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Find indigenous solutions to agrarian problems

This is with reference to your editorials, "Issues before IBSA" and "World Food Day" published on 18th October, 2011. The growing clout of India in international affairs highlighted in "Issues before IBSA" is undercut by the second editorial, "World Food Day" which foregrounds that in our country "hunger and malnutrition are not sporadic; they are a constant." This contradiction underscores the fact that India's international stature has not brought any cheer to about one-third of our country's population.

Whereas you rightly suggest that the Indian government needs to rejuvenate the public distribution system and make better arrangements for storing foodgrains, your recipe that the government "should pay attention to the modernisation of agriculture to create more avenues of livelihood in the rural areas" can be taken only with a pinch of salt.

Modernisation generally translates into greater use of technology which inevitably results in greater human redundancy and unemployment. The biggest paradox of our techno-centric world is that we look for technological quick-fixes for those problems which were, in the first instance, created by technology. Agrarian crisis in a state like Punjab is attributable, in a large measure, to excessive use of technology and not to the lack of it. We need specifically India-centric solutions to our problems.

Dr SWARAJ RAJ, Associate Professor of English, Govt Mohindra College, Patiala

Wasteful expenditure

This refers to the editorial, “Maya’s parks and pride” (October 17). The readers are pained to read Chief Minister Mayawati’s penchant for frequent transfers of civil servants on frivolous grounds and for memorials and parks with statues of her own liking. The exchequer might have spent one per cent on such parks, but resources belong to the nation. We hope that people would raise their voice against wasteful expenditure of resources.


Leadership issue

Of late, there has been an amusing flurry of positioning by BJP’s top brass, vying with each other, with an eye on the prime ministerial chair after 2014 elections or even before that (editorial, “Advani’s rath yatra”, October 13). The image makeover exercise by Narendra Modi in the garb of “sadbhavana fast” is a case in point.

However, NDA allies’ antipathy towards Modi due to the spectre of 2002 pogrom and his low acceptability are the biggest stumbling blocks on his way. You have rightly observed that Advani may be a veteran of many a battle, but age is clearly not on his side. Moreover, the RSS is also no longer keen to project him for the top slot.

So, the question of leadership in the BJP is yet to be resolved. Moreover, the BJP must realise that New Delhi will remain a distant dream unless it widens the base of the NDA by shedding hardcore Hindutva issues and embracing all-inclusive pressing and progressive issues to retain the previous allies and attract new ones.


Male child

In spite of the poor sex ratio in the state, the craze for a male child is still prevailing. As people are finding it difficult to get the prenatal sex determination done due to the PNDT Act, they have resorted to intake of medicines to change the sex of the foetus. A significant number of pregnant ladies take these medicines thinking that this would assure them a male child.

But the reality is that sex cannot be changed after fertilization. These so-called medicines can lead to congenital defects like hole in the heart and other malformations. So this practice of giving 'sex-changing medicines' should be strongly discouraged and anyone who recommends such medicines should be punished.

Dr RISHI PAL GUPTA, Kurukshetra

Wisdom of our grandparents

The middle, “Grannies know it all!” (October 19), was quite amusing. Such anecdotes make us feel happy even today. The author’s grandma may not have been educated, but what is true education? Is it mere accumulation of degree certificates? I don’t think so. It all depends on how much wisdom one has acquired over the years. One needs to be a student of the classroom called life. The author’s grandma was wise enough to know how to protect the household from the lurking danger.

Our grandparents set examples for us to emulate in life. They may be ordinary persons, but they have enough experience to share with us. While some of us may have grandparents who do not know about our modern ways of treating guests, they are, however, not bereft of love for our friends. It is their innocence that finds expression when they speak. Those who get the opportunity to meet their grandparents must consider themselves extremely lucky.




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