Letters to the Editor — April 30, 2020

Plight of workers

It is astonishing how a 100 million-plus strong workforce, the backbone of the informal economy, has largely remained hidden from the attention of society and policymakers (Editorial page, “Vividly imagining the life of migrant workers”, April 29).

It remains to be seen whether the public sympathy generated by their lockdown-related travails would translate into the making of rights-based social security policies. The Centre, the home States, and the host States would have to share the burden of creating a social safety net for the workers so that we do not expose them to the cumulative deprivations of joblessness, homelessness, and hunger in the future.

It is surprising that narratives about migrant workers skip an important plot in the script — the chronic socio-economic backwardness of Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, and West Bengal to which most of the migrant labourers belong. The political rulers and elites of these States should be held accountable for the distress migration.

V.N. Mukundarajan,


Another flip-flop

It is unfortunate that the Union Health Ministry has done a U-turn on plasma therapy (Page 1, “Ministry does U-turn on plasma therapy”, April 29). Initially, we were told that there is no health emergency. But we seem to have come to that point. Then, we were told to wait for the rapid test kits. They too appear to be faulty. Finally, there was a ray of hope with the theory of plasma therapy. That too has been dashed. The pace of events suggest that there is a lot of false hope being given to buy time. It is time the Centre and States come out with a clear strategy.

K. Ganesh,



Nostalgic rewind

The 1970s were a golden period as far as entertainment was concerned (‘Open Page’, “The period drama on the idiot box”, April 26). I had a transistor radio then and TV sets such as Dyanora and Solidaire were famous. My son and daughter used to visit houses in the neighbourhood to watch cricket matches, Wimbledon and the French Open which were relayed by Doordarshan. Those days, Doordarshan screened Tamil films on Saturdays and Hindi films on Sundays. During this period, my brother-in-law bought a Dyanora TV set which was viewed as a boon by my children. I had avoided buying a TV set as I felt their studies would be affected. But the pressure grew and I bought a Solidaire set in 1978. The TV would be on the whole day at times — for sporting events, ‘Ramayana’ or ‘Mahabharat’ and serials, and even ‘Oliyum Oliyum’. It took a while for me to restore order in the house. When there was no TV, we would be running to some house to view programmes and when it was there we would be switching it off every now and then. How ironical.

D. Sethuraman,



Saliva use

If the repulsive sight of using saliva to polish cricket balls makes a retreat in post-COVID-19 scenario, it would be a desirable side-effect of the pandemic. Like yesterday’s follies become today’s customs and tomorrow’s edicts, the invented attributes and benefits were thrust upon this unhygienic mannerism of some prominent cricketer of yore. The ICC’s move to explore other options over “saliva-polishing” is a case of better late than never.

Ayyasseri Raveendranath,

Aranmula, Kerala

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Printable version | May 26, 2020 3:33:57 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/letters/letters-to-the-editor-april-30-2020/article31466684.ece

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