The Café Economics piece, “Food, inflation and recession”, Mint, 20 June, was very thought-provoking. It truly brings to the forefront the possibility of Ricardo’s land constraint becoming binding and makes one wonder whether there will be another shift in the nodes of power. Marx had postulated that power comes from the resource that is scarce, has an inelastic supply and command over this resource guarantees access to other valuable resources. In my opinion, the source of power would be determined by the weights that would be attached in the future to scientific knowledge (which has the potential to give us another green revolution) and to the “eating-up” of land which, till the former happens, is the only way to go.
—Girija S. Borker
This refers to the article, “The dissimilar twins”, Mint, 19 June. The points made by Bharat Karnad are valid. However, any comparison between India and China that does not take into consideration the constraints of democracy in India is going to be unfair, and hence may not be acceptable to many.
Also, India was not a united country some 300 years ago and hence was not in the same position as China was when the English traders first came.
If we look to the developments in India and China over the past 60 years, it will be clear that the merciless repression of those who are opposed to the ruling communist party in China is the single most important factor which distinguishes the two countries.
It is possible for the Chinese government (i.e., the ruling party) to sell arms to any country without being questioned by even one individual in that country! It has been possible for the Chinese government (a) to impose curbs on the movement of citizens from one place to another without being questioned; ( b) to impose one-child norms to restrict population growth; (c) to repress all kinds of opposition to the government’s actions on the economic front. These and similar actions on the part of the state are impossible in India as they are all subject to some administrative or judicial review.
— Narendra M. Apte
This refers to your editorial, “New affront”, Mint, 14 June. I totally agree with your view that these smaller regional parties who are trying to revive the Third Front are not practical enough and do not have much to offer as far as economic and governance go. But the big question is why they are giving it a try— simply because the way both the so-called national parties, the Congress and the BJP, have lost major ground in the past four to five years is known to everyone.
If we compare the past few years Parliament elections tally then we will surprisingly find that the total tally of both these parties has not even touched the 300 mark—testimony to the fact that these regional parties are eating into their share. If they do not act fast, parties such as BSP can increase their base to all northern states. And in such a scenario, what happens is that bargaining power remains with them and they exploit the situation to the hilt, as we are witnessing in the case of the UPA, where the Left puts a break on every reform. In a nutshell, we can say that though it is certain that the Third Front may not have any future in the short term, both BJP and Congress need to be on their toes.
— Bal Govind
This refers to “Taking aim”, Mint, 21 June. You seem to have overstressed the point that the President is the product of raw politics. In fact, that is the very reason the President should rise above partisan politics and represent the whole diversity of our people, and not be limited or shackled to political ideologies or organizational rigidities.
— Ghulam Muhammed