Letters

Letters to the Editor — December 29, 2020

Farm Acts

The government may have good intentions in introducing the Farm Acts, but in a democracy, the people’s voice should be heard with an open mind, even if unpleasant. The farmers’ agitation has been on for more than a month. It would be prudent if the government keeps the Acts in abeyance and initiates a dialogue with farmers afresh to arrive at an optimal solution. The Indian economy is showing signs of bouncing back, but the continued impasse on the farmers’ front would put the clock back by years. We also need to be on guard as Punjab is a crucial border State.

V. Subramanian,

Chennai

The truth is that the wheat-paddy cycle is unsustainable in the long run. The current crop pattern has affected soil health and the water table. In the current scenario of overflowing buffer stocks of grains, Punjab-Haryana need to shift from overproduction of cereals to high-value crops and dairy. However, the current farm laws are a wrong prescription. Without the APMCs, corporates will become dominant and a farmer will have no fallback options. In the fairy tale by the government, the laws are to bring competition among agri-businesses resulting in better prices for farmers. But experience shows otherwise. The crash in kinnow and potato prices recently are glaring examples that lead farmers to make distress sales. Remunerative prices or MSP procurement at greater scale for horticulture, maize, pulses and oilseeds is the way out. An innovative approach of cash incentives can coax farmers to switchover from paddy to diversification into vegetables, pulses and oilseeds. Punjab and Haryana need a nuanced intervention rather than “big ticket reforms”. A fiscal package for diversification for these original Green Revolution pioneers is the need of the hour.

Harmanjeet Singh Sidhu,

Taruana, Haryana

A drop

It is a matter of relief that the virus spread could be under control in India. But I am astonished that this is possible despite the density of our population and the general state of cleanliness even as the rest of the world, especially the U.S., is still struggling. One possible explanation could be the relatively young age of the average Indian. It could also be because of immunity due to the presence of various fevers, but only an expert can clarify this. Nevertheless, we should stay vigilant.

T. Anand Raj,

Chennai

Map projection

‘Data Point’ is a great feature. However its maps still use the Mercator projection, infamous for disproportionately enlarging the Global North at the expense of countries closer to the Equator. Except for its use in navigation, it feeds directly into colonial cartography, quite unbecoming of the 21st century which demands an equal if not greater focus on Asia, Africa and South America. May I suggest adopting the Gall-Peters projection instead, which maintains spatial integrity.

Manchala Ashoka Vardhan,

Kothagudem, Telangana

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Printable version | Mar 9, 2021 1:55:51 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/letters/letters-to-the-editor-december-29-2020/article33439822.ece

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