Spiralling prices

Print edition : May 09, 2008

THE Cover Story (Paying the price, April 25) highlighted the dangerous consequences of the policy of liberalisation. The most important concern of the state in the context of such runaway inflation should be food security for each and every citizen of the country.

P. Jareer Kozhikode, Kerala * * *

UTSA PATNAIK has been warning the country for some years now about the fall in per capita food consumption owing to rising rural unemployment and diversion of the area under foodgrain cultivation for cash crop cultivation.

The rotting grain heap of 60 million tonnes was falsely shown as the hallmark of a self-sufficient and shining India when, in reality, poverty is growing. Neoliberal policymakers dismissed the solutions suggested by the Left parties and economists like Utsa as ways to distribute poverty rather than ensure an inclusive economic agenda. Will they pay heed at least now?

Kasim Sait Chennai * * *

ALTHOUGH inflation has crossed 7 per cent, the authorities are doing almost nothing to check it. There was a time when ruling parties worried about the impact of rising prices on their election prospects. Since political parties now rely on money and muscle power and exploit communal and other sensational issues to win elections, the hardships of the people do not seem to concern them.

If the government does not control inflation by preventing hoarding and black marketeering and by encouraging production, it will be failing in its duty.

S. Raghunatha Prabhu Alappuzha, Kerala * * *

THE government is not only offering subsidised foodgrains to people below the poverty line (BPL), but also partly offsetting the high costs of imported pulses and edible oil.

How far can it go in its battle against inflation? The sad truth is that over 250 million people in the BPL category will be hurt in these days of unprecedented price rise.

Sikta Samantaray Cuttack, Orissa * * *

OWING to the price rise, people belonging to lower- and middle-income groups have started cutting down on their intake of food, especially pulses and vegetables. One-third of the worlds malnourished children are from India. The country ranks very low in human development index.

When the government is ready to spend crores of rupees on Aditya and Chandrayaan missions, why cannot it do something for the people?

Akilandeswari Natesan Tiruchi, Tamil Nadu * * *

THE rise in prices of essential commodities is the direct result of the wrong economic policies of the UPA government. It proves that most of its fiscal and financial policies are inflationary. The present situation is also the result of profiteering by retailers.

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I AM disgusted with politicians who view the present rate of inflation merely as a political tool. They are more concerned about gaining votes than finding solution to bring the rate of inflation down and alleviate the sufferings of the common man.

Marisha Fonseca Mahim, Mumbai Womens jamaat

I APPRECIATE Sharifas struggle for the welfare of Muslim women (Act of faith, April 25). It is not necessary to start a separate jamaat, which will isolate the women from the community. Various rights and responsibilities are given to Muslim women, including the right to pray in a mosque, which nobody can deny. Moreover, in some Islamic movements and organisations women members are given key roles in all activities, including service for the welfare of women. Sharifa can approach them and work with them. Muslim women are backward not just in education but in understanding the Quran, which prescribes their rights and responsibilities. They should be well-acquainted with it to have a happy family and social life. The traditional jamaat members should also have the wisdom to judge everything in the right spirit.

Khadija Khaja Chennai Hogenekkal * * *

THE Hogenekkal controversy involving Tamil Nadu and Karnataka is a classic case of how narrow-minded politicians fish in troubled waters (Troubled waters, April 25). On both sides of the border, innocent linguistic minorities were at the receiving end, while politicians engineered protests and counter-protests. If India has to remain apiece, such divisive tendencies should not be encouraged.

Leaders of national parties must rise above narrow and parochial political agendas. But this would be asking for the moon.

Bichu Muttathara Khadki, Pune * * *

THE Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu has decided not to proceed with the Hogenakkal project until the elections are over in Karnataka. But peace or war, the South can always depend on its film actors to come out in support of issues.

J. Akshay Secunderabad * * *

IT is hoped that saner counsel will prevail among the people of both States. The escalation of the crisis could be checked only by initiating dialogue and not by following politicians who are only interested in safeguarding their own chairs.

K.R. Srinivasan Chennai Church & caste

AS a person belonging to the Christian faith, I commend S. Viswanathan for a fair report on the Eraiyur crisis (A house divided, April 25). No caste is upper or lower in free India. There are only oppressor and oppressed castes.

V. Joseph Satish Chennai

THE Archbishop and his entire team of clergy should have rushed to Eraiyur and apologised to the Catholic Dalit families who suffered a casteist attack.

Values such as reconciliation seems to be the creed of more genuine leaders like the Prime Minister of Australia who recently apologised to the aboriginal people of his country for the injustice meted out by the state to them in the past. That the faith of the poor could become feebler in the caste-ridden Church has been demonstrated aptly in the article.

Henri Tiphagne Executive Director, Peoples watch Chokkikulam, Madurai

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DALITS in India are still being discriminated by the so-called upper castes. It is a totally unchristian act to attack the people of ones own fraternity.

Shonshok Keishing New Delhi Sri Lanka

BOTH LTTE and militant JVP are opposed to India for their own selfish reasons (Demonising India, April 25). To accede to LTTEs demand for a Tamil homeland in Sri Lanka would encourage separatist movements all over the world.

K. Sethumadhavan Gurgaon, U.P. Jodhaa Akbar * * *

THE film is a masterpiece that will be remembered for a long time (Glitz and taste, April 25). Most people who are opposed to the screening of Jodha Akbar have very little knowledge of history and are only playing into the hands of politicians.

S. Balakrishnan Jansgedpur Muslim women

SHARIFA KHANAMS project of constructing a separate mosque for Muslim women will surely lead to controversies in the community because Islam does not provide for a separate place of worship for women; rather it wants Muslim women to perform their prayers in a mosque where men pray too with a screen separating them. As an activist, it is Sharifas duty to endeavour to regain Muslim womens rightful place in mosques.

A. Noman Akram Chennai Child abuse

R.K. RAGHAVANS column on child abuse is strong and timely (Battling child abuse, April 25). The scourge of child pornography has not been understood well by the officialdom. Abuse hurts a child the most because it leads to the death of innocence and the trust of the child in the older generation. Only media effort can make a real difference.

DR. Vitull K. Gupta Bhatinda, Punjab Jagmohan Lal

READING A.G. Nooranis account of Justice Jagmohan Lal Sinha, one realised the kind of rot that has set in our society of late (Justice with a fine balance, April 25). And how difficult it is for an honest person to carry out his/her duties in right earnest.

DR. Nutan Thakur Lucknow * * *

A.G. NOORANI, one of the writers in English print media, examines the historic judgment of Justice Sinha disqualifying Indira Gandhis election. It stands out as one of the pathbreaking judgments ever pronounced in India.

To people of my generation who are born after the Emergency, the essay is a must-read. After reading a number of books and articles on the Emergency, I had surmised that the disqualification of Indira Gandhi was on flimsy grounds and amounted to firing the Prime Minister for a traffic ticket as The Times described it.

However, Noorani points out the fallacies of that argument.

Girish Khare Pune North-East India

THE article Promising harvest (April 11) by Sushanta Talukdar was a wonderful attempt to understand the diversity of the approaches to the question of rural development in the traditional-modern matrix in north-eastern India.

The will of the State government, the efforts of the administration and the acceptance of the schemes by the tribal people to make jhum cultivation more productive and provide an alternative means for livelihood are noteworthy.

However, the question remains whether the State, through its agencies, is providing land settlements to the jhumias who have opted for non-circular jhum cultivation.

Otherwise, the emerging haves among the tribal beneficiaries will usurp the common land, which had been a source of sustenance for the have-nots.

Gorky Chakraborty Dibrugarh, Assam ANNOUNCEMENT

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