Readers discuss Indian elections, Arabic lessons, politics and Ramadan
The election in Karnataka is a test for India's Congress Party
I refer to the article Karnataka state polls become dress rehearsal for India's general elections by Thufail Muhammad (May 10): it nicely analysed the election battle in the Indian state, which goes to the polls on Saturday. All parties have thrown their energies into winning this election but for the opposition Congress party and the ruling BJP, this election has become a matter of prestige and an important test in the run-up to the general elections that will take place next year.
The Congress party has already lost its mojo in many states and winning the Karnataka race might pave the way for an improved performance in next year's elections. Rahul Gandhi, the Congress party leader, has already announced his aspiration to be India's next prime minister. One wonders whether the people of Karnataka will give their verdict in his favour, ignoring the fact that the Congress party failed to deliver on many of the promises it made when the state last had elections.
K Ragavan, Denver
Politics is a cesspool of the rich and unscrupulous
In reference to Rashmee Roshan Lall's op-ed US primary election candidates are wearing their criminal convictions as a badge of political honour, not shame (May 8), across the world, candidates with dubious backgrounds are crowding political stages. True, many have criminal records. The augmented role of money in elections has given rise to a new breed of affluent politicians who are sometimes unscrupulous.
It is common practice for political parties to distribute pressure cookers and television sets to entire communities before the elections in India. People are voting for those who can give them something in return for their votes.
The long-term vision or good of the country is jettisoned. "A common man can never aspire for a political seat or career," a member of the Indian parliament advised me some years ago. He was right. A common man can never have the money or muscle power to survive in the cesspool of current politics in most countries.
Rajendra Aneja, Dubai
Ramadan is a special time in the UAE
The time has come for another month of prayer and sacrifice. There is a general feeling of goodwill within the community, which is united on the principles of faith. Dubai, a progressive emirate that embraces all tourists and expatriates with warmth and provides them with the space to practise their religion, has made efforts to highlight the spiritual side of of the holy month. Some tourists might have qualms about visiting us during this holy month but if they want to explore the spiritual nuances of Islam, then this is the right time, regardless of their beliefs.
Mathew Litty, Dubai