Letters to the Editor — May 6, 2020

Fare and unfair

It is baffling that it is as yet unclear who — the Indian Railways, the States concerned, the migrants, or a combination of them — will bear the cost of the train fare of migrant workers (Page 1, “Confusion prevails over who will foot migrants’ train fare”, May 5). The larger picture is that this case reveals the apathy of the government/s concerned towards migrants, who in the middle of an extended lockdown are virtually penniless and without food and shelter. Our leaders make tall claims about ‘sabka saath, sabka vikas’ but are unable to decide whether they should bear the travel fare of a section of society without whose enormous contribution nation building would be next to impossible. We are ready to spend crores of rupees on erecting tall statues, arranging mega events which are all considered as wasteful expenditure but draw our purse strings when it comes to helping the needy.

A. Jainulabdeen,



Liquor queues

It should have been a difficult decision for governments to take as far as opening “wine shops” was concerned, and expectedly, one that proved wrong as tipplers raised the risk of spreading the virus. Upon watching visuals of people flocking to outlets for a bottle or two, one wonders how many of these buyers are ‘rich’ enough to buy liquor. The issue here is of the utter disregard for social distancing. The lockdown requires government to declare Section 144 Cr.PC, but what was evident is that there can be thousands gathering to buy liquor. The economy needs to be revived at all costs. But is it necessary to open “wine shops” to gather revenue?

Govardhana Myneedu,


The most essential requirement of the “starved one” is finally met. Yes, the nation’s liquor dams have all opened and the most oppressed section in this regard are relieved. Bureaucrats are also happy as revenue is flowing in. One only hopes that the governments attend to the needs of millions of distressed workers and other less privileged sections of society.

V.S. Ganeshan,


This is in reply to the letter writer (‘Letters to the Editor’, May 5) who “found visuals of queues in front of liquor shops nauseating”. I find such self-righteousness appalling and their thinking primitive. I am 55 and consume liquor without fear or favour, without “neglecting the nutritional needs” of my family and myself, and with the permission of my wife. I have been frustrated by the non-availability of alcohol during the lockdown. All educated and advanced countries have found an equilibrium between the needs of people who drink moderately and dealing lawfully with people who abuse alcohol, with stringent punishment. It is only in this country that both society and the law have failed miserably in recognising such a possibility. Those queuing up might buy what they want and experience some happiness with what they felt was an end of “mental” imprisonment. And most would not be wife-beaters or insensitive parents. As long as social distancing norms were observed, where is the harm?

Melatur S. Sundaresan,



Moving ahead

The government must consider seriously its choice between a staggered lifting of the national lockdown and an indefinite extension. The lockdown is a game of snakes and ladders. In a country with a huge and a poorly disciplined population, just when victory seems to be in sight, new cases of infection will occur and we could be back to square one. The protests by migrant workers turning violent are an early indication of this. Soon other groups at the end of their endurance limits could join in. If liquor shops need to be opened for revenue, by the same token, people also need to have their businesses running. What the government can do is to allow some activity and strictly impose social distancing.

Matthew Adukanil,

Tirupattur, Tamil Nadu

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Printable version | Jun 7, 2020 12:15:12 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/letters/letters-to-the-editor-may-6-2020/article31512658.ece

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