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Formula to tackle food crisis

The editorial “Wages of inaction price rise” (April 27) rightly says that the rising prices in food commodities can be attributed to the diversion of food crops like maize and corn to biofuels and unfavourable climatic conditions causing low crop yield. We, however, cannot question nature but we can surely stop the diversion of food crops to biofuels amidst food crisis worldwide.

The United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has called an emergency meeting of heads of state in June to discuss whether to stop biofuel production in developed countries, which are diverting food grains to make ethanol. But waiting till June would delay the matter that needs immediate action. The developed countries should stop producing ethanol from food grains immediately when there is an alternative source for its production.

Ethanol can also be produced from substances containing sugar such as cane and beet sugar i.e. sucrose, molasses obtained in the production of sucrose, fruit juices, etc. Developing countries should resort to this alternative source. India has plenty sugarcane yield. India can perhaps export some for ethanol production to such countries. This would also prove a beacon of hope for the discouraged sugarcane farmers. It could also solve the food crisis problem to some extent.

POOJA DOGRA, Jakhu, Shimla


Maya Pradesh

Though one may not agree with the views in the editorial (April 18), Uttar Pradesh has indeed become a Maya Pradesh. But no one can disagree with the editorial view that The Dalits, including those belonging to the minorities, and the upper castes coming together to defeat the Muslim-Yadav combination of SP leader Mulayam Singh Yadav is an interesting development for its caste-based politics”.

The social engineering being pursued by Ms Mayawati’s Bahujan Samaj Party cannot be said to be based on philosophical- epistemological paradigm of Dalit ideology. Yet, it has a positive aspect as far as the future of our democratic political system is concerned. Given the present dismal scenario of our political culture where votes are purchased through money or mafia power, Ms Mayawati has succeeded in broadening her party’s vote-base through a dialogue with the members of other communities.

This is, certainly, an achievement, but this social scene can be sustained only if the process of development is accelerated at the grassroots level and its benefits reach the really deserving.

G.S. BAL, Jalandhar

Avoidable row

The turban and patka controversy is being stretched too far. After all, it had been agreed in the parents-teachers meeting that Sikh students up to Class X should wear patka. Naturally, all such parents were Sikhs.

Moreover, members of no other community wear a patka. It is, therefore, unfortunate that the Principal was made to apologise in writing. We should be pragmatic and magnanimous in a secular democracy. Where will this lead to if religious bodies were to interfere even in matters of unintentional aberrations, as Maj-Gen Himmat Singh Gill (retd) suggests?

PADAM GUPTA, Ambala City

For more coaches

On Delhi-Panipat- Ambala railway section, there is only one express train (Dadar-Amritsar-Dadar). It has only two-and-a-half second class coaches. These coaches are always packed to capacity en route. Some passengers take the risk of travelling by sleeper class coaches, but the journey cost them high penalty. In the larger interest of general rail users, the authorities should add four more general coaches to Dadar Express to meet the increasing demand.



Advani conceals

I have just finished reading Mr L.K. Advani’s book My Country My Life. The book conceals more than what it reveals. He had been a victim of the country’s unnatural Partition and has not said much as to why the erstwhile Hindu Mahasabha gave a go-by to the slogan of Akhand Bharat and meekly accepted the Partition. He had not said much on the stalwarts of Hindu Mahasabha.

He has also not thrown enough light on the attack on Parliament though he was the Union Home Minister then. Who was responsible for the leakage of the security sticker for the vehicle used by the raiders? Also what were the reasons to keep our armed forces on combat alert on the borders for nearly a year and their unilateral withdrawal after a heavy casualty without a shot being fired?

Mr Advani’s Rath Yathra to Ayodhya leading to the demolition of the Babri Masjid and subsequent developments have been kept in the wrap, though he briefly shows his remorse. All that one sees in the book is Mr Advani’s attempt to break, though temporarily, from the past and earn his acceptance by the people as the prime minister-in-waiting.

Lt-Col CHANAN SINGH DHILLON (retd), Ludhiana



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