Letters to the Editor — December 2, 2020
The farmers’ agitation on the Haryana-Delhi highway is choking a national thoroughfare and infringing upon the right to freedom of movement. Governments are impersonal bodies and those who run them are secure. Everything finally burdens the aam aadmi in whose name all agitations are launched. The farmers should force their lobbies to get Parliament working and fight the ‘harmful laws’ as that is where democracies, real and merely claimed, monitor and correct governance. Nobody thinks of families waiting in homes for the daily wages to provide their sustenance.
The government of the day should have intervened much earlier by offering to see a delegation of farmers’ representatives and explain to them the truth of the laws and the benefits that the government sees in them (Page 1, “Centre invites farmers’ unions for talks”, December 1). When will politicians look beyond themselves and think of the people they claim to represent?
The article, “The perils of deregulated imperfect agrimarkets” (Editorial page, December 1), only highlights the distrust of the farming community towards the new agricultural laws. The undue haste with which the government issued the ordinances for the new agricultural laws, in Parliament which did not have any Question Hour, raises suspicion. One hopes that there is no invisible hand of the private sector behind this.
Babehali, Gurdaspur, Punjab
It is unfortunate that the Prime Minister has undermined the protests and even suggested that farmers were being misled by lobbies that were anti-government, thereby hinting at another so-called conspiracy by the Opposition (Page 1, December 1). The BJP has failed to read the sentiments in support of the farmers’ protest. The Prime Minister often lays emphasis on the doctrine of ‘last man in the row’, but his government’s actions seem to be completely majoritarian.
The government may have enacted the farm laws in the larger interests of farmers, but the message filtering down is different. It begs the question why farmers are not trusting even the unquestioned Prime Minister who is trying to reach out to them. It is abundantly clear that the BJP is in no mood to buckle under the pressure. Its main problem is that it believes that every unilateral action it has, or is taking, is impeccable and sacrosanct. This credo is buttressed time and again by its election victories one after the another resulting in a clouding of vision.
To allay farmers’ fears, providing a legislative backing to the MSP regime despite a weeding out of the mandi system should be part of the agenda. Agriculture needs to be seen as an industry with investment potential so as to create agri-entrepreneurs. It is high time to invest further in seed research while also ensuring that better guidelines are spelt out for GM crops.
I have served more than 30 years as a science teacher in a high school and it still remains a mystery how science can be taught more effectively through online classes (Tamil Nadu, “In online learning, students give the thumbs up to teacher support”, December 1). Online classes are only a temporary remedy and cannot be a permanent solution. Those who are studious, with backup at home, would most definitely have stood to benefit from online classes, but it is not the same as being physically present in regular school.
T. Michael Joseph,
The Indian cricket team’s tour of Australia had all the marks of a debacle even before it took off. A couple of senior players were selected, even though their lack of match fitness was well known. There are clues from Virat Kohli’s statements that the selectors and the skipper may not have been on the same page. The Board has compounded the problem by not choosing a full-time captain and by its reluctance to nurture young talent.