Farmer suicidesTHE stories of farmers committing suicide are heart-rending (Cover Story, September 4). It is sad that they have been driven to end their lives mainly because their problems have not been addressed. Most deaths are because of farmers’ near-total dependence on usurers. Strengthening rural cooperative banks and providing easy loans are measures that urgently need to be considered. Sugar mill owners have continued to delay payment of dues to farmers. I hope Frontline’s stories have brought the issue to the forefront and that the State and Central Governments take it upon themselves to find a lasting solution.
THE Cover Story’s shocking exposure of suicides in rural Karnataka calls for an immediate high-level probe into the matter. There are several unauthorised private moneylenders active in rural Karnataka who through their business are driving farmers to suicide. Local politics plays a role in this game. Moneylending by private persons and small-scale finance corporations should be stopped.
IT is agonising to note that the suicide rate among farmers in Karnataka is high and that the Central and State governments are mute spectators to this. While traders, processors and sellers continue to prosper, farmers are caught in a vicious circle of delayed payments and spiralling interest rates. These farmers should form self-reliant cooperatives similar to Amul Dairy, which brought millions of farmers out of poverty.
FARMERS are assets to a country like India, but every year hundreds of them commit suicide while the government remains a mute spectator. There is an urgent need to bring about drastic changes in agricultural policies.
Neeraj Kumar Jha
THE article “Decline and fall of Tamil Nadu” (September 4) presented many good reasons for the rapid decline in the standards of engineering education institutions in Tamil Nadu. However, it is facile and inaccurate to state that the All India Council for Technical Education only inspects the area needed for classrooms, and so on. There is no need to cover up the corruption in the AICTE, which is a result of the corruption at higher levels of the Central government. Spurious institutions are mostly financed by politicians of all hues, who have quite obviously paid hefty bribes to get the necessary approvals. More than all this is the Janus-faced approach of the Dravidian parties of Tamil Nadu who have been ruling the State for over 40 years now. They rejected the three-language formula, but their leaders sent their children and grandchildren to English medium private schools with Hindi thrown in. There are some private colleges with good faculty members and laboratory facilities. But some 500-odd engineering colleges are looting Tamil Nadu with their spurious programmes.
THERE has been a lot of debate over the execution of Yakub Memon (Cover Story, August 21). Human rights activists, lawyers and others made many submissions to various authorities, and this created bitterness.
I suggest the following legal amendments to address the issues: (1) The death penalty must be mandatory in the case of premeditated murders; (2) neither the President nor anybody else should have any right to entertain any mercy petition on any grounds whatsoever; (3) the execution should be carried out within 30 days of the Supreme Court confirming the sentence; and (4) all cases of terrorism, mass murder and premeditated murder must always be decided in fast-track courts.
THE Cover Story article “Cause and effect” rightly brought out the issue of the safety of minorities in the country. The Srikrishna Commission was correct in saying that the riots following the demolition of the Babri Masjid fuelled the terror attack.
Frontline always covers the burning issues of the day with logical and healthy debates. The lead story was well done, the best coverage of the issue so far among all the national magazines.
KANIMOZHI KARUNANIDHI’S comment that “capital punishment is unacceptable” is incorrect. Death is actually more acceptable than imprisonment for the duration of one’s life. Prisoners may fear death more than imprisonment, but from a logical point of view, it is better to die than to be caged for life.
THIS is with reference to the interview with Teesta Setalvad (August 21). The government’s witch-hunt and relentless hounding of the activist in recent months are arbitrary, petty-minded and vindictive.
THE obituary article “Technologist to the core” (August 21) revealed hitherto unknown facts about Abdul Kalam. He was an institution in himself and led a life that will inspire generations to come. His death has created a vacuum.
NO Indian President to date touched a chord with all the country’s citizens as Kalam unfailingly did with his sincerity of purpose, honesty and down-to-earth simplicity. After his presidency, Kalam stuck to his cardinal principle to remain a teacher, enlightening and energising all whom he encountered.
He will continue to inspire and ignite the minds and thoughts of both the present and coming generations.