Letters to the editor

Print edition : February 17, 2017


INDIA is heading towards an ecological disaster (Cover Story, February 3). Since there is no facility for the collection and recycling of plastic, it is burnt along with garbage throughout India. The result: enormous emissions of heat and harmful dioxins. Definitely this has a great ill effect on rain clouds. It is time the country stopped producing plastic bags. We can live without plastic bags as we did 30-40 years ago but cannot live without rain or water. Will the government ban plastic bags to save India from the growing environmental crisis of lack of rain and persistent drought?

A.J.T. Johnsingh, Bengaluru

I HAVE seen boat races being conducted on the Cauvery river. It was an eagerly anticipated annual event for people who lived on its banks. Now even paper boats cannot float on it. It is a man-made disaster. Driving along the banks of the Cauvery from Karur to Mayavaram and seeing the dancing paddy crop used to be a delightful experience.

As the Cauvery is no longer an assured source of water, farmers should go in for alternative crops and methods of cultivation. Measures should be taken to help farmers augment their income.

S.S. Rajagopalan, Chennai

I WOULD like to draw the attention of the authorities to the drought situation in Tamil Nadu’s southern districts. Although the Thamirabarani river, which has water all through the year, is the lifeline of these areas, the people there are the worst affected in the current drought. Moreover, areas such as Tuticorin, Tiruchendur, Tirunelveli, Nagercoil, Marthandam and Kanyakumari have long been crying for attention on various fronts, including industrial development and employment generation. As a first step, there is a need to stop the plunder of rivers in terms of sand mining. Administrative failure adds to people’s problems. Advanced technology should be used to mitigate the looming agrarian crisis and water shortage

P. Senthil Saravana Durai, Mumbai


THE purpose of demonetisation is likely to be only partly achieved (“Deepening crisis”, February 3). The intention behind it is not questionable, but the government definitely did not do its homework. The moot question remains whether the few benefits can outweigh the trouble it caused to the common man, who was in no way responsible for black money, and so on. Given the way the government wishes to tackle the black money issue, it seems the inspector raj era will come back, and there is a more than 100 per cent chance of increasing corruption vis-a-vis black money! The government should remember that no innocent person should be punished under any law even if a wrongdoer goes unpunished.

M. Kumar, New Delhi

IT is good that the country is recognising the need to go in for more cashless transactions (“Cashless and clueless”, January 20). Unfortunately, demonetisation is being used to spur the cashless route for transactions. It is too optimistic to expect everyone, especially those in rural areas, to have a bank account and access to smartphones and the Internet. The Internet is slow and far from reliable. Even in cities one experiences occasional transaction failures when using a plastic card. India has miles to go before it is anywhere near the advanced countries in the use of plastic money. Another concern is cybersecurity.

Cashless transactions should be rewarded with incentives to make more citizens use that route to make payments. The government adopting the strategy of demonetisation to force citizens to go cashless is wrong when the infrastructure is so grossly inadequate.

D.B.N. Murthy, Bengaluru

Narendra Modi

THE “regiment” of the present regime has made “surgical” strikes on the constitutional principles of India with a barrage of commands and orders under the guise of taking steps for development (Cover Story, January 20). People voted Prime Minister Narendra Modi to power in the hope that he would improve the system, but he has started to destroy it. Intellectually hollow leaders are misleading citizens using religious rants. The silence of the public ignorant of the nasty repercussions of Modi’s actions reminds one of these lines from Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar”: “O judgment! thou art fled to brutish beasts/ And men have lost their reason.”

Vikram Singh, Rajgarh, Rajasthan

THE autocracy of the Amit Shah-Narendra Modi duo has stripped Indian democracy (“The decline of Modi”, January 20). Parliament is being treated with utter contempt. The prestige of the Prime Minister’s Office has taken a nosedive and the Cabinet system is in ruins. Every Cabinet Minister has become a yes-man. Members of the bureaucracy have to obey orders or suffer adverse consequences.

The duo’s interference in the functioning of the institutions of democracy has affected their independence and consequently their performance. In appointments to these institutions, what counts is not merit but connections to the RSS.

Husainy A. Shahed, Nandurbar, Maharashtra

The Ganga

FOR all those who felt depressed by the polluted state of the Ganga, the announcement of the Namami Ganga project was enthusing news (“The Ganga’s last gasp”, January 20). It is a rude shock to learn that the project is a non-starter. It is disconcerting that the Kedarnath tragedy, a calamity abetted in good measure by human avarice, has not shaken the conscience of the powers that be. All the talk of restoring the Ganga to its pristine glory when seen in the context of the government’s regressive steps such as amendments to the eco-sensitive zone notification shows the astounding dichotomy between what is preached and what is practised.

Ayyasseri Raveendranath, Aranmula, Kerala