India should have a coalition government – at least that way, we’d be less fractured

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Sunday 12 May 2019 17:25
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Indian man Pawan Kumar explains he chopped off finger after accidentally voting for wrong candidate in election

India has never been as fractured as today along religious lines, during the past 70 years of freedom. This is horrendous. Muslims and Christians are a part of India. It is unfortunate that the ruling BJP party and prime minister Narendra Modi did not foster a more all-inclusive model of democracy and economic development. By his telling silences, when minorities were hurt or harmed in India, Modi indirectly blessed fragmentation.

India is a test-tube democracy for the world to watch: Can a nation with varied religious and cultural hues, political polarisation and economic distress, survive and prosper within a democratic framework?

The current elections are crucial, for they are not merely about which party or prime minister will lead, but what will be India’s ethos in the coming decades. India needs universities, schools, modern farms. Religion should be a matter of personal practice at home.

It is a horrible tragedy that in a poor country like India, economic issues have been relegated to the background. The lack of investment, unemployment, middle-class woes, rotten infrastructure, soft GDP data dished out by the government etc have not been debated.

Modi has focussed on attacking family members of Rahul Gandhi, the leading opposition leaders, and built a personality cult around him. The common man, the voter can wait for succour.

A coalition government would be best for India, where no strongman or party can overload the country with its ideologies. Coalition governments may be slow and inefficient. However, they would be more inclusive than any demagogue or megalomaniac leader.

If the BJP and Modi survive, then expect another five years of strongman rule, with unilateral decisions. The country will fragment further. Economic growth will crawl. The poor farmers, labourers and pensioners will suffer.

Rajendra Aneja
Mumbai

The Tory in-fighting effect

A Conservative leadership election has been described as a distraction from a general election.

A general election could then, in turn, be considered a distraction from Brexit, and Brexit a distraction from climate chaos.

Could Tory infighting be the trigger for the extinction of human life?

Mother earth will likely say “good riddance” regardless.

Steve Edmondson
Cambridge

Is Farage’s memory worse than the value of his promises?

Today’s interview on the Andrew Marr Show demonstrated how Nigel Farage’s utterances create a democratic deficit.

Farage claimed he had never supported a second referendum. He claimed he has always supported no deal. He claimed he never supported a Norway-style deal – after all he’s now saying all these things are a betrayal.

He only changed his tune when Marr played TV clips of him saying these things before the 2016 referendum.

Surely, when Leavers airbrush their previous promises and rewrite history to create a fundamentally different Brexit, the only democratic response is to hold a second referendum.

John Young
Edinburgh

Support free-thinking journalism and attend Independent events

If the UK sends Farage and a large group of destructive Brexit “Party” MEP’s to the European parliament, then the EU will not extend Brexit beyond October, and will reluctantly insist on our departure. They do not want these people.

The EU nations seem to have become increasingly united as a result of Brexit.

They wish to progress changes and initiate reforms; the last thing they want is Farage supported by a group of destructive “thugs” who have taken their seats as MEPs with the sole intention of damaging European unity.

It is time for us to wake up and recognise Farage for who and what he is.

He is even more dangerous and more corrosive than his friend Trump.

Martin Deighton
Woodbridge

What is Corbyn doing?

Why is Jeremy Corbyn standing in a room on his own, hawking a single sparkler when everyone else is gearing up for when the fuse hits the TNT that has been stockpiled under the UK for the past three years?

Amanda Baker
Edinburgh

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