For an open debate on issues that matter


A prominent leader of the BJP/NDA has claimed that the 2024 general polls are nothing but a contest between Narendra Modi and Rahul Gandhi.

He must remember that the Indian electoral system is diametrically opposite to the American presidential system where the fight is between faces. But in the Indian electoral system, people exercise their franchise in favour of the parties concerned according to their respective ideologies.

The same truth holds true for the 2024 general polls also, as the main battle would be between ideas and vision for India – secularism vs communalism, socialism vs crony-capitalism, freedom of speech vs throttling of voice, love vs hatred, compassion versus indifference.

Still, if the dominant force tries to project this election in ‘presidential’ mode, then it must take up the challenge of participating in an open debate, as proposed by a set of intellectuals and accepted by Rahul Gandhi, just as it happens in the USA.

Would the critics of ‘Pappu’ afford to turn up for such a debate? It would be interesting to get their clarification on the performance of the regime in the last 10 years in matters of economy, defence, social harmony, democratic values, and federalism.

No open press conference with the much-advertised ‘boldness’; lying and unilaterally mouthing abuses at all who dare to differ or pose counter questions; ‘sanitised’ interviews with scripted questions and answers with bhakt interviewers asking about one’s favourite fruit, or how he eats his mangoes – let’s put a stop to these deluge of ‘hush-hush’, zealous shouts and bankrupt mockery. Let’s have an open debate on serious things which matter and have relevance for the future of India.

Kajal Chatterjee,


Peerless Nagar, Kolkata