Letters to the Editor — May 14, 2020

Steps to self-reliance

The announcement of a ₹20-lakh crore economic stimulus package sounds good, but for a self-reliant India to be realised, relegating the interests of the labour force to the background in the name of creating a pool of cheap labour to ensure growth is uncalled for. The government speaking about land, labour and laws in one breath raises suspicion. The visuals of an exodus of millions of desperate migrants across States have shown what the real India is in reality. An Atmanirbhar Bharat will have to improve standards of living by focussing on health, education, skill development and social security.

Dr. D.V.G. Sankararao,

Nellimarla, Andhra Pradesh

E-governance agenda

The COVID-19 crisis seems to have given a further freehand to the government to push through a lopsided agenda of e-governance and digital administration (Page 1, “Aarogya Setu app mandatory for returning NRIs, migrants” and Inside pages, “Aarogya Setu mandatory for travel, says Railways”, both May 13). Whether it be the issue of e-passes for movement during the ‘lockdown’ or applying for e-coupons for ration or booking online train tickets by workers to travel back home, it is as if the ruling establishment has become totally unconcerned about the realities of the people and untethered to its own constitutional duties. The compulsion to download an application includes the compulsion to have or buy an appropriately technologically equipped mobile phone in the first place. Data show us that leave alone smartphones, crores of Indians still do not have the cheapest and simplest of mobile phones. Do the Railways and the government mean to say that these multitudes have been ejected from the nation or their citizenship and human rights suspended? It is not clear on what constitutional grounds people can be compelled to buy and carry at all times any product or device, especially when it is not free but a consumer item of private use.

Firoz Ahmad,

New Delhi

Address to the nation

The Prime Minister’s widely-televised speeches during the COVID-19 lockdown have been Greek and Latin to many non-Hindi speaking Indians, especially in the South where a majority do not understand the language. Most of them were unable to follow the speeches in real-time as we had to wait for the translation. During the demonetisation announcement in 2016, the Prime Minister’s message was aired in English and Hindi. The least the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting can do is to dub the speeches in regional languages and air them in States. In a crisis of this magnitude, clear and instant communication across India is essential.

Adrian David,



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Printable version | May 29, 2020 12:46:10 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/letters/letters-to-the-editor-may-14-2020/article31577300.ece

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