L E T T E R S    T O    T H E    E D I T O R

Have a heart for small farmers

In Punjab and Haryana, there is a great disconnect between the farmers and the scientists (S.S. Surjewala’s statement, The Tribune, April 17). The scientists appear to be out of sync with the cost-return-risk matrix being faced by the small farmers.

The biggest risk factor facing the farmers is the scientific community that has not been making any engagement with the ground realities. Instead, we see a strange spectacle of the scientific community made to bend backwards to do a sweatshop like research for big farmers across the oceans. All this for making their career progression smoother in the eyes of the western scientific community. The Agriculture Ministry’s obsession in this context with the knowledge initiative is a case in point.

Unfortunately, the productivity enhancement bandwagon in the evergreen revolution framework does not have a smallholder template. The agricultural scientific community appears to be blissfully unaware of this ground zero fact.

The producers of essential food items and the consumers, notwithstanding the common man’s refrain, have been taken for a ride. Mr Surjewala has aptly demanded a fresh look at the ECA’s market intervention provisions, albeit in a globalised economy.

Prof J. GEORGE, University of Delhi, Delhi


Mess in hockey

Indian Hockey Federation General Secretary Jyoti Kumaran’s exposure while taking a Rs 2-lakh bribe for including a player in the Indian national team, brought to light in a sting operation by a TV channel is extremely serious. Surprisingly, he has been at the helm of affairs in the IHF for 14 years. He has quit, but a thorough probe into the matter is imperative.

I have been suspecting his credentials since the 1996 Atlanta Olympics where I was one of the reporters. I think Dr Manohar Singh Gill, the new Union Minister of State for Sports, will rise to the occasion and take exemplary action against the culprit.



The editorial, “Hockey’s shame” (April 23) is timely. It is now clear why hockey, our national game, has been in such an awful mess. With persons like Jyoti Kumaran at the top what else could be expected? Corruption, favouritism and politics have ruined the game. It is good that Jyoti Kumaran has resigned.

Alas, it has taken 14 long years to find out the real man in Jyoti Kumaran. A criminal case should be registered against him and, if proved, he should be awarded maximum punishment as provided under the law.

Indian Hockey Federation Chief K.P.S. Gill should also quit his post and make way for an able and dynamic chief. But will he oblige?

R.J. KHURANA, Bhopal


IHF President K.P.S. Gill and the then secretary Jyoti Kumaran are totally responsible for the sad state of affairs in the hockey. Just accepting Jyoti Kumaran’s resignation is not enough. He should be tried for the serious offence  he has committed. There is a need for total overhaul of the IHF.

The Union Sports Ministry and the Olympic Association of India should be bold enough to show the door to erring and inactive officials. The edit rightly infers that if the decline is not to turn into demise, those in power need to act speedily.

DILBAG  RAI, Chandigarh


BRT merits a fair trial

Most of us are allergic to reforms. And our aversion to Delhi’s Bus Rapid Transport (BRT) system is nothing new. Even before this, was there no traffic chaos? The reasons are many: too many vehicles in South Delhi, indiscipline among drivers and our lack of consideration for others on the road. The BRT is intended to reduce the chaos by instilling lane discipline.

I have travelled twice on the BRT covered roads. I found vehicles in the car lane moving slowly, but nevertheless moving. Even before the BRT, cars on Tito Marg used to move slowly. After the BRT, cars have been unable to crisscross and overtake left and right. Their freedom has now been curbed. A cyclist gave a slip to marshals and intruded in the car lane causing traffic disruption. Should we blame the BRT for this or the cyclists’ indiscipline?

After the BRT, buses would no longer be able to hit cars, cyclists or pedestrians. Let us be patient and give the BRT a chance to stabilise. Meanwhile, the BRT should consider posting bouncer-type marshals at strategic points. The present marshals are weak and their signals and requests are not heeded. 

K.S. BHALLA, New Delhi



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