Letters to the Editor

Print edition : December 06, 2019


THE gap between the rich and poor has been widening in India since the advent of neoliberal economic reforms (“Standing up to power”, November 22). According to experts, income inequality was lower in India in the first 30 years after Independence and the income of the bottom 50 per cent grew faster than the national average. Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru’s policies and Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s nationalisation of banks and regulation of the markets, among other moves, played a significant role in reducing income inequality.But today, Parliament and New Delhi have been occupied by corporate companies.

Kangayam R. Narasimhan



THE recent visit of members of the European Union Parliament to Kashmir may be classified more as a survey on behalf of international corporates than as a mission to assess the situation in the State (“Inviting global scrutiny”, November 22). The crony-capitalist government of India, in its eagerness to attract investments under the “Make in India” programme, has bowed to pressures exerted by the E.U. to create an atmosphere conducive for investments. Interestingly, certain members of the E.U. are late converts to democracy.

S. Neelakantan,

Salem, Tamil Nadu


THERE were high hopes that the release of Aung San Suu Kyi would bring about true democracy in Myanmar (“Struggling democracy”, November 22). The four-year rule of her National League for Democracy (NLD) party has been lacklustre, with the military still calling the shots. Myanmar continues to struggle to develop. The people are unhappy but do not see any viable alternative to the NLD. It is almost certain that the party will come back to power in the general election due in 2020. There are hardly any industries in the country, and the only investment is from China, which has its own interests in Myanmar. However, the country is rich in forest-based products. India has rarely considered Myanmar a friend. It seems to be more concerned with oil-rich West Asia than the Far East.

D.B.N. Murthy


Children & nutrition

INDIA has been marked as a “hungry nation” for a long time (Cover Story, November 8). The Global Hunger Index (GHI) 2019 ranked India at 102 out of a 117 countries. The government’s Comprehensive National Nutrition Survey painted an equally gloomy picture of the national nutritional status.

Poverty and lack of awareness means most Indian mothers and children suffer owing to inadequate food and nutrients. Good health requires a balanced combination of various food items. India achieved only food security, not nutrition security, in the Green Revolution. Also, corrupt elements siphon off food meant to feed children. This is compounded by the government knowingly reducing the budgetary allotment for several social welfare schemes, while offering tax benefits to the superrich for further investment. The U.N.’s goal of a hunger-free world is beyond our reach.

Tapomoy Ghosh

Katwa, West Bengal

Neither the government nor the opposition make even a murmur about such basic problems while untiringly boasting of our ancient rich culture and civilisation since Vedic times. This only proves that we are experts in cheating ourselves.

M.N. Bhartiya

Alto-Porvorim, Goa

Muscular nationalism and political hype and hoopla cannot feed the hungry or hide the appalling reality that India is ranked 102 in the GHI (“Diets sans diversity”, November 8). The problem is more one of corruption in the public distribution system than lack of food. Farmers are the worst affected in the rotten system, which encourages middlemen who procure the produce from the farmers at incredibly low prices and sell it at exorbitant rates in the open market. Neither farmers nor consumers benefit.

Besides, farmers are discouraged from growing more because of inadequate cold storage facilities. The government should set up regulated farmers’ markets to help farmers and consumers. The minimum support price should match the growing needs of the farmers.

Sudipta Ghosh

Jangipur, West Bengal

Air pollution

IT is a matter of shame that India always ranks low in the area of health and sanitation (“Taming a killer”, November 8). Each year, thousands of people are killed by pollution in India. Although industrialisation and urbanisation have helped Delhi reach the pinnacle of its development, the same factors have created a toxic atmosphere.

Sirajuddin Shaikh

Tirurangadi, Kerala

Hindutva agenda

THE most conspicuous difference between the earlier and the present regimes of the National Democratic Alliance is that the Sangh Parivar has now become bold enough to stop hiding the nature of its agenda (Cover Story, October 25). Although one might have predicted this, what was unexpected was the totteringly weak-kneed response by exalted institutions such as the judiciary and the Election Commission of India. The witch-hunt against Election Commissioner Ashok Lavasa, who stood his ground for transparency and fair play, is only a sample of the darkness the country is enveloped with.

Ayyasseri Raveendranath

Aranmula, Kerala

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