expected to resign his post and seek re-election for the people to decide further.

In Karnataka majority voters preferred non BJP parties to rule the State. But due to the avaricious attitude of certain elected members and unprincipled attitude of the BJP, defection was incentivised and much against the will of the people the defeated party ruled the State. Same thing happened in Maharashtra and MP also. In Bihar, a leader of a party is taking the entire voters of the State for granted and keeps switching over loyalty of his party as a whole with least regard for the aspirations of the people who had voted in his favour. In Rajasthan BJP tried its best to take undue advantage of the internal wrangles going on the ruling party but failed.

The anti-defection law should be amended in such a way to strip the defecting members of their post in the law making body irrespective of the number of members indulging in such act.

A G Rajmohan, Anantapur

Sanatana Dharma truly transcends religions

One can conceive of Sanatana Dharma metaphorically as a tree comprising various traditions. Innumerable branches came out of the trunk, which are dependent and yet independent of the trunk. They both grow in a syncretic manner. The branches are all the individual ‘traditions’ like Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism, and any number of ‘isms’ termed religions. What remains of the trunk proper after all the branches is perhaps "Hinduism," as it is known today. People still have difficulty defining Hindus and Hinduism, including the constitution and the judiciary. It is important to understand that all Indian phenomena are ‘traditions’ with a different configuration of living. The concept of blasphemy or even conversion does not exist in the traditional world. A person can hold Buddha and the Jain monks in the same reverence as Krishna. Charvakas could argue in temple complexes about the existence of God. Western culture is a religious culture, unlike Indian culture. Religions in the definitional sense are Christianity, Islam, and Judaism. They say, "I am true, and you are false." Conversion is an important dynamic, and blasphemy is a thriving concept with sometimes serious consequences for life. We have come to believe many colonial stories of how Bhakti traditions, Buddhism, and Jainism were ‘revolts’ against Hinduism. Isolated instances get converted to sweeping generalisations. There are deep flaws and contradictions in many of the theories. Unfortunately, Marxists controlled our education for a long time and had an even more deficient understanding of our traditions and culture. Everything had to fit into the exploiter-exploited paradigm. Finally, many intellectuals and parties like the DMK today have only one understanding: Sanatana dharma equals Hinduism equals caste system equals Brahmanism equals all evils in society; and the cure to the evils is to dismantle Sanatana dharma altogether, starting with Brahmins and then progressively addressing the caste system and Hinduism. We urgently need to understand ourselves for harmony in the future. There is no place for hate. Sanatana dharma has been the philosophy of our civilization for at least 5000 years, and it needs a non-distorted understanding.

Dr Pingali Gopal, Hanamkonda

PM's double speak on Sandeshkhali horrors

Prime Minister Narendra Modi attacking the TMC government on Sandeshkhali issue and asking people to defeat TMC in coming Lok Sabha polls is nothing playing politics. Instead of giving healing balm to the people of Sandeshkhali, the PM is asking for votes. He had even compared India bloc with three monkeys by symbolising the phrase "see no evil, talk no evil and hear no evil". The PM is deliberately ignoring that the TMC party has suspended the culprit of Sandeshkhali from the party for six years, and he was arrested. But our PM spokes about Ma- Mati- Manush and talks about Sandeshkhali and claims Raja Ram Mohan Roy's soul may be pained at the activities of these people at Sandeshkhali. Many atrocities were carried to women in Manipur but our PM never visited Manipur and now he is talking about atrocities of women in Sandeshkhali is nothing but hypocrisy. Sandeshkhali has provided an unprecedented opportunity to BJP ahead of the elections and PM's speech and visiting Sandeshkhali represents how BJP is desperate to capitalise it. By referring to the name of main accused, Shahjahan, who belongs to minority community, in connection with the alleged sexual abuse of women, BJP is keeping the issue by polarising agenda in the run-up to the polls.

Zakir Hussain, Kazipet

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