Letters to the Editor — May 26, 2020

NREGA to the rescue

With lakhs of migrant workers rushing back to their home States due to the lockdown, MGNREGA appears to be the only scaleable programme of rural employment that can come to their rescue (Editorial page, “The need for a million worksites now”, May 25). In addition, there is a strong case for increasing the daily wage to at least ₹300 at least for a period of next six months, so that their food and other basic needs are taken care of. With regard to awareness about NREGA works and filling up of work application forms, school teachers may be requisitioned — with extra payment for this work — to visit workers’ colonies, educate them about the availability of work and fill up their applications, if necessary. This would be more honourable work for teachers when compared to stationing them as a State did, at liquor shops for crowd control. To expand works under NREGA, seasonal agricultural work may be included in the list of works that can be taken up under NREGA in rural areas. Further, the government should think in terms of launching an urban employment programme on the lines of MGNREGA to provide employment to the urban poor and migrant workers who have not yet returned to their home States.

Kosaraju Chandramouli,



Border face-off

Border skirmishes are nothing new as far as the two Asian giants, India and China, are concerned, as the border dispute between them has remained unresolved for several decades. The tension between the soldiers of India and China along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) has only upped the “stand-off”, with the trading of barbs and charges by each side, in turn accusing the other of trying to alter the status quo along the LAC. It is evident that a lack of clarity and consensus between the two countries over the LAC is one of the reasons behind the sudden flare-up. China’s territorial ambitions, fuelled by its military might and economic clout, are well known. As responsible rising powers of the world, the leadership in both countries have the onus now to attempt a renewed push at diplomacy and dialogue to resolve the lingering border dispute once and for all (‘Aggressive PLA flouts protocols”, May 25).

M. Jeyaram,

Sholavandan, Tamil Nadu

Senior American official Alice Wells has done well by terming the Sino-Indian border dispute as an example of provocative behaviour. Perhaps this is what has prompted a Chinese spokesperson to attempt a conciliatory approach. It will be in the mutual interest of both nations to ensure that the situation at the border does not escalate and is resolved as in established protocols.

N.A. Joseph,

Ettumanoor, Kottayam, Kerala

The present flare-up could well be a part of China’s projection of its “sharp power”. From the South China Sea to the Mekong river flows, to the Senkaku islands with Japan and the Taiwan Straits, there is evidence of its quest for hegemony. Does it believe that with the world focused on COVID-19, now is the time to flex its muscles? China should not overlook the fact that in the event of a cold war, or the trade and diplomatic war with the U.S., it would need a helping hand from its Asian neighbours.

H.N. Ramakrishna,



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