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Make efforts to improve farmers’ plight

There is a need to analyse the alarming situation arising from the non-payment of loans by the farmers (editorial, “Loans have to be repaid”, May 5.) Suicides by farmers and their families on account of their inability to repay the loans paints a sad picture. No government whether at the Centre or in the states has taken a serious note of it.

India is predominantly an agriculture-based country where the economy revolves around agriculture. The life of farmers in India is far from satisfactory.

There has been little amelioration in the status and living standards of farmers who reside in villages. Basic amenities of life like electricity, drinking water, sanitation and clean toilets have eluded them for decades. Every politician pledges to improve farmers’ living standards but does precious little. Farmers are left to face the vagaries of life.

Even after more than six decades of Independence farmers’ lifestyle has hardly undergone any change. Economic conditions have worsened. Fragmentation, depletion and fast conversion of agricultural land into urban land have considerably reduced their holdings besides depleting their source of income. Rise in prices of daily commodities is eating up a sizeable chunk of the earnings of a farmer.

Letters to the Editor Letters to the Editor, neatly hand-written or typed in double space, should not exceed the 150-word limit. These can be sent by post to the Letters Editor, The Tribune, Sector 29, Chandigarh-160030. Letters can also be sent by e-mail to: Letters@tribuneindia.com — Editor-in-Chief

The younger generation doesn’t find agriculture lucrative. They fly to greener pastures in search of brighter prospects but here again they are duped by fraudulent travel agents who deprive them of their savings.

It is time the governments took effective steps. Otherwise the hands that feed the entire nation will no longer be there.



The editorial was apt. The root cause of non-payment of loans is the diversion of funds for personal use such as marriage of daughter, construction of a house, purchase of a car, etc. How can the loan be paid back, if the same has not been used for productive purposes? Loans should be waived off only in the event of a natural calamity and not in normal circumstances.

It would be more appropriate if the loans to the farmers are given in kind by way of inputs like fertilizers, pesticides or agricultural implements. That will ensure that the loan is not used for personal use.

HARISH K MONGA, Ferozepur City


It seems that a major reason for the increasing number of defaulter farmers is the use of credit for non-productive and non-agricultural purposes. Farmers can never repay a loan if a major portion of the loan credit is used for unproductive purpose.

Credit has been given too much emphasis in agriculture, and it should be realised that credit alone cannot solve the problems of farmers. It is important to provide them timely inputs and the latest technology. Besides, market opportunities for agricultural produce must be improved.

Rajiv Arora, Ferozepur City

Tug of birthplace

The Tribune Editor-in-Chief Raj Chengappa’s column Ground Zero “Return of the puttar” (May 2) was both interesting and heart-warming. I was overwhelmed with mixed emotions of joy, loss and nostalgia over my own birth-place ‘Simla’, now called ‘Shimla’.

No matter how far and wide our destiny may take us, the pull of the birth-place remains a sacred and mystic mystery. Perhaps it is the very epicentre or nucleus of our existence. Unravelling the magnetism, chemistry, physics, geography, philosophy and psychology behind this haunting sense of belonging is a phenomenon that deserves scholarly demystification.

I am a 62-year-old artist and I fail to understand why even at this age tears come into my eyes at the very glimpse of my birth-place. Imagine the plight and pain of people who are forced to migrate due to natural or man-made reasons and human conditions who don’t get to see their birth-places.

I would like to share my thoughts with readers so that some of them may send their reactions and feelings on the subject. I congratulate Mr Chengappa for understanding the true psyche of Punjabis, especially the Sikhs and with your kind permission may I nickname you as “Raj Chengappa Singh Penwala.”



Media ethics

V Eshwar Anand’s article “Subversion of democracy: Time to root out the menace of paid news” (April 23) was thought-provoking. Indeed, it is a matter of concern that paid news have become a threat to our democratic ethos.

Where have journalist’s ethics and professional integrity gone? Dr Anand has aptly pointed out that the Press Council needs to be given more teeth.



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