Fishermen at sea

Published : Feb 25, 2005 00:00 IST

Frontline has done well to bring into focus the pathetic life of fishermen, tsunami or no tsunami ("Fishermen at Sea", February 11). This is a good opportunity to provide them better housing and other facilities. Cooperative societies and infrastructure facilities should be built up so that their produce get a better price and they are freed from moneylenders and middlemen. Special attention needs to be given to children orphaned by the tsunami. The urgent need is to provide fishermen with boats and other accessories so that they may resume fishing.

A. Jacob SahayamThiruvananthapuram

* * *

The Cover Story was comprehensive and informative. The article "An ongoing tragedy" focussed on the livelihood issues of the fisherfolk and the problems confronting them.

P. VenkateshSalem

* * *

The tsunami caused severe destruction to the coastal areas of Tamil Nadu and the Union Territories of Pondicherry and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Providing relief and rehabilitation is a challenging task because it needs thousands of crores of rupees and coordination among relief agencies. Instead of building a sea wall, which will affect the coastal environment, the government should concentrate on growing mangrove forests, which will shield the coastal areas and contain carbon emission.

Akhil KumarNew Delhi

* * *

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa has demanded a special provision of Rs.5,000 crores to build a wall along the 1,000-km coast in the state to protect it from future tsunamis ("Signs of Hope", January 28). How could she presume that the next tsunami might devastate the same coastline? Can we afford this? Also, will not a wall adversely affect normal fishing activities, the lives of fishing communities and tourism?

K.P. RajanMumbai

* * *

It is unfortunate that it took a tsunami and the loss of thousands of lives for the government to look at the woes of coastal fishermen. Although the government cannot ward off threats from the sea, it should have a proactive policy in place to minimise losses.

Siddhartha Raj GuhaJabalpur

* * *

It was very touching to read about the heroic actions of Mala and Naresh in saving four children from the tsunami ("Rebuilding lives", January 28).

M. RajaramanPondicherry

Godhra report

The U.C. Banerjee Report on the Godhra train carnage raises serious questions ("Godhra - Still a burning question", February 11). I do not doubt its findings, but it is possible that all the facts of the case might not have been presented to the committee.

M. KumarNew Delhi

* * *

Lalu Prasad has done a disservice to the credibility of the Banerjee Committee's interim report on the Godhra train tragedy by trying to extract political mileage from it. However, no amount of evidence indicating a conspiracy can absolve the Narendra Modi government of the culpability of abetting - or at least condoning - the actions of the communal mob in the post-Godhra period in Gujarat. Retrieving the credibility of the Indian state should be the primary responsibility of secular politics.

Anil Kumar PanditNew Delhi

Benny Hinn

The false hope Benny Hinn's followers place on his miracle cures for their ailments is a cause for concern ("In the name of faith", February 11). Medical men perform far greater miracles than "miracle men" every day.

Joseph FernandezSecunderabad

The NGO factor

The article "The NGO factor" (February 11) points out that availability of funds without the need for accountability has turned most non-governmental organisations into havens of corruption. NGOs being offered as dowry are pointers to this reality.

NGO-oriented policies dominated the Madhya Pradesh model of development promoted by the Digvijay Singh government but the people rejected the approach in the last round of elections. This is because his government failed to meet their basic needs.

During this era of globalisation, it has been argued that government should confine itself to areas of strategic importance and withdraw from the economic and social spheres. One can only assume that there is a concerted effort to marginalise the role of governments in the Third World. We are faced with the dilemma of choosing between a government that does not function properly and one that is neither representative nor accountable. The solution is to improve upon the concept of NGO. NGOs may be replaced by broad-based and popular committees elected through a democratic process. Accountability and responsibility will be inherent in such a set-up.

Dr. K. AmpadyTiruchirapalli, Tamil Nadu


Bhaskar Ghose's article "The other side of the fence" (February 11) reflects the flip slide of bureaucratic life. It conveys the message that nothing is permanent except change and it is good for politicians or bureaucrats to lead a simple life irrespective of their positions.

Balaji KothandaramanChennai

Displacement fears

The statement by Ashish Kothari "the residents of the villages in and around Sariska Tiger Reserve have helped to regenerate forests and wildlife" is misleading ("Displacement fears", December 31). Sariska Tiger Reserve was established in 1978-79, with a population of about 20 tigers. In December 2004, when the Wildlife Institute of India carried out two week-long field training programmes for its Diploma officer trainees in the Reserve, not a single pugmark was seen. Only a portion of the 20-km long Kalighati (valley) still has the semblance of a Reserve; the other areas are overrun by livestock and people. A visitor may see lots of chital, sambar and nilgai on Kalighati, but it appears that the tiger is on the verge of extinction in this Reserve.

A.J.T. JohnsinghDehra Dun

Hans Kung

I disagree with the view expressed by the reviewer of Hans K�ng's book ("Faith seeking freedom", December 31). K�ng is one of the most brilliant minds of our time. But theology is not a discipline for an enfant terrible. There is no scope for revolution, experiments or freewheeling in theology. The most basic qualification to be a Christian is his belief that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. When he becomes unable to accept the truth, he ceases to be Christian, even if he is a theologian. Hans K�ng wanted to freewheel on this dogma.

No physicist can alter the laws of physics or rewrite them. No theologian can modify revealed truths.

K.D. Thomas KannookkadanThrissur

Knowledge and education

Apropos the essay "Knowledge and education" (January 28). Romila Thapar rightly says that unlike other disciplines, history has become a playing field of amateurs. What is a historical fact today may or may not remain the same after a hundred years. Therefore, it would be inappropriate of the left or right-wing historians to call their version of history authentic.

Prateek BadwelkarGwalior

* * *

Romila Thapar has critically examined why history remains the plaything of everyone. The need of the hour is to constitute a body of eminent historians - scholars of impeccable credentials and unassailable objectivity - to examine the history textbooks of all classes to eliminate portions that distort history. The history of every religion in India must be viewed as an integral part of the socio-cultural history of the Indian people.

Prof. Rev. Thomas EdmundsChennai

* * *

Most historians are biased and opportunistic, hence the people's distrust of these pundits of history. During the days of the Emergency, eminent historians buried capsules containing distorted versions of history. History has been presented in a distorted version in our textbooks. Our historians should update history with the latest findings and interpretations.

S. Raghunatha PrabhuAlappuzha


This is with reference to "The Aalands Model" (January 28). I feel the case of Aaland is too simple compared to Kashmir. First, the case is too old. Second, the population of the Aalands is 25,000, which is minuscule compared to the population of Kashmir. Third, the people in the Aaland archipelago are largely homogeneous with one language and one culture. But Kashmir is a mosaic of various cultures and communities. Most significantly, the British were friendly to the Aalanders while in the case of India, Lord Mountbatten was instructed to see that Kashmir acceded to Pakistan. Since Kashmir actually acceded to India, he had to face criticism in England.

P.C. SahajwalaNew Delhi


The report "Progress of a revolution" (January 28) is a fascinating and reassuring account of Cuba today. Manmohan Singh was the Secretary-General of the South Commission that submitted its report way back in May 1990. The report concluded that South-South cooperation is a strategic necessity. It said: "South-South cooperation alone can give developing countries a collective weight and counterveiling power that cannot be ignored by the North." The report also stated that the South as a whole has sufficient markets, technology and financial resources to make South-South cooperation an effective means of widening the development options for its economies.

One hopes that Manmohan Singh as the Prime Minister of India will, sooner than later, revisit the South Commission report in is entirety and utilise the opportunity to initiate steps for extensive and comprehensive South-South solitary action.

K. John MammenThiruvananthapuram


Although the article by Sudhanva Deshpande tried to find the reasons behind the failure of an issue-based movie like Swades, it fails to acknowledge that it is a commercial movie with the primary motive of earning profits and appealing to the masses ("A road half travelled", January 28). Had Ashutosh Gowariker wanted to make a successful documentary he could have done so. The writer does not take into account the fact that despite the movie's commercial failure, it has reached more number of people than a documentary film could.

Revak Raj TyagiMeerut


In the article "Signs of Hope" (January 28), Sharad Pawar, Union Agriculture Minister, has been referred to as Defence Minister. The error is regretted.

Sign in to Unlock member-only benefits!
  • Bookmark stories to read later.
  • Comment on stories to start conversations.
  • Subscribe to our newsletters.
  • Get notified about discounts and offers to our products.
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide to our community guidelines for posting your comment