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Give impetus to medical research

This refers to the news item, “Superbug discoverer warns India again” (October 5). In the light of what Timothy Walsh of Cardiff University says that India has 100 million carriers of antibiotic NDM gene, the government of India should initiate its own research. Some of his suggestions can be taken seriously, such as banning over-the-counter sale of non-prescription antibiotics, and investing in “public toilets” so that sanitary conditions can be maintained.

This is not the time to argue and blame him for naming the superbug after New Delhi. It is already known that in India chemists tend to sell antibiotics without doctor’s prescription. It is inevitable that pathogens will become drug-resistant over a period of time. Unless the government does something to dissuade people from buying and selling antibiotics indiscriminately, it may become very difficult to fight infections in the near future, especially in hospitals. India needs to initiate research activities in this area and not depend solely on foreign experts to lead us, as we have able researchers who can conduct creditable research in this field. More and more young students should be motivated to take up research here in India.

For this we have to make research-oriented jobs lucrative to attract young Indians to become scientists and researchers. This has not been adequately done so far, and that is primarily why we find it difficult to address our own medical concerns and look forward to foreign researchers and their reports.

There is nothing wrong in collaborating with them, but we have to promote medical research in this country. This will allow us to develop new vaccines and drugs to combat infections without the need to import them from other countries.


Indo-Pak ties

The editorial, “Pakistan’s positive move” (October 5), is logical and timely. It seems that Pakistan has now realized the difference between trade and aid. India as a major player in South Asia is also tied to a stable Pakistan. I think we need to take a fresh look at bilateral relations in the modern context with more economic activity and cooperation to reactivate other exchanges, such as cultural, through SAARC. I also feel that it will be more sustainable than anything else, especially when we are facing a threat from China which is trying to weaken our role in South Asia.

Baltej Singh Mann, Patiala

Curbing corruption

The editorial, “Trillion dollar question” (October 5), was very interesting. It is indeed surprising how people like Hasan Ali manage to subvert the system and amass wealth. While we talk about people who survive on less than Rs 32 and Rs 26 a day, we forget about persons who seem to find it difficult to live on trillions of dollars! One wonders what a man does with so much wealth! It is also a comment on our system which takes so many years to finally nab the culprits. Why can we not have a system that is so potent that it can detect anyone who indulges in corrupt practices? While it is true that we cannot have a foolproof system, a robust system may still be able to detect those who may be indulging in corrupt practices, especially in today’s technology-dominant world.

The point that if the black money stashed away in banks abroad can be brought back, it may help the government in its efforts to remove poverty is pertinent. After all, how much money does a man need?


Taliban’s terror

This refers to the editorial, “Kabul’s expectations: New role for India in Afghanistan” (October 4). President Karzai must have come to know by now that all Taliban factions are dangerous. With Pakistan’s support the Talibans have grown stronger and are a threat to peace and stability anywhere in the world. The Haqqani group reportedly poses a threat to the US-led NATO forces in Afghanistan.

In this context, Afghan President’s India visit assumes significance. India needs to play a major role in augmenting developmental works in Afghanistan. At the same time, it needs to impress upon the international community that all Taliban factions are dangerous and they must formulate their Afghan policy keeping this fact in mind. It is important to end Taliban’s terror as early as possible. This is unlikely to be achieved if certain factions are looked upon as “good Talibans”.

Major KRISHNA KUMAR, Jalandhar 

Remembering the Mahatma

Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday was celebrated all over the country the other day with great pomp and show. Politicians garlanded his statute and in their speeches on the occasion exhorted the nation at large to follow in the Mahatma’s footsteps.

Indeed, if the greatness of a country were to be judged by the pompous way it celebrates the birth/death anniversaries of its great men, India would stand head and shoulders above all other countries of the world. But alas! This is not the yardstick which the world adopts to measure greatness of a county.

Sadly but indisputably, there is a big/growing gap between words and deeds of our leaders. The Mahatma must be writhing with pain in his heavenly abode to see the sad turn the things have taken in the land of his birth. My humble message to the apostle of truth and nonviolence is:

“Utro na aasmaan se Bapu wahin raho,

Achhe nahin hain desh ke haalat in dinon!”

TARA CHAND, Ambota (Una)



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