Letters

Letters to the Editor — December 1, 2020

Protesting farmers

The farmers’ protests against the Farm Acts continue to simmer yet the government seems to be nonchalant to their demands. The high-handedness in dealing with their protests speaks volumes of the government’s response and follows a familiar thread as seen during demonetisation, introduction of the GST regime, inept handling of the health pandemic, the poor handling of the migrant labour crisis or the rushing through of important pieces of legislation such as the labour Bills. It appears that the country is being led to a future where authoritarianism only would prevail and citizens will have no voice.

V. Padmanabhan,

Bengaluru

The hallmark of the present regime at the Centre is the arbitrary way of taking decisions and formulating laws, whether it is concerned with the economy (demonetisation), the environment (the EIA draft notification) or farmers (the ordinances that have been made into law). The ruling dispensation does not feel it necessary to discuss such vital matters with the people whom these decisions affect. We are the largest democracy in the world, but the rulers who are democratically elected have created the perception of behaving autocratically. Instead of saving farmers, on whose toil the nation runs, from the usurping hands of the free market which is controlled by the corporate giants, every ruling dispensation seems to be wanting to push them further and further into the traps of the corporate economy. It is better the rulers learn, as Jawaharlal Nehru says in his Glimpses of World History, that “there is a limit to human endurance”.

Sukumaran C.V.,

Palakkad, Kerala

It is not just the guaranteed MSP but the weak regulation of alternative market mechanisms created by the newly enacted agrarian laws that is the serious cause of concern. Placing farmers in a complex web of bureaucratic and legal mechanisms to settle disputes is going to enhance farmer distress especially for the marginal, small and medium farmers. The intentions behind the Acts seem to be good; however a robust implementation mechanism with the necessary checks and balances will go a long way in addressing the issues of farmers. Structural bottlenecks such as removing the hurdles in institutional credit system and enhancing infrastructure and logistical support in rural areas are essential for the effective implementation of the agrarian reform laws.

Nayakara Veeresha,

Bengaluru

The agitation has highlighted two issues: the protest seems to be centred around farmers of certain States, reflecting the uneven lines in the farming community. The reticence of farmers from the rest of India could be due to their tacit acquiescence of the new Acts or that they are too inequipped to devote time and the resources in such demonstrations. Even after decades following Independence, it is unfortunate that the voice of a tribal farmer does not find resonance in the mainstream media. Second, when reforms are not undertaken frequently, people get used to the old ways. Poverty of reform in agriculture could be the reason for the relevance and longevity of the MSP regime.

Lalit Kumar Bhardwaj,

Vadodara, Gujarat

A farmer is the real cash crop as he feeds the nation, and agriculture is the lifeline of our States. The BJP government should keep its ears open and listen to the grievances of farmers. It should lend its voice of support and assurance to them. The welfare of farmers is of paramount importance, come what may. Agriculture is India’s pristine industry.

K. Pradeep,

Chennai

Vaccine trials

A report on the allegation by a ‘Covishield’ vaccine volunteer, of serious side-effects, needs scientific rebuttal with data rather than a dismissal and threat of counter-suing. The side-effects have not been studied completely yet, partially due to the breakneck speed at which the vaccine is being brought to the market. The development has brought into focus the volunteer recruitment strategy and screening procedures. I strongly feel, it is wise to err on the side of caution and get things right. Human safety comes first.

Sudharsan Rajagopalan,

Salt Lake City, Utah, U.S.

The India tour

It has been miserable to watch our experienced Indian cricketers biting the dust in Australia. India has displayed one of its worst performances ever in one-dayers against Australia; it seems as if the team lacked grit, determination and confidence. Our batsmen, many of whom dazzled during the IPL, fizzled out Down Under before the Australian avalanche. Our cricketers should note that there are scores of youngsters in India A and B teams, just waiting for a chance to show their mettle.

M. Pradyu,

Thalikavu, Kannur, Kerala

The tour Down Under has begun on a disastrous note. Team India lacks a star spinner. The batting is brittle and we solely depend on the middle order to perform a miracle. The captaincy has lacked imagination. The dropped catches and miss fieldings have played a pivotal part in this pathetic performance.

C.K. Subramaniam,

Chennai

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Printable version | Jan 17, 2021 5:16:47 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/letters/letters-to-the-editor-december-1-2020/article33216052.ece

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