Whoever wins India's election should focus on tackling poverty

Our readers have their say on governance in India, airline safety and the ICC case

People stand in queue to cast their votes outside a polling booth in Kashmir on Monday. AP
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I write in reference to Chitrabhanu Kadalayil's op-ed Did the BJP's 'Mission 400' seat target make winning India's election mission impossible? (May 16): there are a number of reasons for the poor voter turnout in the Indian election, including unfavourable weather, but this will be worrying for all of the main political parties.

Although it isn't expected to win 400 seats, the BJP still has the ability to secure a majority, mainly due to a weak opposition. Of course, if the number of BJP seats declines, it suggests that the opposition is becoming stronger. Yet the Congress party does not have the deep roots it previously did, and so, even if the opposition ends up forming a government, it will be composed of numerous small parties and would not be stable or sustainable in a nation the size of India.

All that being said, what is being ignored is the fact that India's fundamental needs are not being adequately met. Why the least-privileged people continue to remain poor remains a concern. Helping them move up the social ladder should be the top priority for any administration, and the BJP has performed marginally better in this area than its predecessors. Programmes that prioritise women's empowerment have had some positive results, albeit slowly.

Finally, it bears mentioning that India will be more successful as a nation if religious fanaticism is kept out of politics.

Ramachandran Nair, Muscat, Oman

Improving air safety is key

I write in reference to Amr Mostafa and Nicky Harley's article One dead and several injured in severe turbulence on London to Singapore flight (May 21): it was disconcerting to read the news about the death of a passenger and injuries to several others this week. It was also a sobering reminder that, even though aviation remains the safest mode of transport today, passenger safety is not always guaranteed. There has been a series of accidents in recent months from Japan to the US, which suggests there is room for improvement as far as the airline industry is concerned. Whatever they are – technological upgrades, safety regulation updates, a new insurance framework – they call for joined-up thinking to make flying even safer than it already is.

K Ragavan, Bengaluru, India

Western hypocrisy in today's wars

I write in reference to Tim Stickings' article MPs urge Britain to back ICC bid to 'hold Israel to account' (May 22): the war in Gaza has exposed western double standards, especially when weighed against the conflict in Ukraine. The ICC must not fail in its bid to bring justice to those who have been harmed and wronged. It must not fail to hold key Israeli government officials to account.

Name withheld by request

Published: May 24, 2024, 3:00 AM