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

Not a bad woman

Apropos ‘The Myth Of The Bad Woman’ by Kishwar Desai (December 25), whatever be the reservations on the film, Vidya Balan’s portrayal of Silk Smitha in ‘The Dirty Picture’ can scarcely be undermined. I do not think she showed Silk Smitha’s life as a brief candle. She in fact played the role to perfection and and has left a lasting impression on the audience. Like Smita Patil, Vidya Balan has carved out a niche for herself due to her own individuality and fine acting. May her tribe grow.

— Colonel R D Singh, Ambala Cantt

Poet of hope

Appropos "Faiz had no regrets —"(December 18), Faiz Ahmed Faiz (1911-1984) was a poet of the people. He wrote in simple language (Urdu ) which touched the heart. But unlike most Urdu poets, he did not confine his poetry to love. For him it was " Aur bhi gham hain zamaney mein mohabat ke siva…( There is more pain in the world than the sweet pain of longing)" . He was also a poet of hope, " Dil na umeed to nahin, nakam hi to hai / Lambi hai gham ki shaam magar sham hi to hai … (Distress does stretch the evening to eternity but then it still is the evening, with morning bound to follow)

— V.K. Rangra, Delhi

Thumbs up for FDI

Organised Retail: Go for it, say Punjab farms’ by Ruchika M Khanna (Perspective, December 25) does well to convey a happy picture in describing the case of Abdul Majid, a small Malerkotla farmer who produces vegetables and sells them to Bharti Walmart, earning Rs 2.40 lakhs annually. This fetches him about 20 per cent more income than he used to get from the Mandis through various middlemen. The in-depth report calls the bluff on opposition to FDI in Retail. A party of traders, it is understandable that BJP would oppose it. But surely others ought to see the benefits to the farmers in Punjab ?

— R.K. Kapoor, Chandigarh

Disappointing Punjab

Go For It , Say Punjab Farms’ ( December 25) rightly pinpoints the concern of farmers over the delay in allowing FDI in the retail sector which would have benefitted them immensely. This would eliminate the middle men and reduce distress sale of vegetables. The ambivalent stand of the Punjab Government is disappointing as it opposed the move despite its claims to be pro-farmers.

— Gurmit Singh Saini, Mohali

Not so rosy

RuchIka M. Khanna (' Organised retail: Go for it, say Punjab farms', December 25) has painted a very rosy picture in favour of FDI in retail trade. However, all that glitters is not always gold. Allowing up to 51 per cent FDI in organised multi brand retail and 100 per cent in single brand at macro level will certainly lead to the creation of dependency syndrome among the farmers and will leave them at the mercy of MNCs, which can withdraw and terminate their contract at any time, as and when they find it not lucrative enough. The solution actually lies in encouraging cooperative farming, organising self-help groups for small farmers and in creating a strong network of marketing and storage infrastructure. Promoting the concept of ‘Apni Mandi’ is also a step forward.

— Dr. Puran Singh
Haryana Institute of Rural Development, Nilokheri

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