TIME conversation

India Decides

Re “What India Wants” [April 7]: We Indians want to be given equal opportunity in social mobility as well as a better and dignified life. We have been waiting for far too long. In fact it is not so much what India wants but what India needs. Our nation needs a social revolution to eradicate much of its age-old ills—in other words, a complete overhaul. The chain of inequality has dragged down our nation’s progress for centuries. It must be broken before India can keep pace with this fast-changing world and stand upright.
Benedict Tagore,

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has strong similarities to a successful startup company. It identified the need in the market for a clean political party that truly cared about the people. Then it deployed an innovative marketing strategy by going door to door in Delhi promoting the party and its ideology. Next, AAP launched its first successful product and garnered serious brand-name recognition when it usurped the ruling Congress Party in the Delhi elections. Investment followed from all over the country in the form of donations from the common man. And now AAP is taking its product national and expanding its market share by contesting the national elections. For a country struggling to spawn new companies, the AAP model comes as a wake-up call.
Pradyumn Dayal,
Hong Kong

Support for AAP is based on the empty, impractical slogan of rooting out corruption in India, where corruption has ruled the roost for the past two or more millennia. I know it is a good idea, but it is impractical for the simple reason that even those who raise their voice against corruption are not free from it. Then how can you eradicate it?
Sannasi Chandran,
Kollam, India

Identity Crisis
Re “State of a Nation” [April 7]: Zoher Abdoolcarim writes, “India doesn’t have a national idea.” Maybe not now, but it used to. In the late 1890s, Swami Vivekananda declared that the national idea of India was religion. He added that if India ever abandoned religion and turned to politics, it would be doomed. Nowadays that sounds a little old-fashioned.
William Page,

Mad About Mad Men
Re “The Last Days of Mad Men” [April 7]: James Poniewozik describes lucidly the allure of Mad Men and why I’ve been transfixed by its magic since the first viewing. Art at its best: nothing is like it seems, even a cursory first glance suggests layers and layers of deeper meaning and commentary underneath the shining exteriors of objects and humans alike. Every episode lingers in the mind, slowly revealing new angles and possibilities.
Melt van Schoor,
Arles-sur-Tech, France

Animal Alternatives
Re 10 Questions [April 7]: Gene Baur gets one thinking about meat and farm animals. Meat tastes too good to give up, and it is perhaps wishful thinking to expect that people do this on a scale to make any difference. What if we could replace farm-animal meat with cheaper, tastier lab-produced meat on a massive scale? The technology exists. With a better conversion rate of protein to meat (less corn and deforestation) under controlled conditions, any type of meat can be produced on a viable basis, one imagines. If this could be brought about, the world would truly change: a new era. Just think of it.
Cornelis van der Leek,
Bloemfontein, South Africa

Maps Matter
Re “Old World Order” [March 31]: I fully appreciated Robert D. Kaplan’s article. Stressing the role played by territorial features in the world’s current hot spots means highlighting the importance of geography both as a key global factor and a school subject. Geography matters to everyone, whenever and wherever space and position matter. It should be respected and revalued in education systems because it is far from being mere lists of names and data to learn by heart. Yes, I totally agree, “Geography hasn’t gone away”!
Antonio Sarzo,
Rovereto, Italy

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