Letters to the Editor — October 21, 2021

Nature’s fury

First, it was Kerala, battered and bruised by heavy rains, claiming precious lives and infrastructure. Now we have Uttarakhand where the situation seems far worse (Page 1, October 20).

Natural calamities are beyond human perception; therefore, there need to be foolproof measures in place to ensure minimal losses. The NDRF teams do a great job, without an iota of doubt, but perhaps they need to be deployed immediately after alerts by the India Meteorological Department. Hilly terrain, as the reports show, would require better monitoring systems in place.

Balasubramaniam Pavani,



EU food recall

The Genetically Modified (GM) contamination of rice flour allegedly originating from India, according to notifications on the European Commission’s rapid alert system, naturally rekindles the debate on the desirability of growing GM crops (Page 1, October 20). The problem is that even field trials of GM crops are not without dangerous consequences. Pollen from GM plants can be accidentally transferred to other normal plants with unpredictable outcomes. Growing GM and non-GM crops is considered so dangerous that European Union law stipulates a minimum distance between these crops, depending on the particular variety of crop grown.

It is not yet proven conclusively by scientists that foods from GM crops are completely safe for human consumption. The fears of adverse effects on human health such as transfer of antibiotic resistance to humans and toxicity are not yet satisfactorily addressed. Until proven conclusively to be completely safe by scientists, GM crops should not be allowed even for field trials, let alone for growing on a commercial scale.

Kosaraju Chandramouli,



Gandhi and Savarkar

It is true Savarkar kindled the national spirit against the British but with a different ideology. Gandhiji was for a pluralistic India taking within its fold the minorities without whom India would not be complete. The notorious Cellular jail in the Andamans was where inmates belonging to different faiths suffered and perished because of the atrocities perpetrated by the colonial rulers. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh’s statement on Savarkar is perhaps a precursor to the BJP rewriting history. Could it be a move to ‘installing its own heroes’ in the new Parliament building which is being built at breakneck speed?

N.G.R. Prasad,



Captain’s party

Captain Amarinder Singh’s plan to float his own party is sure to send shivers down the spine of the Congress leadership. It is a development which the Grand Old Party eventually asked for by mismanaging its affairs in Punjab right from the time it inducted Navjot Singh Sidhu into its fold. Mr. Sidhu has a propensity to tread his own path. The Congress spent much time in placating Mr. Sidhu, revealing strategic flaws in its approach. Captain Amarinder’s party is sure to eat into a sizeable share of Congress votes.

V. Subramanian,


Vaccine second dose

There are a lot of people — like me and my daughter for instance — who have received both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine but are unable to get completion certificates. In our case, the second dose, on July 13, 2021, is shown as the first dose in the certificate. In my case, I have tried my level best by sending emails to all the high-profile authorities as this type of an error cannot be corrected online. Unless such serious errors are corrected how is the Government to have the right data on vaccination?

K.K. Nair,


The concern is that around 40% of those who got their first jab are still to receive the second dose. The lackadaisical attitude of people who believe that the pandemic has waned, vaccine hesitancy, low vaccine coverage in rural and isolated areas, and an overall slackening in the pace of vaccination are all causes. The increase in the gap between the two doses of Covishield, which accounts for more than 85% of all vaccinations, has also resulted in people waiting for a longer period to get their second dose. If there is no shortage of doses, then the gap between the two jabs can be shortened. Ramping up the production of the two other approved vaccines will also help in full vaccination.

Dr. Biju C. Mathew,


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Printable version | Dec 8, 2021 10:22:44 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/letters/letters-to-the-editor-october-21-2021/article37098831.ece

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