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Letters to the Editor

Print edition : December 12, 2014


THE Ebola virus is spreading faster than any flu virus (Cover Story, November 28). Even if there are fewer ebola cases today than there are flu cases, the ebola epidemic will soon be far bigger than flu, and this strain of the Ebola virus has a mortality rate of 70 per cent.

Santhosh Veranani



THE death penalty awarded by a court in Sri Lanka to five Indian fishermen for drug trafficking appears to be biased (“Caught between life and death”, November 28).

The strong reactions from leaders of various parties in Tamil Nadu criticising the Centre was only to score brownie points rather than to help the fishermen. It is imperative that a permanent solution is found to the issue of Indian fishermen straying into Sri Lankan waters.

K.R. Srinivasan

Secunderabad, Telangana

Kiss controversy

THE “Kiss of Love” demonstration staged in Kochi, Kerala, is not unprecedented (“Kiss and chaos”, November 28). The history of Kerala is replete with landmark agitations, including the one on the right of women to cover their upper bodies and temple-entry agitations for lower castes.

It is paradoxical that although the demonstration was staged by not more than 70 youngsters, thousands of religious fundamentalists of both the majority and minority communities, armed with sticks and iron rods, fought shoulder to shoulder to disrupt it.

While the callous police force under the guise of enforcing law and order beat the demonstrators mercilessly, they allowed the moral vigilantes and fundamentalists to escape into the crowd.

N.C. Sreedharan

Kannur, Kerala

Clean India

THIS is with reference to the article “Cleaning up India” (November 28). Cleaning is not a one-time affair and requires a sustained effort, and not just by a few individuals. Civic sense has to be taught to many people, and this will be a Herculean task, not an impossible one though. Lack of proper drainage systems, sewage treatment plants and facilities for the effective recycling of waste are challenges that have to be overcome. This genuine issue needs to be addressed from the grass-roots level. The Government of India has a real challenge ahead of it. Funds need to be allotted and utilised properly. There has to be an effective monitoring mechanism. Cleaning India will need the active participation of people from all levels from villages to cities. Above all, without commitment of a very high order, any massive operation would only be a temporary solution.

Balasubramaniam Pavani

Secunderabad, Telangana

THE Modi government’s Swachh Bharat campaign has a long way to go. What one see are celebrities taking up brooms just to get publicity and be in the Prime Minister’s good books. The media do not highlight where the cleaned garbage is disposed of. Nor is it clear whether the celebrities were cleaning real garbage that had already piled up or whether garbage that does not stink was thrown at the desired place for a photo opportunity. Every one needs to clean his/her toilet first, and this should be the foundation of Swachh Abhiyaan. Cooperative housing societies put a notice regarding this clean campaign on their notice boards, but one is dismayed to find compounds littered with burst crackers during festivals. Mechanical adherence to the campaign will not lead anywhere. It has to come from one’s heart, and should be a lifelong process.

Deendayal M. Lulla


Black money

BOTH the United Progressive Alliance and the National Democratic Alliance have taken the same stand and cited Double Taxation Avoidance Agreements as an excuse for not revealing the names of people who allegedly have huge amounts of money stashed abroad (“Fait accompli”, November 28). It was sad to see the government trying to defend the indefensible in the Supreme Court. The most scathing remark of the judges was, “We can’t leave the issue of bringing back black money to the government. It will never happen during our time.” The common man feels that all is not lost, and that though politicians/political parties may have failed in their duty, the Supreme Court is there to straighten them up. Now that the list containing the names of 627 Indian citizens with bank accounts in Switzerland has been handed over to the Supreme Court, it remains to be seen as to how far the Central Bureau of Investigation, the Income Tax Department and the Enforcement Directorate cooperate in the matter.

S. Balakrishnan

Jamshedpur, Jharkhand

Peace Prize

IT is a matter of national pride that Kailash Satyarthi, civil rights activist who founded the Bachpan Bachao Andolan and is fighting to end child labour, was awarded the prestigious Nobel Peace Prize jointly with Pakistan’s Malala Yousafzai (“For globalisation of compassion”, November 14). But the tragedy is that such activists remain unsung and are at times even targeted in their own countries.

Satyarthi’s intrepid and confrontational approach to the burning problem of bonded child labour earned him hostility from even his fellow activists. Even his mentor, Swamy Agnivesh, lambasted him for harbouring personal ambitions and acting at the behest of the West against India’s economic interests. He was also targeted by vested interests in India with the insinuation that he was hand in glove with Christian missionaries.

S.M. Kompella

Kakinada, Andhra Pradesh

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