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Thursday, October 14, 1999
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Scope for farm exports

I AGREE with the view “Farm exports: the roadblocks,”Oct 1 that all-round prosperity is almost impossible without the satisfactory performance of the agricultural sector. Our main aim should be to increase the purchasing power of the poorest of the poor. It has been noticed that if our farmers are given proper guidance and wherewithal, they are capable of feeding the entire nation and producing enough for exports. There is a large potential in our vast land. We have not tapped it fully as yet.

Lack of mechanisation and regulated markets are the main reasons for low production and poverty. There is large scope for the export of food grains, vegetables and fruits. First and foremost, we must look for the markets for our farm produce. There is a requirement to carry out the survey within our own country as well as other countries for the demand of our farm produce. The demand data must be made available at the district level through the Internet.

Once the data for the demand has been created through the Internet, it is very easy to plan the production, marketing, storage and transportation of farm produce.

The infrastructure for the export of farm produce exists in our country. However, there is a requirement to encourage more local traders to market the produce.

We require regulated markets at every 10 km of distance so that it is easy for farmers to transport their produce. Local traders should be given soft loans to market farm produce from the regulated markets to the nearest airport in refrigerated containers. Since vegetables are cash crops, the purchasing power and living standard of everyone will improve across the country.

Marketing farm produce through regulated markets will be one of the powerful instruments in the hands of Union and state governments to eradicate poverty. Marketing, processing, preservation and storage of farm produce will ensure self- employment for two-thirds of the country’s population.


Cinema tickets

IT has been observed that cinema tickets for the III class seats are never sold. The cost of each ticket is Rs 5, and about 33 per cent seats in each cinema house at Patiala are marked as III class.

The District Magistrate, Patiala, has approved Rs 25 for the box and balcony, Rs. 15 for the family circle and Rs 5 per ticket for the III class. If anyone requests for the III class ticket he is a ill-treated by the cinema authorities.

I request the district authorities to kindly see to it that III class tickets are also issued if demanded by filmgoers. Moreover, there is a cinema hall which has the airconditioning facility and charges a double price for the tickets issued. The ticket priced at Rs 30 is being sold at Rs 60 on Sundays and during the first week of every month when a good film is released. This may also be stopped.


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Missionaries’ activities

In the recent past there have been some instances of violence against Christian missionaries. This is highly deplorable and needs to be curbed firmly, keeping in mind the sensitive nature of the issue and many other factors involved.

India has a long tradition of tolerance and commitment to peace which needs to be cherished and nurtured continuously.

At the same time, however, Christians should also do some soul-searching to see where they have gone wrong. At the core of the problem lie religious conversions which are deeply resented by the Hindus, urban or tribal, as a frontal attack on their religion and way of life handed down to them over the centuries.

Missionary activities, including conversions, are sought to be justified as a “tremendous job for the emancipation of the poverty-stricken, illiterate, ever-increasing population”. This is a rather tall claim. The Christians at present constitute more than one-third of the human race. Has it made the life comparatively any better for the teeming millions of Asia, Africa and Latin America? If anything, their condition has deteriorated in many ways over the years.

In the world today we find more violence, depravity, poverty and hatred than perhaps ever before. Look at the unprecedented carnage as a result of two world wars and many other avoidable conflicts globably in this century alone. The political subjugation, exploitation and impoverishment, financially and culturally, of a very large segment of the world population for centuries by the western colonial powers is too well known to bear repetition, their present-day hype on democracy, justice, freedom, human rights, etc, notwithstanding.



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