Letters to the Editor — April 27, 2021

Issue of equity

The ongoing medical and human health crises should be the incontrovertible argument, if ever one was needed, for all health services to be public and free (Page 1, “18-44 age group may get jabs only through private facilities”, April 26). Moreover, the wide-scale distress and profiteering from distress through hoarding and exorbitantly-priced selling of essential items and services also make clear the virtue of having an equitable and decentralised health-care system. For those, including governments, who may point out the high public costs or the impossible nature of such an institution, the present public costs, which have merely been made tragically visible due to the pandemic but were always being borne by the masses of this country, and the fact that many countries do have a fully public funded health care system, should be a sufficiently robust answer.

Finally, only a morally debased and criminally irresponsible polity allows private profiteering out of people’s tragedies and medical services, which are the first of universal human rights and a matter of dignity.

Firoz Ahmad,

New Delhi

A straightforward strategy of vaccinating everyone over the age of 18 has become the subject of political football. Dual pricing, with free vaccines at government hospitals for the poor and a market price at private hospitals for people who are willing to pay, would have enabled vaccine makers to recover lost profit from supplying to the state. Who would have thought this fiasco will happen in a country which is one of the largest producers and exporters of COVID-19 vaccines?

Dr. Thomas Palocaren,

Vellore, Tamil Nadu

Help for India

Though some form or other of a lockdown has been imposed in the best interests of the health and safety of the common man, there is otherwise a dire need to ramp up medical facilities to meet the needs of both symptomatic and asymptomatic patients.

It is appreciable that some countries have come forward to support the nation’s needs (Page 1, April 26). The world should note that it was India that took a lead in supplying vaccines to other nations.

Varun Dambal,


History and Bangladesh

One cannot but praise the writer’s extraordinary skills in telling off the Establishment so subtly that the reason for keeping the celebration of the golden jubilee celebrations of Bangladesh in India low key was their hesitancy in acknowledging the role of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in the historic event (Editorial page, “Endeavour, leadership and the story of a nation”, April 26). But for her, perhaps the idea of Bangladesh might not have gone beyond the point of intellectual germination. But Prime Minister Narendra Modi did make the most out of his visit to Bangladesh recently, with an eye on the votes of the Matua community in the Assembly elections in West Bengal.

Though there is a passing reference to the Indo-Soviet Treaty 1971 in the article, it was essentially a bilateral military treaty, and designed to be a bulwark against a potential threat from the United States.

Coming to the unnamed spymaster who masterminded and executed the entire liberation plan, could the writer have been referring to R.N. Kao, the chief of RAW? I respect the writer for sticking meticulously to the service rule of confidentiality even this far in time.

M. Jameel Ahmed,


Oxygen from Sterlite

The decision by the Tamil Nadu government to augment oxygen production utilising the facilities at Vedanta’s Sterlite copper plant in Tuticorin should only be seen as a pragmatic wager, when the nation is gasping for oxygen. However, the terms and conditions for this ‘ad hoc’ arrangement have to be laid out clearly to avoid any misunderstanding later between the government, Vedanta and the people of Tamil Nadu.

Sam Vijay Kumar J.,

Tiruchitrambalam, Tamil Nadu

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Printable version | Jun 14, 2021 1:33:09 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/letters/letters-to-the-editor-april-27-2021/article34417443.ece

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