Letters to the Editor — March 16, 2020

Reviving SAARC

The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation has been in a frozen state mainly on account of tensions between India and Pakistan. Regional integration is a must for its revival (Page 1, “SAARC virtual meet on COVID-19 today”, March 15). Using the coronavirus outbreak as a catalyst, India can once again push for regional cooperation that can lead to better diplomatic relations. As a platform, SAARC needs to integrate the region better.

Riya Dadhich,

Raipur, Chhattisgarh

While it is heartening that the Prime Minister has taken the lead in initiating a virtual conference, equally encouraging is the response he has received from member nations. There has to be a sharing of actions being taken to contain the pandemic. SAARC, as a regional body, has not been functioning very effectively for quite some time, but the health crisis should be used to get things back on track.

V. Hariharan,



The world is fragile

A deadly pathogen, currently marching across national borders and leaving behind a trail of death and panic, has exposed the brittle foundation on which modern civilisation has erected its edifice of progress. The epidemiological Black Swan has exposed the dark belly of globalisation which was hailed as an unmixed blessing for humanity.

The irony is that the first reaction to the pandemic has not been a collaboration among nations but a frenzied shutting down of borders to protect citizens of one’s own country. COVID-19 offers two immediate lessons. One, the anthropocentric vision’s wanton disregard for biodiversity’s known and unknown complexities, especially the tampering with wildlife habitats, has hidden costs. Two, no nation however powerful it may be, has no right to treat epidemics as its internal matter. The source nation has a moral obligation, if not a legal necessity to disclose facts about the outbreak to the World Health Organization, expeditiously (Page 1, “Virus cases rise, more airlifts planned”, March 15).

V.N. Mukundarajan,


Smart Chennai

The gaps in urban planning and ineffective enforcement of Smart City planning on the part of Chennai’s CMDA have been exposed on more than one occasion. Even after the devastating floods in 2015, the CMDA has not made amends. It must follow the models used in Ahmedabad and New Delhi. Without engaging the services of professional planners, the mere announcement of projects will not deliver any result (Chennai, “The tough business of building a city”, March 15).

M. Stanly Chellappa,


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Printable version | Mar 31, 2020 7:48:14 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/letters/letters-to-the-editor-march-16-2020/article31076260.ece

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